DIY eGPU experiences

Discussion in 'e-GPU (External Graphics) Discussion' started by master blaster, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. ruhtraeel

    ruhtraeel Notebook Consultant

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    Judging from the amount of success with this project, I would say that it is a viable option for many users who have graphics-intensive applications. I seem to be a special case, as Nando has never seen the vidock appear as "unspecified". I believe that I will need to adjust the driver itself, because the vidock and the card seem to be working properly. In my case, the monitor I own is only 1366x768, and my 5870 will be more than sufficient for maximum resolution and configuration settings at x1.0. The PM3N is only necessary if you wish to do a x2 1.0 setting, in which you would have to remove your WLAN card. In a x1 1.0, you only need to use your PCI-E slot, which for my M1330, was the Media Remote. I am keeping my 5870 instead of opting for an easier and internal screen setup using Nvidia Optimus because I believe that once expresscard 2.0 laptops come out, along with USB 3.0, I will have access to Optimus' benefits in the future.

    So...
    Anyone else get "unspecified" in the device manager when plugging in their vidock? I strongly believe that it is due to the ATI Catalyst Centre not being designed to detect a card outside of the laptop itself. Or it may be because of the Chipset I am using, and maybe I am missing some drivers for my laptop.
     
  2. stain860

    stain860 Newbie

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    I own a HP Envy 15 Generation 1 laptop and would like to attach multiple monitors. As someone else on this thread already indicated, there is no ExpressCard slot in the machine with which I can use the DIY ViDock kit. I have come up with the following 3 alternatives / questions.

    1 - I could convert my available USB 3.0 port into an external ExpressCard reader, but have not run across any on the market right now. I did see that Pretec is set to release the p240 USB 3.0 Card Reader soon. Do any of you know a company that would provide such a product now? More importantly, would this be a usable solution for me since USB 3.0 is not quite as fast as the ExpressCard slot to begin with or would the performance difference be significant?

    2 - Will the PE4H board ever be refreshed with a USB 3.0 connector instead of the ExpressCard? I have been trying to find information about the currently available USB 2.0 port on there. Can it be used instead of the ExpressCard or is it just for attaching more devices?

    3 – Is it possible (easy) to open up the Envy and jack into an available Mini PCI-Express slot if there is one? I found the disassembly instructions for the laptop, but there is no mention of an extra PCIe slot.

    To anyone that owns an Envy laptop please let me know what your solution is. For everyone else, I would greatly appreciate recommendations as to how I may hook up multiple displays to this laptop’s frustratingly limited external ports!

    Thanks in advance.
     
  3. fishy8082

    fishy8082 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi,
    I have a 15 inch macbook pro non unibody (core 2 duo 2.2ghz geforce 8600M GT) and connected through the express card slot and PE4H an ATI HD 4650. I run Windows 7. So far I get error 13 on the HD 4650. So in response I have configured the boot menu to contain the diy vidock 1e2 version. I have run 36 bit compaction and so far when pci.bat runs at the end of the compaction i get insert disk into drive B: and hit any key when ready. There is no drive b: in my system. Editing the batch file to reveil any reference to drive b: yeilds nothing.
     
  4. carage

    carage Notebook Consultant

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    I noticed that you are running an ASUS F8SA with 4GB RAM.
    I am running a similar spec'd F8SN (same CPU as yours, but the onboard card is nVidia 9500M GS) with a ViDock 4 Plus/ GTX 460 setup. But I had to reduce my system memory from 4GB to 2GB just to get the external card recognized, otherwise I would bump into an error 12 for lack of system resources.
    Were there any special steps required to get the 4GB RAM working together with your setup? I really want to know, thank you.

    ASUS F8Sn
    BIOS: 304
    RAM: 2GB DDR-II (was 4GB)
    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  5. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    Two solutions:

    - a USB to DVI box, like HIT sell here. Only have slowish USB 2.0 devices at the moment. Displaylink DL-3000 will bring USB 3.0 speed in Q1 2011.

    - swap out your mini pci-e wifi card for a PE4L/PE4H-PM3N solution.

    The drive B reference may be via the %DRV% variable. %DRV% is set in autoexec.bat to be the bootup device. Please check that it's doing that correctly. As a workaround run the process manually:

    1. Boot DIY ViDock Setup 1.x -> DOS prompt
    2. Poweron the HD4670
    3. Run 'lspci -tv -n' -> ensure you see the HD4670 on the 0:1c.* PCI ports.
    4. Perform a compaction only on the HD4670. Try in order the following until a solution is found:
    Code:
    compact pciend 100000000 useonly 1002:9490 1002:aa38 import \config\devcon.txt (32-bit)
    compact pciend 310000000 useonly 1002:9490 1002:aa38 import \config\devcon.txt (36-bit)
    compact pciend 310000000 import \core\devcon.txt  (32-bit - ALL)
    5. Chainload Win7 with 'grub4dos w7'.
    6. Once successful, add a 'makebatch \config\pci.bat' to your command in (4) to create a \config\pci.bat.
    7. Then can just select the 'Setup 1.x> Automated startup using startup.bat' option.

