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eGPU experiences [version 2.0]

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Congrats on the 2570P. The most potent, yet represented, ultraportable with superb build quality on the market. Underrepresentation making it a steal on ebay compared to overrepresented yet (imho) inferior X230 units.

Yes, Setup 1.x can alter the expresscard link to Gen1 or Gen2 speed. It does exactly the same thing as changing the BIOS setting does.

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Ok, thats fantastic! Ive already got the rest of the setup for my DIY EGPU, but I was worried that I was going to be in trouble with my purchase of the 2570p (as apparently if I cant get hold of the password, the likelihood of me accessing the bios is pretty slim short of getting a new motherboard or cmos chip...)

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In fact my setup appears to be very similar to yours - GTX 660 TI, 2570p (i7 3520m), 8gb, 128 gb SSD, so I'm hoping it will perform well once I;ve sorted the PCI gen speed issue out.

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(Got line breaks working-- looks like IE10 is just stupid. Chrome works.)

Would a DSDT override be the right choice? It seems to me that his issues stemmed from using 16GB of RAM. Everywhere else I've looked agrees that issues should only arise with greater than 8GB, and that's what I'm using, so I shouldn't be having issues. Anyway, I'm not getting the "error 12" which would indicate memory problems. Or am I simply wrong about what a DSDT override *does*? The final post in that thread mentions people having similar issues while running off of an mSATA SSD (like me) being fixed by a BIOS update. I'm currently using the latest BIOS (2.54) and I'm still having issues. Finally the power supply I'm using shouldn't be problematic at all. It's a nice, 500W, modular Corsair-- if anything, it's overkill for what I'm using it for.

I installed GPU-Z to see what it thought of this. Like in Device Manger, it's detected-- it just doesn't work. It's missing readings for things like BIOS version, GPU speed, and memory. I'm going to keep troubleshooting (I found a few promising threads related to the X220) and update if I find anything. Thanks for your help regardless of my success.

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My last post, probably. I posted that because I was about to restart and try setting "ExpressCard" to Generation 1 RATHER THAN Automatic, as the OP of the Partial Success thread suggested (I read someone suggesting this in an X220 thread. Go figure.) I booted up and it works! External monitor and everything. I haven't run any intense benchmarks yet to figure out how WELL it's working, but I did run FurMark before and after. FurMark on iGPU at 1280x720 and 8x MSAA runs at about 2FPS. NOW it runs at about 20FPS! Considering FurMark is a stress test, I think this bodes well for gaming. I'm thrilled! Thanks for your help one last time. I appreciate it.

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Did some testing with games. The performance is odd. In high end games, I can play at higher settings than before (like Rift at ultra instead of low),but in low end games, my framerate is a bit lower-- usually capped pretty hart at 20 to 40 FPS. I think this is a bandwidth issue. The graphics card can process stuff fine but because of the low bandwidth it's constrained to only 30 or so FPS (depending on the game.) Could this be an issue with the PE4H, the cable, or simply the software setting I changed to constrain ExpressCard to Generation 1? It's not a big deal but it would be nice to have higher bandwidth so I could play games at higher FPS. Right now I'm happy enough since this lets me play games at very high settings (when on the iGPU I might not be able to play the game at all), but it would be nice if the limit were closer to 60 FPS rather than 30.

If you're running a PE4H then your issues are most likely due to only running PCIe 1.0, so you'll be bandwidth starved (especially using the internal screen). The PE4H is only 1.0 compatible with the flat cable. Some fixes from back in the day were to set vsync or use frame limiting to whatever seems smoothest, perhaps start with 30 and go up from there. The discussion from back then was that the GPU tried to draw a bunch of frames really fast and the pipe couldn't keep up.

HWTools supposedly has a brand new (circular) detachable cable that works with PCIe 2.0, they sent one or two to Nando and he should be testing those shortly. If that's the case, that'll be a nice change for egpu users, especially those with using a mini-pcie connection. If it truly is 2.0 compatible, grab one of those and it should run like a dream. If not, your next best bet is a PE4L 2.1 with soldered connections.

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How much of a difference does PCIE Gen 2 make over Gen 1? In the brief testing I've done with my setup so far I've noticed very slight microstutters in one game with otherwise very good performance, but almost unplayable frame stuttering in another... Is the change to Gen 2 likely to sort these issues out?

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I was also wondering what your opinion is regarding the use of Windows 8 over Windows 7? I'm currently running Windows 8 and dont seem to have had any problems getting the card recognised, but I just wanted to be sure that there arent any issues I should be aware of (Most of the commentary on the EGPU thread relates to Windows 7, so I wasnt sure).

