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Macbooks Owners - pls refer to https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/7947-the-basic-egpu-hardware-guide-for-macs/ instead of this document.

1. How does a DIY eGPU differ from a Villagetronic ViDock?

 

 

Spoiler

PE4L 2.1 or PE4H 3.2 are functionally equivalent to a ViDock. The difference is you pay quite a bit more for a ViDock but get considerably less. DIY eGPU is considerably cheaper, can use DC or ATX input power, has mPCIe solutions, better documentation and support tools along with a larger support community. The shortcomings with ViDock when compared to DIY eGPU can be seen by the

RED items in the following comparison chart:

IMG

DIY eGPU's flexibility makes it imho an overall better solution over ViDock 3/4. Consider the DIY eGPU's advantages:

  • significantly cheaper: US$92-delivered PE4L versus US$215-delivered for the ViDock3. A GTX460-768MB eGPU setup works out to be US$230 cheaper, or half the cost of an equivalent Vidock4+ GTX460 setup. Costs can be reduced further by recycling or salvaging power supplies with savings put towards a higher grade gpu, a cpu upgrade OR even towards a system upgrade that's a better eGPU candidate.
  • less losses to try: can try and if unsatisfied, can resell on ebay with minimal losses. Villagetronic's strict return policy means higher ebay reselling losses.
  • has DIY eGPU Setup 1.x software to overcome error 12: cannot allocate resources issues.
  • developed the x1E tweak and custom NVIDIA Optimus drivers to deliver highest possible performance. DNA drivers for AMD cards are available too.
  • mPCIe AND expresscard systems are supported. Villagetronic only caters to expresscard systems.
  • PCI reset delay circuit to boot past problematic bios with unit switched on (PE4L 1.5+/PE4H 2.4+).
  • x2 capable on some systems: x2 1.0 provides ~60% better performance than x1 1.0.
  • can add PSU to match your video card.
  • has inexpensive eGPU enclosure examples if you want an enclosure.
  • unrestricted video card sizes or cooling space: Not limited by chassis package dimensions.
  • PE4H allows desktop video card to be hosted externally and shared b/w notebook and desktop (@x4 1.0 speed via HP4A).
  • extensive user submitted experiences to replicate and set realistic performance expectations.
  • uses a replacable US$6-delivered mini HDMI interconnect cable
  • a Tech|Inferno creation: came from a global community to serve a global community



2. How can I check if my notebook is compatible with an eGPU?

 

Spoiler

If the system has a dGPU then ensure it's switchable with the Intel 4500MHD/HD/HD3000/HD4000 providing primary video if you want to do a higher performance Optimus x1.Opt implementation. x1.Opt allows accelerated graphics to the internal LCD as well as an external LCD and enables x1-link pci-e compression accelerating mostly DX9 titles anywhere from 20-300%.

Pretty much any notebook can be eGPU compatible if it's run with 2GB of RAM. 95% are OK with 3GB of RAM. It's only if it runs 4GB or more that there needs to be particular attention paid to free pci-e configuration space to host it, which can be checked by:

(Update 3-14-2012)
A DSDT override extending the root bridge into 36-bit can allow ALL systems with a 64-bit CPU and chipset (anything after 2007) to be eGPU compatible when used with Windows 7 and the latest iGPU/dGPU/eGPU drivers with up to 48GB of RAM installed. So the DSDT override solution eliminates the restrictions listed below.

 

 

  • if the system has a switchable iGPU+ATIAMD dGPU or switchable iGPU+NVidia Optimus dGPU configuration then can use Setup 1.x to disable the dGPU component to allow a eGPU to use it's pci-e space. This also works with all Intel chipset systems with NVidia or ATiAMD switchable graphics with the exception that Series-6 AMD switchable graphics hasn't been confirmed to be allow such disabling as explained.
  • if the system has only a dGPU or iGPU (not switchable) then check the system's TOLUD+Large Memory to ensure there will be no issues running 4GB+. Check in Device Manager. Set View to "Resources by connection" & expand the Memory tree like shown.

