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eGPU experiences [version 2.0]

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I've tried all of your suggestions to no avail unfortunately. Has anybody else trying for an x2 setup ever run into such a barrier before at all? If they have, then perhaps the M1530 simply isn't capable of running at x2 which would be a shame. Perhaps as a last ditch effort I'll try using SATA cable, which is properly shielded...

For the record, a Dell M1530 running with an 8800GTX at x1 gets an abysmal 3DMark06 score of... 3976. Yes gentlemen, that is even lower than the paltry 8600m GT dGPU. I'm surprised nobody else has gotten a M1530 running an eGPU with more than 3GB RAM. It has a TOLUD of 3.5GB but already has the 36-bit root bridge. I got 4GB working by using Setup 1.x 36-bit PCI compaction of both dGPU and eGPU, not forcing either into 32-bit space.

Tried with much better cabling, it seems that the M1530 can't do x2, the laptop simply refuses to enable the 2nd lane in x2 mode.

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Has anyone managed to get Lucid Virtu MVP working/enabled so that you can add your own programs onto their list?

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Hi everyone. I just got my pe4h with the expresscard and I've had some success getting the egpu to work, but it is only at x1.1. I'm not really sure where to go from here, I've tried to read up on using 2 1x express+mPCI and 1.2x mods, but couldn't get them to work.

Anyways my setup is:

HP-DV8T (didn't find much on egpu with this computer)

dGPU: Nvidia GT 230M

eGPU: Geforce 630 (I will upgrade this card, but for now I'm using it as a test card)

Processor: i7-Q720

I think I have 8pci ports,

port1: intel wireless card

port2: ethernet

port4: tv tuner

port5: Jmicro SD card reader

port8: expresscard

The other ports are disabled. When I disassembled my computer, I only saw two physical pci ports (port 1 &4), all the other ports are probably integrated. I have really have no idea and that's why I'm lost.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I can do to get 2x,4x bandwidth?

Thanks,

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Thanks nando for you quick and complete reply.

for test i have an old 4890. later i will buy a brand new gpu.

is it suitable for test?

amir

Yes.

Hey guys

What do you guys think about the new PE4H v3.2 module with enclosure is it better or does it work similarly to the PE4L ec2c ?

Here`s the link

PE4H V3.2 (PCIe x16 Adapter)

Performancewise, a PE4H 3.2 and PE4L 2.1b are exactly the same. The PE4H 3.2 is nice if you want to use the enclosure option or have a multi-rail PSU since it can use all the power, features that come at a price premium. PE4L 2.1b can't be touched for bang-for-buck.

I've asked BPlus to consider making a product that takes the best of PE4H 2.4 and PE4L 2.1b here.

Hi everyone. I just got my pe4h with the expresscard and I've had some success getting the egpu to work, but it is only at x1.1. I'm not really sure where to go from here, I've tried to read up on using 2 1x express+mPCI and 1.2x mods, but couldn't get them to work.

Anyways my setup is:

HP-DV8T (didn't find much on egpu with this computer)

dGPU: Nvidia GT 230M

eGPU: Geforce 630 (I will upgrade this card, but for now I'm using it as a test card)

Processor: i7-Q720

I think I have 8pci ports,

port1: intel wireless card

port2: ethernet

port4: tv tuner

port5: Jmicro SD card reader

port8: expresscard

The other ports are disabled. When I disassembled my computer, I only saw two physical pci ports (port 1 &4), all the other ports are probably integrated. I have really have no idea and that's why I'm lost.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I can do to get 2x,4x bandwidth?

Thanks,

Most sensible way of getting x1 2.0 is to offload the notebook and get a Sandy/Ivy Bridge one. Your system isn't x2 or x4 capable. An interim solution would be to get a HD7xxx series card as it is certainly better than a NVidia card in DX9. The HD7xxx may have resolved a half-duplex handshaking issue I saw with HD5xxx cards and ICH9M chipsets too.

Has anyone managed to get Lucid Virtu MVP working/enabled so that you can add your own programs onto their list?

Latest Virtu MVP 2.1.221 allows it during the trial period. Installer still bails out if it detects being run on a notebook. So you'll need to install it on a desktop system with an iGPU, identify the files and registry settings altered then move those across to your notebook. Can try using regshot to help you along.