    Does the US$330 you paid for a Vidock4+ entitle you to support? Villagetronic appears to have a 4GB solution delivered by Support Ninjas and a slightly modified version of the original DIY ViDock bootdisk.

    If you don't get a solution from them then consider a refund to purchase a PE4L/PE4H DIY ViDock solution instead and save yourself up to US$230, example here. The DIY ViDock fix for 4GB issues is to use DIY ViDock Setup 1.x. The f8sa.bat here might help you along as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2015
  6. fishy8082

    fishy8082 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi Nando,
    So a little update on what has been done. I reduced the system ram to 2 gb and the system boots no problem with the HD4670. I am now running my macbook on windows 7 with 4 monitors simultainously which proves that there is no reliance on bios to make the vidock work as a macbook does not have bios (EFI). Before you responded to me I tried every possibility in the vidock config. There are a few problems running the config software. First off edit.com and compact.exe in dos kills the keyboard. The computer still runs as it will continue through a batch file but after it finishes with compact there is no way to interact with the computer. I tried an external usb keyboard and usb dos drivers but none help. Edit im assuming will only work with PS/2 keyboards and im assuming compact messes with the pci config which causes a reallocation of the usb ports to somewhere else in ram. So essentially everytime i try to run compact in the GUI, wherever it says press enter to continue, I cant press enter. I remmed "xewc :#=1FPress [ENTER] to continue...#=07#[ ]#P" in RUN.bat to get a little further in the config but another press enter to continue happens after the call to PCI.bat which I cannot find. This prevents me from ever getting back in to the GUI after compacting so I have to reset to see if anything happened at all. So here are the results of my trials while resetting every time to try again

    Vid 1 is Geforce 8600M GT(Built in)
    Vid 2 is HD4650

    Bridge never works. A solution is never found
    No 32 bit compaction works at all. A solution is never found.

    36 Bit compaction:

    ALL:
    Force 32 None:Insert Disk in B: 512MB will not boot
    Force 32 V1:Insert Disk in B: 512MB will not boot
    Force 32 V2:Insert Disk in B: 512MB will not boot
    Force 32 V1/V2:Insert Disk in B: 512MB will not boot

    V1:
    Force 32 None:No Solution
    Force 32 V1:Insert Disk in B: 512MB will not boot
    Force 32 V2:No Solution
    Force 32 V1/V2:No Solution

    V2:
    Force 32 None:4650 Code 12 Compact says 256MB free
    Force 32 V1:4650 Code 12 Compact says 256MB free
    Force 32 V2:4650 Code 12 Compact says 64MB free
    Force 32 V1/V2:4650 Code 12 Compact says 64MB free

    V1/V2:
    Force 32 None:8600GT Code 35 Compact says 256MB free
    Force 32 V1:8600GT Code 12 Compact says 256MB free
    Force 32 V2:8600GT Code 35 Compact says 256MB free
    Force 32 V1/V2:Didnt try because Compact says 64MB free

    It is intereseting that whenever 512MB is free I get the insert disk error. The error occurs on the second setpci.exe instruction in PCI.bat. This will happen on reboot on chainbooting and immediatly after compacting. I determined this by placing a pause between each instruction and rebooting as I have no keyboard after compacting. The only reason that the computer will not boot is because it just gets stuck at please insert disk into drive b:. I cannot do control break.... keyboard doesnt work. On compacting with V1/V2 the 4650 is properly configured but I cannot enable monitors. 8600 GT is stuck in 640x480 16 colors and will only display on the built in LCD.

    code 35 is:Your computer's system firmware does not include enough information to properly configure and use this device. To use this device, contact your computer manufacturer to obtain a firmware or BIOS update. (Code 35)
     
  7. carage

    carage Notebook Consultant

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    Well, yes, in fact did get an email response from them this afternoon. But they only said they are working on a fix but did not provide me with any of the interesting tools you just showed me.
     
  8. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    These are the ones to try. The xxxMB free is really just a status report designed for users who don't have their video card attached and want to see if they can do compaction. In the above, a solution was found so they have ALL been successful. The last one (32-bit for v1 and v2) is the best one to use since it doesn't rely on having 36-bit compliant drivers. Though I'm baffled then why 32-bit selective compaction on V1/V2 didn't work since that is exactly the same thing.

    The keyboard problem may be due to xewc OR compact. xewc is 'extended echo with color' which I use to pause/echo and add a splash of color to the status message. It has worked fine on all the non-MAC systems I've tried. I'd need you to confirm if compact or xewc are causing the keyboard problem on your Mac by testing them independently.

    I am looking forward to Mac results. There have been at least 3 previous enquiries asking if it was possibe which your results will help answer.

    Villagetronic cannot link you to Setup 1.x since that would violate the free for non-commercial use clause. Means then Villagetronic are required to come up with their own solution to the 4Gb problem OR you have good grounds for a refund for incompatability reasons.
     
  9. stain860

    stain860 Newbie

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    Thank you very much for the prompt reply and extremely helpful information nando4. I will definitely be waiting for Displaylink's new USB 3.0 adapters.
     
  10. lichtenstein

    lichtenstein Notebook Enthusiast

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    just received PE4L-EC2C but currently didnt have any PSU and VGA card to test. maybe tomorrow im gonna go to local computer shop to buy it :)
     
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