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MXM to PCI-e x16 extension - Project complete! Some kinks to iron out...

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Hello all!

I posted my progress on this project awhile ago, but I can't seem to find my post... This was some 6+ months ago, so in all likelihood it expired due to inactivity.

Anyway...

I have been working with WhackingCheese on the notebookreview fourms to make an MXM 3 to PCI-e x16 expansion card. Here is the link to where the relevant parts of the thread start: Let's figure out how to convert internal MXM connector an external PCI-E x16 box | Page 20 | NotebookReview

I laid the boards out using FreePCB. My schematics are in my dropbox, for the perusal of anyone interested:

MXM Board: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27091889/MXM/MXM_PCI-e.fpc

MXM Library: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27091889/MXM/MXM.fpl

MXM Gerber Files: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27091889/MXM/MXM.zip

PCI-e Board: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27091889/MXM/PCIe_Base.fpc

PCI-e Library: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27091889/MXM/PCI-e.fpl

PCI-e Gerber Files: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27091889/MXM/PCI.zip

And here is a simple spreadsheet of all the pin connections I made: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27091889/MXM/MXM-PCIe%20Pins.ods

Note that there are several kinks with these designs in their current form; while I have had some success, I don' t recommend they be printed as-is.

Kinks:

ATX Power Supply header interfears with the PCI card "latch" - the bit at the back which holds the board to the motherboard. I had to chop mine off...

Header pin-holes are too small for standard 2x20 pin headers

Some other things that I am forgetting...

Of course, I promised results! And I have them! Here are the pictures!

Here are the boards before I built them up; the MXM card is slotted into the test motherboard

mxm_board_delivery.png

Here is a picture, wired up and ready to go

MXM_ready_to_go.JPG

And here it is running!! See where I've highlighted "Link Width x16"?

MXM_eGPU_Linux.jpg

My server really seems to be grinding right now, and I'm too lazy to properly scale the photos down so they're ridiculously huge. Sorry! If someone scales them to a reasonable size (one which the forum will accept) I'll edit the post to use those.

The #1 interesting problem right now is I can't benchmark this setup. Windows works until I install the NVidia drivers, then the screen gos black shortly after boot. The system is still running; I can log in blind and it makes the little jingle.

Linux has the same problem. Works find with the Nouveau driver, but as soon as I install the NVidia driver it blacks out shortly after boot.

My theories are:

The NVidia driver pokes some PCI connections that are actually miswired but not used by the other drivers. This causes the card to crash.

The laptop actually has an integrated Intel GPU; it's just normally disabled and it's not connected to anything. Possibly NVidia is trying to do Optimus, there is an error with the disabled/disconnected iGPU, and the card crashes.

Maybe something in the laptop reports the (disconnected in more ways than one) internal display, the NVidia driver tries to initialize it, can't because it's not there, and crashes.

In summary, I don't really know what's going on at this point. All I can really say is it's not working as I hoped it would :)

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That looks pretty fun. I'd guess the MXM implementation is using some rather different specification from PCI Express to communicate to the OS through the driver, and you'd need custom-made drivers to support this mod. But oh, the posibilities. Such as using a cable that can be routed out of the chassis in a cleaner-looking way (though I imagine signal integrity is quite the concern).

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HI.

 

My project is the same but the reverse !

I have a MXM card, and I want use it in a PCI-e slot !
Can you help me ?

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AlainLRGX, use PCI-E to MXM adapters (search it in ebay) 
 

Hi, topicstarter!

Can you help me? I have mxm II graphics card. What should I do?

Edited by IscInt

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I read a lot about the work done but it seems to me that the problem with your adapter at the software level you do not want to recognize the video card and there is a device conflict .
I suggest to take and buy this adapter and you don't need to come up with something 
gearbest
1 http://ru.gearbest.com/laptop-accessories/pp_229101.html?vip=158081
aliexpress
2 http://alipromo.com/redirect/cpa/o/o7ldk96kmni1tlndtysnhui5wx4bbrkn/
And not any problems everything works .A lot of reviews on YouTube about this product .

 

Edited by Jay78

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On 5/22/2016 at 2:51 PM, Jay78 said:

I read a lot about the work done but it seems to me that the problem with your adapter at the software level you do not want to recognize the video card and there is a device conflict .
I suggest to take and buy this adapter and you don't need to come up with something 
gearbest
1 http://ru.gearbest.com/laptop-accessories/pp_229101.html?vip=158081
aliexpress
2 http://alipromo.com/redirect/cpa/o/o7ldk96kmni1tlndtysnhui5wx4bbrkn/
And not any problems everything works .A lot of reviews on YouTube about this product .