    If you have the somewhat rare large memory memory entry then the eGPU can be hosted in 36-bit pci-e space.
    If not, as is far more common, then the eGPU will be hosted in 32-bit pci-e space where you'll require TOLUD being 3.25GB or less. Identify this by looking for the first PCI bus entry with a 8 digit memory address. Compare it with table below (thanks Kizwan!):
     
    First PCI bus with 8 digits memory address TOLUD
    E0000000 3.5GB
    D0000000 3.25GB
    C0000000 3GB
    B0000000 2.75GB
    A0000000 2.50GB

    As long as TOLUD is equal or lower than 0xD0000000 (3.25GB) your notebook will have enough 32-bit PCI space for a eGPU to work with 4GB or more of system RAM. See details. Some examples:
    There is some exception to this rule. We've found some systems have bios allocate systemboard devices that sit right in the middle of a "free" 32-bit 256MB pci-e block that cannot be relocated and prevents an eGPU from that space.

    To be absolutely sure an eGPU can be accomodated requires booting Setup 1.x and performing an 32-bit PCI "All" compaction, and seeing if you now have 256MB free shown in the Status window and confirming your system can chainload to Windows. If not, but you do have 128MB contiguous free space shown then consider that NVidia Fermi/Keplar cards use a fragmented 128MB+32MB+16MB PCI BAR so might still be able to be allocated where AMD cards require a straight 256MB contiguous block cannot.

    If this is a bit too confusing then proceed to boot Setup 1.x, run Save Diags->compact_fails, then Save Diags->Windows_fails following the prompts. Boot back to Windows, mount the Setup 1.x image, archive the v:\diag folder with Winrar/WinZIP, upload to mediafire.com and link here for analysis of your diagnostic output.

 

 



3. I don't have an ExpressCard slot. Can I still do use a eGPU?

 

Spoiler

Yes, if have an accessible mini PCIe (mPCIe) slot via the underside covers that works with your wifi card, as show

here, then could use a PE4L-PM3N or PE4H-PM3N mPCIe setup. The example Dell XPS15 L502, Acer 1810TZ, HP 2510P and Lenovo X61T below all use a PM3N mPCIe-based eGPU.

NOTE: WWAN mPCIe slots with only USB pins connected (pin 36+38) rather than PCIe pins (23, 25, 33, 35) cannot do a eGPU.

USB-to-ExpressCard adapters cannot be used since they uses just the 480Mbps USB pins on an ExpressCard slot.

mini PCI slots can't be used. Can see the difference between mini PCI and mini PCIe here.



4. Can I make this work using just my notebook's LCD display?

 

Spoiler

The desktop video card outputs to it's HDMI/VGA/DVI connector. The notebook's LCD display uses a LVDS input on your systemboard with no external jack to connect to it. Meaning then they cannot be physically connected together unless adapt a US$30 ebay kits allowing external input to the internal LCD as

discussed, which only quite an advanced user would ever attempt.

Another more elegant solution would use a HDMI input expresscard as described at Play PS3/X360 on laptop screen using new HDMI Input Express Card. . Though current costs of $170 for the item makes it unattractive AND you'd need to then do a mPCIe eGPU implementation.

There are however these less drastic ways of getting your accelerated graphics card to render to the internal LCD, all of which will have lower performance than when running using an external LCD:

  • NVIDIA Optimus driver provides a transparent internal LCD cloning mode for systems with a 4500MHD/HD/HD3000/HD4000 iGPU primary video when using a NVIDIA GTS4xx/GTX4xx card.
  • Use Lucidlogix virtu drivers to provide transparent output using the internal LCD if you have a Sandy Bridge cpu. (timohour)
  • Ultramon/Chung Gun method can clone from the desktop eGPU's window to the internal LCD for windowed games/apps.
  • USB 3.0 framegrabbers have sufficient bandwidth to capture the image from the desktop eGPU and pipe it back to your notebook's display.

It is not feasible to use USB 2.0 framegrabbers. The desktop video card outputs HDMI/S-Video. To try to clone the output from the desktop video card via a USB frame grabber can be done, but consider say 1280x800x32-bit = 4MB per image. If gaming at 30FPS that's 120MB/s bandwidth required. USB 2.0 is 480Mbps (60MB/s in *best case* scenario.. more like 30MB/s in real-life).



5. (Performance) What affects the performance of a eGPU?

