DIY eGPU experiences

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

  1. Jorkapp

    Jorkapp Newbie

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    I am pleased to report I have a partial success.

    I ordered a Radeon 5450 off newegg and received it today. I bought a 5450 instead of a 4550, as it was on sale for cheap and it benchmarks around the same.

    My laptop recognized it as a Standard VGA adapter. I figured that would happen, as I am running Catalyst 10.2 legacy for the onboard 690G chipset, which does not include support for the 5000 series.

    I downloaded Catalyst 10.3 and installed it. The graphics card came to life and worked immediately. I tested it through L4D2, Fallout 3, and Bioshock 2, and while it doesn't offer stellar framerates, they are playable and much better than what the 690G could push out. I was pleased.

    However, after a reboot, it stopped working. Not only that, the driver for the onboard stopped working, and fell back to Standard VGA.

    I realized that the legacy driver and the new driver cannot coexist, as the legacy driver uses WDDM 1.0 and the new driver uses WDDM 1.1. So unless ATI releases a catalyst driver which supports older chipsets under WDDM 1.1, the only ATI chipsets which will work well with 5000 series cards are 700 and 800 series, as they are supported by current drivers. Elsewise, those with 600 series and earlier are limited to 4000 series and below.

    Argh, so close.
     
  2. chung_gun

    chung_gun Notebook Enthusiast

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    hi, key001.:D

    thanks for your effort.
    it's very interesting thing ignored frequently.

    i've sometimes experienced the case in the dragging the gamming window from X-monitor to lappy lcd.
    i agree with a lot of your opinion & suggestions now.
    it's a valid theory.

    i attached the pics performed in lappy lcd just before with X-monitor.
    it should be mentioned that my lappy & GMA950 had naver possibly played the game before diyvidock installed 'cause of the lack of performance capability.

    1280x800 resolution in lappy. DMC4.
    1280x1024 in X-monitor.

    refer to attached pics.

    bye..
    Have a good SURPRISed day. thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    Wow! I tried this. Ran dmcv4 on the HD5750, switched to windowed mode, dragged the window to the internal LCD and it runs. What it's doing is cloning the output but using the HD5750 to do the processing.

    Ultramon/Chung-Gun internal LCD-only setup

    This is a second option if don't have NVidia Optimus available to transparently use the internal LCD.

    Pros
    -Accelerated graphics to your internal LCD without needed an external LCD!!

    Cons
    -Performance penalty due to the cloning required
    -Caters to only Windowed mode apps/games
    -Requires management software to be able to do successfully

    Performance: internal notebook LCD vs external LCD

    This is performance measured after setting up the cloned windowed mode below. For comparison both external LCD and aero on results are shown. Yes, this implies different results if the aero interface is enabled or disabled. It should be noted:

    * aero on results appear to be what the GPU is outputting. This is not an accurate FPS report as the window still needs to be cloned.
    * aero off result are the actual FPS the user sees. This is the cloned image FPS. While the numbers may look low the actual game play is reasonable. Anything at 30FPS gives a smooth animation effect.

    We see the non-CPU bound dmcv4 using internal LCD with aero_off FPS benchmark histogram below shows a straight edge at ~25-30FPS. So Win7 has a fixed cloning rate. If that could be increased via a registry setting then could get near the aero_on FPS results.

    </tbody
    SystemRAMGPU3dmarkRE5 (*=dx10)dmcv4.scene4PCIScriptPortsOS
    06vant.gpuvarfixeddx9dx10
    T2050-1.6
    HP Pavilion DV2000
    3.0HD5750@x2
    external LCD
    NANA38.5*18.3*60.155.4dv2000ICH7MWin7/32
    HD5750@x2
    internal LCD, aero_on
    27.7*15.1*44.238.2
    HD5750@x2
    internal LCD, aero_off
    16.1*11.5*22.421.0
    T6600-2.2
    Dell Inspiron 1440
    4.0HD5750@x1E
    external LCD
    NANA60.930.866.742.1insp1440ICH9MWin7/32
    HD5750@x1E
    internal LCD, aero_on
    43.523.841.725.8
    HD5750@x1E
    internal LCD, aero_off
    18.914.922.418.4
    NA - can't do a windowed mode to perform test

    I also noticed audio would get out of sync with the aero_on RE5 testing.

    Setting up Internal LCD only mode

    UPDATE: chung_gun's method here differs to the one below as it doesn't use mirroring. Instead a hotkey switches the two monitors, the visible internal LCD and the invisible desktop-gfx LCD between primary and secondary displays. When secondary, the visible internal LCD is used to start the game/app. That will default run it on the primary (invisible) display desktop_gfx LCD. Ultramon's visible taskbar icon -> Move to other monitor option is used to switch the app to the visible LCD. A clean solution.

    Another option is Actual Window Manager. See here with task bar extension and "Move To Monitor" ability suitable for DIY ViDock using only the internal LCD setup.

    Technique below sets up a dummy LCD, mirrored to the internal LCD for the purpose of running the application on the desktop gpu. Once the application has been started mirroring is disabled and the internal LCD is set as the primary display. Applications running on the 'dummy LCD' snaps into same position on the internal LCD and now use Win7's window cloning mode, allowing a window to be moved across different video adapters but processed by the video card it was started on. There is a performance drop doing this as explained above, but it's still way faster than the IGPs in these systems.