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hello: guys, can somebody help me?

i have a Asus G73JH what is my luck in this laptop?

this is the spec:89253d1356055626t-diy-egpu-experiences-my-gpu.gif

Windows® 7 Home Premium

Mobile Intel® HM55 Express Chipset

17.3" 1600x900

12GB 1333 MHz Memory

Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 720QM

ATI Mobility™ Radeon® HD 5870, 1G GDDR5 VRAM

what is my chance with this Pe4L v2.1b? and which video card is my best choise.

Thank You In Advance.

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hello: guys, can somebody help me?

i have a Asus G73JH what is my luck in this laptop?

this is the spec:89253d1356055626t-diy-egpu-experiences-my-gpu.gif

Windows® 7 Home Premium

Mobile Intel® HM55 Express Chipset

17.3" 1600x900

12GB 1333 MHz Memory

Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 720QM

ATI Mobility™ Radeon® HD 5870, 1G GDDR5 VRAM

what is my chance with this Pe4L v2.1b? and which video card is my best choise.

Thank You In Advance.

Your system isn't a good eGPU candidate. It has a pcie 1.x Series-5 chipset so are bandwidth restricted, has no iGPU so no OPtimus pci-e compression and has no expresscard slot. It also has a reasonably powerful HD5870M dGPU. Only benefit an eGPU could give you would be for NVidia CUDA processing. Still, it would be an inconvenient mPCIe implementation.

If you want an eGPU I'd suggest offload the G73JH and get a Sandy/Ivy Bridge notebook with an expresscard slot and iGPU, eg: 17" Dell Vostro 3750 or HP Probook 4730s. They you can consider a NVidia Fermi or Keplar eGPU running @x1.2Opt.

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Hey folks,

I apologize in advance for the inexperience that should be evident in this post. I've been trying to follow the various eGPU threads in this forum and NBR, and information is just so spread out and there's a lot of questions that aren't answered in FAQs, so I wanted to just make a brief post before I put down a bunch of money to make sure that my understanding of everything is correct.

My overall goal is to get rid of my desktop computer (Shuttle XPC w/ Core i7 880) and my laptop (13" MBA 2011) and have a single system that I can use for work (I'm in IT technical sales) and play (I do a lot of PC gaming at home). After lots of research, I think I've figured out that unless I wait for Haswell the best machine I can get is the Lenovo Thinkpad T430s. It's less than 4 pounds, has an optical drive, has good docking station options, and has both ExpressCard and Thunderbolt for eGPU capability. It's also "business appropriate" so I can bring it to customer presentations and such without raising suspicion.

My plan is to take my AMD Radeon 6850 out of my desktop, connect it to a TH05 (still not sure what to do around enclosure/PSU stuff but I'll hopefully get that all figured out), and use that for my eGPU with the Thunderbolt port. Then I can come home, plop the laptop in the dock, connect the Thunderbolt cable, and be off to the races.

I just have a couple questions regarding the TH05 that I'm not sure have been answered. I've read the threads about doing this on a Mac, and I've also read threads about using ExpressCard in older Thinkpads, but here's what I'm wondering:

  1. Will the solution be plug-and-play? Can I bring the laptop home, put it in the dock, bring it out of Standby, and suddenly the eGPU works? Or will I need to reboot? There was some mention of it being like this on Macs with EFI Windows 8, but what about BIOS Windows7 or 8?
  2. Since it's Thunderbolt, will I encounter any TOLUD/DSDT issues? I've seen some other folks mention that the T430s has a lower TOLUD, and I'd like to avoid the reboots and such associated with Setup 1.1x as much as possible.
  3. I know the TH05 is only 2x 2.0 lanes, but since its higher bandwidth does that means the AMD cards will perform similarly to NVidia cards with 1.2Opt?

Appreciate the clarifications on any of this. I'm hoping that if everything looks good I'll move forward with getting the various parts in January and I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.

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Your system isn't a good eGPU candidate. It has a pcie 1.x Series-5 chipset so are bandwidth restricted, has no iGPU so no OPtimus pci-e compression and has no expresscard slot. It also has a reasonably powerful HD5870M dGPU. Only benefit an eGPU could give you would be for NVidia CUDA processing. Still, it would be an inconvenient mPCIe implementation.

