Let's figure out how to make a DIY eGPU (previously DIY ViDock)

Discussion in 'e-GPU (External Graphics) Discussion' started by moral hazard, Jul 9, 2009.

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  1. ahl395

    ahl395 Ahlball

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    @nando4: Yep, that sounds pretty good.
    But also, maybe add to #4, and request that it be something standard. Like a 4pin Molex, or a PCI-E Power Connector, or SATA Power Port. Whatever supplies enough power. And possibly Multiple of these, to provide enough power to high end cards if nessesary. ;)

    @emike09: Maybe you are willing to try it out for us all? :)
    Actually, i want to do it to actually use it. I was thinking of making it and giving it to a family member with an X3100 who want to play COD on his HDTV. :D So, this would work perfectly. But, yeah, id be all happy that i did the project too. :p
     
  2. catacylsm

    catacylsm Notebook Prophet

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    Hehe awesome :D nice project going here :D
     
  3. predatorramboxxx

    predatorramboxxx Notebook Deity

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    ha i most willing to buy one and test it i think it will be perfect for the xps m1210
     
  4. ahl395

    ahl395 Ahlball

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    Yeah! Try it! :D ;) :p
     
  5. JustinNotJason

    JustinNotJason Notebook Consultant

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    Uhm at the risk of being 'that guy' who comes in late in the thread and asks something that has been answered -

    What's telling the computer to send the video information to the card to be processed?

    And also by nature doesn't the information get sent to the card and fed out through the port (VGA/DVI/HDMI) on the back? So would this not require another monitor, should it be feesable?

    EDIT:
    So I read earlier that there's a program that detects any card attached to the system.

    I'm going to assume you're going to just attach an external monitor to the card.

    My next question would be really is an express card slot fast enough to process the image quick enough, but given that this product already exists in the retail world I suppose the answer is yes.
     
  6. ahl395

    ahl395 Ahlball

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    @nando4: Any response from HWTools yet?

    And also (anyone): Would you think the 4850 would be a bad bottleneck? And not worth the extra money for it in the end from a 4670, if it wont be much faster? Or would I see a substantial difference between a 4670 and 4850, as you would in a regular desktop or near it?
     
  7. MexicanSnake

    MexicanSnake I'm back!

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    The biggest issue here is the bandwidth, In my own point of view the HD4850 would be like the most powerful card for this solution since it only uses GDDR3, just dont expect a GDDR5 card running well since that card would lose much performance due the memory speed and bandwidth.
     
  8. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    Performance: pci-e scaling analysis at x16, x2 and x1 speeds
    SystemGraphics using PE4H/PE4L/PM3CRE5 benchmark 1280x800 32-bit
    Dell M1330
    T7500-2.2
    GTX260 x2 1.0 (?)
    HD4670 x1 1.0
    Onboard 8400M GS
    53.3 (1280x1024!!)
    25.4
    9.7
    </tter>
    GameResolutionE6400-3.0 withx16 2.0x2 1.0 / x1 2.0x1 1.0
    Resident Evil 51280x800HD3850-256MB
    HD4870-1GB
    71.6
    84.6
    57.0(-20.4%)
    72.7(-14.1%)
    34.0(-52.5%)
    33.8(-60.0%)
    1680x1050HD3850-256MB
    HD4870-1GB
    53.0
    78.5
    43.1(-18.7%)
    61.3(-21.8%)
    28.1(-47.0%)
    30.9(-60.6%)
    Crysis1280x960HD3850-256MB
    HD4870-1GB
    26.84
    37.66
    18.82(-26.1%)
    32.68(-13.2%)
    11.01(-59.0%)
    20.11(-46.6%)
    1680x1050HD3850-256MB
    HD4870-1GB
    20.09
    32.77
    8.95(-55.5%)
    27.25(-16.8%)
    4.83(-76.0%)
    17.30(-47.2%)
    Source: combined RE5 results from Gerry's emails below and darknok44's HD3850 and HD4870 pci-e scaling analysis. See also HD5870 Scaling Analysis x1 2.0, x4 2.0, x8 2.0, x16 2.0

    hwtools report of PE2L/PM3/PE4 product status (newest to oldest)

    2011/3/14

    PM3N ver 1.2 support CLKRUN# request. [sample made]. You can download PM3N schematic: http://www.bplus.com.tw/PDF/PM3N_schemaitc ver12.pdf

    PCI-E 2.0 5GT/s still develop now. But test fail still now
    2011/3/1

    Thunderbolt port products is under developing now. Call PE4H ver3.0. Using mini display port cable. Please check attached file.

