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14" Dell Latitude E6430 - Performance Upgrades and System Mods

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Regarding the cabling, would it be possible to just separate the male and female HDMI attachment of the eGPU adapter, then use an extender to keep the HDMI port outside the laptop?

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The rounded wire of the extender has a smaller surface area than the flat cables and can be left dangling outside the laptop case (with proper modification).

post-11576-14494999939113_thumb.jpg

What do you guys think?

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Regarding the cabling, would it be possible to just separate the male and female HDMI attachment of the eGPU adapter, then use an extender to keep the HDMI port outside the laptop?

The rounded wire of the extender has a smaller surface area than the flat cables and can be left dangling outside the laptop case (with proper modification).

What do you guys think?

Using an extender would probably degrade the signal's quality. As you can see, bplus tried to eliminate the connections on latest products. They use only one HDMI connection on their products.

What we could do is mod a ODD caddy to somehow keep the two HDMI cables in there. I am working on a full external solution right now, so we can keep our laptop permanently closed.

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Using an extender would probably degrade the signal's quality. As you can see, bplus tried to eliminate the connections on latest products. They use only one HDMI connection on their products.

What we could do is mod a ODD caddy to somehow keep the two HDMI cables in there. I am working on a full external solution right now, so we can keep our laptop permanently closed.

ODD/caddy was modded in the following implementations to give a HDMI out for the eGPU.

http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-pc/2682-13-sony-vaio-sb-sa-external-egpu-mpcie-port-mod-%5Beuchrid_eucrow%5D.html#post36391

http://forum.techinferno.com/provisional-guides/8326-15-dell-m4400-gtx460-r9_290%408gbps-mpcie1%5E4-pe4h-2-4a-win7-%5Bhishamkali%5D.html

This is workable for a Gen1 system since the signal quality remains.

As you point out, it's questionable value for a Gen2-capable system like a E6430 if you have to force the port to Gen1 to maintain signal integrity. I mean, why bother running x2 1.0 when you can run x1 2.0 + PCIe compression? Only worthwhile doing if figure a way of getting a reliable Gen2 signal.

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As you point out, it's questionable value for a Gen2-capable system like a E6430 if you have to force the port to Gen1 to maintain signal integrity. I mean, why bother running x2 1.0 when you can run x1 2.0 + PCIe compression? Only worthwhile doing if figure a way of getting a reliable Gen2 signal.

Hiding the 2 male HDMI cables from PM100C V1.0

PM100C_1S.jpg

inside the ODD won't cause any signal degradation. Right?

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Hiding the 2 male HDMI cables from PM100C V1.0

PM100C_1S.jpg

inside the ODD won't cause any signal degradation. Right?

Hiding it won't. If you bend the cable flat then I'd expect that you'd damage it and cause signal degradation and/or failure.

As an aside, here's the post about using a PE4H 2.4a + PCIEMM-060B (flexible Sumitomo cable): http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/2109-diy-egpu-experiences-%5Bversion-2-0%5D-149.html#post55765 . I believe that would give you a Gen2-capable AMD solution due to their drivers seemingly more fault tolerant with physical link issues. NVidia drivers BSODIng when the link can't maintain Gen2.

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Hiding it won't. If you bend the cable flat then I'd expect that you'd damage it and cause signal degradation and/or failure.

As an aside, here's the post about using a PE4H 2.4a + PCIEMM-060B (flexible Sumitomo cable): http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/2109-diy-egpu-experiences-%5Bversion-2-0%5D-149.html#post55765 . I believe that would give you a Gen2-capable AMD solution due to their drivers seemingly more fault tolerant with physical link issues. NVidia drivers BSODIng when the link can't maintain Gen2.

EDIT:Guide here on how to unlock your Flash Descryptor and set your port @ x2.2

That's right. Last night I tried to connect my R9-280x @ x2 2.0 with the same homemade adapter and 3Dmark06 run just great. Disregard the low results I run the tests on battery cause I forgot my adapter @ work :tranquillity:

17112907867_f5958c7f12_o.gif

17132565198_151f4f9fc3_o.png

3Dmark11 and 13 refuse to run on my system but it must be something that has to do with my windows 8.1 installation cause they won't run with the dGPU either.

