11-04-2018 07:09 PM
I have been wondering about an eGPU and I am wondering if an entry level gaming PC might be the best option. I am not an avid gamer and most of the time I use the portabilty of the 920 for work. When at home I wouldn't mind having the ability indulge in some gaming so I started rearching the eGPU.
I have that some reviews actually recommend just getting a basic gaming PC as an alternative since eGPU are limited by the band width available on the thunderbolt 3. I have an external monitor already that I connect to when I work with my 920 at home and was wondering what others who have an eGPU or a gaming desktop might think.
11-04-2018 07:35 PM - edited 11-04-2018 07:47 PM
Using the Yoga 920 for gaming is OK for its novelty. From what I read, you do get pretty good benchmarks with an eGPU like a Geforce
GTX 1080 Ti. But if you are serious about gaming, there are a couple of shortcomings regarding a laptop:
1. RAM. You do have at least 16 GB on the Yoga 920 don't you? You can't upgrade that. Also laptops have pretty slow RAM. It's usually no higher than DDR 2400 on most laptops. With desktops, the sky's the limit depending on the motherboard, because it's easy to upgrade and you can overclock it.
2. HDD. If you got the 1 TB Yoga 920 you are fine. But if you have 256 GB, it's a hassle to upgrade the SSD on the Yoga 920 since you have to remove the motherboard. The Lenovos do put in good M2. NVME controllers on their laptops, though. My Yoga 920 purchased in April of 2018 has a no-name Samsung SSD which hits 3000/1200 R/W, so a 970 EVO Pro would probably hit close to it's 3700/2700 specs. The Dell XPSs are infamous for their neutered SSD controllers with 2-year old technology. My Dell XPS 13 which I bought in April 2018 can't hit higher than 1800/1800 R/W no matter which SSD.
3. Monitor. While the Yoga 920 has a sweet UHD screen, it's not a gaming 144+ mHZ monitor with real low ms response time. You could add a good gaming monitor to the USB-C port, but that gets expensive: $600 and up.
4. Heat. Gaming puts a lot of stress on the CPU. Most of these 8th gen Intel laptops already overheat bad, particularly during gaming. No way to improve the heatsink and fan on the Yoga 920, although it does have two fans like all the gaming laptops.
5. The TB3 port. Fortunately the Yoga 920 has two ports sharing 4-lanes. The Dell XPSs are further neutered by having only one TB3 port running two lanes. So the Lenovo is good to go there.
For all these reasons, a desktop is the way to go if you want to get into gaming, although you definitely have to get a separate monitor. Better cooling, expandability, and almost $1000 cheaper than a laptop with the same video card.
I was going to buy an Akitio Node to play around with the Yoga 920 but have not bothered to do so since I ended up getting an Alienware Aurora R7 later, with 32 GB DDR2993, an i7-8700K, and a Geforce GTX 1080 Ti :-). It came standard with water cooling and an 850W PSU. Plus for daily use, even my MSI desktop has an i7-8700 and Geforce GTX 1080, since desktops are so cheap compared to laptops. So it's not suprising I have lost all curiosity for hooking up a Node to the Yoga.
Also check a couple of posts on this forum. Seems you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get the eGPU to work. Lotta bugs.