    1. Fool the system into thinking a LCD is attached by using a DVI dummy. See DVI dummy. Just need 3 resistors and a DVI-to-VGA adapter, often supplied with video cards or purchased for $5 as an accessory. I found that only a 75ohm resistor was needed to connect green (pin 2 to pin7) for this to work.

    2. Install ultramon. It's a 30-day free trial or US$40 for a single user full license. Ultramon is very handy. It provides mirroring from one display to another and ability to set which is the primary display.

    3. Run Ultramon's mirror setup and set monitor 1 to mirror monitor 2 as shown here. Increase screen updates from 5FPS to the maximum of 30FPS.

    4. Create two shortcuts on your desktop as noted below.

    mirror.bat
    Code:
    :: Setup the 'dummy' external LCD to be primary display and mirror 
    :: it to the internal LCD. This allows you to see and run your application
    :: The ultramon mirror driver is reasonable performing, but does not
    :: compare in performance win7's windowed cloning mode (native.bat) 
    
    :: Set display 2 as primary and start mirroring to display 1
    "%ProgramFiles%\UltraMon\UltraMon.exe" /p 2
    start "" "%ProgramFiles%\UltraMon\UMMirrorClient.exe" /start
    native.bat
    Code:
    :: Turn off mirroring and switch primary display to be internal LCD.
    :: Windows will flick your apps to be shown on your internal LCD BUT
    :: still be using the desktop video card to run them.
    
    :: Stop mirroring, set display 1 as primary
    "%ProgramFiles%\UltraMon\UMMirrorClient.exe" /stop
    
    :loop
    :: Wait for Mirroring to exit completely else switching to display 1 fails
    tasklist /FI "IMAGENAME eq UMMirrorclient.exe" 2>NUL | find /I /N "UMMirrorclient.exe">NUL
    if "%ERRORLEVEL%"=="0" goto loop
    
    "%ProgramFiles%\UltraMon\UltraMon.exe" /p 1
    
    :: Disable then enable secondary to flick apps to primary
    "%ProgramFiles%\UltraMon\UltraMon.exe" /d
    "%ProgramFiles%\UltraMon\UltraMon.exe" /e
    4. Add hotkey "to run program or script" in ultramon. Set ctrl+win+m to start mirror.bat and ctrl+win+n to start native.bat

    5. Ensure that your internal LCD is the primary LCD on bootup by adding native.bat to your startup folder.

    6. Hit ctrl+win+m then start your game/app requiring accelerated graphics, then hit ctrl+win+n to switch off mirroring and set the internal LCD to be the primary display. The effect of this is the windows created on the 'dummy LCD' will automatically flip your game's window to the internal graphics. Great!!

    This method only works with windowed games and applications. If the game doesn't have a native windowed mode that responds to ALT-ENTER then can use D3Dwindower to force a D3D game into a windowed mode.

    Enthusiasts can do more extensive customisations. Eg: ToggleMirroring2 and SwitchPrimary from http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/scripts/.

    BUG with Ultramon's mirroring setup

    It may issue an error to do mirroring setup again, yet not allowing it. See symptom+solution.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2015
  4. key001

    key001 Notebook Evangelist

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    I have catalyst 10.3 for 5750 and a microsoft driver for x1400 (not ati's legacy friver) and they coexist
    "ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 (Microsoft Corporation WDDM 1.1)" = ati2mtag_M54, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_7145
    "ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series (Microsoft Corporation WDDM 1.1)" = ati2mtag_Evergreen, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_68BE

    oh and i had the driver revert thing after reboot too, try installing the driver from the lit or point it to the inf file
     
  5. MaxMuscle

    MaxMuscle Newbie

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    I'm about to pull the trigger in ordering all this stuff (PE4H + PSU + 4670).. I'm running Win7 32-bit with 4GB RAM on my W510 - Will I be forced to take out one of my 2GB sticks, or is there a fix I can apply?
     
  6. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    A new DIY ViDock bootdisk will be released by the time you've acquired the parts to greatly assist with pre-boot PCI Configuration if your system needs it. Testing finding 9300M and Intel 4500MHD/HD allow PCI allocation in 64-bit space, so your NVidia FX880M would do so as well. That means a 256MB window could be liberated for ATI graphics in 32-bit space, a requirement for ATI Win7 drivers.

    What does that mean? It means you can proceed with a high level of confidence this solution will work with a W510 using 4GB of RAM.

    If you are after gaming performance graphics, you may also wish to look at the accessibility of your mPCIe slots and consider if you want a x2 link [see first post on what to look for]. T400/X200 appears capable of x2 so likely W510 is also.
     
  7. hallucinate

    hallucinate Notebook Enthusiast

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    I received an email from hwtools regarding revision 2 of the PE4H. It will begin shipping this coming tuesday, May 4th. Woohoo.
     
  8. chung_gun

    chung_gun Notebook Enthusiast

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    congratulations!
     
  9. niffcreature

    niffcreature computer lesbian

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    would it be helpful to this project to try it on a very new laptop? my friend has a t410.
     
  10. nowai

    nowai Notebook Enthusiast

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    I would GREATLY appreciate knowing how well it works on a t410 (or a Dell Latitude E6410), as I'm currently thinking about buying one of these two laptops over a macbook pro after learning about the diy vidock project!

    Thanks in advance!
     
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