 

Spoiler
The x1 1.0 PCIe link restricts performance from normal desktop levels. PCIe Scaling Analysis shows x16, x2 and x1 performance. Compared to x16 2.0 we can summarize that there is 50% performance loss at x1 1.0 and 20% performance loss at x2 1.0 link speeds. Or x2 1.0 is 60% faster than x1 1.0.ViDock and BPlus PE4L are using the same x1 ExpressCard/mPCIe pins so we will get exactly the same performance using either solution. Only ways either solution will see improved performance is by:
RE5 Config Resolution FPS
[email protected]HD4670-1GB x1 1.0 W7/DX9 1280x800 34.7
1280x1024 32.5
1680x1050 27.6
1920x1080 25.3
Performance Scaling with resolution
  • Purchase an expressCard 2.0-equipped Sandy Bridge notebook, with it's x1 2.0 providing ~60% faster performance than x1 1.0.
  • Petition AMD to get full duplex performance on Intel chipsets without needing the x1E tweak.
  • Petition NVIDIA to unlock the Optimus performance tweak with x2/x4 links and with systems that do not have an iGPU for their primary bootup video as requested.
  • Try 3rd-party tweaked drivers. Realistically only giving
  • Link two x1 ExpressCard and/or mPCIe ports to get a x2 link, like BPlus' PE4H does.
  • If system supports it, overclock the PCIe bus using setfsb. Eg: 100->105 yields a 3.3% RE5 FPS increase.
  • Minimize PCIe traffic by disabling hypermemory/turbomemory and video card's HDMI soundcard.
  • Further minimize PCIe traffic by reducing color depth from 32-bit to 16-bit giving up to 72% performance improvement. See details.
  • Reduce all possible PCI bus communications shown to improve performance.
  • Get rid of NVidia x1.Opt microstuttering by setting a FPS limit with 300.x drivers here (Khenglish)
  • Apply game-specific tweaks like the SCII one here from apac.

  • If the game supports it, force run it in different DX9/DX10/DX11 modes to see which gives the best performance. This would usually be a commandline option. Eg: NVidia tends to run better in DX10/DX11 rather than DX9, whereas AMD sees better DX9/DX10 performance than DX11.



6. (Performance) Can my system do a PE4H x2 or x4 link as shown in PCIe Scaling Analysis?

 

Spoiler

BPlus' PE4H has made provision to allow compatible 2xmPCIe ports, or mPCIe+expresscard ports to be combined to form a x2 port. To identify what is possible, find your Intel I/O chipset below to identify what ports can be combined to create a x2 or x4 width link

 

 

Intel Chipset max#pci-eports x2 link x4 link
ICH7M 4 p1+2, p3+4* p1+2+3+4
ICH8M/ICH9M/HM55 6 p1+2, p3+4*, p5+6
Series-5PM55/HM5x/QM57 8 p1+2, p3+4*, p5+6,p7+p8^ p1+2+3+4, p5+6+7+8
Series-6 HM6x, QM6x 8 NA NA
2510pports.th.png2510P's port dv2000ports.th.pngDV2000's port


*=switches [port1+2] into x2 mode. ^switches [port5+6] into x2 as well. An Intel limitation. NA=feature locked into BIOS flash descriptor

Other combinations to get x2/x4 ports such as p1+3, p2+4 do not work! In example above, the 2510P can't do a x2 link since it has only the 1 physical mPCIe slot. You'll notice on the 2510P port1 is enabled - it's a root port that must be enabled for *any* port to work. 2510P's port1 is not physically connected. The DV2000 has ExpressCard=port1, mPCIe=port3, mPCIe=port4. So the DV2000 can do a x2 link using the 2 mPCIe slots as port3+4.

The best way to identify your port layout is to insert a ExpressCard e-sata card and see what port it reports as being on, then checking too the wifi card. If have multiple mPCIe slots, worth swapping the wifi aiming for a [port1+2], [port3+4], [port5+6] or [port7+8] setup.

NOTE: port1 is the root port and must be enabled for any of the ports to work. On quite a few systems this is just a phantom port with no electrical connections to a mPCIe or expresscard slot.

Where can I find schematics of my systemboard to find port layout? Try laptopdesktopschematic, lqv77, GSM-extreme, notebookschematic and a general google search.

