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DIY eGPU experiences

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

  1. zodiark1234

    zodiark1234 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well, I wasn't expecting on maxing out the game to begin with. I simply needed playable framerates at a resolution that doesn't hurt my eyes (800 x 600 anyone?). Splurging on a new system while mine is still in one piece just for gaming I don't consider really practical, hence why I'm looking toward an eGPU solution. ;)

    I'll see what parts I can get at Fry's (GPU and PSU) and w/e I can't find, i'll look for online. Just reading this thread gave me some measure of confidence that I can get this to work. In addition, this will really help when using the UDK. My Radeon 6370 chokes when I use 2+ point lights.

    Thanks for the help to OP and Journeyman.
     
  2. wild05kid05

    wild05kid05 Cook Free or Die

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    Hehe take your time and ty for response. So if I get a laptop with iGPU only that should work out well right
     
  3. SimoxTav

    SimoxTav Notebook Evangelist

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    lol re-reading my reply, i saw the howlers i wrote XD

    Anyway right, as long as you have an iGPU the optimus task is doable :)
     
  4. Slagatron Prime

    Slagatron Prime Notebook Enthusiast

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    Alrighty, so I finally got everything together, soldered, removed, shaved down, etc. A bit had to be done to make all the components work together, but all the physical stuff is done. I'm running an HP 6460b with the PE3A and riser mpcie extension to an EVGA GTX560 Ti. IC's L2 an U3 have been removed, I have a 12v line in to the posts as in Nando's setup. To test for power, I tried NOT plugging in the 6pin's to see if the GPU fan would come on under only the 12v line through the PE3A, and it did. Power PSU off, and fan stops - which did NOT happen when the IC's were in place - meaning I have the IC's out the way they should be. Similarly, the GPU will run solely on 6pin power, so all power is go. I'm not, however, getting any detection. I tried sleep-resuming the system and also starting up froma full shut down, neither detects the card. Am I doing something wrong? It should still detect without optimus or EVGA's drivers installed right?
    Oh yeah, The system didn't hang on BIOS with the card powered on and connected before starting the computer, which Nando's setup did do. Dunno if that helps.
     
  5. totalnerd100

    totalnerd100 Newbie

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    I am thinking about getting a egpu but im not sure if it would work on my pc. Here is my DIAG, but im not sure if i did it right.Pe4h Config Test.rar
     
  6. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Evangelist

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    So I did some testing with internal LCD mode. The results? If you want higher FPS, run 16bit color!. This cuts the frame buffer in half resulting in a huge performance increase in most cases.
    <table border=1>
    <tr><td></td><td>RE5dx9</td><td>DMC4s4dx10</td><td>Heaven</td></tr><tr><td>32bit</td><td>89.0</td><td>77.5</td><td>1263</td></tr><tr><td>16bit</td><td>153.2</td><td>97.1</td><td>1753</td></tr><tr><td>% improvement</td><td>72.1%</td><td>25.3%</td><td>38.8%</td></tr></table>

    I also ran FF14. It did not benefit from going to 16 bit for some reason.

    Since pretty much every game supports windowed mode, you can run 16 bit color by setting 16 bit in the monitor options in windows. The downside is the obvious color quality loss, which varies in how noticeable it is from game to game. In some games you'll barely notice, in others it stands out.

    I think that 24 bit color would be ideal. This would have the same color spectrum of 32bit, but knock off the rarely used transparency bits that 32bit has, which really just waste bandwidth.

    Does anyone have any ideas on forcing 24bit color, or running 16bit in fullscreen mode?
     
  7. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Evangelist

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    Correct. Drivers are not needed to detect the card. Try setting the port to PCI-E 1.1 and see if that gets the card detected. My 460 refused to run PCI-E 2.0 and had detection problems with a PE3A. It would only be detected around 1 out of every 5 tries when hotplugging.

    Do you also have a PE4H or PE4L to try?
     
  8. wild05kid05

    wild05kid05 Cook Free or Die

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    wait, so optimus compression only engages in x1 link right ?
     
