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Remko78

12" Lenovo X220 + [email protected]+c-EC2 (PE4L 2.1b) + Win7 [Remko78]

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Hi,

I just succesfully finished a low profile eGPU setup, I decided to share the experience I had.

My goal was to make it as portable as possible but still powerful enough to drive the internal 12.5 inch 1366x768 display of my lenovo x220.

The parts I used:

  • PE4L 2.1b + EC2C with EC-060A (l x w) 64 x 47 mm
  • Zalman GTX650 low profile max 64W (l x w x h) 150 x 55 x 35 mm
  • Laptop AC adapter 12v 10a 120w
  • TEKO P/3 small plastic case (l x w x h) 160 x 90 x 60 mm
  • M2 nuts and bols

  • Lenovo X220 with 1.37 bios (Series 6, HD3000)
  • USB to USB cable

The GTX650 low profile card is very nice for an internal eGPU setup, its very small and draws only 64W max.

This means it can draw its power from the pci-e lane, which provides 75W max. No extra connectors on the videocard.

Its still powerfull enough to run games at high/ultra on 1366x768.

Ofcourse an atx psu is not an option for portability, so a 12V 10A 120W ac laptop adapter is used (2.5 - 5.5mm plug).

The initial installation went pretty smooth, the card got detected and the nvidia drivers installed withouth problems.

There was no need to change the tolud size or an dstd override.

Settings used pe4l: SW1: 1, SW2: 2-3

Settings used bios: PCI express speed -> automatic, PCI express powermanagement -> off.

eqs.png

Unfortunatly I couldn't run a benchmark or game for longer then 3 minutes without a bsod or crash.

After some research it turned out the card didnt get a clean 3.3v from the pci-e lane.

The fix was to run an usb - usb cable from the laptop to the pe4l for 3.3v power.

No more crashes and very stable performance :-)

Too bad an extra cable is needed though, portability took a small hit there.

A few pics of the case and the setup:

Some dremel action for the dvi and hdmi port:

2elqjye.jpg

More dremel action to run the cable and pci-express card through:

op5xlk.jpg

Drilled m2 holes to mount the pe4l:

2lx9dl5.jpg

pe4l mounted on m2 bolts:

2lwugyo.jpg

Up and running:

20idzio.jpg

Need to finish the cover plate and paint the enclosure matte black:

2643kph.jpg

And a small video I made:

Let me know what you think!

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Nice enclosure! Good to know that the 650 didn't give you any issues, and that it's good enough for use on the internal LCD.

For your 5v issue, have you seen these before:

Amazon.com : SMAKN Dc/dc Converter 12v Step Down to 5v/3a Power Supply Module : Electronics

Cheap 12v to 5v adapter. I got one for 3 bucks on ebay, and they're about the size of two stacked matchboxes. Some of them put out 3Amps, but you probably only need a fraction of that, and you can use it to charge USB devices.

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Remko,

How much RAM do you have installed? I just tried the 1.37 bios and the TOLUD was still 0xDFA00000. In fact it seems all the bios after 1.28 have that increased TOLUD...

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Nice enclosure! Good to know that the 650 didn't give you any issues, and that it's good enough for use on the internal LCD.

For your 5v issue, have you seen these before:

Amazon.com : SMAKN Dc/dc Converter 12v Step Down to 5v/3a Power Supply Module : Electronics

Cheap 12v to 5v adapter. I got one for 3 bucks on ebay, and they're about the size of two stacked matchboxes. Some of them put out 3Amps, but you probably only need a fraction of that, and you can use it to charge USB devices.

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I have 4GB ram installed, I did install a modified 1.37 bios earlier to whitelist a 3G wwan card. Im not sure if any additional modifications were made to that bios besides the whitelist.

Actually, it turns out that the TOLUD seems to change whether or not the (expresscard) eGPU is plugged in on boot. I was booting without the eGPU to check the TOLUD, so it still showed 0xDFA00000. Once I booted with the eGPU, it became 0xCFA00000.

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Hi, thanks.

If the dc/dc converter eliminates the need for the usb-usb cable, then my interest is sparked.

But to be honest, looking at the converter I am not sure how I would have to implement it, could you share some pointers?

There's two ways that I would go about this, both involving the floppy molex connector. The colors on the voltage box may vary (this description is based off that Amazon box) , but essentially 12V goes in one end, and 5V comes out the other:

1. If you're planning on making a front cover, get one of these for the appropriate size 12V dc plug:

Size M Panel-mount Coaxial Power Jack w/Switch : Power Jacks | RadioShack.com

Then run two sets of wires from that, one to the floppy molex (+12 yellow, ground black right next to it) and another set to the voltage converter input (on that amazon page, +12 red and ground black). Run the output to the other set of molex connectors (+5 output red to red, ground yellow to black next to reds).

