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System specs: Chipset: AMD Torpedo APU: AMD A8-3500M w/ Radeon HD 6620G graphics RAM: 8Gb dual channel Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600Mhz (limited to 1333Mhz by hardware) SSD: Drevo X1 Pro 128Gb SSD HDD (in optical bay): Seagate 750Gb 7200rpm OS: Windows 10 Pro Additional purchases for eGPU purposes: GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Boost edition 3Gb DDR5 eGPU interface: EXP GDC Beast v8.4d PSU: ACE Artic Blue 750W PSU Display: 32" LG FHD TV w/ HDMI input (had spare) My steps: 1. Remove wifi card from mPCI-e slot on motherboard (behind central cover on underside of laptop) and wrap antenna ufl connectors in tape to prevent shorts. Place these out of the way. 2. Insert mPCI-e to HDMI cable into x1 slot (where you just removed wifi card from) on motherboard and secure with screw. 3. Remove case from EXP GDC Beast and switch power selections switch (the one closest to the edge) to ATX power. Reassemble EXP GDC Beast. 4. Connect HDMI end of cable from laptop to HDMI port on EXP GDC Beast. 5. Using supplied cable for EXP GDC Beast; connect the 20 pin and 4 pin to equivalent outputs on the PSU. Connect other end to the 8 pin input socket on the EXP GDC Beast. 6. Insert GPU into EXP GDC Beast and supply power from the PSU via 2x 6 pin connectors to the GPU. Connect GPU to display using regular HDMI cable. 7. Plug both laptop and PSU into mains electricity and power on the PSU - EXP GDC Beast should light up (green in my case) and GPU fans should start to idle. Also power on external display and ensure it is set to correct input. 8. Turn on laptop. Windows should boot normally. In my case Windows detected and downloaded drivers automatically for the HD7950, albeit not the most recent ones. 9. After a required restart the external display should now be working and Windows had automatically installed Radeon Settings for me. The internal display's resolution will now be all screwed up. 10. To prevent a black display on both internal and external with just mouse cursor - with eGPU powered off start laptop and in device manager navigate to 'Display adapters' and right click > uninstall on the Radeon HD 6620G (inbuilt graphics). 11. Prevent Windows from automatically downloading drivers for devices (Google the process) to prevent the uninstalled inbuilt graphics drivers from reinstalling. Shutdown. 12. With eGPU powered; turn on laptop and navigate to AMD's driver update site (internet will now have to be got to via ethernet port or using USB tethering on mobile phone). Do not download the 'Automatic Detect' tool. Use the manual search function and download the latest driver for your GPU and OS (~530Mb). 13. Attempt to run the .exe - it will extract all the required files to a directory, make a note of this location, and then it will attempt to install the drivers but will fail with 'Error 174: Unexpected configuration' or something along those lines. This is fine, cancel out of the installer. 14. Back in device manager; right click GPU under 'display adapters' and select 'update'. Opt to install manually and browse to the top level 'AMD' folder where everything extracted to before and let Windows search for the latest driver in there. This will update drivers to their latest version. 15. To use the latest version of Radeon Settings that came with the ~530Mb download; uninstall the old version in the usual Windows way and in Explorer, navigate to the AMD folder again and in the search box at the top right of the window type "cnext". Run cnext.exe (or cnext64.exe if appropriate) when the search has finished and this will be the version that starts with Windows from here on in. And that is it! Really simple, no setup1.x required, no extending 32 bit space, no chainloading GPU-z confirms that the mPCI-e interface is running @ x1 2.0 which is good news also. I have also purchased a x1 PCI-e 15cm extension which is basically a riser connected via a ribbon cable to a x1 PCI-e connector which I have ran through the chassis and secured the riser to the outer edge of the laptop where the optical drive used to be (since this has been replaced by a HDD caddy). Since I need the laptop to still remain portable this prevents me from having to have fragile cable hanging out the bottom of my laptop when I'm on the move. Additionally I have purchased a midi-ATX desktop tower to contain the EXP GDC Beast, GPU, PSU and cabling. Space was not a concern for me with this build, price was my main concern, and this case looks smart, has additional cooling and was cheap so suited my requirements. It also gives me a platform on which to build a desktop gaming rig down the line as and when I can afford to buy parts, at which point I will return my laptop to it's standard form. I have successfully played BF4 on ultra settings (but with textures set to lowest setting to help with bandwidth bottlenecking) @ 1080p for 3 hours straight with no issues. I have done similar with FarCry Primal but had to reduce resolution to 720p to get a solid 60fps. Seems bullet proof so far! If you have any questions or want me to run any tests or benchmarks then please let me know.
