CES 2020: Lenovo Goes eGFX with Legion BoostStation Boxby Anton Shilov on January 5, 2020 7:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- Trade Shows
- Thunderbolt 3
- CES 2020
With high-end laptops like the ThinkPad X1 Extreme and Legion Y720, Lenovo has been addressing mobile gamers a couple of years now. These machines deliver enough horsepower for usage on the go, but fall a bit short for gaming on bigger desktop displays. In a bid to radically increase graphics performance of its Thunderbolt 3-enabled notebooks, Lenovo has introduced its Legion BoostStation eGFX box.
The Legion BoostStation eGFX chassis is made of aluminum and can house any modern dual-wide graphics card that is up to 300 mm long. The box can also accommodate one 2.5-inch/3.5-inch SATA drive, and two M.2 PCIe SSDs. For external connectivity, the eGFX box also has a GbE controller, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, one USB 2.0 connector, and an HDMI display output.
The Legion BoostStation is equipped with a 500 W power supply and can deliver up to 100 W of power over its Thunderbolt 3 interface back to the host, which leaves well over 300 W to the graphics card, enough even for the most advanced boards available today. Meanwhile, if 500 W is not enough, the PSU can be swapped for something more powerful, as the BoostStation uses a standard ATX power supply.
Lenovo will offer its eGFX chassis as barebones for $249.99 in May, 2020. In addition, the company will offer the Legion BoostStation eGPU box with factory-installed AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8 GB, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8 GB, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8 GB or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.
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StevoLincolnite - Sunday, January 5, 2020 - linkIs 5 GB/s of bandwidth enough to feed a Geforce 2080 Super though?
PeachNCream - Sunday, January 5, 2020 - linkCould always opt for a lower end GPU to move in the direction of placing the performance bottleneck on something other than the Thunberbolt interface.
DanNeely - Monday, January 6, 2020 - linkThunderbolt3 tops out at 4GB/S bandwidth. If that bandwidth was available as an internal x4 slot the GPU would be fine (within a few percent of x16 at worst). The extra overhead (latency???) of TB3 really clobbers high end external GPUs. Unless driver updates have managed to massively improve things over the last year or two performance degradation is typically in the 25-50% range and worse for higher end cards.
jordanclock - Monday, January 6, 2020 - linkProbably.
MenhirMike - Sunday, January 5, 2020 - linkNow, if only Thunderbolt on Windows wasn't so terribly broken with DCH drivers. That said, good that those boxes exist, nice that it's an entire docking station (especially for the price), I just hope they didn't compromise on the bandwidth to make room for all the non-GFX features. I think I would've preferred 1x TB3 for the graphics and charging and 1x USB-C for the ports and hard drives, but well, still an intriguing product.
Valantar - Monday, January 6, 2020 - linkFinally someone seems to be understanding that $500 empty eGPU boxes are a ridiculous idea. $249 for this seems ideal. I'm a bit intrigued (worried?) by the m.2 NVMe SSD support, though - does it support PCIe switching of some kind, or do these take lanes away from the GPU?
s.yu - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link$249 Also gets you a decent chassis.
skavi - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - linkthis appears to be by far the best eGPU enclosure yet available.