If you want an eGPU I'd suggest offload the G73JH and get a Sandy/Ivy Bridge notebook with an expresscard slot and iGPU, eg: 17" Dell Vostro 3750 or HP Probook 4730s. They you can consider a NVidia Fermi or Keplar eGPU running @x1.2Opt.

Thank You My Friend, For Your Help. Thanks

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Hi everyone.

Ive been searching and searching for info on how to get my setup to work. It seems this is the place to ask excuse my lack of knowledge with this. I can't seem to get my eGPU setup to even work.

My setup: Sony Vaio vgn-fw139e laptop

windows vista

intel core 2 duo @ 2.4 ghz

3.0gb RAM

ATI mobility radeon 3400 series built-in

I am trying to get my vidock 4 with a Ati radeon 6770 running through a pci express slot, but am stuck with the (code12) allocation issue. I've already purchased the DIY eGPU setup1.x software. I've tried to disable the dGPU and run the compaction with no luck. I'm kinda lost and not sure what I'm doing. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My bios is very limited doesn't give me any options to disable the internal gpu. It won't even boot unless the card is unplugged. Just trying to get it to display on my tv I could care less about the stock LCD. Please any help would be much appreciated. Villagetronic will not answer my emails.

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Most sensible way of getting x1 2.0 is to offload the notebook and get a Sandy/Ivy Bridge one. Your system isn't x2 or x4 capable. An interim solution would be to get a HD7xxx series card as it is certainly better than a NVidia card in DX9. The HD7xxx may have resolved a half-duplex handshaking issue I saw with HD5xxx cards and ICH9M chipsets too.

Thanks nando.

On another note, would anyone know about HP expansion port 3? I know it is used for HP's docking/expansion ports, but what bandwidth does it have, and is it possible to attach a pci-e adapter to it. Also, I noticed that the IEEE/Esata ports on my laptops are connected via pci-e ports. Is it possible to get a IEEE to mini pci-e or Esata to mini pci-e? Maybe even desolder the board and attach a mini-pcie slot?

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Hey Tech Inferno Fan, been thinking a lot during the holiday regarding setting up an eGPU for my W520 (see details in sig) to max out my Starcraft 2 settings on my internal screen with nVidia Optimus. Since I want it as cheap as possible, I was looking into a GTX 650 2GB for around $80 (performs slightly under the regular GTX 460 but at 1/3-1/2 the power at a similar price point), which would be more than sufficient for my purposes (>60 FPS at Extreme settings, which is max settings for everything in SC2). Techpowerup says the max power draw is 50-60W, so I was perusing your previous post (DIY eGPU experiences - Page 30) regarding the HD5750/HD5770 installation using 12V/120W AC adapter.

I was thinking $80 (GPU) + $70 (PE4L 2.1b Expresscard w/ EC2C) + $15 (120W universal PSU) would be a pretty good value setup with a very small footprint and low noise/heat/power consumption. Would you recommend any changes to this plan? As for hardware assembly, I see that you connected the barrel end of the PSU to the PE4L input jack and the cable to the expresscard but since the PCIe slot should have enough power (75W), would I even need the floppy molex output (and PCIe to molex adapter and molex splitter)? If so, where do I connect these to? Also, any suggestions on a case/enclosure for this small unit?

Image of the GTX 650 that I'm thinking of getting: http://www.pureoverclock.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/gigabyte_gtx650ti_9.jpg

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Hi everyone.

Ive been searching and searching for info on how to get my setup to work. It seems this is the place to ask excuse my lack of knowledge with this. I can't seem to get my eGPU setup to even work.

My setup: Sony Vaio vgn-fw139e laptop

windows vista

intel core 2 duo @ 2.4 ghz

3.0gb RAM

ATI mobility radeon 3400 series built-in

I am trying to get my vidock 4 with a Ati radeon 6770 running through a pci express slot, but am stuck with the (code12) allocation issue. I've already purchased the DIY eGPU setup1.x software. I've tried to disable the dGPU and run the compaction with no luck. I'm kinda lost and not sure what I'm doing. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My bios is very limited doesn't give me any options to disable the internal gpu. It won't even boot unless the card is unplugged. Just trying to get it to display on my tv I could care less about the stock LCD. Please any help would be much appreciated. Villagetronic will not answer my emails.

