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15" Dell Vostro 3560 + GTX760@4Gbps+c-EC2 (PE4L 2.1b) + Win7 [tondy]

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Hello all, I'd like to start a thread detailing my experience with getting an eGPU setup on a relatively budget Dell laptop. I am amazed at the progress created by this community. My work has required me to travel for the next year, so I have decided to take the plunge and transition from a desktop to mobile work/game space.

Dell Vostro 3560 (base specs):

i7-3632QM, Ivy bridge H77

Radeon 7670M dGPU

1920x1080 15.7"

6Gb ram (4+2), 32Gb mSata/750Gb hdd

1x Expresscard 2.0

3Dmark6 HD4000 / 7670M (6197 / 8486)

I have swapped ODD with 128Gb SSD, and will be upgrading ram to 16Gb later.

eGPU:

gigabyte radeon 6870 OC

update: used GTX560Ti and GTX760 later on

450w psu

PE4L 2.1b

DIY eGPU Setup 1.30 software

Setup:

Default Win 7/8 pci bus TOLUD: 9FA00000 (2.5Gb) (w/ both intel HD 4000 and radeon 7670M enabled). I figured should have no problem with "error 12".

1. Starting from fresh win 8 install (MBR, not UEFI/GPT) using default WDDM drivers: hotplugging the eGPU triggers new detecting device from device manager, eGPU gets seen and resources apparently allocated (256 + 128 mb of pci bus space). However I cannot get monitor (plugged into eGPU) detected.

2. With eGPU still plugged in, rebooting causes both the dGPU and eGPU to be inactivated with Code 43, but I can boot into desktop (via iGPU I presume).

3. Installing latest Dell drivers (AMD + Intel) I can get catalyst/switchable graphics function of the dGPU working, but will get BSOD/crash when hotplugging eGPU. I also get BSOD/crash on boot when eGPU installed (windows boots but can't get to desktop).

4. exactly same situation with win 7. Well at least it only takes 10s to boot to desktop...

I suspect this is most likely due to video driver issue? Perhaps using Setup 1.x to disable the dGPU might work (have not tried since I don't have the setup 1.x program yet). Dell bios does not have any options for disabling the dGPU.

Q's:

A. Does Setup 1.x support disabling dGPU for the newest ivy bridge/series 7 chipsets? I've read how series 5+ chipsets are locked?

B. Has anyone had success getting any type of eGPU to work in similar radeon dGPU + ivy bridge laptops?

C. Would using an Nvidia card bypass the driver issue?

D. Ultimately I am aiming for an internal LCD setup, would Nvidia Optimus perform better on an expresscard pcie x1 @ 2.0 vs AMD 6800 + lucid virtu?

I will update as this project progresses, and will include bench results when I can.

I'm very grateful for any advice the community can offer, thank you!

-T

Performance results

GTX 760 Zotac Amp stock (boost gpu 1176/ ram 1552)

Bench graphics scores (internal / external)

3Dmark11: 5602 / 7183

Vantage: 12381 / 24752

3Dmark'06: sm2.5389 sm3.4299 (score 12477) / sm2.8451 sm3.11304 (score 22447)

Unigine Valley DX11: 1766 (avg fps 42.2) / 2940 (avg fps 70.3)

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Hello all, I'd like to start a thread detailing my experience with getting an eGPU setup on a relatively budget Dell laptop. I am amazed at the progress created by this community. My work has required me to travel for the next year, so I have decided to take the plunge and transition from a desktop to mobile work/game space.

Dell Vostro 3560 (base specs):

i7-3632QM, Ivy bridge H77

Radeon 7670M dGPU

1920x1080 15.7"

6Gb ram (4+2), 32Gb mSata/750Gb hdd

1x Expresscard 2.0

3Dmark6 HD4000 / 7670M (6197 / 8486)

I have swapped ODD with 128Gb SSD, and will be upgrading ram to 16Gb later.

eGPU:

gigabyte radeon 6870 OC

450w psu

PE4L 2.1b

Setup:

Default Win 7/8 pci bus TOLUD: 9FA00000 (2.5Gb) (w/ both intel HD 4000 and radeon 7670M enabled). I figured should have no problem with "error 12".

1. Starting from fresh win 8 install (MBR, not UEFI/GPT) using default WDDM drivers: hotplugging the eGPU triggers new detecting device from device manager, eGPU gets seen and resources apparently allocated (256 + 128 mb of pci bus space). However I cannot get monitor (plugged into eGPU) detected.

2. With eGPU still plugged in, rebooting causes both the dGPU and eGPU to be inactivated with Code 43, but I can boot into desktop (via iGPU I presume).

