The search for a true All-In-1 PC


#1

Hi everybody, I’m Duncan. I recently graduated college with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering, and I started my first salary job in May. I’ve been at the office for 10 of the last 82 days, otherwise I have been traveling between project sites. With me I carry a suitcase, toolbox, work laptop, and two phones.

For about a month now, I have researched everything I could find about 2-in-1 tablet PCs. Microsofts “tablet that can replace your computer” idea just didn’t seem to fit for me. I kept looking for something low-end since I don’t went to shell out too much money on a computer unless it’s for a VR ready gaming desktop (which I would rarely get to spend time with while traveling).

I learned about the Eve V a few days ago, and it completely turns the tables around. Once the webshops open up, I’ll be ordering an i7 to go along with a thunderbolt 3 external gpu (and later on an oculus rift) for gaming when I’m home. It’s largely uncharted territory for performance expectations, but I can’t pass up the chance to have personal laptop, gaming desktop, and tablet capabilities all in a single device without sacrificing portability.

I’ll update as I get hardware together for anyone else curious about this sort of setup.


#2

What about: https://youtu.be/aHKqhRjRkbE


#3

What are you coming from? If you have a desktop with i5 or above, and a high end graphics card (lets say like the GTX XX70 and up), then this will certainloy not be a solution in your case. It is the lowest end dual core i7 on the mobile segment, certainly not comparable to desktop quad cores. Even when raising the TDP above the warranty limit, you probably won’t beat the i7 7500U multithreaded performance which is about 25% better than the 7Y75 when both are optimized (link). And the i7 7500 performance is comparable to the desktop pentium G4560 (link).

So if you come from a desktop, have a lok at your CPU specs and usage, if the i7 7Y75 can’t even keep up with a high end pentium from the most budget friendly gaming rigs, than you have to make sure you are not having a regular workload on more than double the performance of that. I have no idea how CPU intensive mechatronics workloads are, but still worth watching for.

About the thunderbolt GPU: don’t forget that the GPU only gets 4 PCIe gen 3 lanes. So it will be bottlenecked (Linus tech tips did a review on it, and you need 8 PCIe gen 3 lanes to avoid bottlenecking a modern GPU). It isn’t a big bottleneck though, I can’t remember the figures but I thought it didn’t exceed 10% bottleneck. So pairing it with a high end VR-capable desktop GPU probably will affect the performance. And that is when we are talking about the thunderbolt actually getting the full bandwith. In most devices, the thunderbolt port is connected to the chipset and thus has to share the DMI3 bandwith with other chipset parts (like your SSD’s and HDD’s, your wifi, other USB ports) and that DMI3 has a marginally lower memory bandwidth than 4 PCIe gen 3 lanes. You can guess it, that bottleneck can get very high than. So I hope for you that the thunderbolt is connected to the CPU directly instead of the chipset, but I don’t know if Eve solved it this way with the V.

If the higher performance is needed, than I would suggest to do a SFF build, those are portable desktops that can pack even the ryzen R7 1800X and a GTX 1070 comfortably (although you have to make sure it gets good airflow when using it or you could have thermal throttling). Another solution is to try and find a laptop you find portably enough that has the hardware you need. Certainly if you would have to buy an eGPU dock (another 300$ at least), you can do a decent SFF build combined with a portably monitor or those USB monitors (asus has one of 15,6"). And an eGPU dock isn’t much smaller than those SFF desktops as far as I can see.

But if the 7Y75 is sufficient for your workloads, and you don’t need the best GPU performance, than the Eve V is unbeaten for your purpose!


#4

I already have a gaming laptop (17.3" lenovo), but I don’t want to carry around a second full-sized laptop everywhere I go. While traveling, I don’t have much time for gaming in the first place, so it would be much better if my personal laptop was smaller (hence my search for tablet PCs).

Thanks for the link though, I didn’t realize dedicated graphics laptops were getting so thin these days.


#5

@Brecht_Schatteman I’m coming from a Lenovo Y70, i7 17.3" (non-touch version from a few years back). I don’t expect the Eve V to outperform that computationally, and I don’t need it for any design programs. I have a work laptop that I already carry with me for that, but I don’t use my work laptop to store personal programs or files (actually it auto-uninstalls unused programs after 3 months).