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If you're running a PE4H then your issues are most likely due to only running PCIe 1.0, so you'll be bandwidth starved (especially using the internal screen). The PE4H is only 1.0 compatible with the flat cable. Some fixes from back in the day were to set vsync or use frame limiting to whatever seems smoothest, perhaps start with 30 and go up from there. The discussion from back then was that the GPU tried to draw a bunch of frames really fast and the pipe couldn't keep up.

HWTools supposedly has a brand new (circular) detachable cable that works with PCIe 2.0, they sent one or two to Nando and he should be testing those shortly. If that's the case, that'll be a nice change for egpu users, especially those with using a mini-pcie connection. If it truly is 2.0 compatible, grab one of those and it should run like a dream. If not, your next best bet is a PE4L 2.1 with soldered connections.

The BIOS setting that I changed to fix this had a small description. It basically said that older ExpressCard devices may have issues plugged into an EC 2.0 slot, so to prevent these issues, you can limit the slot to EC 1.0. Perhaps the reason I was having issues is that my PE4H and flat cable were limited to 1.0 speeds. Do you know what HWTools's return policy is, or if there's any other place (like one stateside, without an $18 shipping fee) I could get the cable? I'd be happy to give this a try but $40 is kind of steep if there's no chance of returning it if it doesn't work. I feel like it should though. The guy in the Partial Success thread was using a PE4L 2.1 (with soldered connections), which is rated at EC 2.0. I guess that's the reason he had it set to automatic. Doesn't that make sense?

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Is there any way to check whether or not optimus compression is enabled? Is that also a setting I might have to have enabled in the bios and would Setup 1.x be able to achieve this?

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How much of a difference does PCIE Gen 2 make over Gen 1? In the brief testing I've done with my setup so far I've noticed very slight microstutters in one game with otherwise very good performance, but almost unplayable frame stuttering in another... Is the change to Gen 2 likely to sort these issues out?

- - - Updated - - -

I was also wondering what your opinion is regarding the use of Windows 8 over Windows 7? I'm currently running Windows 8 and dont seem to have had any problems getting the card recognised, but I just wanted to be sure that there arent any issues I should be aware of (Most of the commentary on the EGPU thread relates to Windows 7, so I wasnt sure).

Try Khenglish's microstutter FPS cap tweak as described here. Gen2 link speed is definitely worth getting. Biggest benefit will be the internal LCD mode that loves the extra bandwidth. See http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/2747-12-5-dell-e6230-gtx660%40x1-2opt-hd7870%40x1-2-pe4l-ec060a-2-1b.html#post37197

I switched to Win7 because Win8 shows some performance issues and bugs when I was tried. I didn't think it was production ready. Furthermore, the Futuremark benchmarks were also noticably lower with Win8 when compared to Win7, a known issue. Given most of our benchmarks were on Win7 I decided to stay with Win7.

Win8.1 is scheduled for public release this week. Would be worth a look to see if MS have it well sorted.

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The BIOS setting that I changed to fix this had a small description. It basically said that older ExpressCard devices may have issues plugged into an EC 2.0 slot, so to prevent these issues, you can limit the slot to EC 1.0. Perhaps the reason I was having issues is that my PE4H and flat cable were limited to 1.0 speeds. Do you know what HWTools's return policy is, or if there's any other place (like one stateside, without an $18 shipping fee) I could get the cable? I'd be happy to give this a try but $40 is kind of steep if there's no chance of returning it if it doesn't work. I feel like it should though. The guy in the Partial Success thread was using a PE4L 2.1 (with soldered connections), which is rated at EC 2.0. I guess that's the reason he had it set to automatic. Doesn't that make sense?

The new PCIEMM-060B cable is still an unknown and until proven otherwise, it's only the PE4L 2.1b that can run Gen2 speed. BPlus and myself are in the process of validating if the PCIEMM-060B can indeed run Gen2 signals on the PE4H 2.4 (or older) or PE4L 1.5 (or older) with mHDMI connectors. Still awaiting delivery.

Until that happens you might consider offloading your current hardware and just get a PE4L-EC060A 2.1b kits to get a known working solution.

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Hmm, ok I think I'll stick with Win 8 for the time being as long as there arent any serious issues that arise (I had kind of grown to like it on my previous laptop). It seems like going for setup 1.x to sort out the Gen 2 issue really would be worthwhile. So I just send you a PM and make a donation via paypal to receive the file?