    MINI DP M TO M CABLE Model_SZ.pdf

    enclosure also design now.

    Let me know if you have thunderbolt port specification or pin assignment. It can help me to speed up the develop.​

    2010/11/2

    PE4H 1.0, 2.0 19V DC input design for light-duty 12V/1.5A video card.
    Need choose PSU for heavy-duty.
    PE4H v2.0 add 2 PCS fuse to only protect PCIe 12V
    PE4H v2.4 add 5 PCS fuse to portect PCIe 12V, DC19V, USB5V, PCIe3.3V all power

    PE4H ver2.0 12V/5V/3.3V power current limit (PCIe 12V protect)

    DC15~20V input

    Floppy 12V/5V input

    ExCard 3.3V input

    PCIe 12V

    12V/1.5A (Max)

    12V/6A (Max)

    12V/0A

    USB 5V

    5V/1.0A (Max)

    5V/3A (Max)

    3.0V/1A (Max)

    PCIe 3.3V

    3.3V/1.5A (Max)

    3.3V/3A (Max)

    3.3V/1.3A (Max)




    PE4H ver2.4 12V/5V/3.3V power current limit (PCIe3.3V, USB5V, PCIe12V, DC19V protect)

    DC15~20V input

    Floppy 12V/5V input

    ExCard 3.3V input

    PCIe 12V

    12V/3A (Max)

    12V/6A (Max)

    12V/0A

    USB 5V

    5V/1.5A (Max)

    5V/1.5A (Max)

    5V/1A (Max)

    PCIe 3.3V

    3.3V/3A (Max)

    3.3V/3A (Max)

    3.3V/1.3A (Max)




    2010/10/31


    PM3N v1.2 will following your idea. Change PERST# to CLKRUN# delay time. Engineering schedule about Nov/15

    PE4H v2.4 add more FUSE (add a FUSE for DC jack, and add a FUSE for USB port) to protect board. V2.4 ETA/schematic about Nov/20

    PE4H Ver24_dimension.pdf
    PE4H_VER24_schematic.pdf
    PM3Nv12_schematic.pdf

    2010/9/9

    PE4H ver2.3 will add JUMP short for floppy cable power 12V to PCIe 12V directly. But this JUMP is &#8220;NA&#8221;, &#8220;no assembly&#8221;. Please check attached file for schematic and dimension. PE4H version history as below:

    Date/Version/Description

    2009 Oct 07 / 1.0 / First Release
    2010 Mar 07 / 2.0 / Support x4 PCIe connector
    2010 Aug 01 / 2.1 / Support PERST# delay timing, Add 3.3V, 5V, 12V, PERST# LED
    2010 Aug 25 / 2.2 / Add 3V, 5V, 12V POWER input conn, Add 12V_DC fuse, 5V_USB fuse
    2010 Sep 06 / 2.3 / Add JP4 jump for FD_12V bypass to PCIe conn

    Ver2.1, V2.2 test not so good. So I don&#8217;t have release it.

    PE4H Ver2.3 with HP4A engineering sample will test next week.

    PCIe [3.0] 8Gbps will be supported when I get mainboard and video card next year.

    PE4H_20100825 Model (1).pdf
    PE4H_VER23_schematic_2010SEP07.pdf

    2010/8/1
    Let you know a bad news.

    Attached file is PE4H ver2.1 and HP4A photo. But test failed. Engineering sample of next version schedule will postpone to Aug/28.

    By the way, I don&#8217;t have plan to develop legacy product. Such as Cardbus, mPCI

    [​IMG]

    2010/7/6
    I got many people suggestion from notebookreview

    The PE4H ver2.1 add PERST# delay for avoid BIOS detection. And improve DC/DC schematic to 9A. please check attached comparison.pdf. Ver2.1 price should same with older version.

    Schedule :

    7/5 PCB process
    7/13 PCBA assembly and test
    7/19 engineering sample release when test PASS. Totally 10PCS
    8/31 mass production. Totally 300PCS


    pe4h_schematic_2010july05.pdf

    PE4H comparison.pdf

    2010/6/9
    PE4H 2.1 and PE4L 1.5 under development now. My idea is use adjustable component to delay 1~30/sec. It may have engineering sample about July/E/2010

    New item HP4A for PE4H 2.x. Please check attached file. The engineering sample about June/E/2010 the price should be $25.

    HP4A_dimension.pdf
    hp4a_2010may25_draft.pdf

    2010/4/14

    PE4H V2 engineering sample available on Apr/21. Totally 7PCS goods will sale on www.HWtools.net &#8220;buy it now&#8221;. May/14 available when mass production smooth going.

