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GeForce RTX 2070-powered XPS 13 can run Metro Exodus on Ultra settings.. sort of

GeForce RTX 2070-powered XPS 13 can run Metro Exodus on Ultra settings.. sort of
GeForce RTX 2070-powered XPS 13 can run Metro Exodus on Ultra settings.. sort of
Even after brushing off the handful of crashes and stability issues, being able to play one of the most demanding PC titles available on an otherwise low-power Ultrabook is a real treat. The performance-per-dollar is still extremely unfavorable leaving this solution appropriate for enthusiasts only.

Thunderbolt 3 is capable of some amazing things for the smallest of Ultrabooks, but even external graphics docks could use some more bandwidth for playing the latest titles at full speed. We recently had the chance to check out the Gigabyte Aorus Gaming Box eGPU equipped with a desktop mini GeForce RTX 2070 to see how it would perform when paired with a Dell XPS 13 9380. Can the latest Nvidia GPU really super-charge an Ultrabook powered by an ULV 15 W Core i7-8565U CPU?

The good news is that the Gaming Box will indeed allow you to play demanding titles like Metro Exodus with all fancy features active including ray-tracing and DLSS. Much like on last year's Gaming Box GTX 1080, it's the simple ability to play the latest games on an Ultrabook that makes an eGPU worthwhile. The only other option would be game streaming which has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

The bad news is that the eGPU comes with a heavy performance deficit. When compared to a standard desktop RTX 2070, the Gaming Box RTX 2070 can be 30 to 45 percent slower. Running Metro Exodus at 1080p Ultra with both RTX and DLSS enabled results in an average frame rate of just 30.7 FPS compared to 52.3 FPS on a "proper" desktop with RTX 2070 graphics. This significant performance drop holds true for other settings as well and it's likely due to a combination of bottlenecks such as the ULV CPU and limited Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth.

Note that the numbers below were tested on an external monitor and not on the XPS 13 display. The latter option would have resulted in even slower performance as the already-strained Thunderbolt 3 port must relay video data back to the laptop for displaying on the internal monitor.

We'll have a full review on the Aorus Gaming Box RTX 2070 coming soon with more gaming benchmarks to show.

Metro Exodus
1920x1080 Ultra Quality DXR AF:16x
MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z 8G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
52.3 (min: 30, max: 74) fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
  (30.7 - 53.5, n=3)
45.5 fps ∼87%
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop)
43 (min: 26, max: 61) fps ∼82%
Aorus Gaming Box RTX 2070
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
30.7 fps ∼59%
1920x1080 Ultra Quality AF:16x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
Intel Core i7-7740X, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
70 (min: 36, max: 118) fps ∼100%
MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z 8G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
60.4 (min: 32, max: 94) fps ∼86%
MSI GeForce GTX 1080
Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
57.8 (min: 32) fps ∼83%
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop)
52.7 (min: 29, max: 82) fps ∼75%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
  (33.4 - 62.8, n=3)
52.2 fps ∼75%
Acer Predator Triton 700
Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
49.2 (min: 26) fps ∼70%
Asus G752VS
Intel Core i7-6820HK, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
46.5 (min: 24) fps ∼66%
Aorus Gaming Box RTX 2070
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
33.4 fps ∼48%
1920x1080 High Quality AF:16x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
Intel Core i7-7740X, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
86 (min: 41, max: 148) fps ∼100%
MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z 8G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
73.7 (min: 36, max: 120) fps ∼86%
MSI GeForce GTX 1080
Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
69.9 (min: 37) fps ∼81%
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop)
63.9 (min: 33, max: 104) fps ∼74%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
  (41 - 76.6, n=3)
63.8 fps ∼74%
Acer Predator Triton 700
Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
60.2 (min: 30) fps ∼70%
Asus G752VS
Intel Core i7-6820HK, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
55.8 (min: 28) fps ∼65%
Aorus Gaming Box RTX 2070
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
41 fps ∼48%
1920x1080 Medium Quality AF:4x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
Intel Core i7-7740X, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
115 (min: 54, max: 188) fps ∼100%
MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z 8G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
96.9 (min: 47, max: 164) fps ∼84%
MSI GeForce GTX 1080
Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
94.9 (min: 47) fps ∼83%
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop)
85.4 (min: 41, max: 145) fps ∼74%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
  (53.4 - 100, n=3)
83.6 fps ∼73%
Acer Predator Triton 700
Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
81.1 (min: 39) fps ∼71%
Asus G752VS
Intel Core i7-6820HK, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
74.3 (min: 36) fps ∼65%
Aorus Gaming Box RTX 2070
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
53.4 fps ∼46%
1280x720 Low Quality AF:4x
MSI GeForce GTX 1080
Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
161 (min: 89) fps ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
Intel Core i7-7740X, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
137 (min: 76, max: 217) fps ∼85%
MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z 8G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
130.4 (min: 73, max: 201) fps ∼81%
MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6G
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop)
127.8 (min: 72, max: 189) fps ∼79%
Asus G752VS
Intel Core i7-6820HK, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
115 (min: 62) fps ∼71%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
  (82.7 - 130, n=3)
114 fps ∼71%
Acer Predator Triton 700
Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
111 (min: 60) fps ∼69%
Aorus Gaming Box RTX 2070
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Desktop)
82.7 fps ∼51%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 03 > GeForce RTX 2070-powered XPS 13 can run Metro Exodus on Ultra settings.. sort of
Allen Ngo, 2019-03-12 (Update: 2019-03-12)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.