 

Those are very awful alternatives to what he's making. You'll only get a small fraction of the performance you'd usually get from whatever card you're using due to the low bandwidth of mini-PCIe or M.2 or whatever you're using. An MXM to PCI-E 3.0 adapter would allow for full 16x bandwidth and deliver the utmost performance possible. I currently have a Thunderbolt 2 eGPU setup which has more bandwidth than both of those and it's still choking tremendously with my GTX 970, or any other card I try to throw at it. This adapter OP is making is a very worthwhile endeavor.

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i can has? anymore progress? what motherboard/laptop are you testing this on? mxm 3.x? i had to do dsdt override to get 36bit large memory in device manager in win10 also set in test mode for exp gdc beast with gtx1060 working performs great BUT full x16 support would definitely be ideal. Waiting for february 2017 for sour ninja dual wield setup which looks very promising!

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Holy cow. I thought this thread had died! For some reason I wasn't getting any email notifications...

So, at risk of sounding like: https://xkcd.com/1783/ , let me try to answer this pile of questions.
 

On 1/16/2016 at 10:24 AM, AlainLRGX said:

HI.

 

My project is the same but the reverse !

I have a MXM card, and I want use it in a PCI-e slot !
Can you help me ?

I answered this one in PM at the time. I have seen this kind of adapter for sale. The real issue is attaching a heatsink to the laptop GPU in the desktop chassis.

 

On 2/25/2016 at 7:38 PM, IscInt said:

AlainLRGX, use PCI-E to MXM adapters (search it in ebay) 
 

Hi, topicstarter!

Can you help me? I have mxm II graphics card. What should I do?

MXM 2 and MXM 3 are, unfortunately, totally different, so this tool won't help you. I have heard rumours that an MXM 2 -> PCI adapter exists, but I don't have any solid information.
 

On 5/22/2016 at 3:16 PM, fatboyslimerr said:

Perhaps this is a dumb question but did you try to use laptop or desktop nvidia drivers???? 

I think I used desktop drivers in Windows (The laptop originally had a 560m, and I explcitally remember having to re-download and reinstall the drivers)
In Linux there is only one driver package which works for everything.
Since the problem was the same in both cases, it's likely not the driver installation itself that is the problem :(
 

On 11/23/2016 at 5:12 PM, viddy said:

Those are very awful alternatives to what he's making. You'll only get a small fraction of the performance you'd usually get from whatever card you're using due to the low bandwidth of mini-PCIe or M.2 or whatever you're using. An MXM to PCI-E 3.0 adapter would allow for full 16x bandwidth and deliver the utmost performance possible. I currently have a Thunderbolt 2 eGPU setup which has more bandwidth than both of those and it's still choking tremendously with my GTX 970, or any other card I try to throw at it. This adapter OP is making is a very worthwhile endeavor.

Pretty much exactly this. I have also used the mPCIe adapter and it works fine (~80%), but this would be an even better solution.
M.2 could offer up to an x4 connection, so is worth watching. I don't remember where I saw it, but there was some graphic which said GPUs would see ~100% performance on an x4 link. This was awhile ago, so possibly modern GPUs need more bandwidth.

 

On 12/16/2016 at 9:07 AM, DiscreetControl said:

i can has? anymore progress? what motherboard/laptop are you testing this on? mxm 3.x? i had to do dsdt override to get 36bit large memory in device manager in win10 also set in test mode for exp gdc beast with gtx1060 working performs great BUT full x16 support would definitely be ideal. Waiting for february 2017 for sour ninja dual wield setup which looks very promising!

I don't have any built-up boards other than my one test board, and I think it should be reworked before more get printed. If you're interested in doing that, I have a mental to-do list. Basically, the answer is "I suppose you could have it but I wouldn't recommend it"

The laptop is a MSI GT-683r. Due to a long and mostly unfortunate series of events I ended up with several of these in various states of broken-ness, so this laptop will be my tester for the immediate future. I don't know whether or not it has an actually-conforming MXM port (In that lots of companies change it around as they need to to simplify their design) so that is another possible cause of the error I'm seeing... My gut says I looked into this at some point and it wasn't an issue. My brain has no memory of this.
This laptop does have MXM 3 - Physically MXM 3 and MXM 2 cards are incompatible, so once you learn to recognize them they're easy to tell apart :)

It's very possible the laptop needs some software override to make the GPU work. The only reason I think it wouldn't is because the original 560m sat on an x16 link and because it worked until I installed the official drivers.