The last time I had a desktop was in 2008. I’ve been carrying around laptops ever since, and I’m not that much of a high-power gamer. What I want primarily is a tablet computer, secondarily I’d like to have the options of running games that require a graphics card. Optimally I want to get my own VR setup in the future. What I really-extra-super don’t want is to have some programs/functionality on a tablet, higher performance stuff on a desktop at home, and then also have to fall back to my old laptop if I go to a friend’s apartment or lan party. I don’t intend to travel with an external GPU, but it’s nice to have as a possibility on rare occasions.

I’ve seen every video I can find out there on eGPU performance comparisons, as well as all reviews or articles showing results for similar setups. In most cases ~20% speed loss on the GPU is expected (especially if the TB3 port is also used to funnel video back to the tablet). The CPU mostly bottlenecks in physics heavy games and other CPU-intensive environments, but benchmark tests of similar hardware setups have shown them to be VR capable and suitable for most modern games. I spent years of my life playing Minecraft at 22 fps, and I don’t think I’ve ever run a game at Ultra settings, so I’m okay turning the settings down a bit as a compromise.

As for the hardware choices, VR capability is a big factor that I want to future-proof for. I’ve been looking at the AORUS GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming Box (link below). Extra ports, $600, and comes with a GTX 1070 included, which is a pretty good package compared to the costs of other eGPU options right now. My concern is in the 20% performance drop pushing it closer to 1060 levels. It also only supports the ‘mini’ form factor graphics cards, so overclocking would run into temperature issues. It should still perform okay, but I wonder if it would be better to spend an extra ~$170 to get an AkiTio and a full sized 1080 with the expectation that it would be knocked down to a 1070 performance level from the enclosure.


#6

Than the Eve V is a great solution for you, but I don’t know its virtual reality capabilities, that is something to test out (I didn’t have time yet to check out benchmarks on it, but optimistically the 7Y75 with TDP above warranty limit will be comparable to the 7500U, as shown on a test with the i5 prototype). I also get your ‘used to lower fps’ thing, I have a laptop with an i7 5720HQ and GTX 950m (so mostly GPU bottleneck) which I use to power an UW QHD monitor, for gaming I put the resolution at UW 1080p and that GPU can give me playable GTA V framerates, I guess around 25-30fps with sometimes drops to 20 fps or maybe lower but never unplayable (15 and below are unplayable for those kind of games). Even forza horizon 3 runs at a stable 30fps at medium settings in UW 1080p. A friend of mine however calls it unplayable framerates and he says desktop build is the way to go for performance. So it really depends on what you are used to. I’m glad you did take in account the performance side of things yourself and that you know it won’t be the ultimate VR 60fps machine.

About which to buy: it really depends on your needs. For the moment I have my doubts about how VR capable the GTX 10XX series and the AMD Vega are. Yes Nvidia claim them to be VR ready, although I have seen reviews that even the 1080 isn’t that ready yet, so maybe it is worth the wait for Volta (coming 2018). I have no idea how vega would do with VR but maybe they have the slight edge over the GTX lineup with their HBM and such technologies. At the moment, we are nearing the end of the GTX 10XX series which are almost 1,5 years old, and by the time the Eve V ships (speculated that the shops opens in september), it could be a wait of a few months. I guess the speculation side of tech market can help at determining what is the expected wait time for release. And by then it is also probably an option to get such a dock with the vega card included, and i that has better VR capabilities than the GTX line up that would certainly be great to wait for. Yes I know that that way of thinking could end up making you wait forever, I myself am waiting for the AMD desktop APU’s for a desktop build which is a longer wait than that, and by than the 8th gen desktop CPU’s from intel (which would be released today) can have proven if it can compete with AMD (the i3 8350K is what I will have a focus on). So yeah, long waiting time but on the other hand I wouldn’t like to be the one buying a 7th gen i5 today because AMD doesn’t come with an iGPU, that will be outdated in a few months and probably will also be bad in comparison to AMD APU’s. I have to say that the GPU market is much harder to tell if it is worth the wait since there are no clear signs when Volta or Navi will come out, Volta could be here in the beginning of 2018 as rumors say, so only a few months wait after you would get the Eve V. But I can’t promise it would be worth the wait, but it could be worth looking into it.


#7

Luckily with a setup like this, there’s time I have to wait either way. If the webshops open at the end of September, the unit might not arrive until October/November. When it arrives I will have a fantastic system, even if it isn’t a gaming rig yet. At that point I can field out the GPU market, and hopefully there will be a few more options for external GPU systems as well. I’m keeping my ear to the ground for anyone doing real tests with eGPU on tablet PC systems in the meantime as more people test around with the market.

In short, I’m optimistic about the GPU capabilities, but also just jazzed about the unit itself.