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12-09-2019

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Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-09-15, 15:57 PM

@ egibbs wrote:
 

 

Just as a data point I am running the same dock with a P50 and 2 external Lenovo HD displays under 20.04 and Windows 10 and everything works.  I'm using the proprietary nvidia-driver-435 (my graphics card is a M2000M with 4 GB) and I am using nvidia mode, not hybrid.  The dock firmware is trdockfw3167 (just burned it yesterday).  Not sure what Thunderbolt driver I have, but it's whatever 20.04 provides.  Both monitors are connected to the dock by HDMI.  

 

When I first fired it up only one monitor worked, and the display was mirrored from the laptop display.  I futzed with the display settings a bit (selecting primary display, mirroring on and off, etc.) and was able to get all 3 monitors (2 external plus built-in working.

 

One difference is that my dock did not come with the 2 power bricks, but one 230 Watt brick and a splitter cable that connects it to the 65 and 170 Watt inputs.

 

Interestingly the USB ports don't always work.  It seems I need to boot into Windows, then boot into Ubuntu without powering off or resetting the dock or they don't work.  But even when the USB ports are non-functional the monitors still work.  I guess that's because they are just pass-through.

 

 

 

Hi @egibbs 

 

The dock you're using is the same as mine (40ANY230xx), the issue you're mentioning with the USB ports strikes me as odd as this shouldn't happen for any reason (if you're using any hard security mode on Thunderboldt from BIOS it should be disabled and set to assisted, alternatively, you could use bolt on linux and authorize it, but i think is highly unlikely that you use another similar dock, heh)

 

As i mentioned earlier on my posts, my external monitors are 144hz both, and they're connected via DP, i haven't tested them over HDMI. But in this setup with 3.1.66 dock firmware works well, havent tried upgrading again with this latest nvidia driver for linux to see if both work correctly with dock's firmware version 3.1.67.

 

My take on this is that probably has to do with DP bandwith allocation on the dock with the latest firmware, as, with 3.1.67 you could run one  display at 144hz and the other at 60hz, but not both at 144hz. (this is, of course, only a theory as i haven´t got to test it adequately, for this i would need to hook up a DP monitor that can do 4k at 60hz to see bandwith consumption, HDMI will not give me useful data)

 

I'm assuming @egibbs that both displays you're running are on 60hz, is that right?, please confirm.

 

 

@MarkRHPearson  is there any update to this information?, do you have reports of DP-connected 144hz displays on tandem working correctly on Windows or Linux?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 Posts

10-30-2011

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  • Message 42 of 71

Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-09-15, 17:07 PM

Yes, both my external monitors are 1920 x 1080 60 Hz (as is the internal panel).  

 

After booting with the dock attached a few times I suddenly got a pop-up asking me to authorize the dock (in Ubuntu) which I did, and the USBs seem to be behaving now.

 

It's about to get even more interesting.  I've been playing with the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.  I'm not really a gamer, but I do like flight simulators and this is a beaut.  But I have reached the limits of my Quadro  M2000M.  It is barely pumping out 20 FPS on Medium graphics setting.  So I just ordered a VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX and a Mini-ITX GPU to go in it.  I ordered the VisionTek from Lenovo, the description on their site says "VisionTek's Mini eGFX combined with a graphics add-in card significantly boosts the GPU performance of a Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptop, via a plug-and-play connection to the enclosure."  Plug and Play.  Ideally, I want to plug the eGPX Thunderbolt cable into the dock and have everything just work and get 60 FPS or more at Ultra graphics setting.  We'll see how that goes.  

 

I do know that the eGPUs are not officially supported on the P50, even though it has a 4 lane Thunderbolt interface which should work.  And I have seen numerous reports of people who HAVE got eGPUs to work with a P50 in both Windows and Linux (though with varying amounts of hair-pulling).  I think the chances of having it work through the dock are probably zero, but I still will try after I get it working by itself.

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2 Posts

09-27-2020

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  • Message 43 of 71

Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-09-27, 21:13 PM

Hi

 

Any idea how to downgrade the firmware of the thunderbolt dock without windows?

 

Best regards

Pascal

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13 Posts

12-09-2019

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Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-09-27, 21:22 PM

Hi @egibbs 

 

Thanks for the information, please share your results plugging the eGPU to the dock, and also, to the machine itself.

 

The external GPU support throught TB3 is mostly a PCH firmware restriction, as Thinkpads don't filter devices by functionality but only restrict based on authorization, it should work well with a recent kernel and an updated nvidia driver set, and, of course, if you're using any type of security for TB3 you'll have to authorize the eGPU the first time Linux recognizes it.

 

Remember that eGPU support comes switched off on nvidia drivers by default, you'll have to turn it on for it to be used.

 

Please report back your results and, let us know if with or without  using the dock (and with the monitor(s) directly plugged in to the GPU on the enclosure and not to the dock) you have good performance, and, if X11 boots up correctly and activates the external monitors (also, i'm curious as to wether the machine will POST (that is, show the lenovo logo on power-on and etc..) with the external monitors plugged to the external GPU, please do tell us if this actually works).

 

Thanks!

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13 Posts

12-09-2019

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Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-09-27, 21:25 PM

Hi @ppO2 

 

This was not possible for me, i had to forcibly use windows to rollback from 3.1.67.

 

I'm pretty sure that Lenovo doesn't have any utility for other OS than windows for this.