Hi Everyone, So I am having some issue with my GPUS's at the moment. I have 2 Gigabyte HD7950 Windforces in crossfire and I keep having issues playing some games. (By issues I mean the game wont run etc. or just black screen) I am able to solve the issue by disabling crossfire in catalyst, but I don't really want to just have one card running right? Anyway I looked deeper and noted that one card has the F2 BIOS and the other has the FZ1. My question is could this be the issue, and even if it isn't how do I flash the card so they both have FZ1 or the latest version? Cheers guys,
Nando asked me to make a thread after I got my eGPU working so here it is. I'll be updating it later with pictures and more info, including more benchmarks. Components 15" Lenovo W530 (Nvidia Quadro K1000m, Intel HD 4000, i7 3740qm 2.7Ghz) PE4L-EC060A 2.1b Expresscard-to-PCIe adapter Sapphire HD 7950 video card @x1 2.0 (Gen2) expresscard bandwidth Corsair CX600 as a PSU cheap Rosewill Mini ATX case as an enclosure Win8/64-bit/Win7/64-bit (Dual boot, works with both) Installation Win8: The software part was a pain but I figured it out so you don't have to. After getting all the hardware working, I went into device manager and disabled the Quadro GPU. I then rebooted, and plugged in the 7950 while the laptop was off. I made sure that Windows didn't automatically install drivers for it. Then I downloaded the latest WHQL drivers for my card, rebooted, opened device manager and disabled the Intel HD4000 graphics. To switch back to either iGPU or dGPU, turn off laptop, unplug 7950, reboot and open device manager. Enable either dGPU or iGPU.You may have to go into BIOS and choose which GPU to use. (I need the Quadro for Solidworks when I'm not using my 7950, so that part is important.) Anyway, that's it. Win7: Same as above, except both GPUs need to be enabled at startup to work properly. An interesting note, on Win7 I can have my Nvidia dGPU running my laptop screen and my AMD eGPU running my external screen at the same time. On Win8 it's one or the other. Benchmarks My card is overclocked to 1150/1600, but I've only run a few benchmarks. Metro LL scores me at 37.4 fps average. For comparison, I saw that similarly overclocked 7950's scored about 40 fps average in a desktop, so performance loss is not as much as I thought it would be. These benches had two purposes, one for the info, and two, to show me that my overclock is 100% stable. Overall I must say, I'm very pleased with performance. I saw some of my scores around those of 680 eGPUs. Summary for comparison against existing implementations being: DX9: 3dmark06=22138 DX10: 3dmkvantage.gpu=28265 DX11: 3dmk11.gpu=8753 DirectX9 DirectX10 DirectX11 Metro:LL benchmark Unigine Heaven 4.0 Here is a screenshot of somebody else's 7950 at the exact same clocks that ran the same benchmark (Heaven 4.0 DX11 maxxed). My score was lower, it was exactly 82.6% of the performance as the desktop counterpart. This goes to show that bandwidth benchmark is about what was expected (~80%, I'm sure more tests would show a bit more variance). GPUZ screenshot showing my overclock, max temps, etc. I actually overloaded my PSU on that run, it's a CX600 with only 46A on the 12v rail but when gaming it doesn't exceed 45A Pictures This is my setup A closer look inside PE4L 2.1b