Dell XPS 15 9570 with EGPU - Long Term review

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by EORUCIGN, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. EORUCIGN

    EORUCIGN Notebook Consultant

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    Before I start talking about my experience, I would like to mention that English IS NOT my first language, so there will be a lot of grammatic errors. So If you are grammar nazi or just hate people with poor English skill, just leave the page now :p

    Dell XPS 15 9570 Specs
    • 4K Touch
    • i7 - 8750H
    • GTX 1050 Max - Q
    • 32 gb Ram (16 2400mhz + 16 2666mhz)
    • 1TB Samsung 960 evo
    EGPU
    • Razer Core X
    • Sapphire Vega 64 Nitro+

    So it has been 8 months since I bought the laptop, and I think it's about time that I share my overall experience of not only the laptop itself but also with egpu. I've been always wanting to buy Dell XPS line up due to its sleek design, amazing build quality, OK service (seems like OK service is rare in the laptop market), lightweight, and egpu support. However, XPS 15, for some reason, didn't have 4 lanes PCI-E for its Thunderbolt, which held me back from buying it. However, for 9570, they not only added 4 lanes but also 6 core and upgraded GPU as well.

    So my basic use is for school work and gaming. I carry my laptop every day, and when I am done with my school work, I simply plug in my laptop to the Thunderbolt port and play some games. The gaming experience is decent in my opinion. I have a Samsung C32HG70 (32inch VA panel 2560x1440p 144hz, Freesync 2 HDR monitor), and with the resolution at 2560x1440p in Ultra, most of the recent triple-A games run at 45 ~ 90 fps, and some older titles can even run at 144 fps +. Also with free sync, the gaming experience is just as good as you can get with egpu for sure.

    If you are interested in using EGPU with 9570, I DO NOT recommend going for Nvidia, but if you are a huge Nvidia fan or owns G-sync monitor, just go for GTX 1080 or RTX 2070 because from my experience Nvidia doesn't properly support EGPU and the performance lost is just too big for me to justify the price. I used to have RTX 2080, and firestrike graphics score was "18,000". Not 28,000, which is about 40% performance loss compared to desktop. For the performance lost, I don't think it's worth the $900 USD price tag in my opinion. On the other hand, AMD vega 64 gets above 20,000, it also gives a better overall gaming experience, and it's only $450 for my unit and you can get a new vega 64 for $399.99 in Newegg.

    But there's some downside using EGPU. Since the technology is new, there are some games that don't properly support EGPU. Shadow Warrior 1 is getting 31 fps. Also, this could be limited to me, but I am getting poor performance in Overwatch. In any setting (from Low to Epic), I get around 80 ~ 110 on average in game. It's funny because my GTX 1050ti Max - Q can outperform my Vega 64. I am pretty sure it's not AMD or EGPU's fault because I know someone using the same setting get's minimum of 100 ~ 200 fps in Ultra. (if you guys have any solution, please save me :( )

    In conclusion, I am fairly happy, but disappointed with my experience. Because I am glad that I can play most of the games with my ultrabook, but at the same time, my whole reason for buying EGPU was for Overwatch but it's having some performance issue. If you are into overwatch, be aware, but if you are just into Steam games, You don't have to worry about it. Also, as I mentioned, if you guys have any solution to fix my overwatch problem, do not hesitate to leave a comment :)
     
    ValkerieFire, pressing and custom90gt like this.
  2. ValkerieFire

    ValkerieFire God Follower

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    Great review. It’s a shame there are not more comments here. I’m debating selling my 9560 to get a 9570 to use with an egpu. I also have an Ncase M1 with an 8700k and a 1080ti but I feel like I could maybe consolidate to one computer and get away with an egpu. My only real issue is that many of the egpu enclosures are as big as a Dan A4 and some are as big as the Ncase M1
     
  3. Maël Houle

    Maël Houle Newbie

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    Hi, I find your post so helpful! However, it remains some questions in my head: First, did you experience throttling when using the egpu? In the web, there is a full of posts who talk about the throttling who happen with the laptop, but any with an egpu. Is it possible that the CPU throttling disapeared because there is no more GPU to cool? Or if there is throttling, are the game playable? In your post, you seam to have good results. And finally, do you get a lot of FPS in games like rainbow six siege and RPG? My primary language is not english for me too, do you speak french? We never know Thank you so much for your help!
     