From what I have seen of it, the Sour Ninja Dual Wield is the same technology as I've got, but theirs appears to work. I would be plenty happy to pay for theirs when it comes out, but I may also redo and finish this one just for my own satisfaction. (I have been saying that for two years, though, so nobody hold your breath :/ )

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this would be pretty cool to have for a mod.  once my m18xr2's video card can't play any new games this would be ideal to turn it into an extra desktop for when friends come over for LAN gaming..

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On 7/30/2015 at 6:47 AM, Sompom said:

 

Unfortunately all of these links are down / don't work. Dropbox seems to have blocked the content.

Could you please re-upload the files on another service? :) I'd really appreciate that.

I'm particularly interested in the PCB designs.

 

Thanks in advance (for your previous work too)!

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I have done some research too in the last couple of days.

So I figured I'd share my findings and contribute a bit.

 

1. Apparently MSI once had a working prototype of a PCI-E to 2* MXM

We are trying to achieve the opposite and things have changed quite a bit over the last couple of years but it shows, that PCI-E and MXM share many things, MXM just has some additional features.

Back then it was MXM Rev. 2 I believe.

 

7fb202cfe3.jpg

 

 

2. Some Chinese site is selling PCI-E to 1* MXM Adapter Cards.

This demonstrates again, that an adapter is possible. This card doesn't seem to utilize the full bandwidth tho.

 

mxm3.0-to-pcie-adapter.jpg

 

 

3. Leap Computing Inc. requested a patent regarding a "Mxm graphics card adapter"

Initially I thought they made a MXM to PCI-E adapter but it seems like another PCI-E to n* MXM Adapter.

 

 

4. Some guy seems to have a kind of working adapter.

He has made a short YouTube video demonstrating it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YzkpITCiUY

 

I made a Google Drive directory where I will save all of the stuff regarding this topic. Everybody is free to view / download the files.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6KCAsL5ElLUYXFmdnFoZEozSkk

 

Now I hope to get hold of some PCB design files and let them be printed.

If this works then I'll try to add additional functionalities. I'd try to get a video signal back into the laptop, so it'd be possible to use the internal display again / too.

 

 

 

Edited by Manuauto
Added Video Link
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Hi, I'm also trying to figure this out. In my case it's to fit a graphics card in my HP elite 8300 ultra-slim PC with MXM slot (although I'm very likely to encounter a bios whitelist-wall).

The guy you found on youtube also has a website (with some very cheesy copywriting), there's an option to preorder, but the site hasn't been updated in months: http://www.sourninja.com/dualwield/

It seems to me the project is dead.

 

I found some old PCB design on the notebookreview forum http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/lets-figure-out-how-to-convert-internal-mxm-connector-an-external-pci-e-x16-box.407071/page-11

The autor of the design warned there are some flaws in it - i think he said that his card would function only with default windows drivers, while delivering very low performance.

You'll need a freeware program called FreePCB to view the design.

 

I think the best option is to print a PCB locally, if we are able to get a working design. I'm thinking about contacting my friend who is electrical engineer to ask him to design a new PCB for me. I just need to know which pin connections are needed to make it work. Did you find any datasheets for MXM and PCIe pinouts?

PCB adapter MXM.7z

Edited by DEEREE

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41 minutes ago, DEEREE said:

Hi, I'm also trying to figure this out. In my case it's to fit a graphics card in my HP elite 8300 ultra-slim PC with MXM slot (although I'm very likely to encounter a bios whitelist-wall).

The guy you found on youtube also has a website (with some very cheesy copywriting), there's an option to preorder, but the site hasn't been updated in months: http://www.sourninja.com/dualwield/

It seems to me the project is dead.

 

I found some old PCB design on the notebookreview forum http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/lets-figure-out-how-to-convert-internal-mxm-connector-an-external-pci-e-x16-box.407071/page-11

The autor of the design warned there are some flaws in it - i think he said that his card would function only with default windows drivers, while delivering very low performance.

You'll need a freeware program called FreePCB to view the design.

 

I think the best option is to print a PCB locally, if we are able to get a working design. I'm thinking about contacting my friend who is electrical engineer to ask him to design a new PCB for me. I just need to know which pin connections are needed to make it work. Did you find any datasheets for MXM and PCIe pinouts?

PCB adapter MXM.7z

 

Yeah, the project seems to be pretty much dead by now. They didn't collect too much money on kickstarter (or whatever they used).

Moreover it seems like they weren't able to connect a proper GPU to their Laptop (whitelist? or flaws in their PCB-design?)