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I have tested my PE4L v2.1b (100cm) version with every setting I know.... the adapter can't establish a connection. Even forcing in Gen1 doesn't work... but my old PE4H v2.4a works perfect. ^^ I wrote Bplus Support (Colin) that this can only be a defect... and there is simply no other explanation. Since more than 3 weeks there is no solution... I'm very disappointed of their customer service.

Has anyone ever get an replacement for an defect PE4L? Communication over Email always takes so long... it seems that customers will be ignored if they have hardware based problems. BPlus said to me, they test every adapter before it will be shipped. But the question is... are these tests also so reliable as the tests of the first Gen2-cable for the PE4H? ;)

@Nando: Is there a chance to get an replacement or a refund if I order the new PCIEMM-060B? Do you have any experiences with BPlus's behavior/obligingness?

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I have tested my PE4L v2.1b (100cm) version with every setting I know.... the adapter can't establish a connection. Even forcing in Gen1 doesn't work... but my old PE4H v2.4a works perfect. ^^ I wrote Bplus Support (Colin) that this can only be a defect... and there is simply no other explanation. Since more than 3 weeks there is no solution... I'm very disappointed of their customer service.

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Added to the '>Thunderbolt, MXM, USB 3.0, PCIe 2.0 eGPU update:

6-24-2013: Masaharu testing confirms Gen2 compliance of PCIEMM-060B with Lenovo X220/EC2C

> Did you manage to test the new cables? There's a lot of interest in them *hopefully*

> working at Gen2 speed. I'm of the belief that they won't work at Gen2 speed

> because back in Dec-2011 we tried the PCIEMM-060A with one end having

> a connector and it failed.

At that time, we are very sorry for the failure.

Yes, we tested PE4H + 060B cables in two environments, one is a desktop PC

with HP1A PCIe adapter, the other one is laptop X220 with EC2C ExpressCard adapter.

> From that I concluded that them HDMI connector was causing signal degradation at Gen2 speed.

> Of course, if the PCIEMM-060B has a better mHDMI connector

> on it then maybe that won't happen?

Thank you for your cooperation for testing.

We are not able to guarantee all the environments, however,

we still believe possibility is much higher than before.

[negotiating a test set of PCIEMM-060B test Gen2 link speed with my 2570P]

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So seeing the new Samsung Ativ Q unveiled gave me serious gadget lust, but no Thunderbolt and probably no pcie ports easily accessible would most likely make this a no-go, right? Close, but no cigar I guess.

A shame there's no good solution for USB 3.0.

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Added to the Thunderbolt, MXM, USB 3.0, PCIe 2.0 eGPU update:

6-24-2013: Masaharu testing confirms Gen2 compliance of PCIEMM-060B with Lenovo X220/EC2C

"...
Yes, we tested PE4H + 060B cables in two environments, one is a desktop PC

with HP1A PCIe adapter, the other one is laptop X220 with EC2C ExpressCard adapter.
"

My interpretation of this is that they succeeded to establish a stable GEN2 link over the PCIEMM-060B via express card, is that what you think also?

Ps. Since I have the PCIEMM-060B cable but no PM3N (I got 2xEC instead of one each) I need to find someone that could sell me one for cheap.

PM me if you have one.

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I have a quick question guys!

Right now I am using a GTX 660 with a 203W xbox PSU, but prices are started to fall, and the Ti or 670 models become more tempting upgrades. But will they be fine with the xbox psu? I know that their factory tdp limits is beyond, but if I start to OC them, they might kill it. More so I might reach its reasonable limit with the Ti so, there is not even point to use a 670. On the other hand, the real power consumption of this cards are misteries, because the given max TDP is just a factory number, without much explanation.

So, what is your opinion?

A: Even 670 should be fine with OC?

B: I could safely OC only a Ti until the psu's reasonable power limits.

C: I should not go over the 660 with this psu.

By the way I have not posted my desk and bench yet.

Here is a 3DM11 GPU Score: 6262

Tomorrow I am going to take a shot from the desk too.

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I have a quick question guys!

Right now I am using a GTX 660 with a 203W xbox PSU, but prices are started to fall, and the Ti or 670 models become more tempting upgrades. But will they be fine with the xbox psu? I know that their factory tdp limits is beyond, but if I start to OC them, they might kill it. More so I might reach its reasonable limit with the Ti so, there is not even point to use a 670. On the other hand, the real power consumption of this cards are misteries, because the given max TDP is just a factory number, without much explanation.

So, what is your opinion?

A: Even 670 should be fine with OC?

B: I could safely OC only a Ti until the psu's reasonable power limits.

C: I should not go over the 660 with this psu.