 

Hopefully, they'll start making these updates available trought fwupd and such, but, at least for docks, i haven't seen that support. 

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2 Posts

09-27-2020

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Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-09-27, 21:47 PM
Hi @roliverio Thanks for you quick reply... I hoped Lenovo was better than other companies... But again discriminated... Hope I can return this useless dock...
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9 Posts

10-30-2011

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Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-09-27, 21:56 PM

Ok, here is the story..

 

The eGPU does not work through the dock - it has to be connected directly to the laptop.  

 

In Windows with the dock connected and the two external HD monitors connected to the laptop (HDMI and mini-DP), the dock was recognized and Windows used it, but the performance was terrible - between 2 and 6 FPS on the Unigine Superposition benchmark and similar in Flight Simulator 2020.  Connecting the external monitors to the eGPU directly (HDMI and DP) helped quite a bit and the built-in monitor used the eGPU too..  In Unigine Superposition the frame rate went to 70 or so.  But Flight Simulator 2020 topped out around 20 - 30 FPS (on Ultra setting) depending on the complexity of the landscape (New York City was sub-20 FPS).  Flight Simulator has a developer mode where you can see your frame rate and what is limiting it, I was being limited by my CPU, not the GPU.  And whenever I used the eGPU Windows would mark the internal GPU as having a problem and disable it, needed to remove the eGPU, and reboot without the eGPU to get it back.

 

Linux was less successful.  The eGPU was recognized, I authorized it in the Thunderbolt software, but I was never able to get the system to use it.  It was seen by nvidia-smi, Additional Drivers let me pick the driver to use for it, everything worked great except that it wasn't used.  I went through every thread on egpu.io, tried a bunch of settings and scripts that were supposed to make it be used, but nothing worked and every time I tried something I would wind up staring at a black screen, need to reboot in console mode and copy my /etc/X11.xorg.conf backup file over the modified one to get the GUI back.

 

Eventually, I decided that the frustration in Linux and a slight improvement in frame rates in Windows were not worth the $600 or so that the eGPU dock and GPU card had cost me, so I sent them back.  I also came to the realization that my desk had more cables and less room with the dock than it did before, so I sent that back too.  I was looking at gaming PCs, but I really don't want another PC taking up space and making my wife mad.  So now I am exploring cloud gaming options.  I made a reservation for Shadow, which gives you a full gaming PC in the cloud for a monthly fee, but they said it would be December before it's ready.  In the meantime, I am setting up an AWS EC2 machine with a GPU and 8 cores, once I get it figured out we'll see how well it runs.

 

Wish I had better news, but if I can save someone some frustration I think cloud gaming is a much better solution than an eGPU or dedicated gaming rig.  For between $15 and $40 a month you get a complete gaming PC that someone else manages, upgrades, and maintains.  Beats spending $3,000 on a gaming rig that will be obsolete in 2 years.

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3 Posts

11-21-2020

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  • Message 48 of 71

Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-11-21, 10:53 AM

I guess I am facing similar issues with my 40ANY230 (firmware v67) and a P1 Gen3.

The OS is Ubuntu 20.04 with the nvidia driver 450 and I experience lots of external screen flickering. Often after sleep or lock, the second monitor won't wake at all.

Do you have any hints or tips? Would you suggest an older dock firmware? Thx!

 

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13 Posts

12-09-2019

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  • Message 49 of 71

Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-11-25, 16:41 PM

@ tikatika wrote:

I guess I am facing similar issues with my 40ANY230 (firmware v67) and a P1 Gen3.

The OS is Ubuntu 20.04 with the nvidia driver 450 and I experience lots of external screen flickering. Often after sleep or lock, the second monitor won' wake at all.

Do you have any hints or tips? Would you suggest an older dock firmware? Thx!

 

 

@tikatika  

You should use v66, v67 has a lot of issues (the bad thing is that the only way to downgrade is using windows)

 

OTOH, @egibbs Thanks for the update on the eGPU dock connection, you didn't tell us if booting with the monitors plugged in onto the eGPU (even connected directly to the machine) POST messages were seen upon power-up.

 

BTW, @MarkRHPearson do we have any update on fixes to v67? these are ongoing issues with this firmware, also, as others have pointed out, something's happening with monitor bandwith, as high resolutions or high refresh rates prevent using 2 or more monitors.

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9 Posts

10-30-2011

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Re:Thinkpad P1 Gen2 & Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock & Linux (Ubuntu): Monitor(s) black

2020-11-25, 17:15 PM

No POST messages, no error messages at all.  In Windows, it worked if I plugged the monitors into the eGPX but the performance bump was not really significant for the game I wanted to use it for (MS Flight Simulator 2020).  I got a few extra FPS and went from being GPU limited to CPU limited.  In Linux it was detected and seemed to be working properly, I just could not get the system to use it, and troubleshooting was a pain because every time I tried something I would up booting to a black screen and have to switch to a console to go in and undo whatever I had done using the shell.  But I never saw a single error message.

BTW I got my Shadow activated a couple of weeks ago.  Logged in, I was able to create a personal Microsoft account on the cloud machine (something most of the other cloud gaming services don't support), downloaded MSFS 2020, fired it up, 20 - 30 FPS.  Used developer tools to see that it was being CPU limited (draw times for the CPU were 30 - 50 ms).  Canceled the account.  Maybe Santa will bring me a Legion with a 12-core I9 and dual RTX 3080s for Christmas, and I might be able to get above 30 FPS.

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