  4. ValkerieFire

    ValkerieFire God Follower

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    Those are all excellent questions which I have wondered about as well. Does using an eGPU increase CPU performance since there is no longer a dGPU inside the laptop generating heat? Theoretically, that should double the heat dissipation ability of the laptop.

    Vous parlez tres bien anglais. Je parle un peu de francais, mais "not enough to talk about computers effectively".
     
    Maël Houle likes this.
  5. _sem_

    _sem_ Notebook Deity

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    Well, the heat dissipation ability of the laptop remains exactly the same, but it is used solely for cooling the CPU. It is also claimed that the power supply in the 9570 is insufficient for the CPU and the dGPU running at full power at once, and using an eGPU one would get around this restriction.
    However for the 6-core 9570 there are reports of direct thermal throttling with full CPU load, even undervolted and with the dGPU inactive. While the heat dissipation ability of such heatpipe & fins was shown to be sufficient for the previous-gen 4-core i7 9560 including full dGPU load (iunlock's mod improved the VRM cooling).
     
  6. Mulgul

    Mulgul Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey there, I had no more throttling whatsoever after using an eGPU. However, don't even expect e.g. an external 1070 to perform much better than the internal 1050 ti, since the thunderbolt connection will be a severe bottleneck.
     
  7. mfury957

    mfury957 Newbie

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    I have an Aorus Gaming Box with a GTX 1070. Performance is about double the internal 1050 ti, and it does run much cooler because the internal dGPU is not used. Here are some benchmarks:

    3D Mark Time Spy (Score, Graphics Test 1, Graphics Test 2)
    dGPU 1050 ti: 2474, 14.91 fps, 12.75 fps
    eGPU 1070: 5068, 31.71 fps, 27.63 fps

    3D Mark Firestrike (Score, Graphics Test 1, Graphics Test 2)
    dGPU 1050 ti: 6777, 34.71 fps, 30.87 fps
    eGPU 1070: 10773, 53.65 fps. 46.42 fps

    I'm a little disappointed, however, because I've used the Aorus box with 2 other laptops (a Lenovo Yoga C930 and an Asus Zenbook Pro), and they both managed about 3-4 fps better on the Firestrike benchmark. Of course the XPS trounced them on the CPU scores, but for some reason the GPU performance is a little worse.
     
  8. Mulgul

    Mulgul Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey @mfury957,
    how about performance in games? My performance in benchmarks wasn't so bad, but games were much worse, probably because there is more back and forth between the GPU and the rest of the system, so the Thunderbolt bottleneck becomes more of a problem.
     
  9. MSGaldenzi

    MSGaldenzi Notebook Deity

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    Great writeup. I recently got an XPS 9570 with roughly the same specs for the intention of using an Egpu. I currently have an alienware 17 with the amplifier as my setup but really hate that its not plug and play. This means that whenever I want to use the gpu, I have to power down all the way and when it boots back up, it posts a few times before being able to log right in. Same difference if I want to plug in, totally takes away the convenience factor and because of this, I haven't moved the AW17 for months... not like its that portable in the first place.
     
  10. mfury957

    mfury957 Newbie

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    You're right, real game play is what matters. I haven't tested with a lot of games yet - I have a desktop at home, so this setup is mainly for when I travel. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the in-game benchmark gives 63 fps on high (vs 32 with the 1050ti), and it seems to stay around that if I play for a while. I'll try and post additional results when I've used it more.
     
    Mulgul likes this.
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