3dmark13 error message similar to 3dmark11

16697908524_0595692e7b_o.png

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Enabling XMP (eXtreme Memory Profiles) on a Dell Latitude E6430 to improve RAM performance

EDIT: Seems like you don't need to use XMP Profiles to enable RAM OC.On my E6430 I could use Kingston PnP memory modules which automatically overclocked @ 2133MHz. This means that it would correctly OC every memory that have an 2133 JEDEC profile.

This guide remains here for those that own memory with PSW protection that can't be flashed with JEDEC values, only XMP.

You can easily run XMP enabled memories @ advertised timings using the UEFI variables. You can read more about how this works @ [GUIDE] Dell E6530 CPU TDP/multi unlocking thread made by Khenglish and Tech Inferno Fan. I just used their work to get a little further.

If you carefully read the guide on the thread above then you know how to use the UEFI variables.

All you have to do is change settings for UEFI variable DIMM profile:


Option: Default DIMM profile, Value: 0x0 {09 0E 02 04 30 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00}
Option: Custom profile, Value: 0x1 {09 0E 05 04 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00}
Option: XMP profile 1, Value: 0x2 {09 0E 03 04 00 00 02 00 00 00 00 00 00 00}
Option: XMP profile 2, Value: 0x3 {09 0E 04 04 00 00 03 00 00 00 00 00 00 00}
End of Options {29 02}
Setting: DIMM profile, Variable: 0x1EE {05 A6 00 04 01 04 20 04 02 00 EE 01 14 10 00 ... 00 00}

If you buy XMP memories you can set them to run @ their XMP speeds & timings.

But what happens if you don't want to buy new RAM?

You can flash XMP Profiles on the SPD EEPROM chip on some RAM.

NOTE: Before making any changes within SPD data array make sure the SPD EEPROM chip is not write-protected. Please be aware that all of DDR3 SDRAM SO-DIMM modules manufactured by Samsung' date=' Hynix, Nanya and Micron are shipped with [u']enabled Permanent Software Write Protection (PSWP) feature that does not enable the SPD EEPROM chip to be reprogrammed. To check whether your modules are write-protected call PSW Protection dialog box from Thaiphoon Burner. It is recommended to buy Kingston and Corsair DRAM modules since they come with 100% unprotected SPD EEPROMs.

My 4GB SO-DIMM 1.35V Samsung M471B5173CB0-YK0 was unprotected.

EDIT: Even locked chips most times (all that I tested) allow you to flash an XMP Profile. They just won't let you flash the JEDEC Profiles.

There are two options if you want to flash your RAM:

Luckily, we have 4 Lenovo G550 at work which use GM45 chipset.

My first step was to find a working XMP Profile 1.3. Then all I had to do was use the G550 and SPDtool to flash it.

Although there are lots of them on Thaiphoon DEMO Database, I only found a Crucial Ballistix 1866J dump that was running 1866MHz @ 1,35V. All I had to do was try. I couldn't make the lenovo G550 to boot with 4GB stick so I just hotplug. After this, took a backup of my memory dump and flashed the dump from B0 to FF (it is were the XMP 1.3 Profiles are stored)

17319250132_5c50691e8c_o.png

All I had to do now was to use setup_var (following Atonus instructions) to enable XMP Profile 1 or 2.

16698646484_68719bae51_o.png



AIDA64 COMPARISON

17113668947_4357a3fb91_o.png17319251462_4dd791e714_o.png

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Impressive ~15% performance improvement



3DMark06 with HD4000

17320684651_fa5b4aa4ac_o.png

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Impressive ~14% performance improvement

I saw an improvement of 15% @ 1866 and 31% @ 2133!!! and and I assume that if I find a XMP Profile to set my RAM @2400 the results will be even better.

EDIT:More test including dual channel results here

Make sure you use a i5 or i7. With a i3 the RAM will only take the timings but still clock @ 800MHz

Many thanks to @Tech Inferno Fan, @Khenglish, @Atonus. Without them, this would never be possible.