I removed 1 gb of RAM and now it boots without errors but still can't figure out how to disable the internal display and use the vidock as the primary card on an external display. So lost would really appreciate some advice.

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Thanks nando.

On another note, would anyone know about HP expansion port 3? I know it is used for HP's docking/expansion ports, but what bandwidth does it have, and is it possible to attach a pci-e adapter to it. Also, I noticed that the IEEE/Esata ports on my laptops are connected via pci-e ports. Is it possible to get a IEEE to mini pci-e or Esata to mini pci-e? Maybe even desolder the board and attach a mini-pcie slot?

It's technically feasible, but nobody in this forum or it's predecessor has gone ahead and soldered a mPCIe slot in place of an existing device so as to achieve x2 mode. I'm of the opinion that the complexity, time and effort involved outweighs the gain given how notebook prices have fallen dramatically. I'd suggest grabbing a s/hDell Vostro 3550/3750, Lenovo E520 or HP Probook 4530s/4730s instead to gain the equivalent bandwidth using only a single cable (x1 2.0 = x2 1.0).

Hey Tech Inferno Fan, been thinking a lot during the holiday regarding setting up an eGPU for my W520 (see details in sig) to max out my Starcraft 2 settings on my internal screen with nVidia Optimus. Since I want it as cheap as possible, I was looking into a GTX 650 2GB for around $80 (performs slightly under the regular GTX 460 but at 1/3-1/2 the power at a similar price point), which would be more than sufficient for my purposes (>60 FPS at Extreme settings, which is max settings for everything in SC2). Techpowerup says the max power draw is 50-60W, so I was perusing your previous post (DIY eGPU experiences - Page 30) regarding the HD5750/HD5770 installation using 12V/120W AC adapter.

I was thinking $80 (GPU) + $70 (PE4L 2.1b Expresscard w/ EC2C) + $15 (120W universal PSU) would be a pretty good value setup with a very small footprint and low noise/heat/power consumption. Would you recommend any changes to this plan? As for hardware assembly, I see that you connected the barrel end of the PSU to the PE4L input jack and the cable to the expresscard but since the PCIe slot should have enough power (75W), would I even need the floppy molex output (and PCIe to molex adapter and molex splitter)? If so, where do I connect these to? Also, any suggestions on a case/enclosure for this small unit?

Image of the GTX 650 that I'm thinking of getting: http://www.pureoverclock.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/gigabyte_gtx650ti_9.jpg

Yes, the configuration you suggest is entirely doable. My only concern is if your DC adapter only provides 12V rather than 12V+5V as outlined at the bottom of this post. A modded XBOX360 PSU could supply 12V+5V or there are universal DC adapters that do the same. You'd provide the 5V via the floppy molex lead.

I removed 1 gb of RAM and now it boots without errors but still can't figure out how to disable the internal display and use the vidock as the primary card on an external display. So lost would really appreciate some advice.

Villagetronic support is here. You paid a premium for that product so are entitled to the vendor support with it. If you get nowhere there then may I suggest seeking a refund via their return policy, Paypal buyer protection or visa insurance to purchase a PE4L-2.1b instead.

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Yes, the configuration you suggest is entirely doable. My only concern is if your DC adapter only provides 12V rather than 12V+5V as outlined at the bottom of this post. A modded XBOX360 PSU could supply 12V+5V or there are universal DC adapters that do the same. You'd provide the 5V via the floppy molex lead.

Can you explain the power supply demands needed for eGPU? The GTX 650 has maximum draw of 60W, so using a 12V PSU, we need at least 5A. What exactly is the 5V used for? How can you tell if my GPU will have enough power from the 12V rail alone?

In your link, is this correct? To power the 6 pin PCIe, there is a 6 pin PCIe to the dual 4 pin molex. Do I connect that to the M-2F molex splitter then that splitter to the floppy molex lead?

