02-23-2018 07:43 PM - edited 02-23-2018 08:04 PM
I knocked together an eGPU for my Thinkpad Yoga 370 today with an AKiTiO Node, a NVidia GTX 1050 and a thunderbolt 3 cable.it was all literally plug & play.
Spent: Node eGPU box $240, Refurb NVidia 1050 card, $135, spare thunderbolt cable, $25, upgraded RAM to 16GB DDR4, $160.
Put it all together, plugged in T3 cable from PC to Node Box, HDMI from Node box to Lenovo 4K monitior. Windows recognized new GPU and I loaded the drivers from NVidia. Windows users the eGPU to drive the external monitor at 2560x1440, Intel integrated GPU drives the laptop panel at the same time. Works as advertised, no issues.
I tested the setup by rendering video with Corel Video Studio Pro 2018 and the eGPU doesn't even breathe hard. Ran DCS world (combat flight sim) on Steam (which wouldn't even load prior) and it works flawlessly on high graphics settings. I'm a terrible pilot, but the visuals are pretty amazing.
If you have any questions let me know but this was super easy.
Pictures at this link:
03-22-2018 02:57 AM
That is interesting. Could you please post some more (e.g. video when the machine is running, benchmark results, etc.)? Which BIOS version installed in your Thinkpad?
03-24-2018 10:37 AM
Hi Thanks for your reply. I'm benchmarking the setup now and will report back results. Here's a screenshot though of my Yoga 370 playing Astroneer on Medium / High Settings, you can see pretty clearly that the external GPU is taking the load, the internal graphics hardware is doing nothing. It plays Astroneer in this setup at 48 - 60 fps depending on whats happening in the game. Before setting up the eGPU it wouldn't even load.
03-25-2018 06:38 AM
Nice. There are more information about eGPU setups with X1 Yoga and Yoga 720, but I only see one for Yoga 370 (yours). Please keep updating with informations.
07-14-2018 10:44 AM
If anyone tries this with a Yoga 370 running Linux, I would like to hear your experiences. I'm thinking about trying this setup if it is confirmed to work on Linux (preferrably with an nvidia GPU).
12-07-2018 01:50 PM
As a follow up to this post, I thought I'd add that I've since replaced my NVIDIA GTX 1050 with an NVIDIA RTX 2070 in my AKiTiO Node box. The result is pretty amazing, gameplay is stunning but it does expose the Core i5-7300U as a bottleneck in the system. As the GPU load increases the CPU outpaces it unit the CPU is at 100% and the fan is at full blast, but the GPU is at 65-70%. I use a Lenovo 24p 2K monitor at 2580x1440 resolution, 59 Hz.
I thought about replacing the system board in my 370 with the FRU that has the Core i7 CPU but the performance gains aren't that great compared to the bottleneck I've built for myself.
One of my thoughts was to replace my monitor with a 120 - 144 Hz gaming monitor to see what the benefit would be for a higher refresh rate, but I'm not sure that would be a way around the CPU bottleneck.
In any case, this configuration runs Astroneer, War Thunder and even War Thunder VR using a Lenovo Window Mixed Reality headset quite well, all at very high frame rates.
Using an eGPU with my laptop has been a huge benefit because I really don't need two machines, although to take anything to the next level I'd probably start over with a Ryzen 5 CPU in a mid-rise desktop tower machine and modify from there.
Please let me know if you have any questions.