EDIT 2: Seems like 2400MHz is not possible. Even if you set an XMP Profile higher than 2133 (2400, 2666, 2800) it will downclock to 2133. I can't find a reason why this is happening. Maybe my CPU (i7-3630QM)?

I can not even test dual channel @ 2133. The 2GB ADATA chip that I have won't go up to 2133... 2000MHz CL11 seems to be its limit and only single channel....

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Enabling XMP (eXtreme Memory Profiles) with E6430 to improve RAM performance

I saw an improvement of 15% @ 1866 and I assume that if I find a XMP Profile to set my RAM @ 2133 or even 2400 the results will be even better.

Make sure you use a i5 or i7. With a i3 the RAM will only take the timings but still clock @ 800MHz

Many thanks to @Tech Inferno Fan, @Khenglish, @Atonus. Without them, this would never be possible.

It is very possible that this guide will work with Dell Latitude E6440 too.

Impressive investigative work to get a bit more RAM bandwidth. I too saw significant iGPU performance results (+54%) when overclocking single-channel RAM from 1333Mhz to 2100Mhz at *HP EliteBook 2560p Owners Lounge* | Page 21 | NotebookReview .

Dual-channel configuration yielded far less benefit. Only between 5.5-10%.

I'd recommend doing dual-channel peformance testing to see how much benefit this mod would give there.

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Dual-channel configuration yielded far less benefit. Only between 5.5-10%. 

I'd recommend doing dual-channel performance testing to see how much benefit this mod would give there.


I don't have a 2nd dimm right now. I am going to test dual channel as soon as I get one.

EDIT:

Performance Gain using faster RAM on a Dell Latitude E6430

AIDA64

 

  SINGLE CHANNEL DUAL CHANNEL
SPD 1600 CL11
STOCK
1866 CL10
XMP
2133 CL11 
XMP
1333 CL9
STOCK
1600 CL9
XMP
1866 CL10
XMP
2133 CL12
PnP
2230 CL12
OC PnP
AIDA READ MB/s 11915 13905 15672 19137 23111 26513 28310 30721
AIDA WRITE MB/s 11928 13388 15715 19075 22702 26513 28275 30699
AIDA COPY MB/s 11160 12322 14713 17479 21103 24158 25535 28106
GAIN   up to 13%
from 1600
up to 30%
from 1600
  up to 20%
from 1333
up to 15%
from 1600
up to 25%
from 1600
up to 35%
from 1600


Total gain goes up to 158% from DDR3-1600 Single channel to DDR3-2230 Dual Channel!!!



3DMark06

 

  SINGLE CHANNEL DUAL CHANNEL
SPD 1600 CL11
STOCK
1866 CL10
XMP
1333 CL9
STOCK
1600 CL9
XMP
1866 CL10
XMP
2133 CL12
PnP
2230 CL12
OC PnP
SM2.0 score 1596 1765 1963 2203 2231 2444 2595
HDR/SM3.0 score 2068 2404 2819 2954 3014 3281 3445
3DMark06 score 4941 5707 6595 7078 7191 7815 8232
GAIN   up to 16%
from 1600
  up to 8%
from 1333
up to 4%
from 1600
up to 11%
from 1600
up to 17%
from 1600



NOTE:

For 2133MHz and 2230MHz I used my i7-3720QM CPU because my i7-3630QM's memory controler couldn't handle the stress.
In order to give similar CPU performance I used Throttlestop to set the maximum multiplier to x32 for all cores oposed to the i7-3630QM which runs (x34-1C, x33-2C, x32-4C).

What's really amazing is the nearly 65% gain from DDR3-1600 single channel to DDR3-2230 in graphics performance for the HD4000.



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Have you tried overclocking the iGPU with the IFR mods? This is 1.8ghz core, 2250 memory via xtu on my clevo:

AMD Radeon HD 7970M video card benchmark result - Intel Core i7-3920XM Processor Extreme Edition,Clevo P170EM powered by PremaMod.com

The E6530's NVS5200 overclocked only slightly beats out an overclocked HD4000 on average, and in some games even loses. Hopefully I can get the 5200's memory to run at quad rate soon. It physically has GDDR5, but it's only running at dual rate. Prema and I are thinking that they put the GDDR5 on just for ECC support, but I have no idea why they did not also set the quad data rate since both core and memory support it. If you have the dGPU E6430 you likely have GDDR5 too.

