Razer Blade 15" or EGPU opinions on a possible upgrade.

soulreaver99

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If you decide to go with the eGPU, give me a shout. I'll sell you my Core X Chroma for 1/2 price, and it's still essentially new in box. I used it for a week before moving to a desktop.
Pretty good point brought up here... if you are going to get an eGPU, might as well just get a desktop and keep your current laptop for traveling.
 
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TopherMan12

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Pretty good point brought up here... if you are going to get an eGPU, might as well just get a desktop and keep your current laptop for traveling.
Yeah, that would be a valid consideration. Although I would think the price of a gaming desktop (2060/2070) would be a few hundred dollars more than an egpu/gpu. At least, it is here in the US. Gaming desktop will run you $1200 - $1300 on sale. A 2070 Super is around $500. 2060 Super is $400. Razer Core X is $300 or $400 for the Chroma (or $200 from csurfr). Difference between $400 - $500. Of course that is going to vary based on the deal and the config of the desktop.
 

Thysanoptera

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I have many desktops and laptops and travel about 50% of the time. I tried every possible combination and for me laptop+egpu works best. Using desktop + laptop causes issues with data sync (I was always ending up with backups of backups containing some more backups of multiple computers inside because I was never sure if I have all my stuff with me) and requires additional software licenses. Single laptop with its dGPU driving external monitors is hot and loud.

Quite honestly, Blade 15 with eGPU didn't quite feel like desktop, there was always some noticeable lag and the frame rendering wasn't fluid even if the fps counter didn't show it. But the new Stealth with its integrated TB controller sure does, it is like working on desktop and you can just take all your data with you when you travel while having a single data repository.
 

Queen6

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Personally I'd opt for the notebook, as recommended purchase from Amazon or MS. I would hate to go back to a primary notebook with an anaemic GPU. This notebook has a 1070, next will be a 2070 or 2060 depending on the mobility need.

eGPU's have a purpose, equally I don't see them as an overly useful option, they are and will remain niche for that reason, apart from Mac's as Apple refuses or is incapable of producing a notebook with a decent dGPU.

Q-6
 

TopherMan12

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Personally I'd opt for the notebook, as recommended purchase from Amazon or MS. I would hate to go back to a primary notebook with an anaemic GPU. This notebook has a 1070, next will be a 2070 or 2060 depending on the mobility need.

eGPU's have a purpose, equally I don't see them as an overly useful option, they are and will remain niche for that reason, apart from Mac's as Apple refuses or is incapable of producing a notebook with a decent dGPU.

Q-6
To me, the usefulness is the ability to upgrade the graphics card without having to buy a new computer. And so it brings a desktop advantage to the laptop. It may be a niche solution, for now, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more traction among gamers in the future.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
To me, the usefulness is the ability to upgrade the graphics card without having to buy a new computer. And so it brings a desktop advantage to the laptop. It may be a niche solution, for now, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more traction among gamers in the future.
As ever it's very much dependant on the users needs. I'm ok with a larger notebook that can deliver professionally and push the FPS :) I kind of rationalise that I'm carrying so much gear, a few more pounds is academic :)

Q-6
 

maflynn

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I have decided to move on from buying the Razer - even though a few were trying to tempt me to the dark side.

For now, I can wait for the next gen chipset, open box sales which will invariably come in a couple of weeks or just sit tight.
 

SteveJUAE

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I have decided to move on from buying the Razer - even though a few were trying to tempt me to the dark side.

For now, I can wait for the next gen chipset, open box sales which will invariably come in a couple of weeks or just sit tight.
This itch is not going away :)

@hajime may even beat you too it at this rate LOL
 
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TopherMan12

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Starting to rethink this eGPU setup I have. The frame rates of the games I'm playing look fine, but I'm seeing this stutter in a lot of games. Doing some research to see if I can figure out why this happening. I've only had this for a couple of weeks and overall I have been pretty happy, but now that I've noticed the stutter.....I'm afraid it is going to bug me more down the road.

Still within my return window so....
 

Thysanoptera

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Starting to rethink this eGPU setup I have. The frame rates of the games I'm playing look fine, but I'm seeing this stutter in a lot of games. Doing some research to see if I can figure out why this happening. I've only had this for a couple of weeks and overall I have been pretty happy, but now that I've noticed the stutter.....I'm afraid it is going to bug me more down the road.

