Laptop/Desktop fusion (RTX 3080 Ti)

Discussion in 'e-GPU (External Graphics) Discussion' started by Tyranus07, Sep 9, 2021.

  1. Tyranus07

    Tyranus07 Notebook Evangelist

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    I'm not sure if this is the right section, but here is a video of my setup. Any thoughts or questions are welcome.

     
  2. Tyranus07

    Tyranus07 Notebook Evangelist

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    Some of my thoughts:

    • I like this solution better than an e-GPU. An e-GPU and a e-PC like mine share the same concept. A portable laptop that when you get at home you plug it in to an external device to play games at or close to desktop performance levels. But I do like the e-PC more because:
      • e-PC allows 100% full desktop performance unlike e-GPU which always has some level of performance loss on the GPU and is limited to laptop's CPUs which can bottleneck the GPU, also allow faster RAM.
      • It is future proof. Unlike for example the Alienware game box, which depends on firmware update to support newer video cards.
      • e-PC is more quite than the e-GPU, also can be placed much more far away since long HDMI cables are much cheaper than long TB3 cables.
      • No need to reboot the laptop
      • No need for extra keyboard or mouse, you just use the one from the laptop to control the e-PC
    • Some cons:
      • The Avermedia GC555 has a latency of up to 50ms when running at 4k@60Hz/1080p@240Hz. I have played at maximum of 1080p@144Hz and haven't felt any latency. But of course I don't play fps games which require a super fast response time. So this solution might not be for everyone depending of the kind of game you play. I hope in the future we get faster TB capture cards, but at the moment the GC555 is the fastest.
      • No G-Sync kinda. G-sync works to an extent. Since the Avermedia app runs at a fixed frame rate G-Sync will work at that fixed rate. Let's say the app is running at 120 fps but the laptop's screen runs at 144 Hz. When running the app at full screen G-Sync will adjust the monitor of the laptop at 120 Hz to match the 120 fps of the app, hence no tearing. But the app won't represent the real fps at which the game is running on the e-PC so you could end up with vsync microstuttering if the game isn't running capped at 120 fps (the same frame rate of the app)
      • The power consumption es really high.
      • You have to run two separated systems. To me this is not an issue since I have a shared storage across my home network. But this could be an issue for some.
     
  3. Clamibot

    Clamibot Notebook Deity

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    You can also use an ethernet cable to connect 2 computers together and use Steam's in home game streaming function. That would serve the same purpose and yield lower latency.
     
  4. Tyranus07

    Tyranus07 Notebook Evangelist

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    I certainly tried Steam Link, with a home gigabit network but it wasn't good enough to my standards. What I didn't like was:

    • Reduction in image quality and sound quality due to compression. Even at the highest possible quality I could notice the image compression. Unlike with the video capture card where the image and sound quality is uncompressed.
    • With Steam Link there is a performance loss, this is because the host device has to encode and compress the frames before sending them to the remote machine, generating more load on the GPU. While the video capture card has zero performance loss.
    • Steam Link can't handle VSync as good as the capture card. Playing a game at locked 120 fps on Steam Link and I could see microstuttering, even on games that say to be optimized for Steam Link.
    • Steam Link can't go over 120 fps. The GC555 can go up to 240 fps if needed.
    • Not every game is optimized to work with Steam Link and games that are not from Steam just gave me a black screen.
    I also tried Moonlight which is an open source software that uses Nvidia Shield API to play games over ethernet, but it does a far worst job than Steam Link, but at least it works with every game independent if the game is from Steam or EA Play or Epic or whatever. But the microstutter is terrible.

    I guess every person has different needs when it comes to play games. I can live with 40-50ms of latency (I honestly can't notice that delay) but I can't stand compressed image quality or Vsync microstuttering, others for sure would rather have less latency at a sacrifice of image quality
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
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  5. Clamibot

    Clamibot Notebook Deity

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    Very good points.

    Yeah for me Steam Link works better since I'm more latency and framerate sensitive than image quality sensitive. I never noticed any microstuttering myself. Also the majority of my games are on Steam, which I estimate to be about 80%. The other 20% are spread across Origin, Ubisoft Connect (Uplay), Battle.Net, and EGS.

    Your solution is good in its own right, and I'd also be happy with it if it weren't for the latency. However, as you said it's good if you can live with the latency.
     
  6. Tyranus07

    Tyranus07 Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes. Latency and stuttering/microstuttering tolerance are extremely personal subjects. Steam forum is full of debates if X game has stuttering issues. Some people say they have zero stutter issues, when to me that game has obvious stuttering issues. I ended up convincing myself that it's all about a personal level of tolerance, since stuttering or microstuttering isn't easy to measure. Some people don't even play with vsync enabled. I can't stand playing a game without vsync (or G-Sync) to me is unplayable. But apparently I'm not latency sensitive since I feel zero latency playing with the video capture card, also I only play 3rd person games which is probably the why.
     
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