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any way to rewrite the SPD for DDR3L onboard?

You can use Thaiphoon Burner (16$ personal edition). I think that Thaiphoon Burner 6.3 (latest free edition) won't work.

Make sure you check if your memory is NOT PSW protected before you purchase TB.

Have you tried overclocking the iGPU with the IFR mods? This is 1.8ghz core, 2250 memory via xtu on my clevo:

AMD Radeon HD 7970M video card benchmark result - Intel Core i7-3920XM Processor Extreme Edition,Clevo P170EM powered by PremaMod.com

Impressive work. I never tried that. My E6430 is the one with the dGPU but I think I will try that.
The E6530's NVS5200 overclocked only slightly beats out an overclocked HD4000 on average, and in some games even loses. Hopefully I can get the 5200's memory to run at quad rate soon. It physically has GDDR5, but it's only running at dual rate. Prema and I are thinking that they put the GDDR5 on just for ECC support, but I have no idea why they did not also set the quad data rate since both core and memory support it. If you have the dGPU E6430 you likely have GDDR5 too.

Very interesting! I never thought of using my NVS5200 for gaming. I am afraid that these chips are not of good quality. Inform us of your findings...

We can make it an 6x30 thread linking all of your works so far on E6530. Let me know if this is OK with you.

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Hello everyone,

I have an e6430 on its way here and can't wait to try out x2 2.0. Any news on a possible x4 2.0? I'm willing to solder together an mPCIe adapter if you can get ports 3 and 4 strapped (I'm still new and learning here).

So far I have left to do:

Receive e6430

Receive PE4C-PM100C V2.1

Install DIY eGPU Setup 1.30

Set TOLUD to 2GB

Unlock the Flash Descriptor

Flash the ME to get x2 2.0

Hook up my HD 7950

Bench test like crazy

Should be a pieceacake. :-) Look good so far?

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Your eGPU adapter is the first issue:

* PE4C is a x2 2.0 (mostly Gen2 capable - occasional glitches with NVidia on some systems moreso with EC than mPCIe, AMD should be OK) only capable eGPU adapter.

* PE4H 2.4a is x4 capable, but Gen2 is iffy. Though AMD seems to have far more fault tolerant drivers so might be OK for a AMD x4 2.0 eGPU implementation.

REF: PE4H 2.4a + EC2C/PM3N + PCIEMM-060B are not Gen2 compatible

Second issue is port access. http://forum.techinferno.com/dell-latitude-vostro-precision/9690-14-dell-latitude-e6430-performance-upgrades-system-mods.html has a lot more info on your system including a schematic. From that, I can see the E6430 port layout is:

x2 is rather simple using the two mPCIe ports after you've done the ME FW mods above and can use your PE4C 2.1

x4 would require routing lines to the module bay to get access to the port4 after which you could attempt wiring it up to a PE4H 2.4a. You'd need to investigate this as there is no precedent for it as yet.

In any case, looking forward to seeing at least a x2 2.0 eGPU implementation there. @timohour was leading the charge in the E6430 thread using homemade eGPU adapters. Yours may be a the first one using BPlus adapters that other interested users can use as a template and replicate.

Hello there @TheClassicalCat

If you are interested in running x2 2.0 you should probably look for PE4C with 2 mini pcie using ports (port 1 and 2) or you can mod a PM3N adapter

by moding, I mean you should cut the PM3N connector to fit into the ODD/Emodule connector and use tape to isolate all the pins, apart from pins 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35 which carry the PET and PER signals

to connect on the module bay port 4 and use EC port 3 and port 4.

I haven't done it yet but visually it fits and according to schematics it appears that the pins are in the correct order. I will upload pictures here of how a modded PM3N should be when I find the time to finish the mod.

if you are interested on a x4, as nando said there is no tested adapter that can handle perfect x4 2.0 signal. You can try the PE4H 2.4a adapter but you should mod the PM3N again for port 4 as described.