Still within my return window so....
I know exactly what you're talking about. What setup do you have? Couple of tips:

1. Make sure the eGPU is initialized before Windows loads. You should see login screen on external display. When hotplugging the performance is super bad, lots of stutter, eGPU utilization jumping all over the place. On my Blade 15 I can display Bios screen through eGPU.

2. Some reported improvements using modded Nvidia drivers, with driver slimmer utility, to get rid of included bloatware. Personally I didn't try this.

3. You will never get rid completely of the last tiny stutter as long as you're using TB controller through PCH. On Ice Lake it is buttery smooth, and I don't really know any laptop manufacturer with previous gen CPUs (other than Apple) who connects TB controller directly to CPU provided PCIe lanes, instead of PCH.
 
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TopherMan12

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I know exactly what you're talking about. What setup do you have? Couple of tips:

1. Make sure the eGPU is initialized before Windows loads. You should see login screen on external display. When hotplugging the performance is super bad, lots of stutter, eGPU utilization jumping all over the place. On my Blade 15 I can display Bios screen through eGPU.

2. Some reported improvements using modded Nvidia drivers, with driver slimmer utility, to get rid of included bloatware. Personally I didn't try this.

3. You will never get rid completely of the last tiny stutter as long as you're using TB controller through PCH. On Ice Lake it is buttery smooth, and I don't really know any laptop manufacturer with previous gen CPUs (other than Apple) who connects TB controller directly to CPU provided PCIe lanes, instead of PCH.
Supposedly, the i7-1065G7 has the TB3 controller on the die. I ended up taking it back. I was up against my return period and had to make a decision. Have to admit that I'm disappointed, but that is a lot of money invested to be annoyed with the results. It was a good experiment though and I learned a lot. I'm not saying it isn't a viable option for others, but being aware of the trade-offs is key.
 

Thysanoptera

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Supposedly, the i7-1065G7 has the TB3 controller on the die. I ended up taking it back. I was up against my return period and had to make a decision. Have to admit that I'm disappointed, but that is a lot of money invested to be annoyed with the results. It was a good experiment though and I learned a lot. I'm not saying it isn't a viable option for others, but being aware of the trade-offs is key.
Wait, you had the new Stealth? Too bad you didn't mention, Razer made some questionable decisions (ok, downright stupid) with this machine and I agree that out-of-the-box it wasn't really impressive. Imagine, that even when eGPU is in use they still throttle CPU to 15W. Synapse 3 is another cause of stutter on its own, as is active dGPU when eGPU is connected.

This all can be fixed relatively easy leading to a really nice machine without any stutter whatsoever.
 

TopherMan12

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Wait, you had the new Stealth? Too bad you didn't mention, Razer made some questionable decisions (ok, downright stupid) with this machine and I agree that out-of-the-box it wasn't really impressive. Imagine, that even when eGPU is in use they still throttle CPU to 15W. Synapse 3 is another cause of stutter on its own, as is active dGPU when eGPU is connected.

This all can be fixed relatively easy leading to a really nice machine without any stutter whatsoever.
No, I had the Lenovo Yoga C940.
 

maflynn

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So I bought csurfr's Core X Chroma and that arrived yesterday, I also picked up an MSI RTX 2060 Super. I opted for the mid range model which provides better cooling so the fans don't need to run during normal non-game playing tasks. Additionally, I determined that the 2060 model was a better buy, as the 100 - 200 price increase on the 2070 wasn't worth it, as I'll only see about 10 - 15% performance boost.

Overall, the Core X is freaking huge, I don't think the picture really expresses the size, but it's virtually silent, again thanks to the mid range card I picked.
IMG_5940.JPG


The performance is really impressive as shown below.
1577457591784.png

1577457605144.png


I haven't played any games yet, I'll do that later today but overall I'm really happy with the setup
 

TopherMan12

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So I bought csurfr's Core X Chroma and that arrived yesterday, I also picked up an MSI RTX 2060 Super. I opted for the mid range model which provides better cooling so the fans don't need to run during normal non-game playing tasks. Additionally, I determined that the 2060 model was a better buy, as the 100 - 200 price increase on the 2070 wasn't worth it, as I'll only see about 10 - 15% performance boost.

