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15" Lenovo E550 + GTX1060@4Gbps+c-NGFF.M2 (EXP GDC BEAST) + Win10 [siike92]

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The goal here was to keep my workhorse laptop functional for school, and in the off chance I get free time, require only 5 minutes of setup for high end gaming and virtual reality. Though there were many  hurdles to overcome due to issues caused by the manufacturer, I finally have a VR-Ready working solution. Thanks to Nando for DIY eGPU Setup 1.30 and his timely response to my ichip error.

 

Hardware & Software Tools

 

  • Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E550 (i7)
  • Processor: Intel i7 5500U
  • iGPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • dGPU: AMD Radeon R7 M265
  • eGPU: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 AMP! Edition
  • Adapter: EXP GDC Beast V8.0 (NGFF M.2)
  • PSU: EVGA 400w
  • DIY eGPU Setup 1.30

 

Initial Setup:

 

Begin by downloading the drivers for the GTX 1060, as you'll have to remove the WiFi card later and won't have access to internet. Then attach the GTX 1060 to the PCI port of the GDC Beast. Then attach the power supply connectors (6 pin connector to the top of the 1060, 20 pin and 4 pin connectors to the included connectors from the GDC Beast). Once this is completed, plug in the power supply and shut down the PC. Remove the WiFi card and attach the NGFF M.2 connector in its place. Plug the HDMI end of the connector into the GDC Beast and power on the PC. The graphics card should be recognized in the device manager as a basic display adapter and you should be able to install the drivers. After the drivers install you may have a working setup (as I did), however after rebooting you'll be confronted with a black screen and a code 12 error in device manager. This means that there are not enough resources to accommodate the device. A DSDT Override is needed to compensate.

 

DSDT Override:

 

Nando has a great guide for this process here, but it is important to note that you'll want the Windows 10 Drivers Kit instead of the link provided on that page. Using the Windows 8 Drivers Kit will result in compilation errors when compiling the asl file. Aside from that, follow the instructions and set TESTSIGNING on. Once you reboot, you should notice a large memory address in your device manager in resources-by-type. You now have a 36 bit PCI space that will accommodate the GTX 1060. 

 

After rebooting, you'll notice that you still get code 12 error. This is because of improper PCI allocation. Therefore, you'll need to hard allocate the eGPU into the 36 bit PCI space which can be done with Nando's DIY eGPU Setup 1.30.

 

Issues Before PCI Compaction:

 

However, before compaction there are several issues that need to be addressed. One well known issue is that Lenovo BIOS whitelists their WiFi cards, causing the BIOS to not acknowledge other devices attached in their place. This is usually overcome by hotswapping the WiFi card and the eGPU after booting into Setup 1.30, but there are issue to tackle before this.

 

After mounting Setup 1.30, you may have this error when attempting to boot into menu-based setup.

[ichip] Unknown intel chipset found. Update R:\core\intel.txt including version with your chipset info, run ichip clear to clear variables then run ichip to confirm your chipset is found.

 

If this is the case you'll need to contact Nando for an updated intel.txt. You'll then replace your intel.txt found in R:\core\ with the new intel.txt.  You then will be able to properly boot into the menu-based setup.

 

Theoretically from here you should be able to hotswap the WiFi card and the eGPU and have Setup 1.30 recognize it, but after performing that process the eGPU is remains unrecognized. This means that the adapter is not correctly interfacing with the PC. Specifically the GDC Beast is set to only receive power from the PSU when signal is detected, which makes it unready when the CLKRUN signal should be received. We can overcome this issue by removing the top plate from the GDC Beast. You'll notice 2 small switches on the bottom left. One of them is used to set the PSU to be permanently on, while the other delays the receive of the CLKRUN and PERST# signals in order to avoid ACPI_BIOS_ERROR. Set the PSU switch to on and the CTD/PTD switch to 15. You should now be ready for hotswapping.

 

Reboot into Setup 1.30 (menu-based setup) with the WiFi card attached. Hotswap the WiFi card and the eGPU and your eGPU should now be recognized.

 

PCI Compaction:

 

Since we now have the eGPU recognized by Setup 1.30, we can begin PCI compaction which will eliminate the code 12 error. First, disable the PCI port of the dGPU and any other PCI ports you don't need using iport>disable ports. We also want to set our eGPU's PCI port to Gen2 with iport>Gen2>(whatever port your eGPU is on). Then select PCI compaction and set the endpoint to 36 bit. Run PCI compaction with the scope being iGPU + eGPU and force the iGPU to 32 bit PCI space.

 

Finally, chainload to Windows 10 and you should no longer have any errors. We now have a VR-Ready working solution.

 

Results:

 

Setup and benchmark images coming soon []

Edited by siike92
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Hi, thanks for sharing this, but please make a video how to setup this graphic card in lenovo ThinkPad e550. I think it's a little bit complicated. :sorcerer:

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Hi @siike92

 

I'm trying to make the DIY egpu 1.30 work with my Lenovo G40-80 with a I7 5500u just like your's. Can you send me the intel.txt file you use so i can try it? I can't find it anywhere on the forums or the egpu page.

 

Thanks a lot.

Edited by NightWalker

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