T420 + GTX 670 eGPU setup.

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by iCrazyNoob, Sep 12, 2013.

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  1. iCrazyNoob

    iCrazyNoob Notebook Guru

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    So I had ideas on having an eGPU setup ever since i saw it on the DIY eGPU threat like over a year ago.
    Now I finally got my hand on a Chinese version of PE4H called EXP GDC V2.5.:thumbsup:

    PS: There is a new version EXP GDC V3 which support PCIe 2.0 @ 1x unfortunately I'm no longer in China lol so I'm stuck with my V2.5.

    I will attach some photo of the adapter later since I cannot take it apart right now.:rolleyes:

    My setup is:
    T420-4177CTO
    ASUS GTX 670 DCUII 2GB
    EXP GDC V2.5 Express Card to PCI-e
    Antec NeoPower 650W PSU

    Connecting the video card to the laptop was a breeze just power cord and a hdmi cord to the express card supplied.
    At first I had problems with my laptop recognizing the card but realized that I forgot to set Express Card Speed to Generation 1 in BIOS.
    After it was set right the 670 lit right up and worked flawlessly!

    I was planning to make a case for it but never got my hand on that maybe one day lol.

    100_2503.jpg
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    QQ图片20130912011027.jpg


    Seems like 3DMark11 is getting decent results even tho the card is running at PCI-e 1.1 @ 1x only.

    EDIT: After some messing with the card I flashed the ASUS GTX670 TOP Edition BIOS onto the card successfully.
    With some further overclocking I reached 1267/1800x4 @ 1.215V


    74FZ{{~GN`]5%D$WJ6[ZCUD.jpg

    外屏X.jpg

    This definitely bought the video card mark up to the max compare to the 4200M rated at 5.6ish!

    X7SGI)Q_0$KL3HL65HN%4{L.jpg

    Gaming:
    I'm playing the games on the external monitor which is at standard 1920x1080 resolution.
    Tomb Raider which runs around 30-50 FPS with ULTIMATE settings.
    Left 4 Dead 2 gets a very smooth100+FPS on default maps with maxed out settings.
    League of Legends Probably an overkill with 670 with max settings running about 130-200 FPS
    Assassins Creed 3 Seems like its a bit more graphic intensive with only 15-25FPS in crowded towns with max settings.

    It's my first time posting this type of review so I might have missed many things hehe:D
    I will add more games later if you have questions or suggestions feel free to comment!:):)
     
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  2. w_km

    w_km Notebook Consultant

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    Nice, you're able to run the internal display plus the external monitor via the GTX 670?

    As cool that these DIY setups are though, what we really need is full-fledged 16x/8x/4x eGPU docking station.
     
  3. Summilux

    Summilux Notebook Guru

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    How about the noise? I think I'd be rapidly annoyed by the Thinkpad's fan turned to the max.
     
  4. iCrazyNoob

    iCrazyNoob Notebook Guru

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    Currently I'm running external with 670 and internal with HD3000, but its also very easy to let the GTX 670 to handle internal as well with some settings.
    As for a full bandwidth dock will be hard because the laptop does not have any connection that will supply that. Maybe one day when laptop manufactures decide to put one in we can only assort to these.
    Currently the best ones are prob PE4H with PCIe 2.0 @ x2 but thats seriously a lot of work with a expresscard and minipcie together rendering the laptop immobile.

    With the external graphics card it should run cooler since the internal Nvidia chip is no longer generating any heat (disabled). the GTX 670 is extremely quiet because of asus's directcu 2 cooler, also with tpfancontrol i can keep the laptop fan in control~
     
  5. iCrazyNoob

    iCrazyNoob Notebook Guru

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    Heres the photo for the adapter, it uses a normal HDMI to miniHDMI cable to connect to each other. also uses normal 4pin CPU power plug for power.

    100_2513.jpg

    100_2514.jpg
     
  6. ymi

    ymi Notebook Geek

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    i just started thinking about setting up an egpu but haven't read much about it yet. is there anything stopping you using a really high end card or are you limited by the expresscard bandwidth? or are there compatibility issues with certain cards?
     
  7. iCrazyNoob

    iCrazyNoob Notebook Guru

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    lol 670 is pretty high end already for an average gamer, but yea bandwidth is a big role here, the higher end you go the more loss of performance you will have. I'm getting about a ~25-30% loss with GTX670 in performance with external screen and ~15% loss with GTX 480, if you are running with internal screen the loss will be even greater.

    The chipset you have also effect the performance loss. preferably you should have QM/HM 6x or 7x for the least loss. the HM/QM 5x gen and older might run into 4GB or higher memory problems but it is by passable which i haven't really looked into.

    And if you do want to run internal screen, you'll need an Intel Core i3/5/7 series laptop w/ GTX400 or newer external videocard. AMD card will not support internal scren and will run with external only.

    One last thing, your bios should be able to disable the discrete videocard as some bios does not have that option and is quiet trouble some to get things working.
     
  8. Niep

    Niep Newbie

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    Hi iCrazy, I'm trying to install an eGPU (GeForce GTX 460) for my Thinkpad T420, but I'm expriencing some problems. My system simply does not recognize the card, even after I set the Express Card Speed to Generation 1 in BIOS. I don't know if it's due to the version of the BIOS. I read some other posts on this forum saying that for T420s the only BIOS version that recognizes eGPU cards is 1.15. So what's your BIOS version? Thank you very much!
     
  9. iCrazyNoob

    iCrazyNoob Notebook Guru

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    Which solution are you using to connect ur egpu? PE4H?
    for me I'm simply using the newest BIOS for T420 83ET76WW 1.46

    for the power supply if it uses maunal switch it has to be on first before ur laptop is powered, unless it is automatically managed by the device.
     
  10. jook33

    jook33 Notebook Evangelist

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    do you have more benchmarks? I am going to get a gtx 480 with external monitor to try it on a t430
     
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