I can't seem to find a suitable wattage 12V+5V PSU on ebay, maybe I'm not searching for the correct product. From what I've found, I'd have to add either of these products to the 120W PSU (12V @ 10A):

12V 5V AC Adapter Power Supply for Hard Disk Drive Enclosure Black N98B | eBay (5V @ 2A, would I plug this in to the splitter then directly to the 6 pin PCIe power connector?)

or the 120W picoPSU (supplies 12V @ 7A + 5V @ 6A)

Would that be sufficient power? How much extra should I go above the power requirements in order to have a nice buffer zone? The second product seems to be costlier but provides less clutter (only 1 plug to the wall adapter and 1 external PSU).

edit: Today I found a deal and picked up a 650 Ti for the same price as the 650. Techpowerup says has 94W maximum (vs. 64W with the 650), so I guess I'll need that 6 pin PCIe power. What kind of power supply should I look for now? Would 12V @ 8A (96W) not be enough headroom?

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Villagetronic support is here. You paid a premium for that product so are entitled to the vendor support with it. If you get nowhere there then may I suggest seeking a refund via their return policy, Paypal buyer protection or visa insurance to purchase a PE4L-2.1b instead.

You really hate that company I have come to notice trying to research about my issue. I purchased setup1.x so I have helped the community somewhat. I am lost with using that program tho. Would you be willing to help me if i paid you directly? I know I won't get help with the support from villagetronic. I have tried and tried to contact them about a return and help I have gotten nowhere. If I would have researched more I wouldn't have gone that route but it seem like it was plug and play. It seemed so simple. I know you probably refuse to help ppl like me but I would appreciate it if you could make an exception this time. It's the holiday spirit! I shouldn't have mentioned vidock at all lol.

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You really hate that company I have come to notice trying to research about my issue. I purchased setup1.x so I have helped the community somewhat. I am lost with using that program tho. Would you be willing to help me if i paid you directly? I know I won't get help with the support from villagetronic. I have tried and tried to contact them about a return and help I have gotten nowhere. If I would have researched more I wouldn't have gone that route but it seem like it was plug and play. It seemed so simple. I know you probably refuse to help ppl like me but I would appreciate it if you could make an exception this time. It's the holiday spirit! I shouldn't have mentioned vidock at all lol.

If you're on win7, have you tried using windows screen resolution settings to turn off the monitor to your dgpu and only have the egpu display on? I don't see any point in turning off your dgpu since you're planning to run all your stuff on your egpu display. I think when you do that your egpu will be the only one processing that data.

- - - Updated - - -

It's technically feasible, but nobody in this forum or it's predecessor has gone ahead and soldered a mPCIe slot in place of an existing device so as to achieve x2 mode. I'm of the opinion that the complexity, time and effort involved outweighs the gain given how notebook prices have fallen dramatically. I'd suggest grabbing a s/hDell Vostro 3550/3750, Lenovo E520 or HP Probook 4530s/4730s instead to gain the equivalent bandwidth using only a single cable (x1 2.0 = x2 1.0).

Thanks nando. It was just something I might want to mess around with when I change laptops. Thanks for all your help. I was able to get a HD6950 running on the pe4h using DSDT method. Even on 1x it is a ton better than my dgpu (gt 230m).

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If you're on win7, have you tried using windows screen resolution settings to turn off the monitor to your dgpu and only have the egpu display on? I don't see any point in turning off your dgpu since you're planning to run all your stuff on your egpu display. I think when you do that your egpu will be the only one processing that data.
I'm on windows vista and it automatically uses the native display and dgpu. Even with them both found in device manager with no errors I cannot figure out how to get my eGPU to actually be used. If I disable the dgpu in windows it only reverts to a standard vga display and continues using it anyways. Thank you very much for the reply and advice I'm willing to try anything now been working on getting this working for the past week with no luck. Villagetronic hasn't replied in over 3 days now. :/ I'm so anxious to get this thing working. One plus is that the payment to them still hasn't come out of my account lol. Any other ideas? I'm open to anything. Whoever can help me ill Paypal them some cash :).

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Search T420 in the first post of the DIY eGPU experiences. I found 4 references of it. One user has a T420 running a GTX 460 and there are some specific notes regarding your laptop.

