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About jimmyco2008

  • Birthday 05/22/1995

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  1. Am I reading this correctly... You can use an (AMD) eGPU to power the internal display if your MacBook has an M370X dGPU?
  2. I'm just wondering if there will be support for TB2 laptops... My MacBook has 2 TB2 ports, which add up to equal 1 TB3 port's bandwidth, perhaps an adapter will come out that would allow one of these eGPU enclosures to use both TB ports.. Or at the very least, support TB2.
  3. The results are in (spoiler: no-go): The proprietary PCIe x8 card came out easily (without having to remove the PSU fortunately) and the ASRock PCIe x4 Thunderbolt card took its place easily. Unfortunately, the GA refused to power on at all (via the PSU reset button that normally forces the fans to spin) when the Thunderbolt card was in the x8 slot. Here are some configurations where it would and would not power on: x8: Thunderbolt PCIe x4 card x16: Nothing Power?: No x8: Nothing x16: Thunderbolt PCIe card Power?: Yes x8: Thunderbolt PCIe x4 card x16: nVidia GT 620 x16 GPU Power?: No x8: the proprietary x8 card x16: nVidia GT 620 x16 GPU Power?: Yes It also did not matter if the Thunderbolt cable was plugged into the ASRock x4 card or not. I may throw the Alienware Graphics Amplifier up on the "for sale" part of this site, I can't see a use for it, although it doesn't appear to be able to accommodate the guts of any of the Thunderbolt expansion boxes out on the market. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask! https://jatsby.com/echo/eGPU/xSetup1.jpg https://jatsby.com/echo/eGPU/xSetup2.jpg https://jatsby.com/echo/eGPU/xSetup3.jpg https://jatsby.com/echo/eGPU/xPropFront.jpg http://jatsby.com/echo/eGPU/xPropBack.jpg http://jatsby.com/echo/eGPU/xASRockFront.jpg
  4. I emailed [email protected], and they said they aren't allowed to sell any of the components by themselves as part of their licensing agreement with Intel. I'm not sure it's worth it at $130 (GA) + $180 (Akitio Thunder 2) + cost of GPU = ~$550, that's essentially a new computer built from parts (not high-end obviously), but for those looking at the GA for a quick and easy way to get their graphics card working with the Akitio Thunder II without taking a hammer to the Akitio's case/other case modding to get the GPU to fit and the PSU to be in any way secure and not just sitting on a desk... the Alienware GA could be a great option. It may be as simple as replacing the default Alienware proprietary PCIe x8 card with the Thunderbolt to PCIe card from the Akitio or a similar Thunderbolt expansion box, or one may have to remove all of Alienware's tech completely and attempt to squeeze in the guts of the Akitio... But from the looks of it, the GA can only accommodate a PCB that's about 4-5 inches wide with the PSU in it. I hope to provide measurements of the GA regarding clearance for modding purposes in the near-future. One thing I did notice with the internal components of the Akitio Thunder 2 and others like it is there's always power going to the Thunderbolt PCIe card, whether it's Molex or some other connector. I'm thinking they serve the same purpose as the 5-pin header on desktop-class PCIe x4 Thunderbolt 2 cards in which case what I'm trying to do more than likely won't work unless I find a way to provide the proper voltage to those 5 pins, and that sounds like something I can and will screw up. EDIT: Just realized that in the case of the Akitio (and probably its competitors), the reason there needs to be a dedicated power cable to the Thunderbolt PCIe card is because it doesn't receive power via the x4 slot, unlike the GA's, which does. There's hope.
  5. Intro The Alienware Graphics Amplifier- Probably the best implementation of an eGPU enclosure that has ever existed, and at about $130 "like new" on eBay, it's a bargain compared to other PCIe enclosures like the Akitio Thunder 2 and Sonnet Echo Express, especially when you consider it comes with a 460-watt PSU (and two 6-pin PCIe connectors that can separate to two 4-pin connectors). Fantastic. Obviously, though, it uses a proprietary Alienware PCIe port, making is just about useless to people like us who, if we had Alienware computers, probably wouldn't need an eGPU in the first place. I was curious how the Alienware GA did its magic, I figured it couldn't be all that different from how the Akitio Thunder 2 and others like it do their Thunderbolt-to-PCIe thing. So I scoured the Internet for some high-res pics of the inside of the GA, and finally found some. Similar, indeed, it has inside it a simple PCB with two PCIe slots: 1 PCIe x8 (which is backwards!) for the proprietary port and 4 USB 3.0 ports, and 1 PCIe x16 slot for a full-length, full-height, double-width GPU. I finally got the GA in the mail today, so I could look at the circuits up-close and see just how proprietary that x8 card with the proprietary port is. From what I can tell, not very. The circuits (sorry if this isn't the official term, but the lines you can see on the board running from component to component) from the proprietary port run mostly to the PCIe x8 slot, where they then go over to the PCIe x16 slot. Both slots, by the way, receive power directly from the ATX connector from the PSU, so in the case of the x16 slot, you have some circuits running to the ATX connector and the rest going straight to the x8 slot. My thinking is that the purposes of the x8 card are to, aside from doing a pass-through of the PCIe connection to an Alienware laptop, control the power state of the GA (turn it on and off) and of course control the USB 3.0 hub (that's what most of the ICs on the board appear to be for). I'm assuming that if the detection method for the proprietary connector is anything, anything of substance, it is something we will have to work around when we take that proprietary x8 card out. Fortunately, it may be possible to simply tape down the power supply's reset button which, if one holds it down, causes the GA to essentially power on- the fan in the PSU spins, as does the fan in the front of the GA. The Alienware logo on the front, however, does not turn on, so I'm thinking that's controlled by the x8 card as well. The Plan So I mentioned earlier that I will be replacing that proprietary x8 card, and you may guess with a Thunderbolt to PCIe x4 card. There's another thread here on "https://jatsby.com/echo/eGPU/Thunderbolt%202%20AIC.pdf"]ASRock Thunder II Manual
  6. I see. I wasn't aware of the drag-and-drop method, but it certainly makes sense. I'm exploring eGPUs in general and will probably be posting in a new thread about what I've found.
  7. Thanks for that, I actually already saw it... I should have added to my post "Can this be done *without* Lucidlogix Virtu?" It strikes me as sketchy. Like that software that converts DVDs to "whatever format you want". Why do I have to pay for that? It's like if they charged $35 for rEFInd or rEFIt. If all we have to do is use AMD GPUs, I would much rather that than use this software. Has anyone tried using an AMD GPU with their M370X MacBook?.. Or M395X iMac?
  8. NVidia has Optimus, but AMD has "Switchable Graphics" (Configuring NVIDIA Optimus and AMD Switchable Graphics for High Performance on your Alienware System | Dell US). Is it possible that, if I pair the M370X with an AMD-based eGPU, I can achieve the same effect regarding using the most-powerful GPU available with the internal Retina Display? Has anyone tried? I know NVidia's generally "better", but I would go AMD in a heartbeat if it meant being able to use the eGPU with the Retina Display. EDIT: This may also be of interest: AMD Hybrid Graphics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Hybrid_Graphics EDIT2: Actually it looks like Switchable Graphics is exactly what we want http://support.amd.com/en-us/search/faq/66 A problem we may have to address is how we can't download and install the latest Catalyst Control Center from AMD's website, we have to get ours through Apple/BootCamp Drivers, which come about twice a year and seem to provide a limited version of CCC...
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