Overall, the Core X is freaking huge, I don't think the picture really expresses the size, but it's virtually silent, again thanks to the mid range card I picked.
View attachment 885016

The performance is really impressive as shown below.
View attachment 885026
View attachment 885027

I haven't played any games yet, I'll do that later today but overall I'm really happy with the setup
That 2060 Super score is significantly better than what I got with my Lenovo Yoga and AMD RX 5700 XT. The Yoga CPU was bottle-necking me more more than I realized.

Hope you enjoy it!
 

Thysanoptera

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Overall, the Core X is freaking huge, I don't think the picture really expresses the size, but it's virtually silent, again thanks to the mid range card I picked.
What about the PSU and chassis fan noise? It was really loud on Core X (without chroma), at idle. I replaced the PSU with Corsair SF750 (fan off until 300W) and used Noctua for chassis.
The performance is really impressive as shown below.
Your CPU scores are a lot better with eGPU. Is Lenovo throttling the CPU when gtx1050 is active?
 

maflynn

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What about the PSU and chassis fan noise? It was really loud on Core X (without chroma), at idle. I replaced the PSU with Corsair SF750 (fan off until 300W) and used Noctua for chassis.
PSU fan is near silent, and the GPU fans aren't spinning when I'm doing mundane stuff, like working. Maybe they're using different fans for the chroma version. @csurfr could maybe confirm if this was quiet/noisy for him when he owned it

Your CPU scores are a lot better with eGPU. Is Lenovo throttling the CPU when gtx1050 is active?
Yeah, it might have been - odd. I didn't notice ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

maflynn

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I was rooting for this
That day may come, but not today. ;)

The ThinkPad really does fit my needs better for all of my tasks, whereas the Razer only checks off one or two boxes.

For my X1E, I get two internal NVME slots, with the Razer, I'd need a SATA SSD and while not incredibly expensive (and the advanced model, I don't think I'd even get that), it just adds to the total cost.

I have a 3 year warranty (cost me only 80 bucks) - the Razer's extended warranty is quite a bit more. It makes sense to buy from Amazon/Best Buy and use their extended warranty, again 200+ dollars.

The ThinkPad's keyboard is better in nearly every respect and the trackpad does a better job at palm rejection.

So while I do love the look of the razer, and the pure gaming performance, there are other facets that the Thinkpad excels at.

Finally, while the egpu provides superior gaming performance and while I won't be taking that with me on travels, the internal dgpu will provide decent enough, I'll just forgo some of the AAA titles when I travel.
 

c0ppo

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Only reason to choose Razer over thinkpad is GPU. If you need it.
Everything else, from build quality, support, ports, keyboard... Well, X1E wins hands down. I don't need a gaming GPU on my laptop, so I really see no reason to choose Razer over thinkpad.

And if I ever need something like 2070/2080 GPU, I would first consider other options, since I don't trust Razer QC at all. And that is a shame, because I like how their laptops look. But it's too expensive for me to play that lottery, since Razer doesn't even have any kind of support for my country.
 
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SteveJUAE

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Only reason to choose Razer over thinkpad is GPU. If you need it.
Everything else, from build quality, support, ports, keyboard... Well, X1E wins hands down. I don't need a gaming GPU on my laptop, so I really see no reason to choose Razer over thinkpad.

And if I ever need something like 2070/2080 GPU, I would first consider other options, since I don't trust Razer QC at all. And that is a shame, because I like how their laptops look. But it's too expensive for me to play that lottery, since Razer doesn't even have any kind of support for my country.
Hands down is a bit of an overstatement and I would not overly recommend Razer even though I own one

The top end Blades are a bit indulgent and once in this bracket the choices become limited if you want styling along with specs and build

I too live overseas without local support and if you use HIDevolution they will handle all Razer warranty issues or if you buy from B&H you can get a Square Deal warranty for some piece of mind

If your on any sort of budget drive then Razer should not be on your shopping list
 

maflynn

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Hands down is a bit of an overstatement
I think overall, the 2018 model and beyond has shown a marked improvement but there does still seem to be a bit of a lottery. Likewise with their support, its improved, but it's not as good as others.