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Hey y'all - I found some really nice looking enclosures... They run around $70 to $80, but they are very portable and I think expensive because of low-quantity production. I was thinking that if we requested, maybe, 10 identical cases, they might cut a deal for customized (i.e. specified dimensions) cases. Any one interested in these?

clearPC

Model not included...

photo19.jpg

post-8034-14494994089544_thumb.jpg

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@Smorejohn, is your external monitor connected to your egpu and not through the vga adapter on your laptop. From what i've read on this forum only Nvidia is able have the egpu feedback into the on board monitor. If you want your radeon to have this capability you'll have to use DIY eGPU experiences - Page 51. Look at the pre-purchase FAQ # 4 for more info on this.

If your external monitor is connected to your egpu then when you disable the dgpu both screen should be off or at least your external monitor. Like i mentioned before, if your running things on the monitor that is attached to the egpu, the epgu should be doing the data process for it. This was the case for my gt 230M dgp and gt 650 egpu. The Nvidia control panel showed both of my graphics card with their respective monitors.

If you're unsure post pictures of your physical setup.

@M-Low, if you have access to a laser cutter, or a hobby shop with a laser cutter. You could probably make a box with rounded edges that can be designed to meet your epgu setup. Acrylic is easily cut, even by hand. There are many ways that you can bond the pieces together. And all of this will probably cost less than those boxes. You can buy acrylic from McMaster.com or look on google for your local providers, often times if you're just making a box, they will cut the pieces to size for you and all you'll have to do is "glue" them together.

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@Smorejohn, is your external monitor connected to your egpu and not through the vga adapter on your laptop. From what i've read on this forum only Nvidia is able have the egpu feedback into the on board monitor. If you want your radeon to have this capability you'll have to use DIY eGPU experiences - Page 51. Look at the pre-purchase FAQ # 4 for more info on this.

If your external monitor is connected to your egpu then when you disable the dgpu both screen should be off or at least your external monitor. Like i mentioned before, if your running things on the monitor that is attached to the egpu, the epgu should be doing the data process for it. This was the case for my gt 230M dgp and gt 650 egpu. The Nvidia control panel showed both of my graphics card with their respective monitors.

If you're unsure post pictures of your physical setup.

I have my external monitor connected via hdmi to the hdtv. No errors on either cards with current drivers. Problem is that it automatically boots using the internal display even when disabled in device manager. When i go display settings during this it shows default monitor on ....... Nothing. As seen in picture, but obviously still using the native display. Im stumped on how to utilize the egpu. Ive tried setup 1.x and it freezes when trying to turn dgpu off. I wanted to try and use compaction to run my original 3gb of ram without the code12 issue but no luck there either. Computer wont turn on with egpu connected with 3gb of ram. Turns on fine once i remove 1gb. I could care less about that right now. I just wanna get this thing actually working first. Thanks buzz for the help really really appreciate it. Here is a pic of the setup connected via hdmi to the tv.

post-8483-14494994090789_thumb.jpg

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I don't have anything more to offer at this point. I would suggest returning the vidock if you can't get any support from them. The vidock does not just have a pe4h/pe4l chip, it also has a micro controller/other hardware that might need to be configured or troubleshoot to work. Because of this it'll be hard for someone who doesn't have access to that information to help you.

Try upgrading to windows 7 if possible, the monitor management is a lot better and might take care of the issue. Otherwise look into win xp monitor managment and see if there are some restrictions or settings that needs to be modified to allow the epgu to work. From the looks of it, it is detected, but not utilized. This guy has the same issue

, try the suggestions in the comments.

For the memory issue, try the DSDT fix. I tired using setup 1.x to do the compaction and all went fine, but windows always failed to boot. Now its working fine. Also, its probably not a good idea to have your computer start up using the egpu, unless you're going to have it in this setup all the time. Your computer might not boot up unless the egpu is plugged in. And if you're going to have it act as a permanent desktop, just invest in an actual desktop. You can build a good gaming rig for %500-$1000.

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I don't have anything more to offer at this point. I would suggest returning the vidock if you can't get any support from them. The vidock does not just have a pe4h/pe4l chip, it also has a micro controller/other hardware that might need to be configured or troubleshoot to work. Because of this it'll be hard for someone who doesn't have access to that information to help you.