Related: How do I enable port1-port6 if bios has disabled them? Use eGPU Setup's 'iport on'.
Related: How do I setup a x2 1.0 link? Use eGPU Setup's 'iport x2 [port]'.

 

 



7. (Performance) What recommended candidate notebooks should I buy for best performance?

 

Spoiler

Quick answer - choose any from this list:

http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/4109-egpu-candidate-system-list.html#post57511 .

Performance will be determined by PCIe bandwidth available, which is ranked from highest->lowest below and and if the notebook has Intel 4500MHD, HD, HD3000, HD4000 iGPU primary graphics so is NVIDIA Optimus capable.

1. PCIe 2.0
providing equivalent to x2 1.0 bandwidth. Current AMD cards appears to be running crippled half-duplex links on Intel pci-e ports on series-5 or older systems. Compare
and
and techpowerup's HD5870 x1 2.0
. Series-6 chipsets deliver x1 2.0 *full duplex* with AMD HD7xxx, or 4 times more bandwidth than what AMD cards appear to be getting on series-5 or older chipsets.

 

2. a Intel-chipset system that allows a x2 link by ganging [port1+2], [port3+4], [port5+6], [port7+8] using mPCIe+expresscard or mPCIe+mPCIe slots. Note: using a x2 port3 affects port1/port2 operation since it sets port1 into x2 mode.

 

 

3. series-4 or older Intel-chipset system that allows a

 

off an odd numbered port for AMD cards OR an AMD/NVIDIA chipset that provides full x1 1.0 performance using an ATI card

Intel 4500MHD, HD, HD3000 or HD4000 iGPU allows NVIDIA Optimus superior performance with latest Fermi/Keplar NVIDIA cards.

8. (Performance) Can I do a SLI/Crossfire implementation combining mPCIe+mPCIe or EC+mPCIe ports?

 

Spoiler

timohour found this is not possible

here.



9. (Performance) How could manufacturers make eGPU x2 2.0 notebooks?

 

Spoiler

UPDATE 2-24-2011 The Apple+Intel Thunderbolt port is a x4 2.0 external PCIe port, though looks like will be uprated to x4 3.0. Perfect for high performance eGPU purposes.

As it appears there is no desire to make an external graphics port standard it can do be done effectively another way. All that is required are 12-18.4" notebooks with:

  • 2x34mm Intel ExpressCard 2.0 ports electrically configured as either [port1+2] or [port5+6]. Doable with series-6 chipsets.
  • switchable HDMI input back into the internal LCD to route the external GPU output to like the Clevo X8100 provides.

In addition provide a bios that

  • can set [port1+2] or [port5+6] as x2 width.
  • performs correct PCI allocation when attach a desktop eGPU to it.

Such a notebook will be perfect for eGPU purposes, offering the equivalent of x4 1.0 in bandwidth. Performance then would be ~95% of when using a desktop eGPU with full x16 2.0 bandwidth.

Only dilemma for manufacturers being such notebooks would become a serious competitor to bulky expensive gaming notebooks that have poor battery life.



10. My system has switchable graphics. Can I still do install a DIY eGPU?

 

Spoiler

Yes you can.

Setup 1.x's (Video card->Hybrid Graphics.dedicated=off) allows the dedicated graphics component to be completely disabled on Series-5 or older chipsets, freeing up 32-bit resources to host the desktop eGPU. If your primary video card is a Intel 4500MHD, HD, HD3000 or HD4000 then can even do a x1.Opt NVIDIA setup.



11. My Villagetronic ViDock product isn't working. Can you help?

 

Spoiler

I've never used a Villagetronic Vidock so am not familiar with their hardware. Consider then opening a support ticket on Villagetronic's

support page or asking for help on the Villagetronic community Facebook page. If Villagetronic can't provide a working solution then consider obtaining a refund from them.



12. Can I solder my own adapter to host an eGPU instead of buying one from BPlus, Redtrontech, Villagetronic?

 

Spoiler

Yes you can, especially if you have more time for soldering than money for a pre-manufacturered adapter. See examples how to make one by


'>acyd (Russian) &, sonny_mv, blackett &.