Keep in mind that using port 4 Emodule II is not something that I have already tested but I only assume it will work in theory according to schematics.

- - - Updated - - -

Hello everyone,

I have an e6430 on its way here and can't wait to try out x2 2.0. Any news on a possible x4 2.0? I'm willing to solder together an mPCIe adapter if you can get ports 3 and 4 strapped (I'm still new and learning here)

So far I have left to do:

Receive e6430

all you can do is wait...

Receive PE4C-PM100C V2.1

If you are willing to make an internal solution x2 2.0 (using wwan port 1 and wlan port 2) you should buy an extra PM100c or PM50c cable. If you are looking for a full external solution (using port 3 & 4 (EC & EModule II) you can try to use the PE4C-EC100C along with and extra PM100c or PM50c cable. *check above*
Install DIY eGPU Setup 1.30

Set TOLUD to 2GB

You don't need to change your TOLUD if you are going to use Setup 1.30. You need it only if you are going to install UEFI Windows 8.1. I haven't described the precedure here yet but it is easy.
Unlock the Flash Descriptor

Flash the ME to get x2 2.0

Check the post here
Hook up my HD 7950

Bench test like crazy

Should be a pieceacake. :-) Look good so far?

It should be that easy.
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How bad will the signal degradation/stability be if we use the accessory PM4N adapters they are selling?

I was hoping to get either the 30cm flat cable they are offering, or find a short coiled HDMI cable and keep it tucked underneath the laptop (after a slight case mod).

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How bad will the signal degradation/stability be if we use the accessory PM4N adapters they are selling?

I was hoping to get either the 30cm flat cable they are offering, or find a short coiled HDMI cable and keep it tucked underneath the laptop (after a slight case mod).

As far as I understand with a PM4N adapter you would probably won't get reliable 2.0 signal. I am not sure though if someone have tested connecting a PE4C with PM4N. If you are interested in a smaller cable I see here that they also ship the PM050C V1.0 which is 50cm, just 20cm bigger.

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As far as I understand with a PM4N adapter you would probably won't get reliable 2.0 signal. I am not sure though if someone have tested connecting a PE4C with PM4N. If you are interested in a smaller cable I see here that they also ship the PM050C V1.0 which is 50cm, just 20cm bigger.

I did see the 50cm flat cable option. And right beside that tab is the option for a PM4N adapter with 95cm cable. I inquired with the sales department and there was no mention of signal degradation. They simply offered their $8 30cm flat cable as an option over the 95cm round cable.

Not an expert with hardware. But in the event that the PM4N does not degrade the signal that much, would it be possible to use a coiled HDMI cable instead?

EDIT: Can we just solder this ultra thin 30cm HDMI cable to the PM4N?

post-11576-14495000020983_thumb.jpg+[ATTACH=CONFIG]14708[/ATTACH]

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I did see the 50cm flat cable option. And right beside that tab is the option for a PM4N adapter with 95cm cable. I inquired with the sales department and there was no mention of signal degradation. They simply offered their $8 30cm flat cable as an option over the 95cm round cable.

Not an expert with hardware. But in the event that the PM4N does not degrade the signal that much, would it be possible to use a coiled HDMI cable instead?

EDIT: Can we just solder this ultra thin 30cm HDMI cable to the PM4N?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]14704[/ATTACH]+[ATTACH=CONFIG]14851[/ATTACH]+[ATTACH=CONFIG]14708[/ATTACH]

The ultra-thin cable is supposedly unworkable in terms of soldering. Something I asked BPlus to consider soldering onto their PE4L 2.1b instead of their unwieldly flat cable, equivalent to PCIEMM-xxxA.

So taking BPlus' lead, if you want to solder the cable then stick with PCIEMM-xxxA, the flat cable.

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Just a quick update on my progress for the E6430 x4 project:

The E6430 arrived in good working shape, ready to be torn apart (evidently it's still under warranty)...

I contacted Bplus about getting shorter soldered cables with the PE4H and hope to get a reply soon. I realized that signal degradation could be a huge factor here so I looked into sourcing some PM030 and PM060 cables to test, along with an EC060. Once I learned the nomenclature I could actually communicate what I am looking for.