3. Installing latest Dell drivers (AMD + Intel) I can get catalyst/switchable graphics function of the dGPU working, but will get BSOD/crash when hotplugging eGPU. I also get BSOD/crash on boot when eGPU installed (windows boots but can't get to desktop).

4. exactly same situation with win 7. Well at least it only takes 10s to boot to desktop...

I suspect this is most likely due to video driver issue? Perhaps using Setup 1.x to disable the dGPU might work (have not tried since I don't have the setup 1.x program yet). Dell bios does not have any options for disabling the dGPU.

Q's:

A. Does Setup 1.x support disabling dGPU for the newest ivy bridge/series 7 chipsets? I've read how series 5+ chipsets are locked?

B. Has anyone had success getting any type of eGPU to work in similar radeon dGPU + ivy bridge laptops?

C. Would using an Nvidia card bypass the driver issue?

D. Ultimately I am aiming for an internal LCD setup, would Nvidia Optimus perform better on an expresscard pcie x1 @ 2.0 vs AMD 6800 + lucid virtu?

I will update as this project progresses, and will include bench results when I can.

I'm very grateful for any advice the community can offer, thank you!

-T

Firstly, I see you've been busy on NBR. I'll ask that rather than continue discussion over there that you post a redirection to this area as shown here. To answer your questions:

A. Does Setup 1.x support disabling dGPU for the newest ivy bridge/series 7 chipsets? I've read how series 5+ chipsets are locked?

Yes. However, you need to install the patch available here to get Series-7 chipset support.

B. Has anyone had success getting any type of eGPU to work in similar radeon dGPU + ivy bridge laptops?

Yes. A 4530s user with a HD3000+HD6470M got it working. Only difference was a bios option to disable the dGPU.

C. Would using an Nvidia card bypass the driver issue?

Maybe. The AMD switchable graphics appears to use some custom iGPU driver. In which case using a NVidia card with Optimus may require you to revert to the stock Intel driver.

D. Ultimately I am aiming for an internal LCD setup, would Nvidia Optimus perform better on an expresscard pcie x1 @ 2.0 vs AMD 6800 + lucid virtu?

Can't speak for a HD6800 but a HD7870 mostly performed better than a GTX660. See details. Though it's not a fair comparison: a 106W TDP GTX660 vs a 175W HD7870 even though they are priced the same. The more costly 150W TDP GTX660Ti would narrow the gap.

There's still the problem of getting a licensed version of LucidLogix Virtu to obtain internal LCD mode with a AMD card. Can try the hack I performed here. For internal LCD mode, the NVidia drivers are superior and come free.

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Update - everything up and running!

Recap: eGPU (AMD 6870) detected but driver conflict with dGPU (AMD 7670M) = ATI catalyst drivers would never recognize the eGPU (tried all types of drivers including stock Dell, desktop AMD catalyst, modded Leshcat drivers).

1. Bought used GTX 560: able to avoid driver conflict, was able to get all three iGPU + dGPU (AMD) + eGPU (Nvidia) recognized and running! However eGPU (GTX 560) could not activate optimus and only able to output to external monitor.

2. Setup 1.x disabled dGPU causes iGPU + dGPU (HD 4000 + 7670M) 'custom driver' fails to load, windows falls back on default VGA + GTX 560; no optimus.

3. Setup 1.x disable dGPU + remove the vender custom iGPU/dGPU driver + installed latest intel HD 4000 drivers = success! optimus working and outputs to internal LCD transparently.

Quick bench results:

GPUz: PCI x1 2.0 link

CUDAz bandwidth: ~380Mb both ways (76% of theoretical max pci x1 @ 2.0)

3Dm6 (int/ext): 16386 / 18139

3Dm11 (int/ext): 3737 / 3843

Remaining issues:

Is it possible to load multiple video drivers in Windows in parallel? eg. have two sets of drivers, Set A = stock intel HD 4000 (works with optimus), and second Set B = Dell vendor supplied iGPU + dGPU driver?

Right now if I want to use the eGPU I must have the stock intel HD4000 driver installed (which does not work with the 7670M dGPU), however if I install the vendor drivers for the switchable 7670M then the Nvidia eGPU can't hook into the HD4000 to do optimus/internal LCD.

I will also do the xbox 203w PSU project to maximize compact portability

Summary of final working config:

Dell Vostro 3560 (late 2012):

i7-3632QM (H77) + AMD 7670M dGPU / 10Gb ram (8+2) / 128G SSD +32G mSata +750G HDD (ODD caddy) / FHD 1920x1080 LCD / Windows 8 Pro x64 (MBR partition).

eGPU kit: Gigabyte GTX 560 'OC' / PE4L 2.1b / 450w ATX PSU / DIY-eGPU-setup-110b5 (disable dGPU only, PCI compaction unnecessary).