13. What do I need to run the fastest x1.2Opt link shown in the implementations?

 

Spoiler

The following ingredients are required for a x1.2Opt link:

 


1. A Series-6 system (Sandy Bridge) or newer notebook with an expresscard slot^. See eGPU candidate system list [thin-and-light] for a list.

2. A pci-e 2.0 compliant PE4L-ECxxx (expresscard) or PE4L-PMxxx (mPCIe) version 2.1b or newer

3. A NVidia Fermi or Keplar class video card. A s/h GTX560Ti being great bang-per-buck.

4. A power supply to drive your video card. A 203W XBOX360 a good to mod for for
5. Latest NVidia desktop video drivers. They provide the ability to drive the internal LCD upon detecting a Intel 4500MHD, HD, HD3000 or HD4000 iGPU. When the iGPU and x1 link is found, pci-e compression engages gaining anywhere from 20-333% better performance over a x1 2.0 link without compression. This is mostly for DX9 applications.

^ a PE4L-PM3N 2.1 could be used to do a less convenient mPCIe slot rather than expresscard slot implementation. Useful for systems like a Sony Z2 which don't have an expresscard slot

 



14. I have no expresscard slot. Can I use my wifi mPCIe slot to host the eGPU and still have internal wifi?

 

Spoiler

If you have 2 mPCIe slots, then yes. If the second slot is mPCIe and *isn't whitelisted*, then you can simply relocate the wifi card to use that slot. If the second slot is WWAN (USB), then consider purchasing this

US$6 USB mPCIe wifi card.


 

FIRST STEPS >>>


See Techradar's How to make an external laptop graphics adaptor article for an overview.

1. What parts do I need and where can I buy them?

 

Spoiler

s7001.th.jpg s7003.th.jpg s7004.th.jpg s7005.th.jpg s7006.th.jpg
Above: Fujitsu S710 eGPU implementation - US$85 PE4H-EC2C(comes with SWEX and PCIEMM-030) plus a HD5770+ATX PSU

1. The expresscard or mPCIe to PCIe adapter. See related 2. Can my system use PE4H's x2 1.0.. in FAQ. You'll need the US$92-shipped PE4L 2.1 if want the faster pci-e 2.0 performance on a Sandy Bridge Series-6 or newer notebooks. The linked units below are pci-e 1.1 which is the maximum speed available on Series-5 (1st gen i-cores) or older chipsets.

 

 

x1 or x2 link mode1
x2 link mode
US$71 PE4L-EC2C or PE4L-PM3NUS$22 shipping US$91 PE4H-EC2C or PE4H-PM3NUS$22 shipping US$91 PE4H-EC2C or PE4H-PM3N
US$20 PM3N
US$10 PCIEMM-100
US$28/$7 shipping
US$93 US$113 US$149


1 buying the PE4H means can acquire parts later to do a x2 link
Recommend: an extra US$6-shipped DX mini hdmi cable. 2 users requiring a replacement part for the setup to work.


Which one? PE4L or PE4H?

PE4H 2.4 has a sturdier base, can allow a 15-19V DC jack input and up to x4 1.0 connectivity [note: pci-e 1.x only].
PE4L 1.5 is not as sturdy but is smaller and lighter. It can allow a 12V DC jack input and x1-only connectivty. [note: pci-e 1.x only]
PE4L 2.1b is pci-e 2.x compliant and recommended for Sandy Bridge or newer expresscard/mPCIe equipped systems.

Amfeltec has a cheaper x1 1.0 mPCIe kit starting at US$29 here.

2. A video card of your choice

Review next item 2. Which video card do you recommend for best performance on my system? to determine if an AMD or NVIDIA solution will perform better on your setup.

3. A suitable power supply to drive your video card

Can determine how much power you require by counting the number of 6 or 8-pin PCIe connectors on your video card. The total power required to drive it will then be:

75W for the slot1
+ 75W for each 6-pin PCIe connector
+ 150W for each 8-pin PCIe connector

1: Can be supplied using either the DC or the floppy molex jack. The DC jack differs on the PE4L and PE4H: PE4L takes 12V input, PE4H takes 15-20V (regulated) > 84W. The AC adapter must have a 2.5mm/5.5mm or 2.5mm/5mm barrel end to use the DC jack. The floppy molex input is used with an ATX PSU..