2. If the molex connector has +12v, you can most likely pull 12V from that directly to the voltage box. In that case, you'll run all 4 wires to the molex connector and would result in the easiest and most compact implementation of the voltage converter:

Input red - Molex yellow

Input black - Molex black (next to yellow)

Output red - Molex red

Output yellow - Molex black (next to red)

If I ever get enough time to put together a eGPU and play games I'm going with option 1. For option 2, I'd check with Nando or BPlus if it is an acceptable way to get 12V out power, but it looks like all 12V lines are common, just like all 5V lines are common as well. The floppy connector is already an okay way to input 5V power.

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There's two ways that I would go about this, both involving the floppy molex connector. The colors on the voltage box may vary (this description is based off that Amazon box) , but essentially 12V goes in one end, and 5V comes out the other...

Thanks for the detailed answer. I have finished the build in a different way though.

During gaming I found the temperatures to be a tad bit high, so I added a 40mm noiseblocker fan to the side of the enclosure.

The noiseblocker fan turned out to be quite noisy (duh) withouth pwm at max rpm 12v, so I added a fan speed reduction cable which reduces the voltage with a capacitor to 6.5v or about 55% fan speed. Much better. The fan is connected in the following way: Floppy to molex (pe4l supplied) > molex to 2p fan > 2p fan reduction cable > fan, as you can see in the pic below:

xdblzt.jpg

I made a cover plate from the bottom of an old 3,5" hdd enclosure I had lying around and ripped the cables together:

mrdz4x.jpg

I sleeved the cables, and the end result:

23v52s.jpg

Btw, thanks NANDO4 for your amazing thread, withouth it I wouldn't have started building an egpu.

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Hi Remko78, I most like your eGPU project! :51_002:

So I decide to make one for myself but I have some question to ask you, what brand of laptop AC adapter 12v 10a 120w you used in this project?

Can you show me your M2 nuts and bolts dimension(0.4mmx?mm)?

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Thanks for your reply!

May I ask about if I plug AC adapter only and the eGPU system will work or not? (I'm using PE4L v2.1b - PM3N on this project)

or must connect the usb - usb cable to let it work / depand on graphic card model?

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Thank you very much Remko78!

As I also happen to have Lenovo X220 with 4GB RAM, I followed your setup and ordered the same things

  • E4L 2.1b + EC2C with EC-060A
  • ASUS GTX650-E-1GD5 GeForce GTX 650 PCI-E 3.0 GDDR5 1GB 128-bit Memo 5000 MHz
  • EZCool AD-970-90W universal laptop adapter (with different connectors)
  • Lenovo X220, 1.38 BIOS
  • USB to USB cable

Settings used:

  • BIOS: PCI Express Speed: Automatic, PCI Express Power Management: Off
  • PE4L: SW1: 1, SW2: 2-3

Everything went smoothly aswell.

1. Download GTX650 drivers and install them

2. Connect power supplies for the PE4L

3. Connect Expresscard adapter to your computer (windows will probably install some things for you)

4. Enjoy (maybe a restart is required)

Cool thing is that the laptop adapter had also a USB 5V coming out and I did not take the portability hit there. Although, the adapter is 16V with this connector, but everything is working properly... for now. Couldn't find any information on PE4L on how much voltage can it take.

I have not made a case for it yet, but I am looking for one.

I tested it out with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Without the PE4L, my FPS rate was from 10-35 with all video settings low. With PE4L, all video settings are on high and my FPS rate is 80-110.

gpu-z.png

IMAG0068.jpg

IMAG0069.jpg

IMAG0070.jpg

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What type of driver did you used?

Because I can't find the Nvidia 600series verde driver for internal LCD, I'm using GT640 and detect but can't open Nvidia control panel with Nvidia 334.89 driver.

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I searched for the drivers:

post-22429-1449499735697_thumb.png

Did not look for specially "internal LCD", as there are no such drivers, I guess.

However, after not using the eGPU for a week, I plugged it in yesterday and it did not work anymore. eGPU is not detected by my laptop and the GPU fan is spinning real fast.

Any ideas? I have read something about JP4 or similar jumpers, but not sure what they are.

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Google-translated:

Hi Remko,

Thank you for your clear explanation. I now want to build a EGPU themselves also have an x220. Maarrr'm a beginner. Have no idea what the bottleneck / cable / connector influence on the performance.

In many reviews, I see people use GTX560 or 570. My question is: how far can you go with a x220? Does it make sense to close a GTX780 to If not, what is the maximum you think?

I look forward to build out of my x220 (i5 8g mSATA ssd120 HD320) Look forward to your response

Hoi Remko,

Bedankt voor je duidelijke uitleg. Ik wil nu zelf ook een eGPU bouwen, heb ook een x220. Maarrr ben een beginner. Heb geen idee wat de bottleneck/kabel/connector voor invloed heeft op de prestaties.

In veel reviews zie ik mensen GTX560 of 570 gebruiken. Mijn vraag is: tot hoe ver kan je gaan met een x220? Heeft het zin om een GTX780 aan te sluiten? Zo niet, wat is het maximale volgens jou?

Ik kijk er naar uit om mn x220 (i5 8g mSATA-ssd120 hd320) uit te bouwen! Kijk uit naar je reactie :)

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