Jump to content

Loose-fitting physical HDMI connections causing driver woes and BSoDs

Recommended Posts

So it's a well-known fact that the EXP GDC (all versions), PE4C (v2.1), PE4H (v2.4) and PE4L (v1.5) use some kind of socketted connection to connect itself to the laptop's mPCIe or EC slot.




This socketted connection usually comes in the form of a physical HDMI or mini-HDMI port, which are notorious for being loose, non-locking connectors. As to why the manufacturers decided to use HDMI/mHDMI, it boggles my mind. They could have used literally any other connector.


The physical HDMI connection between the eGPU adapter and the laptop can get very loose, and thus causing signalling issues between the graphics card and the computer. Usually this isn't much of a problem, since it's a digital signal, so it's not like your pixels will look mangled up or whatever.


However, sometimes it causes the signal to intermittently drop out, causing the graphics card to disconnect from the PC, making the graphics card driver crash. Usually this just ends up in the 3D game freezing momentarily and then coming back with a perpetual black screen, forcing you to restart the game, disabling/re-enabling the card in Device Manager, and re-applying your overclock/underclock settings (if any). Sometimes it causes the PC to crash outright with a BSoD.


I thought putting some constant downward force (ie, perpendicular to the plane of the PCB) on the HDMI cable would solve this, but that doesn't seem to work.

EDIT: Googling "loose hdmi port" doesn't yield any useful results because of audiophools and console peasants lowering the signal-to-noise ratio


Has anyone figured out any other hacks/solutions to get around this?

Edited by Arbystrider
I hate audiophools
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

A while ago I wrote about how my Mac was crashing with my newly built eGPU. I've possibly narrowed it down to being an issue with extending the HDMI cable that comes with my PCIe video card dock. I'm trying to figure out why this happens. The case I built was designed to have all the wires coming out of the back of the unit. However, because the PCIe adapter HDMI cable is so short, I'm not able to route it the way I want. The wire now oddly sticks out from the top of the case and it just keeps bugging me.


I bought a HDMI extension cable to add length to the wire. Sometimes it boots up fine, sometimes it doesnt. Sometimes it will work for a good 15 minutes then suddenly freeze or reboot. I don't understand why the wire would degrade the signal so much. I thought the signal doesnt degrade much with digital signals and that's why HDMI is so great. I've tried several HDMI extension cables and adapters but nothing will keep the device stable. Even if I bought a longer cable from the makers of the PCIe dock, the end of the HDMI cable needs to have a downward facing male end because that's the only way the case will close properly in my situation. 


So you see, I need a very specific cable for the job. The only way I can achieve this is by 3rd party extension and adapters. I occasionally get a random reboot if I have the PCIe dock HDMI cable connected to a downward facing, 90 degree angle HDMI male adapter but it doesnt happen all the time. Still, when it does it is very annoying and I lose whatever I was working on. If I use the adapter + an extension HDMI cable, the GPU wont boot at all; just get a black screen. But if I use an HDMI extension cable that has a downward 90 degree angled male end already designed into it already, it will sometimes boot but would crash more frequently.


Can someone explain to me what is happening? It's pretty frustrating that my project is 99% complete and this one thing is holding it back from truly being done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/3/2016 at 10:03 PM, MD_mania said:

I don't understand why the wire would degrade the signal so much. I thought the signal doesnt degrade much with digital signals


Except this is a high-frequency differential signal.


If your statement were true, nobody would need to use anything more than CAT5 cabling for ethernet, and CAT6 STP would never exist.


On 7/3/2016 at 10:03 PM, MD_mania said:

and that's why HDMI is so great


Except this has nothing to do with HDMI. The signal is PCIe.


On 7/3/2016 at 10:03 PM, MD_mania said:

Can someone explain to me what is happening?


You've already figured it out. See first line of this post.

Edited by Arbystrider
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hate to bump, but just so people realise the extent of this problem:




That is 9 bluescreens in 4.5 hours on July 7th.


I've yet to try the obvious possible solution of wrapping the cable in foil however.


Perhaps I should try writing "No more bluescreens" on a tanzaku and tie it to a bamboo tree?




This also happens right after startup sometimes. So every program that is set to open on startup has a small chance of losing all its data when the system crashes.

Edited by Arbystrider
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

previously i encountered many BSOD/hang with exp gdc. but when i use powered usb hub. it doesnt appear anymore. it maybe because the usb wifi make curent unstable i suppose??

one thing that i encountered BSOD it when i touch the cable. even some times just to adjust its position. i put the exp gdc and my gpu in case (raijintek metis) which in the case, the egpu setup is secured the position of the hdmi to in constant downward position. so what do you think the problem?? maybe in the mpcie port on the laptop? but is it tighten by screwdriver


Edited by diabloretriever
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.