  9. SimoxTav

    SimoxTav Notebook Evangelist

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    Same analysis i did with Nando :D
    Great Job :)
    Sadly no idea yet on how to force 24bpp :(


    Let's check it ;)
     
  10. Kallogan

    Kallogan Notebook Deity

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  11. Slagatron Prime

    Slagatron Prime Notebook Enthusiast

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    I do not, and I'm kinda hoping I can get this to work somehow, otherwise I'm gonna have to spend another $100 to make my egpu work. How do I go about switching to pcie 1.0? I don't have setup1.1x by the way. I'm looking at the "PCI express root port"s in device manager right now.
     
  12. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    Are you hotplugging the PE3A with the eGPU on *after* boot? Ie: halt the Win7 bootup with F8, hotplug the PE3A, select Win7 to continue the boot. That's the only way I could get my video card detected (though I used Setup 1.x to confirm). The PE4L/PE4H has the 0/7/15s PCI Reset Delay to in effect do the same thing for you.

    The Probooks/Elitebooks have a Gen1/Gen2 expresscard option in the bios. Set it to Gen1 to force pci-e 1.1.
     
  13. Slagatron Prime

    Slagatron Prime Notebook Enthusiast

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    Wow, you are the best. Thanks for the reply, I was not halting boot, I meant to try that and forgot. Gonna give it a go, and thank you for the bios EC tidbit. Let's see how this goes.

    Tried once, didn't work. Before I go and set the pcie to 1.0, I want to make sure I'm hotplugging right. Power laptop on, halt, paperclip trick the psu, select "start windows normally", right? Or do I need the PE3A to be completely unplugged to begin with? I booted with it already in the port, halted, and simply turned it on then resumed.
     
  14. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    Power off notebook. Unplug the PE3A from the expresscard slot, poweron the eGPU, power on the notebook, hit F8 to halt Win7 load, plug in the PE3A (with powered eGPU) into the expresscard slot, select Win7 to load it. That process resulted in my GTX560Ti being on the pci-e bus and working in Win7. Powering on the eGPU alone at the F8 screen with the PE3A plugged in did not have it detected.
     
  15. DesZac

    DesZac Notebook Enthusiast

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    I know it's been a while since this post, but I haven't ordered them yet... I just wanted to ask if I should keep or remove the expresscard adapter since I'm doing it via mPCIe.
     
  16. Slagatron Prime

    Slagatron Prime Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have no "win7" select option. I have the different types of safe boots available, start windows normally and that kind of stuff, and at the top it says something something "Windows 7", but not "win7". Also, turns out my pcie bus was originally set to 1.0 speed, so I tried setting it to 2.0, but I'm not getting anything with either. Sigh. looks like im out of luck
     
  17. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    Yeah, start windows normally is what should be selected after hotplugging the PE3A. Also make sure the expresscard slot itself is enabled in the bios. There is an enable/disable expresscard option to do that in the bios.
     
  18. Slagatron Prime

    Slagatron Prime Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah I saw that. It's enabled. When I halt the boot, if I hit esc it takes me to a screen that lets me select what to boot, in this case "Windows 7", so I tried that but it must just be "start windows normally". I wonder what could be causing it not to work. Our notebooks use the same BIOS right? So that shouldn't be it. I'm guessing the most likely culprit is the PE3A itself, not that it matters now that I've thoroughly hacked it. My friend has another PE3A, I could try that one but it's probably a better idea to return it...if that's even an option. I wonder if the new PE4L would work with my HP, or if I have some more major underlying compatibility issue.

    Oh one last thing. I just realized the GPU's fan will turn off if I unplug it from the pcie slot. Does this mean it's not getting any power from the 6 pins, or is the fan only powered through the slot?
     
  19. Wolf_vx

    Wolf_vx Notebook Enthusiast

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    Ok..

    Today I took my Asus G72GX apart to see whats under the hood. I have 2 mPCI-e slots which in one of them sits Wifi. I glanced around to see if anything resembles a possible location for a possible third mPCI-e slot but I couldn't find a full mPCI-e width solder location. Although the memory card adapter resembles the size of such port which in turn on EVEREST isn't hosted on PCI port. Do you guys think I will be able to at least get x2 running? One more question, since my laptop's gpu is cuda, will the eGPU work in pair with it if I also get cuda desktop gpu?

    Wolf
     
  20. kizwan

    kizwan Lord Pringles

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    What do you mean by "...the GPU will run solely on 6pin power..."? Are you plug-in only one or both 6-pin PCIe power connector?
    If you want to use mPCIe, then just need to buy mPCIe card (PM3N) & PE4L/PE4H.
     

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