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DIY eGPU experiences

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

  1. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Notebook Consultant

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    No, the GPU runs at the same temp [about 60 C max, usually in the 50's; Idle at 22-mid 30's depending on where it is] as it was when it was in open air, the casing on the card even stays cool; at most only a few small components on the PSU ever heat up (and even then, not by much, remember all that is drawing power is the GPU); then there is the large 120mm fan that is always pulling fresh air into the case and the only way for it to get out is at the other end (which means it has to go over the PSU and through/ under the gfx card -below the card is a .5" gap or so, and there is a small gap at that end on the exhaust side- so everything has fresh air constantly being pulled across it)... but of course the exhaust on the gpu is warm, so that can't be covered up safely [duh]

    The only place I can feel any heat after using it for a gaming session, is at the exhaust side of it, and even then only the GPU vent is warm.


    I made the whole thing so that there is no downside to any of it: no adverse heat, no shaking about, easy to use and setup, relatively small [I sacrificed some size to get cooling that I am more comfortable with]; though it is not 100% finished, it needs to be cleaned up/ polished, have a thinner 120mm fan secured in place, and have a place to easily plug a external mini HDMI cable (I will be getting a female to female mini HDMI adapter so I can put the super short cable inside it, with the adapter's end available to plug in a mini HDMI cable of my choosing between the dock and EC adapter -also makes it easier and safer to take with/ transport)... and of course I will put a fan grille on the 120mm fan
     
  2. Value At Risk

    Value At Risk Notebook Enthusiast

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  3. Takaji

    Takaji Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have a Sony Vaio VPCZ1390S with an Intel HM57 Chipset on the South Bridge. It has three PCI-E 2.0 x1 ports. Port 1 is occupied by a wireless card, port 2 is occupied by a memory card reader (built-in to the laptop) and port 3 is free (expresscard slot). The North Bridge has a PCI-E 2.0 x16 port with a GeForce GT 330M graphics card attached.

    I read in the first post that in order to create an x2 link, you would need to connect adjacent ports (ie., p1+p2, p3+p4). It looks to me like I can't create an x2 link, even if I disabled the memory card reader. Can anyone confirm this?

    Alternatively, is there anything I can do with that x16 port, via disabling the 330M card on it?

    If not, I guess I'll wait for USB 3.0 display adapters.

    Thanks!
     
  4. bache

    bache Notebook Enthusiast

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    So I got my previous problems sorted out, now I've got two more.
    1) VGA output doesn't work.
    2) The PSU, card and laptop all shut off under medium load. The laptop actually restarts, but the card and PSU both need to be turned off for a few minutes. Neither the PSU or card even get hot.

    The card is a GT430 and the PSU is a Codegen 450w at 16A. It's similar to the one Nando is using.
     
  5. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    Takaji, it is not practicable and most likely not even electrically possible to wire the GT330M's x16 port to the outside. However, you could replace the wireless card with a mPCIe adapter. The ricoh combo chip on port 2 sits on a daughterboard (connected to the motherboard via a ribbon cable) so could be unsoldered/permanently disconnected and another x1 port could theoretically be rooted out if we could get hold of schematics or reverse engineer signal lines. By doing so, you can create a x2-system with the Z (port1+port2)

    As you can see in the performance charts, the best option however on a Z is x1.Opt with a Fermi card. AFAIK, you won't get a very noticable performance gain by changing from x1.Opt to x2. I think you can also do a x1E setup with an ATI card through expresscard with setup 1.x/port4 enable. If you actually want to use such external graphic solution with a Z, usb3.0 hooked up via EC won't give you same performance since its PCIe-USB3.0 controller already does conversion job and will bottleneck your setup afterwards.
     
  6. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    How long is your mHDMI cable? What Jumper/Switch configuration do you have on your PE4L? Are you sure PSU is powered on without interrupts (Paperclip loses contact or so, if you are using SWEX, ignore that question)? Have you checked your windows event log to figure out if there is some shutdown signal? Did you try to install an older NVidia driver?
     