A: I use an XBOX PSU for my ASUS mini GTX 670, the PSU is not even close to warm (even when gaming chivalry/BF3 for hours) so II'm going to test some OC myself.

Check out @MikjoA 's setup, he's been doing a lot of OC with a similar setup.

B: There should be even more room for OC with the Ti, but first run some stress tests without OC to check stability and heat! (check cables/wires/psu/solder points for heat)

C: Sorry, I don't understand that question.

Remember, be careful I don't take any responsibility for any broken hardware. Again speak to @MikjoA for more info!

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My interpretation of this is that they succeeded to establish a stable GEN2 link over the PCIEMM-060B via express card, is that what you think also?

Ps. Since I have the PCIEMM-060B cable but no PM3N (I got 2xEC instead of one each) I need to find someone that could sell me one for cheap.

PM me if you have one.

I think it should work with the PM3N. They claimed to get it working on a desktop with the HP1A PCIe adapter, and since the PM3N is a mini-PCIe adapter, I think there won't be much difference between them. In both cases, they are adapters designed to convert the physical connection. I don't think they are doing anything to the actual signal itself (doing any extra signal translation).

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Does anyone know if when you purchase a Sonnet Echo Pro ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter (PCIe 2.0), does it come with the thunderbolt cable to connect to a macbook pro 13" for example?

According to their website the package contains only the adaptor itself and a quick start guide. In addition, this datasheet says the Thunderbolt cable is not included.

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According to their website the package contains only the adaptor itself and a quick start guide. In addition, this datasheet says the Thunderbolt cable is not included.

I noticed that but common sense tells me that since this is a thunderbolt adapter, it would surely come with a thunderbolt cable in the box so I can actually connect it when I get the thing....

Wow nope, common sense doesn't apply to Sonnet;

"Set up with the adapter is simple—just connect it directly to your computer or at the end of a Thunderbolt device chain with a Thunderbolt cable (not included, sold at the Apple Store)"

Will have to purchase a cable seperately just to be able to use their device...

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I noticed that but common sense tells me that since this is a thunderbolt adapter, it would surely come with a thunderbolt cable in the box so I can actually connect it when I get the thing....

Wow nope, common sense doesn't apply to Sonnet;

"Set up with the adapter is simple—just connect it directly to your computer or at the end of a Thunderbolt device chain with a Thunderbolt cable (not included, sold at the Apple Store)"

Will have to purchase a cable seperately just to be able to use their device...

I'm not terribly surprised. It makes sense with cheap cables like USB, which can be bought for a dollar a meter, but Thunderbolt is pricey. I can't remember exactly why-- something about circuitry at each end of the cable-- but Thunderbolt isn't just some copper wiring bundled with plastic. It's expensive to manufacture, so with "cheaper" products it'd be surprising for cables to be included. It's a bit less excusable with the crazy expensive peripherals, but for a $150 adaptor, I can understand. Sorry anyway.

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$30 for 0.5m so not a big deal....And yes, it seems to actually be expensive/difficult to make because no non-OEM cables exist on ebay for example...

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$30 for 0.5m so not a big deal....And yes, it seems to actually be expensive/difficult to make because no non-OEM cables exist on ebay for example...

I don't know much about thunderbolt but this is a 2m for $20.

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I have tested my PE4L v2.1b (100cm) version with every setting I know.... the adapter can't establish a connection. Even forcing in Gen1 doesn't work... but my old PE4H v2.4a works perfect. ^^ I wrote Bplus Support (Colin) that this can only be a defect... and there is simply no other explanation. Since more than 3 weeks there is no solution... I'm very disappointed of their customer service.

Has anyone ever get an replacement for an defect PE4L? Communication over Email always takes so long... it seems that customers will be ignored if they have hardware based problems. BPlus said to me, they test every adapter before it will be shipped. But the question is... are these tests also so reliable as the tests of the first Gen2-cable for the PE4H? ;)

@Nando: Is there a chance to get an replacement or a refund if I order the new PCIEMM-060B? Do you have any experiences with BPlus's behavior/obligingness?

I alerted my contact at BPlus about your unique circumstances. I'm told the hardware issue is diagnosed with a subsequent refund or purchase incentive offered. I've found the main Taiwanese branch of BPlus (as opposed to the Shanghai branch) to be exceptional at handling customer queries.

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Great! Thank you very much for your help!

They already called me and made me an proposal for replacement. In addition I asked them for purchasing a PCIEMM-060B and shipping it together with the replacement, so one of my friend could use the old PE4H with PCIe 2.0, if this works.

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