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Q: what do you want in the next BPlus PE4L/PE4H eGPU adapter?

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Hi everyone,

Seems BPlus are responding to some new eGPU adapter competitors on the horizon. They are now open to user feature requests for their upcoming revised PE4L/PE4H product. As Masaharu @ BPlus doesn't track their facebook page, I suggest you add your requests and I'll add them on the first post as a summary. I've linked Masaharu already to this page for review and comment.

This is what Masaharu @ BPlus wrote me:

Target/competing product : is EXP GDC. It comes between PE4H v2.4 and PE4L v2.1 which Bplus does not have.

ETA : Probably February or March 2014, we still have internal discussion for the spec

PCIe Generation : our requirement is Gen2, hopefully Gen3.

PCIe lane : might be one (or two). Personally, I suppose the most of users uses PCIe X1,

mHDMI connector(s) : we will have mHDMI connector on new product, not soldered.

USB connector : should be eliminated for Bplus new product.

PCI reset delay : will still remain.

Main Power Voltage : not yet decided if it should be 19V or 12V. Personally, 12V should be reasonable, and the target product above also use 12V. We will decide which one soon.

Main Power Connector : molex Floppy connector should be around max 5A. We still suppose to change to others. But not yet decided.

Nando4>> You should set the floppy molex to be 6.25A since a pci-e 1.x slot can draw up to 75W. pci-e 2.0 can draw up to 150W.

If you have any opinions, please feel free to inform to us.

Other user requested features in this thread:

Detachable hdmi type cable that's easily replaced : prefer disconnecting cable to inserting/removing expresscard (sskillz, Tech Inferno Fan, bjorm3, atn)

Use a socketted flexible cable : for expresscard/mPCIe solutions with full Gen2/Gen3 compliance. This has been my repeatedly requested feature since first asked for in Nov 2011 (Tech Inferno Fan, lapytopy)

full x16 socket with a lock. x1 is loose (sskillz, atn, Tech Inferno Fan, lapytopy)

Variable pci reset delay timer using a potentiometer or rotter switch (sskillz, Tech Inferno Fan)

Better power connector with better location : not in front of the slot. Use a more secure power connector (sskillz, atn, lapytopy)

Better detection of soft reset to start the pci reset delay : Currently only cold boot works (sskillz, Tech Inferno Fan)

Power and data connector on same side (atn)

Provide 150W to slot (pcie2) to eliminate additional wiring (jot23)

revised AC adapter power input : with no dependence on 5V/3.3V. It should be straight 12V/GND (Tech Inferno Fan)

lower price : especially for the higher-specced PE4H 3.2(Tech Inferno Fan)

CLKRUN delay on PM3N board (if it's cabled) that's slightly longer than the PCI Reset Delay settings : eliminates needing to hotplug the live eGPU to get it detected (Tech Inferno Fan)

WiGig interface option : particularly useful for mPCIe implementations. WiGig allowing transmission without a cable. (m1ch43l90)

Bigger screwholes, inc ones on SWEX (lapytopy)

Make it x2/x4 capable (inc HP4A x4 3.0) capable : as users want a x16 slot there is plenty of room to accomodate this. Require this for two reasons (1) then can host x4 3.0 cards externally on desktop systems using a HP4A and (2) Sandy/Ivy Bridge Dell Latitude/Precision are x2/x4 capable *IF* we figure out how to alter the flash descriptor to flash modified ME firmware switching the ports to x2/x4 mode. If the extra 3 mHDMI(?) connectors add excess cost then consider including just the solder pads so *special order* x2/x4 boards can be created at increased customer cost merely by having BPlus soldering on the extra mHDMI connectors. (Tech Inferno Fan)

Please respond to this post with what features you want added or subtracted in the upcoming revised BPlus PE4L/PE4H product.

Thank you

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- higher PCI-E compliance than x1 2.0 with ExpressCard adapter.

- detachable cable

- Gen3 is useless for me until laptops will start work with it.

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Would it be possible to enable the PCIe lanes to provide 150W of total power for the GPU? Currently the amount of power the PE4L can provide is 75W. So, GPU with a very small power consumption, like relatively weak hd7750, or maybe GT440, can be powered by a small power brick.