Misc. Note: UEFI was a pain to work with, I will echo the advice of sticking with MBR if running x86 laptop with windows 8.

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Great work. Could you please do a full set of benchmarks for inclusion on the first DIY eGPU experiences post? Don't have a Vostro 3560 entry as yet.

For your switchable graphics issue I can suggest the following test:

1. Install the stock Intel and AMD mobile drivers.

2. Does booting up see it use the AMD driver? Does disabling the AMD dGPU in Device Manager see it auto-switch to using the Intel iGPU? That is the behaviour I observed when I tested a HP DV4-2000 with switchable Intel HD+HD4550 graphics.

If so, a script can be written that detects AC<->DC mode switching and uses devcon to enable/disable the AMD dGPU, giving you switchable capability with stock drivers. Setup 1.1x can then give you iGPU+eGPU access by disable the dGPU.

If (2) works, then you would be able to get the HD6870 working by adding an INF entry into the mobility drivers or getting a modded set that combines mobilty+desktop drives such as DNA-drivers.

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Thanks Nando!

I'll give your suggestion a try. I am testing if I can boot with the HD6870 now that I have setup 1.x. Will let you know the bench scores when I finish downloading them!

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Hi all, just wondering if anyone else encountered a similar problem:

I upgraded from my old GTX 560 to a newer GTX 760 Zotac amp edition, but it seems like my internal scores have actually dropped, and I can't seem to figure out why! My temps are good ~60c never reaches throttling. External bench scores are great, in line with other reported results.

eGPU system:

Dell vostro 3560

i7-3632QM (iGPU HD4000) + Radeon 7670 dGPU (disabled via setup 1.15)

12G ram

PE4L 2.1b expresscard

GTX 560 (gigabyte) OC to gpu 950/ ram 1150

Bench graphics scores (internal / external)

3Dmark11: 3887 / 4124

Vantage: 14612 / 16506

3Dmark'06: sm2.7415 sm3.7445 (score 17901) / sm2.8601 sm3.10468 (score 21883)

Unigine Valley DX11: 2118 (avg fps 50.6) / 2323 (avg fps 55.5)

Cuda-z mem copy:

host to device: 380Mb

device to host: 400Mb

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GTX 760 Zotac Amp stock (boost gpu 1176/ ram 1552)

Bench graphics scores (internal / external)

3Dmark11: 5602 / 7183

Vantage: 12381 / 24752

3Dmark'06: sm2.5389 sm3.4299 (score 12477) / sm2.8451 sm3.11304 (score 22447)

Unigine Valley DX11: 1766 (avg fps 42.2) / 2940 (avg fps 70.3)

Cuda-z mem copy:

host to device: 380Mb

device to host: 360Mb but fluctuates every half second down to 250Mb (I have tried all manner of disabling power savings to no avail)

GPU-z confirms I am running PCI-E 2.0 x1 (I am getting similar host to device mem copy results from CUDA-z with GTX 560 and GTX 760), and since I am driving internal LCD I presume optimus must be engaged. I am certain my iGPU HD4000 is not doing the internal rendering, since I would only manage something like 5fps in Unigine valley with iGPU. Nvidia Inspector also shows "shim_rendering_mode_enabled" for optimus.

I've already tried doing clean nvidia driver install (with DDU). Also, nothing else in system has changed (the gtx760 was straight swap with the gtx560). I'm fairly certain PSU isn't likely culprit since the external benching was stable and did not hit thermal limits.

Anyone experience similar issues with poor performance driving internal LCD when upgrading from older Nvidia cards? very strange.

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Hi all, just wondering if anyone else encountered a similar problem:

I upgraded from my old GTX 560 to a newer GTX 760 Zotac amp edition, but it seems like my internal scores have actually dropped, and I can't seem to figure out why! My temps are good ~60c never reaches throttling. External bench scores are great, in line with other reported results.

eGPU system:

Dell vostro 3560

i7-3632QM (iGPU HD4000) + Radeon 7670 dGPU (disabled via setup 1.15)

12G ram

PE4L 2.1b expresscard

GTX 560 (gigabyte) OC to gpu 950/ ram 1150

Bench graphics scores (internal / external)

3Dmark11: 3887 / 4124

Vantage: 14612 / 16506

3Dmark'06: sm2.7415 sm3.7445 (score 17901) / sm2.8601 sm3.10468 (score 21883)

Unigine Valley DX11: 2118 (avg fps 50.6) / 2323 (avg fps 55.5)

Cuda-z mem copy:

host to device: 380Mb

device to host: 400Mb

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GTX 760 Zotac Amp stock (boost gpu 1176/ ram 1552)

Bench graphics scores (internal / external)