I will keep you posted once I get a reply. I contacted the Chinese support office, not sure if the Taiwanese office would have been better.

Thanks for your help Tech Inferno Fan and timohour this is going to be a lot of fun!

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Just a quick update on my progress for the E6430 x4 project:

The E6430 arrived in good working shape, ready to be torn apart (evidently it's still under warranty)...

I contacted Bplus about getting shorter soldered cables with the PE4H and hope to get a reply soon. I realized that signal degradation could be a huge factor here so I looked into sourcing some PM030 and PM060 cables to test, along with an EC060. Once I learned the nomenclature I could actually communicate what I am looking for.

I will keep you posted once I get a reply. I contacted the Chinese support office, not sure if the Taiwanese office would have been better.

Thanks for your help Tech Inferno Fan and timohour this is going to be a lot of fun!

Isn't PCI-e lanes independent, each transmitters/receivers pairs should be the same length, but between pairs it doesn't matter if it within spec (https://www.pcisig.com/developers/main/training_materials/get_document?doc_id=6d37ec2f8543fc1f9d8ace6264d08b469f57e5f1)

What I'm saying is that if one pair connection usually works, two, and four should too.

Maybe a SATA cable will work for the other connections (just transmitter/receiver pair exactly as SATA).

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Isn't PCI-e lanes independent, each transmitters/receivers pairs should be the same length, but between pairs it doesn't matter if it within spec (https://www.pcisig.com/developers/main/training_materials/get_document?doc_id=6d37ec2f8543fc1f9d8ace6264d08b469f57e5f1)

What I'm saying is that if one pair connection usually works, two, and four should too.

Maybe a SATA cable will work for the other connections (just transmitter/receiver pair exactly as SATA).

Yup, what I'm looking to do is two things: I know that signal degradation is affected most greatly by PCB trace size, cable length, and discontinuities between impedance (e.g. at each HDMI connection). Therefore:

1. A soldered connection hence proved by Tech Inferno Fan should help attain GEN 2 spec. Perhaps a well soldered connection will allow for NVIDIA cards that have stricter fault control.

2. A shorter cable will have less signal degradation. But I don't know if the shortest cables will reach, hence getting both 30 and 60 cm cables.

This will be more of an experiment than just a one and done project I hope everyone will benefit from. I'm curious to see what kind of difference trying out connections will do.

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2. A shorter cable will have less signal degradation. But I don't know if the shortest cables will reach, hence getting both 30 and 60 cm cables.

This will be more of an experiment than just a one and done project I hope everyone will benefit from. I'm curious to see what kind of difference trying out connections will do.

Wow, nice..hoping for the best here. Could you also take photos of the cable management? It would be nice to see how much hassle it is to organize the Flat cables.

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Another quick update on the E6430 x4 project:

I got a price quoted from Bplus for custom cables and they seem a little steep ($35 ea, especially if I can't trust them to do GEN 2 yet)....and I also did some research on alternative cabling options. Why didn't Bplus go with the PCIe cables with SFP+ or iPass connectors (compliant, industry standard, readily abundant)? Even though HDMI is considered low mismatch impedance here, perhaps the lack of true EMI shielding at the connection is what's causing them to fail GEN 2 speeds. timohour, did you use any shielding for your x2 2.0 custom wire setup?

After reading splitframe's PCI-EMM060B mod, it made me start to wonder about a few more things that had to do with the way the wires are connected. I noticed that there's a large difference between the SFP and HDMI card edge connection pitch,.... SFP, iPass and SCSI is 0.8mm, HDMI is 0.4mm. I would imagine the mini HDMI is the same. I think we could truly have a mobile setup with the right connectors, which is why I'm now looking to (hopefully) solder a high speed I/O connector and see if using that on the PE4H will make a difference, but first maybe wrap that sucker in EMI shielding. The external SFP connectors have large metal cages that supposedly help lock EMI shielding throughout the connection. Prices aren't unreasonable for an 8Gbps cable on ebay, either. I'll provide a few links below of some of my findings. Enjoy.