    2010/3/12

    I will update my PE4H to support x4. Please check attached file for reference.Engineering sample available on Mar/25

    PE4H Ver2.0.pdf
    pe4h_2010mar11.pdf

    2009/10/23
    For your PE4L hotswapping request and whitelist problem. PM3N new version.

    For x4 request. we start develop new product for you. It can support x4 2.0 link update from PE4L. product name will be &#8220;PE4M&#8221;. but &#8220;PE4M&#8221; engineering sample schedule may delay to Dec/2009.

    2009/9/29
    [Nando comment: Reference below to AC/DC adapter is when using the PE4H's regulated DC input jack.
    Can bypass this completely and use the alternate 4-pin 12V molex input to provide pci-e slot power.
    PM3N mini pci-e adapter update adds a jumperable delay to workaround the sort of bios whitelisting that halts bootup process with an error message when a non whitelist compatible device is detected.]

    Using notebook&#8217;s AC/DC adapter(19V/4.5A) is recommend. consider modify spec to &#8220;16~20V/4.5A&#8221;

    PM3N add jumpable reset timing. PERESET# delay 6.9sec to avoid whitelist. Please check attached file.
    PM3N Schematic

    2009/9/21
    Finally, PE4H hardware test passed on my Dell M1330 platform.
    PE4H engineering sample 14PCS should release Sep/25. You can buy more next week.

    Pilot run 300PCS should launch Oct/16

    We will do more compatibility test next week.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    2009/9/1
    PE4H is H/W debug now. Please check attached file for PE4H photo and schematic. PE4H engineering sample also will released on Sep/11 when H/W test PASS

    Besides, I will improve PE3N for Lenovo, HP, Toshiba notebook compatibility. My idea is delay RESET timing avoid BIOS whitelist check.

    PE4L with EC2C is mass production now. I will put it to my &#8220;buy it now&#8221; this week.

    View attachment pe4h_schematic.pdf

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    2009/8/20 - Mason Tsai as shown here

    1, Our PE4 will separate into PE4H and PE4L two types, because marketing inquired,

    The different between PE4H and PE4L

    A, H: use 16X connector, L use 1x connector

    B, the design point of view: H can use AC/DC adapter from 12V to 20V, But L only can use 12V also USB must connect

    C, H is double speed than L, because H support two PCIe signals,
    In the other words, The PE4L is cost down version of PE4H
    2, Status: PE4L is available now , but PE4H is still under developing right now
    3, Regarding your video card support, Can you tell me what kind of OS you use it right now? Vista or Win 7?
    4, The unit price of PE4L is USD$35 and PE4H is USD$50,

    Mason Tsai.

    2009/8/18
    Before setup PE4L. with heavy power loading VGA card. Please prepare 2 things as below yourself:

    1. A POWER supply enough power watt for your VGA card such as GTX260, HD4890(suggest 500W), see IMAGE_4951.jpg

    2. A paper clip. Connector PIN4(green), PIN5 (black) to POWER ON, Please be carefully. See IMAGE_4931.JP

    For light power loading VGA card a AC/DC 12V/6.67A adapter. please see IMAGE_4901.jpg

    View attachment Schematic_EC2C.pdf View attachment Schematic_PE4L.pdf View attachment Schematic_PM3N.pdf

    PE4H should finished design tomorrow.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    2009/8/16
    Today, bought Nvidia GTX260 VGA card for test.

    PE4L with PE3N or EC2C test PASS with Nvidia GTX260 on my DELL_M1330. Please check attached file for Evil5 test result (average 53.3fps, so so >~~< ). Anyway better then internal nvidia8400M (average 8.1fps)

    Please check attached file.

    PE4L have a small problem, PCBA too HOT!!, I will add heat sink for mass production. PE4L product should sale when I got the heat sink from vendor.

    I will write down install procedure tomorrow.

    By the way, PE4H support all your request. engineering sample schedule may 8/31

    PE4H Support x2 link PCIe cable from expresscard and mPCIe slot.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    2009/8/14
    8/20 will back from China,

    PE4L &#8220;L mean Low cost version&#8221; use PCIe x1 conn, basically, PE4L design for PCIe x1 add-on card. But you can insert x16 VGA card for test.

    EC2C Expresscard adapter for PE4L

    PM3N mPCIe adapter for PE4L

    My new product PE4H should meet your all request. It hardly design. Any way I will finished next week.