3Dmark11: 5602 / 7183

Vantage: 12381 / 24752

3Dmark'06: sm2.5389 sm3.4299 (score 12477) / sm2.8451 sm3.11304 (score 22447)

Unigine Valley DX11: 1766 (avg fps 42.2) / 2940 (avg fps 70.3)

Cuda-z mem copy:

host to device: 380Mb

device to host: 360Mb but fluctuates every half second down to 250Mb (I have tried all manner of disabling power savings to no avail)

GPU-z confirms I am running PCI-E 2.0 x1 (I am getting similar host to device mem copy results from CUDA-z with GTX 560 and GTX 760), and since I am driving internal LCD I presume optimus must be engaged. I am certain my iGPU HD4000 is not doing the internal rendering, since I would only manage something like 5fps in Unigine valley with iGPU. Nvidia Inspector also shows "shim_rendering_mode_enabled" for optimus.

I've already tried doing clean nvidia driver install (with DDU). Also, nothing else in system has changed (the gtx760 was straight swap with the gtx560). I'm fairly certain PSU isn't likely culprit since the external benching was stable and did not hit thermal limits.

Anyone experience similar issues with poor performance driving internal LCD when upgrading from older Nvidia cards? very strange.

Are they back-to-back 3dmark runs with the GTX560 and GTX760 using the same system with exact OS build. minutes apart?

I've seen variation of up to 500pts in 3dmark06 runs. So I'd suggest do 3 runs on each card, power off and do again. Then compare highest results obtained on each.

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Are they back-to-back 3dmark runs with the GTX560 and GTX760 using the same system with exact OS build. minutes apart?

I've seen variation of up to 500pts in 3dmark06 runs. So I'd suggest do 3 runs on each card, power off and do again. Then compare highest results obtained on each.

Yep, same laptop same Win 8.1, just swapped in the 760 for the 560. I did a full set of 3DM'11/vantage/06 and Unigine valley, reboot with other card and repeat. I've got both cards on hand and have been re-testing past day or so.

I agree, 3Dmark'06 can be quite variable upto ~5-10%, but here I see 20-35% LOSS in performance going from GTX 560 to GTX 760, but only in internal LCD mode! I mean at the very least the GTX 760 should be equal or better than the GTX 560 right? it certainly matches expectations of improved performance but only via external LCD output.

GTX 560 internal:

3DM'06: sm2.7415 sm3.7445 (score 17901)

Unigine Valley DX11: 2118 (avg fps 50.6)

GTX 760 internal:

sm2.5389 sm3.4299 (score 12477)

Unigine Valley DX11: 1766 (avg fps 42.2)

My GTX 760 has this strange fluctuating mem copy rate in CUDA-z, every half second (the refresh rate of cuda-z) the device to host mem copy jumps between ~360Mb down to ~250mb, while GPU utilization also spikes from 0 to 99%. My old GTX 560 was stable at 400Mb for device to host mem copy.

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just an update for reference:

1. poor CUDA-Z memcopy speeds: PE4L cabling can be an issue! I discovered the PE4L cable orientation and twisting can cause the PCIe 2.0 x1 link to drop down to PCIe 1.0 speeds depending on how the cable from my expresscard slot is routed to the PE4L (minimize bends in cable if possible!). Now I am back up to expected PCIe 2.0 x1 link speeds (getting ~375MB/s memcopy speeds host-device and device-host in CUDA-Z). Keep the link cable as straight as possible!

2. eGPU crashing: one challenging problem to solve, my eGPU GTX 760 kept crashing when running games like Shadow of Mordor, with no discernable pattern as to why. At first I figured it was driver/windows issues, since my old GTX 560 didn't have any issues with these games. I eventually discovered that my 500w PSU wasn't fully powering my GTX 760 (170w TDP)!

My psu is generic brand listed as able to provide 240w from the 12v rails. I have been using a 2x molex to 1x 6-pin PCIe power cable connector since my PSU only came with 1x 6-pin PCIe power plug and the GPU needed 2x 6-pin. Turns out that you need to power BOTH molex plugs in order to run full 2x 12v to the 6-pin PCIe (there are two 12v input lines with the 6-pin). Crashing has resolved once I fully powered the GTX 760.

Just a reminder to ensure your GPU is fully and properly powered if you are getting crashes under load.

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I have exactly tha same laptop, i'm having the same problem. I'm new in the e-gpu world, so i cannot make it work, i have a EXP GDC BEAST V7 with express card and my windows 10 recognizes the gtx 560 but it runs very very slow and sometimes when i use external monitor i have BSOD. On gpu z it shows 1.1x1 is that righ? Can diy setup 1.3 fix that problem? Can make my gtx 560 run faster?

Thanks! And sorry about my english i'm still learning LOL

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