ETA Prime, a popular YouTuber, tried boosting the performance of a $300 MOTILE performance laptop with the help of Radeon RX590 external GPU.
The laptop, which is available at Walmart, is powered by Ryzen 5 3500U APU backed by Vega 8 graphics card. Moreover, it features 8GB RAM and 256GB M.2 SSD. The major downside with the laptop is that the 8GB RAM runs on a single channel, instead of a dual-channel.
Nevertheless, ETA Prime wanted to boost the GPU performance of the laptop. So, he added an 8GB model of ASRock RX590 graphics card to the laptop.
The MOTILE laptop in question doesn’t support Thunderbolt, thus it was impossible to plug in the GPU into the side of the laptop. So, ETA Prime came with a workaround to add the external GPU to the laptop.
Fortunately, the laptop comes with only one SSD leaving the second M.2 slot completely idle. So, Prime used an M.2 PCIe x16 adapter to connect the full-sized desktop GPU to the laptop over the M.2 slot. Also, he upgraded the RAM by replacing the preinstalled 8GB stick with a 16GB stick.
The setup was not a first time thing for Prime, he also used a PCIe x16 extender to place the GPU properly.
After the setup was complete, both the external GPU and M.2 PCIe adapter required an external power supply. That’s how an eight-pin and a four-pin connector came into the equation. The eight-pin connector was used to power up the GPU, and the four-pin was plugged into the PCIe adapter.
Finally, ETA Prime used an external screen to get the visuals from the external GPU instead of using the internal display.
MOTILE Laptop Performance After Adding An External GPU
The external GPU was working well on the laptop. However, it was running on PCIe x2 speed. The performance of RX590 would have been much better if it was running on PCIe x4 speed.
Anyway, Prime went ahead to check the laptop’s performance by running a Timespy benchmark test.
Before the external GPU, the laptop only scored 683 in the benchmark test with a graphics score of 604. However, the added RX590 graphics card made the laptop achieve an overall rating of 4366, with a graphic score of 4809. So, there was a substantial boost in the laptop’s performance.
As of the gaming performance, the laptop was able to run Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at 138FPS with High-1080P settings. Before the external GPU, the laptop was running the game at 82 FPS with Medium-720p display settings.
Another game ETA Prime tested on the laptop was GTA 5. Before the external GPU, the laptop was able to run GTA 5 at an average of 42FPS with 720p-Normal settings. However, the RX590 made the GTA5 performance on the laptop jump to 69FPS with 1080p-Normal display settings.
Apart from Counter-Strike and GTA 5, ETA Prime found out that with the external GPU, the laptop was running other games like Project Cars 2, Rocket League, Dauntless, and Red Dead Redemption 2 quite decently.
It’s no doubt that there was an impressive boost in the performance of the laptop after adding RX590. However, the performance would have been even more impressive if the second M.2 slot was running on x4 speed.