PCIe Cables

ipass internal on google

iPass Product Training Module provided by Digi-Key and Molex

High-Speed Pluggable I/O Solutions - Molex

Other notes of interest:

Solid core wires have less signal degradation compared to non-solid core.

PCIe compliant cables (sfp+, iPass, perhaps also SCSI, SAS) have existed as a viable connection for x1-x16 connections

So far we know that soldered cables work better, but we haven't fully tested this to my liking.

Bplus options are expensive for x4 cabling. I like the idea of the PE4H, just not the connectors.

Oh, so I checked the schematics for the ODD/jsata2 port and it turns out that it uses a slimline SATA connector, so I don't think I have much of an option other than to make a custom connector here (maybe desolder the jsata2? I will have to look), just taping off the pins from a PM3N won't work on the 7+6 pin slimline SATA.

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Another quick update on the E6430 x4 project:

I got a price quoted from Bplus for custom cables and they seem a little steep ($35 ea, especially if I can't trust them to do GEN 2 yet)....and I also did some research on alternative cabling options. Why didn't Bplus go with the PCIe cables with SFP+ or iPass connectors (compliant, industry standard, readily abundant)? Even though HDMI is considered low mismatch impedance here, perhaps the lack of true EMI shielding at the connection is what's causing them to fail GEN 2 speeds.timohour, did you use any shielding for your x2 2.0 custom wire setup?

For my setup I used a mini pcie to pcie connector (this one) and a PCI-E 16X to 1X Adapter USB 3.0 (like one of these). I realised later that the mini pcie to pcie connector was only PCI-E 1.1 capable which was the reason why it wouldn't work with the Nvidia card @ 2.0. It worked with my R9-280x card though. I tested the PCI-E 16X to 1X Adapter USB 3.0 with my PE3A and with my Desktop and it wouldn't have a problem to provide a stable connection @ x1 2.0. Unfortunately, my PE3A is now dead (for no reason) and I am probably getting a PE4C for an x2 2.0.

Oh, so I checked the schematics for the ODD/jsata2 port and it turns out that it uses a slimline SATA connector, so I don't think I have much of an option other than to make a custom connector here (maybe desolder the jsata2? I will have to look), just taping off the pins from a PM3N won't work on the 7+6 pin slimline SATA.

Make sure you make no mistake with this one. The ODD port is a dual port. On the one side (of the 7+6 pin slimline SATA port you mention) is the SATA and power connection and on the other side is the pci-e connection for the e-module II. As I noted on this post a mini pcie card fits in there (as long as thickness and pin distance is concerned) and you have to cut some of the PM3 to make it fit into the ODD slot and thinsulate those pins that are not used.

I started the work to confirm the theory but my PE3A stopped working and I don't have the right gear to test it.

As far as alternative cables are concerned I can say that a good quality USB 3.0 cable would suffice for 2.0 signals (tested on Desktop and Laptop with a cheap x1 to x16 BTC) and I don't find a reason why SATA 3 (6Gbps) or SATA express cables won't work (2 for the first connection and 1 for every other). If you use sata cables you can even use a adapter like this for the x2 connection the Sata signal on the msata pinout is on the same pins as the pcie (PET and PER) signals on the mini pcie pinout.

EDIT: cat6 can handle 10Gbps for 55m and cat6a & cat7 cable can handle 10Gbps for 100m. Maybe it is possible to use flat twisted pairs for cable...

Cat7.jpg

I am still undecided on which adapter I choose but I am probably getting the PE4C and solder the rest to test x4 2.0.

I am not planning to use x4 2.0 on a daily basis. x2 2.0 external solution using EC port 3 and e-module port 4 would be the ideal solution for me.

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@timohour,

hey I've got a iGPU e6430, but I can't find the 92HD90B2X5 chip. It isn't in the same place. any thoughts on where it can be? can you take a better resolution picture for the text/pins on it.

Edit:

found it, its on the other side, had to diassmble entirely to find it since I missed it at first. Its harder to reach but I'll try to reassemble (its a mess!) and using a pin.

thanks.

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