Try upgrading to windows 7 if possible, the monitor management is a lot better and might take care of the issue. Otherwise look into win xp monitor managment and see if there are some restrictions or settings that needs to be modified to allow the epgu to work. From the looks of it, it is detected, but not utilized. This guy has the same issue

, try the suggestions in the comments.

For the memory issue, try the DSDT fix. I tired using setup 1.x to do the compaction and all went fine, but windows always failed to boot. Now its working fine. Also, its probably not a good idea to have your computer start up using the egpu, unless you're going to have it in this setup all the time. Your computer might not boot up unless the egpu is plugged in. And if you're going to have it act as a permanent desktop, just invest in an actual desktop. You can build a good gaming rig for %500-$1000.

Windows 7 was going to be my next attempt. Even if that doesn't work I wanted to upgrade anyways. I ordered a copy from amazon should be here tomorrow actually. So we'll see how that goes. Again, thank you very much for your input. You ran the dsdt fix and were successful? I'll have to search that then. 2gb is lame.

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Hey folks,

I apologize in advance for the inexperience that should be evident in this post. I've been trying to follow the various eGPU threads in this forum and NBR, and information is just so spread out and there's a lot of questions that aren't answered in FAQs, so I wanted to just make a brief post before I put down a bunch of money to make sure that my understanding of everything is correct.

My overall goal is to get rid of my desktop computer (Shuttle XPC w/ Core i7 880) and my laptop (13" MBA 2011) and have a single system that I can use for work (I'm in IT technical sales) and play (I do a lot of PC gaming at home). After lots of research, I think I've figured out that unless I wait for Haswell the best machine I can get is the Lenovo Thinkpad T430s. It's less than 4 pounds, has an optical drive, has good docking station options, and has both ExpressCard and Thunderbolt for eGPU capability. It's also "business appropriate" so I can bring it to customer presentations and such without raising suspicion.

My plan is to take my AMD Radeon 6850 out of my desktop, connect it to a TH05 (still not sure what to do around enclosure/PSU stuff but I'll hopefully get that all figured out), and use that for my eGPU with the Thunderbolt port. Then I can come home, plop the laptop in the dock, connect the Thunderbolt cable, and be off to the races.

I just have a couple questions regarding the TH05 that I'm not sure have been answered. I've read the threads about doing this on a Mac, and I've also read threads about using ExpressCard in older Thinkpads, but here's what I'm wondering:

  1. Will the solution be plug-and-play? Can I bring the laptop home, put it in the dock, bring it out of Standby, and suddenly the eGPU works? Or will I need to reboot? There was some mention of it being like this on Macs with EFI Windows 8, but what about BIOS Windows7 or 8?
  2. Since it's Thunderbolt, will I encounter any TOLUD/DSDT issues? I've seen some other folks mention that the T430s has a lower TOLUD, and I'd like to avoid the reboots and such associated with Setup 1.1x as much as possible.
  3. I know the TH05 is only 2x 2.0 lanes, but since its higher bandwidth does that means the AMD cards will perform similarly to NVidia cards with 1.2Opt?

Appreciate the clarifications on any of this. I'm hoping that if everything looks good I'll move forward with getting the various parts in January and I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.

Look at 7870 performance below:

http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/2109-diy-egpu-experiences-%5Bversion-2-0%5D-20.html#post30509

The 7870 outperforms the similarly powerful 660 on just an x1.2 link, and that's with optimus running. In the old x2 benchmarks, a x2.1 ATI card had a hard time vs an equally powerful x1.1opt Nvidia card, let alone a x1.2opt Nvidia card. Judging by Nando's results above, it looks like AMD recently added PCI-E compression. I know little about this except for what I'm seeing in benchmark results, and Nando could probably add more since he has access to a 7870. Maybe only the 7k series benefits while your 6k would not, I don't know. Either way, x2.2 from thunderbolt is a decent chunk of bandwidth, and will perform well even if there is link compression or not.

In regards to plug and play and TOLUD, I am not aware of any reason for thunderbolt to be more problematic than a strait PCI-E connection through mpci-e or expresscard.

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