There is a power connector for it on a PE4L board, but it's 75W limited. If they could push it forward, to 150W, which I think should be not a problem, as the PCIe 2.x standard doubled this amount to 150W (in comparison to 75W provided by PCIe 1.x), it would be possible to power a few great performance per watt cards, like GTX660, HD7850...

And we could get the rid off our big desktop PSU's and all the wires related to it. There would be only one power wire to the power connector of the adapter.

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Certainly use some form of (a somewhat widespread) cable : DisplayPort might work?

PCIe 3.0 support (for future proofing) - guessing this is more based on laptop model / maybe internal mPCIe ports can have a chance of being 3.0

Revised power would be great for wire reduction.

--

Honestly, apart from this. There isn't too much to build upon.

---

Not PE4L / PE4H related, but a similar adapter for M.2. The current M.2 to PCIe adapter isn't very usable for eGPU solutions, a flexible cable would be needed.

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PCIe 3.0 support (for future proofing) -

what future if You have on Haswell only few laptops with ExpressCard under 15,6"?

Lenovo L440 and maybe some Latitudes if You order with ExpressCard (not confirmed possibility).

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what future if You have on Haswell only few laptops with ExpressCard under 15,6"?

Lenovo L440 and maybe some Latitudes if You order with ExpressCard (not confirmed possibility).

For mPCIe implementations mainly. I know ExpressCard is essentially being phased out for (better) things such as TB.

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A full PCI-E 16x socket with a lock, 1x is loose.

Detachable hdmi type cable, preferably standard so its easily replaceable - I would rather disconnect the cable then keep inserting/removing express card. (Edit: I see its mentioned and is mHDMI, Awesome!).

That it will detect better when the computer is soft reset, power on, etc and activate the delay. (Not sure if possible, doesn't currently work...)

Maybe a variable pci reset timer like with potentiometer or a rotter switch.

Power connector (floppy) not in the front of the slot, I'd rather have a different type, more secure connector and a molex -> power adapter.

Edit: It seems PM3N is exactly how I want it :)

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A full PCI-E 16x socket with a lock, 1x is loose.

Didn't think of this! I second this idea.

Detachable hdmi type cable, preferably standard so its easily replaceable - I would rather disconnect the cable then keep inserting/removing express card. (Edit: I see its mentioned and is mHDMI, Awesome!).

mHDMI doesn't work, thus I mentioned DP or some other shielded lane cable (with enough shielded data lanes).

That it will detect better when the computer is soft reset, power on, etc and activate the delay. (Not sure if possible, doesn't currently work...)

Maybe a variable pci reset timer like with potentiometer or a rotter switch.

Personally don't have an issue with this, but I can see it being valuable for other users.

Power connector (floppy) not in the front of the slot, I'd rather have a different type, more secure connector and a molex -> power adapter.

Edit: It seems PM3N is exactly how I want it :)

Having the power on the same side as the data would would be superb. I hate having them come out of separate sides.

---

Good ideas @@!

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m1ch43l90 asked about a WiGig interface at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/2109-diy-egpu-experiences-%5Bversion-2-0%5D-239.html#post76726

One more thing, how usable would WiGig for eGPU implementation and what kind of performance can we expect from that kind of setup?

I'm sorry if I ask too many silly question, thanks

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So I think they should construct a case where the new adapter fits in. With the ability to connect the power connectors up to the GPU (not like the case of the PE4H V3.2) and the whole as 2Slot variant.

Also the possibility to install air filter would not be bad, think here should screw holes rich.

The possibility to add a handle would not be bad (I think). With a thick casing thickness would be enough for a self made handle.

[Edit]

If they construct a case, they could add a power supply with a ~300Watt in the case...

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I raise my hand for a full x16 PCIe slot :Banane45: with lock (I have to put some paper under my PE4L otherwise the GPU screwed in the case is too high so the PE4L is too loose and sometimes disconnects...)

I also find that the HDMI cable isn't very well wired to the PE4L, kind of loose.

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Which power circuitry for the PE4A?