 

I got the PCB files Sompom posted on another forum. Fortunately the did not get removed by Dropbox.

They are in the Gerber file format and are quite tricky to edit.

I'll upload the file. Let's hope it won't get taken down.

Password: ö98_tp-DEq

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6KCAsL5ElLUUE82VEtuQmF4ZkE

 

And I'm unable to access the file you uploaded for some reason...

 

I might have some spare time next week. I  might sit down and create a spreadsheet with the correct pin outs.

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Huh! you guy's are keen! XD I actually have it working on my alienware 17, I'm getting PCI-e 3.0 with all 16 lanes, but only at 2.5GT/s so I'm only getting 4.923 GB/s over the link, which is still better than pci-e 1.1 though, which is at 4 GB/s.

I am working on a better prototype at the moment, as soon as I hit the PCI-e 3.0 at 5GT/s or 8GT/s I'll be starting my kick starter, It's taking some time because I don't have income at the moment so if you guy's still want to make your own go for it :) it is possible!

Edited by Shadowsnight1000
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So I still apparently don't have email notifications of posts to this thread, even though I am supposed to and I get notifications for PMs.


Sorry that the Dropbox files went away. Dropbox just recently changed their service to not have a public folder, retroactively killing all my links...


Here are some re-uploads. Maybe me clicking the share button will revive the old links too?
Parts List: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dz68vmna4t85rpy/Parts List.doc?dl=0

MXM Gerber: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ciyrvnvyhhxsl7m/MXM.zip?dl=0

PCI-e Gerber: https://www.dropbox.com/s/59f2k632g6jpc16/PCI.zip?dl=0

 

Here are the FreePCB Sources -- However, I strongly recommend that nobody use these other than for reference. I only chose FreePCB because it was the only thing available at the time. If someone were to take these and do them again, I would suggest using something newer like KiCAD

MXM: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mspkgm9h97wdjlj/MXM_PCI-e.fpc?dl=0

MXM Parts Library: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b801rfwghjt3ku1/MXM.fpl?dl=0

PCI-e: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4f4x8ntiamdoyjk/PCIe_Base.fpc?dl=0

PCI-e Parts Library: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2srqpcrkp8hgu6r/PCI-e.fpl?dl=0

 

As said in a previous post, these designs as they stand partially work, but do not work when the NVidia driver is installed (AMD Untested. I have a test card, but I traded my power supply for it!). My current best guess is that there is interference at the higher frequencies which the default Microsoft / Nouveau drivers do not exercise.

If all you want to do is buy an assembled device, I would suggest following @Shadowsnight1000's progress. He is actively working on a new version.

If you want to hack and play around, go look at KiCAD and go look through the Notebook review post. All the information I have is there.

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On 6/5/2017 at 2:20 AM, Sompom said:

So I still apparently don't have email notifications of posts to this thread, even though I am supposed to and I get notifications for PMs.


Sorry that the Dropbox files went away. Dropbox just recently changed their service to not have a public folder, retroactively killing all my links...


Here are some re-uploads. Maybe me clicking the share button will revive the old links too?
Parts List: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dz68vmna4t85rpy/Parts List.doc?dl=0

MXM Gerber: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ciyrvnvyhhxsl7m/MXM.zip?dl=0

PCI-e Gerber: https://www.dropbox.com/s/59f2k632g6jpc16/PCI.zip?dl=0

 

Here are the FreePCB Sources -- However, I strongly recommend that nobody use these other than for reference. I only chose FreePCB because it was the only thing available at the time. If someone were to take these and do them again, I would suggest using something newer like KiCAD

MXM: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mspkgm9h97wdjlj/MXM_PCI-e.fpc?dl=0

MXM Parts Library: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b801rfwghjt3ku1/MXM.fpl?dl=0

PCI-e: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4f4x8ntiamdoyjk/PCIe_Base.fpc?dl=0

PCI-e Parts Library: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2srqpcrkp8hgu6r/PCI-e.fpl?dl=0

 

As said in a previous post, these designs as they stand partially work, but do not work when the NVidia driver is installed (AMD Untested. I have a test card, but I traded my power supply for it!). My current best guess is that there is interference at the higher frequencies which the default Microsoft / Nouveau drivers do not exercise.

If all you want to do is buy an assembled device, I would suggest following @Shadowsnight1000's progress. He is actively working on a new version.

If you want to hack and play around, go look at KiCAD and go look through the Notebook review post. All the information I have is there.

nice i think my laptop in mxm v.3b do you have any video on youtube am very interesting for that but i dont know how to use kicad :( so pls can you upload video on youtube how to do the process plsss 

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