    2009/7/31
    I have business trip to my China factory the day after tomorrow. I will assign an engineer to test my product HP1 with PE2L on INTEL ICH10 main-board for PCIe 2.0 interface. For 2x mode.

    Basically, my product include own custom PCIe cable can support 5Gbps/s for 2x PCIe interface.

    From ExpressCard.org info

    Brad Saunders, chairman of PCMCIA: "The ExpressCard 2.0 Standard brings a whole new level of performance to the notebook market. Users of applications such as streaming media, flash memory and large data transfers will see up to 10 times higher transfer rates using ExpressCard 2.0 Standard products. We can expect to see these products on the market in 2011."

    ExpressCard 2.0 Standard

    &#8226; Adopts recent updates to PCI Express* and USB* standards, which now support transfer rates of up to 5Gbps:

    &#8211; PCI Express 2.0, 2X faster than its previous version
    &#8211; SuperSpeed USB version 3.0, 10X faster than Hi-Speed USB (2.0)


    For combined ExpressCard and mini-PCIe to x2 !!??

    It may need BIOS identify. I prefer the ExpressCard 2.0 coming.

    I will put PE2L engineering sample 15PCS to &#8220;buy it now&#8221; on my web-site tomorrow. Thanks​


    2009/7/27
    [Nando4 comment Resident Evil benchmarks on a Toshiba P8800-2.66 and T7500-2.2 Dell M1330 using HD4670, HD4500, 8800M GS (highest=25FPS) are below.Consider the Resident Evil 59.5 FPS on a E5200-3.2/HD4670 at full x16 pci-e 2.0 speeds here captured from this video.]

    I will add USB2.0 connector to PE4 project.

    PM3/PE4 is passive adapter can support PCIe2.0. but frankly speaking. I never test with PCIe 2.0 platform.

    Besides, Please check attached file for Evil5 benchmarks. I will test more VGA card and platform. Thanks.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    2009/7/24
    Sorry for my a mistake.

    PE2L NO 4PIN connector. A DC jack for 12V input only.

    Please check attached photo file. Thanks.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: Correction to PE2L specifications, simulating strikeout with XX below


    2009/7/24
    Dear Nando,

    I will release PE2L-ES1 product info to my website(7/28). and Engineering sample also put up my &#8220;buy it now&#8221; next Friday(7/31).


    PE2L upgrade from PE2. Spec as below:

    ---------------------

    XX->Add 4PIN Floppy connect with Molex 4Pin cable adapter. For ATX 12V input.<-XX

    Add DC jack. For 12V dc adapter input

    PCIe 1x OPEN type connecter. OPEN type mean &#8220;Not only insert 1x but also insert 4x 8x 16x Add-on Card&#8221;

    ---------------------

    PM3/PE4 project following your idea and redesign now. I will make 30PCS Engineering sample on Aug/8th

    Launch on Aug/12th if H/W test ALL PASS.


    2009/7/22
    Molex 4PIN connecter should add my design. Thank you for your advice.


    2009/7/21
    Thank you for your information. Let you know a good news.

    DELL M1330 test pass when using 2G RAM.

    DELL M1330 4G RAM/ Win7 64bit/ nVidia 8400 GS VGA card / PE4 FAIL
    DELL M1330 2G RAM/ Win7 64bit/ nVidia 8400 GS VGA card / PE4 PASS

    Toshiba Satellite 4G RAM / Win7 64bit / nvidia 8400 GS VGA card / PE4 PASS
    Toshiba Satellite 2G RAM / Win7 64bit / nvidia 8400 GS VGA card / PE4 PASS

    Please check attached files.

    Tom Clancy&#8217;s H.A.W.X game playing smoothly.
    I will do more VGA card and notebook test with 3DMark benchmark.

    For your minicard slot application. I will create a project for you.

    Model name: PM3

    Project name: mPCIe to PCIe adapter (include custom PCIe cable 30cm or 100cm)
    PM3 with PE4 price should $40~50

    I will release PM3 and PE4 engineering sample to www.HWtools.net when available.

    Thank you very much

    Gerry Chen,
    www.HWtools.net

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    End-notes

    I am awaiting more news on the PM3/PE4 product incorporating suggested design elements as shown here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
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  9. Blueman101

    Blueman101 Notebook Evangelist

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    doesnt the pe4 give us the opportunity to have better quality than the vidock? Allowing us to put any gpu we want to? How would we do this if we wanted to do a gpu that required power?

    Nice work Nando
    +rep
     
  10. conejeitor

    conejeitor Notebook Evangelist

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    If this work, you guys should sell it!
     
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