Ted @ Bplus is in charge of the PE4A project. PE4A is the new product against EXP GDC 3rd generation. He's asked for input RE: power circuitry for "PE4A". I'm also going to suggest he change the name to say PE4Z. PE4A can be easily misread as PE4H. Here's what he wrote:

Hi Nando:

My name is Ted, RD of Bplus.

I will be in charge of PE4A in the future.

After I saw the email you had communicated with Adachi-san, you thought a straight 12V maybe a better use? A straight 12V means ATX 8pins (6+2)? If we used this kind of input connector, Should we need to add another 8pins connector on our PE4A to output the same power rails, because I worried about maybe there's only one 8pin interface on users' ATX Power, they can't afford power for VGA after using this interface on our PE4A, or maybe we can reserve the 4pin floppy like PE4H V2.4a? Can you give me some advices, Thanks a lot!

Another Part, we will add CLKREQ# delay circuit on our PE4A, some customers thought it is also necessary like Reset delay circuit!

We hope that you can offer the recommendations from customers, It is very helpful for us to improve our PE4A in the future, If you got another advices from yourself, also welcome to let me know! thanks a lot!

Your input is welcome.

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Flexible, detachable cable (the current PE4L one is a real pain)

x16 lockable (as previously stated, it is quite loose).

Bigger screw holes (this applies to swex as well).

More solid power connector; the current one is a little flimsy, and I think if you disconnected and reconnected too much it would break.

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Which power circuitry for the PE4A?

Ted @ Bplus is in charge of the PE4A project. PE4A is the new product against EXP GDC 3rd generation. He's asked for input RE: power circuitry for "PE4A". I'm also going to suggest he change the name to say PE4Z. PE4A can be easily misread as PE4H. Here's what he wrote:

Your input is welcome.

So PE4A (PE4Z) would be a ExpressCard 3.0 connection? Essentially a PCIe 3.0 merge of the PE4H and PE4L? Full 16x slot?

Perhaps use the 4/6/8 pin ATX power that usually plugs into the motherboard of a desktop computer - unless this is the plug he is talking about, if so then that would be a nice option.

I don't see the floppy power too much anymore, so I would not use it. Even just the standard 4pin molex or sata pwr would be better. Perhaps even just the 24pin mobo plug straight to the adapter omitting the need for SWEX. Could have it switch on the PSU when it gets power from the computer (with no delay). Not sure about timing issues about this.

Hopefully that made sense, if it didn't I can try to explain a bit better / make a really horrible mockup ;D

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Added another to the list:

Make it x2/x4 capable (inc HP4A x4 3.0) capable : as users want a x16 slot there is plenty of room to accomodate this. Require this for two reasons (1) then can host x4 3.0 cards externally on desktop systems using a HP4A and (2) Sandy/Ivy Bridge Dell Latitude/Precision are x2/x4 capable *IF* we figure out how to alter the flash descriptor to flash modified ME firmware switching the ports to x2/x4 mode. If the extra 3 mHDMI(?) connectors add excess cost then consider including just the solder pads so *special order* x2/x4 boards can be created at increased customer cost merely by having BPlus soldering on the extra mHDMI connectors. (Tech Inferno Fan)
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Hmm, been thinking about physical layout of this.

Honestly the floppy power was a pretty solid choice since it is thin and is able to sit under the port. Once you start moving to 4pin molex or sata pwr the connector will tend to get too tall / wide. A pretty standard barrel connector might work, not sure if you can push 75W or 150W through it without frying the connector. If you had a PCI / mobo ATX power (so 4/6/8 pin) that would be too tall to sit under a GPU, and if you put it 'behind' the GPU, it would make the adapter quite large, and setup boxes like mine wouldn't be able to house it. Was thinking either on the bottom side of the adapter, but that could cause issues for others as well. Only way I can really think of circumventing this is to have some leads to a female 4pin molex / sata / PCI / ATX power cable. This could allow for various power inputs to suit peoples needs while maintaining physical flexibility (literally). Screw terminals so leads can be user changeable?

yum yum dat wall of text.

tl;dr: size of power connection would interfere physically, perhaps have power leads instead. Screw terminals?