Power can be supplied by using either an ATX PSU or AC adapters. Can also split AC adapter power to supply a PCIe connector as shown here.

Refer also to ithildin's and serialk11r's PSU recomendations for details on how to read the PSU labelling. 430W may actually mean it only supplies 168W for our purposes!!

 

 



2. Which video card do you recommend for best performance on my system?

This will be determined by your chipset, if additional ports available for x2 linkage and whether you have Intel 4500MHD, HD, HD3000 or HD4000 graphics. The matrix below makes recommendations based on the system chipset with:

-LIME recommend NVIDIA Fermi/Keplar (GT430 or better) solution for best performance

-RED recommend AMD HD5750 or better solution for best performance

-CYAN choose based on preferred performance bias: DX9 (AMD HD5750 or better) or DX10/DX11 (NVIDIA Fermi/Keplar). Though specifically for x1 1.0 I recommend a system upgrade to a better performing candidate as users find uneven & choppy performance. Thunderbolt users may still elect NVidia Optimus solution (if have an iGPU) as then can then render the image to the internal LCD. Refer to Performance: AMD versus NVIDIA benchmark results to help you decide. If not sure then suggest a NVIDIA Fermi/Keplar solution which on balance gives better overall performance and has the option of x1.Opt with the right notebook. Note: if the NVIDIA x1.Opt driver was unlocked to allow primary video cards other than Intel 4500MHD/HD/HD3000/HD4000 plus it engaged with x2 links then I would recommend only NVIDIA solutions.
 















































































































































 
 

I/O Chipset

 
 

PCIe 1.0 (2.5GT/s) lanes

 
 

PCIe 2.0 (5GT/s) lanes

 
 

PCIe 3.0 (~10GT/s) lanes

x1

x1E

x1.Opt

x2/x4

x2E

x2.Opt

x1

x1.2Opt

x2/x4 (TB)

x1

x1.3Opt

x2/x4 (TB)

AMD RS*

Y1

N

N

?

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

NVIDIA MCP*

Y1

N

N

?

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Intel ICH7M

Y

Y3

N

Y5

Y4

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Intel ICH8M

Y

Y3

N

Y5

Y4

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Intel ICH9M

Y

Y3

Y2,8

Y5

Y4

N2

N

N

N

N

N

N

Intel Series-5(1st-gen i-core)

Y

N

Y2,9

Y5

N

N2

N

N

N

N

N

N

Intel Series-6(2nd-gen i-core)

Y

N

Y2

N6

N

N26

Y

Y2

Y6

N

N

N

Intel Series-7(3rd-gen i-core)

Y

N

Y2

N6

N

N26

Y

Y2

Y6

N7

N7

N7

Left-to-right: slowest-to-fastest with NVIDIA x1.Opt and x2 delivering similiar performance

1 provides full duplex performance equivalent to x1E on Intel chipsets.
2Optimus tweak engages only when Intel 4500MHD/HD/HD3000/HD4000 primary graphics AND x1 link is detected, improving mostly DX9 performance by 20-333% with some DX10 improvements as well. Provides ability for the internal LCD to render games running on the external GPU.
3x1E tweak uses a x2 link on port1, 3 or 5 with a single lane for 15-30% more perf (AMD/non-Fermi|Keplar NVIDIA only).
4x2E tweak use two lanes of a x4 link, [port1+2] as EC+mPCIe or mPCIe+mPCIe for 30-60% more perf (AMD/non-Fermi|Keplar NVIDIA only).
5 x2=combining expresscard+mPCIe or mPCIe+mPCIe slots [p1+2], [p3+4], [p5+6] or [p7+8]; x4=[p1+2+3+4] or [p5+6+7+8].
6Series-6/7: Only for Thunderbolt-equipped notebooks. Trying to combine mPCIe+expresscard slots no longer possible as Intel now locking the link width in the flash descriptor. Requires advanced bios hacking to configure x2 link, cannot be done using Setup 1.x.
7: would only be possible if the expresscard slot was wired to the northbridge which runs pci-e 3.0. All expresscard slots so far have been using the southbridge which is currently limited to pci-e 2.0. So we can say this is not possible.
? Don't know if non-Intel chipsets can do x2 links.
8: NVidia 306.97WHQL is the last to support Optimus x1-pcie compression and internal LCD mode on 4500MHD iGPUs. REF http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/6253-t500-compat-q-4500mhd-optimus-ends-306-97whql-2.html#post89243
9: can enable phantom iGPU to gain x1.Opt performance on dual-core i3/i5/i7 Series-5 chipsets using Win8.x as demonstrated