  7. bache

    bache Notebook Enthusiast

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    The mHDMI cable is the standard one that came with the PE4L, so around a foot long. I'm using a paperclip for now as the seller forgot to include the SWEX however it is on it's way. The paperclip is in there firmly, so I'm sure it's not that. I haven't checked the logs yet actually, I'll have a look in just a second. I'm using the latest Verde driver (270.61) with Nando's nvam.inf.

    I've got 22 of these.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    Hmm, I'd suggest you check your RAM with memtest86 or something first. I guess we need to narrow the cause down first. Do you have the opportunity to try a fresh win7 setup? Do you have a second GPU laying around for testing? Did you wire up the PE4L correctly? What is the Jumper configuration? Both LEDs on? Try to pull JP4 out before assembling to the GPU, if both LEDs come on with that, give it a run.
     
  9. serialk11r

    serialk11r Notebook Consultant

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    Careful with your terminology, modular means you can disconnect the power cables. That's a dedicated PSU for graphics, and one of the comments says it turns on by molex connected to the primary PSU. If you use that thing you can have your notebook feed power to it via USB possibly, although if it works off the 12V signal then it gets a bit complicated.

    All that said, 25 bucks is way too cheap for a PSU, that looks very sketchy and will run hot and loud, not to mention probably delivering pretty poor power and having low efficiency.
     
  10. bache

    bache Notebook Enthusiast

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    I don't really have the opportunity to try a fresh installation and I don't have a second GPU (I come from a family of laptop lovers :p), The PE4L is wired correctly, both LEDs are on, but when I remove JP4, the light for mains power comes on, then when I plug it into my computer, it turns off and the other one comes on.
     
  11. max1919

    max1919 Newbie

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    I'm going to buy PE4L/PE4H adapter.
    Is there any difference between PE4H ver2.4 and PE4L ver1.4, if I'm going to use expresscard1.0 x1?
     
  12. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    No, the only differences in this case is that the PE4H provides a better stand due to the longer board, has more activation timout options and can be powered with a standard laptop psu up to 19V. If you plan to use an ATX PSU, there is only the stand thing. For most users planning to do a x1 setup, PE4L provides all functionality needed.
     
  13. max1919

    max1919 Newbie

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    ok, tnx for explanation. that... timeout options, is that something important (am I going to have problems without it)?
     
  14. bache

    bache Notebook Enthusiast

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    Just gave it another try. Same results, but this time I noticed a really quick BSOD.
     
  15. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    Depends on your laptop. Its just a convenience feature it's nothing important. If you need to use the sleep and wakeup method, you don't even use this. If your BIOS takes not more than 7 seconds to POST (this is the max. timeout time on the PE4L, PE4H has an addtitional setting), you even have no use for the PE4H extra timeout
     
  16. bache

    bache Notebook Enthusiast

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    This isn't perhaps something to do with DIY ViDock Setup 1.0e8?

    I'm chainloading with Windows 7 and using 36 bit compaction.
     
  17. tpro

    tpro Notebook Guru

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  18. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Notebook Consultant

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    IDK exactly which card you have, but this card -Newegg.com - EVGA 01G-P3-1430-LR GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card- on newegg says this
    I know you said you bought a new PSU, but you apperlently bought the wrong one (just get the one Nando4 recommended as it works for him, me, and many others without fuss) this is the PSU Newegg.com - CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 CMPSU-430CX 430W ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply



    Your PSU is almost certainly the issue (as it was for prikko here -only a few pages back)

     
  19. bache

    bache Notebook Enthusiast

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    Nando told me this PSU would be alright. He said he's running a 460 on a 300W at 16A. Well, mine's a 450w at 16A and only running a 430. It should be ample. But I'll give it a go. Hopefully that'll fix it.
     
  20. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Notebook Consultant

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    Like I said, what is your exact video card? The card I quoted is a 430, but it might have different power requirements than yours... but if the card calls for 22A (like the one I quoted did) you will need 22A at minimum (16A isn't 'close enough' for it to work)

    The 22A required (again, that is from the card I quoted, not necessarily yours) is needed on the +12 rail alone, since the +5 rails and others do not matter, you cannot just look at the overall Wattage and think it has enough oomph (as it includes all the rails not just the +12)


    also, the PSU that I am using (and recommended, and that nando4 usually recommends) has 28A on the +12 rail, more than enough headroom to power your card running at full tlt
     

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