---

Might look a bit funny, but would CAT-5E (or 6A) work? They aren't shielded but do have twisted pairs. Very common cable too and can be made custom lengths easily. Just throwing ideas out there. Still curious about DP though, I feel like that would be the best bet - solid connector that locks.

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For PE4H:

- lower price, within $100

- for a boxless version ("module") - would be nice to have something similar to that plank EXP GDC stands on

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Any reason the USB has to go?

I found it useful for creating an all-in-one dock.

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The idea of abolishing SWEX is very interesting, however it would mean that there is an additional 24(or 20) cables going into the PExx and I am not too sure if that would work. I know it would reduce flexibility, however in saying that it would still be awesome.

Nando you could let bplus know that it would be awesome they could include an option of a larger switch (something like on the back of a PSU, but with a light maybe), that we could mount on the outside of our cases. I know I would find that useful. Obviously they would need an extra connector on the swex (or PExx) to accommodate it.

On the note of cables, I think that the current one is fine, but Bplus should make the mount stronger, and include more adapters on their website. PCI-e female so you could use 6 (or 8) pin pcie whatsits, 15 pin SATA female so you could use SATA power (probably the most common power source these days?) and possibly others, assuming you can actually adapt 3 pin fan molex (or whatever it is) to PCI-e or SATA.

By the way, quick question about cables. What does the red and black dupont cable do? I don't have mine plugged in, and my setup seems to be fine, so I am not sure what its purpose is.

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Wow. Uhm...

How about using a SATA cable? Shielded lanes. We know it can support 6 GB/s soooo that should be good enough. I think that is suitable for a socketed system.

Can't believe we all forgot about it.

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Wow. Uhm...

How about using a SATA cable? Shielded lanes. We know it can support 6 GB/s soooo that should be good enough. I think that is suitable for a socketed system.

Can't believe we all forgot about it.

@angerthosenear

Are you talking about using the SATA cables for data transfer? This is interesting, and goes away from the HDMI completely, which I am not sure bplus would be keen to do,

seeing as they have devoted the last however many years on improving it. Also It would seem like a semi back step with technology like tb out there now.

Two interesting links I found about the next sata revision SATA 3.2/SATA Express.

SATA Express - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SATA-IO announces 16Gb/s SATA 3.2 specification | bit-tech.net

It seems as though PCI-express is continuing to become the most popular bus.

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@angerthosenear

Are you talking about using the SATA cables for data transfer? This is interesting, and goes away from the HDMI completely, which I am not sure bplus would be keen to do,

seeing as they have devoted the last however many years on improving it. Also It would seem like a semi back step with technology like tb out there now.

Two interesting links I found about the next sata revision SATA 3.2/SATA Express.

SATA Express - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SATA-IO announces 16Gb/s SATA 3.2 specification | bit-tech.net

It seems as though PCI-express is continuing to become the most popular bus.

SATA cables are used for data transfer already, I see no reason why they cannot be used for PCIe based signals as well. We know from SATA3 they can support 6GB/s and with PCIe Gen2 @ 1x only using 5GB/s, this is more than adequate. Not really a step back if it works while being socketed.

SATA 3.2 seems like something to combat M.2 which is (can be) PCIe 4x based. So.... hm. Guess we'll see how that plays out.

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SATA cables are used for data transfer already, I see no reason why they cannot be used for PCIe based signals as well. We know from SATA3 they can support 6GB/s and with PCIe Gen2 @ 1x only using 5GB/s, this is more than adequate. Not really a step back if it works while being socketed.

@Tech Inferno Fan

I googled it but didnt find much.

Did find this (what I was talking about before) however:

A SATA Power to PCI Six pin

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I do not want to disappoint you, but with the data transfer I see more critical than the power support. I have also considered the beginning times to me, but does not allow the Sata specification released this.

The PCI-e specification

The Sata specification

As you see, the only data transfer could be realized, but the SMBus and JTAG would be missing. If I see this right, we would neet only for the PCI-e x1 36 Pins. The Sata Power connecter could be used for the adapter.

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