If going AMD, recommend a HD5xxx+ series card over a HD4xxx series due to their more efficient usage of PCIe bandwidth. Benchmarks would predict a HD5670 to outperform a HD4870.

Avoid twin-gpu cards like a HD6970/GTX590 since they require 2x256MB PCIe space windows which might be difficult to accomodate.

Examples based on power consumption requirements

  • 12V/75W adapter: HD5670, unplugged HD5750, NVIDIA GT430.
  • 12v/80w: specific HD5750 units. See comment here, implemented here.
  • 12V/120W: GTS450 described here using DC adapter that is shared between notebook and eGPU
  • 12V/203W xbox360 PSU: GTX460
  • ATX PSU: AMD HD68xx, NVIDIA GTX4xx/GTX5xx


See also Suggested NVIDIA Setups.

3. Is it possible to get an enclosure?

A good thread to see some professional designed enclosures is at redback79's DIY enclosure project. There are others for sale or examples to build on your own:

jacobsson's 3D model, BPlus' $60 DIY Box, Remko78's low profile, surrealix's laser-cut acrylic, fatpolomanjr's cardboard box, celli's IKEA drawer, Elmopol's XB360, Joss27's 5.25" SCSI box, Wolf Tohsaka's Livebox Mini, timohour's floppy holder, fr0z3n's carry-it, Fujian stand/enclosure, airzone (1U), Kallogan (192W AC), hlgr, aodioxp, SimoxTav, #1, sprtnbsblplya, Agent9, Lurifax (mini ITX), kizwan (Aero QX2000, mITX), the endless +XB360 PSU, max_headroom and Oddious (1U), lightnica (JuiceBox), pengy_666's 5.25" drive enclosure, 12V/120W "portable", pimped-up (xb360) which is similar to Building an eGPU (CUDA).

4. What software setup do I need to make this work?

 

Spoiler

You just need video card drivers for your chosen operating system. This will be available for download from

www.amd.com (AMD) or www.nvidia.com (NVIDIA).

Or custom NVIDIA Optimus, DNA drivers for AMD cards are available too.

DIY eGPU Setup 1.x may also be required if encounter error 12: cannot allocate resources in Device Manager or have specific port requirements such as x1E, x2, x2E link widths or mPCIe antiwhitelisting. Click link for more details.



5. I'm using an ATX power supply to power my graphics card. How do I switch it on?

 

Spoiler

PE4H is supplied with a SWEX, a small switched circuitboard used to power on/off the ATX PSU. The alternative is do the

paperclip trick to switch on the PSU.



6. What cable connects PE4L/PE4H to EC2C/PM3N and is it replaceable?

 

Spoiler

It's a mini_hdmi to mini_hdmi cable. Cheapest replacement being

$US6-shipped DX 1.5m cable confirmed to work here.



7. [mPCIe] What can I do to make it easier to connect the mini hdmi cable to the PM3N?

 

Spoiler

Could consider a cutout hole on the bottom plastic cover to provide an access point if you otherwise need to remove covers to get to it. OR could permanently attach PM3N internally, threading through a

flat mini HDMI cable + adapter. The adapter would go on the PE4H/PE4L end. The bulb of the cable can be dremelled to sit more flush as shown here.



8. Why does my video card fail with an error 12: cannot allocate resources in Device Manager? See Troubleshooting FAQ - Q3.

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On 10/12/2014 at 0:19 AM, Tech Inferno Fan said:

Forked off the pre-purchase and first steps section of http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/2109-diy-egpu-experiences-%5Bversion-2-0%5D.html#prepurchasefaq .

Presented here as a draft to make it a resource to point noobs to. Your input in making it better much appreciated.

 

 

That link, like many on this topic, is dead.

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