Thinking about adding an eGPU. Laptop board has an unsoldered NGFF Key-A connector.

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by GTMoraes, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. GTMoraes

    GTMoraes Notebook Consultant

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    Hey,

    I'm thinking about adding an eGPU. I don't want to kill the Wi-Fi card, and as this laptop had an option to come with an SSD, I figured I could use the spare NGFF port to connect the eGPU thing.

    However, unfortunately Lenovo seems to have saved $0,03 and skipped adding the actual connector, which seems to be an actual NGFF Key-A connector, meant for the NVMe SSD. I've seen some decade-old threads of people soldering Mini PCIe and SIM card slots to their laptops and netbooks and it worked without doing much else, so I'm wondering whether it would be possible for me to solder an actual connector and make it work.

    I think I have enough soldering iron skills to solder the connector, but I'm unsure if the rest of the circuit is complete, in order for it to work. I couldn't find a picture of this laptop board with the SSD option, so I'm lost here.

    Here it is:
    https://i.imgur.com/Y2hJ54K.jpg

    Can something be made out of this, if it's missing something (other than the connector, of course), or it can't be said just by this picture?

    Thanks
     
  2. senso

    senso Notebook Evangelist

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    Soldering a socket isn't hard, and the only missing components at least on that side of the board is a pair of decoupling caps, looks like 0603 size, so a pair of 25v 10uF X7R 0603 ceramic caps should if the bill, but on the back side there might be more missing components, either resistors and/or caps(on the RX/TX differential pairs of the PCIe interface).
     
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  3. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

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    @GTMoraes A-key connectors are not meant for SSDs, only WLAN cards - and laptop boards don't include more that one A-keyed m.2 slots, so it's likely B-key. B-key may not even have PCIe lanes attached to it at all (lazy Lenovo and many others); could be M-key if you're very lucky but I really doubt it. Bottom line, I'd say skip it unless you get the schematics.
     
  4. GTMoraes

    GTMoraes Notebook Consultant

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    I might've mistaken they key type then. This slot is meant for the SSD, so it's whatever they'd use for it. IIRC, they did use the PCI-e lanes, because the SSD speeds on this laptop with SSD options were blazing fast

    I'll try getting the photo of the back of the board when I disassemble this laptop again
     
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  5. zsolti900

    zsolti900 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I woould like buy egpu,but i dont know how can i connect this. I have Asus ROG g751JY, but i dont know where is the mini pci .
     
  6. Mr.K-1994

    Mr.K-1994 Notebook Consultant

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    To be honest,eGPU is something not really worth it in 2018 and maybe in a few years from now they might.
    Why?Because:
    1.They are expensive.If you want something to worth your time and money,at least a GTX 1060 for $200 and upwards and the eGPU box may cost another $100 to $200.
    2.They are hard to set up and a mess:For example,GTMoraes case is that they have to solder in a connector for the GPU in order for it to be installed.And since it's not a Thunderbolt one,it will be MESSY.Connectors dangiling from your laptop that connect to the GPU dock,a big ass PSU sitting right next to it,its fans spinning,unless you somehow put them all into a box.
    3.The performance loss:For all kinds of GPU connector,like EC,TB or NGFF,there will be two things that have the greatest impact to the performance:latency and bandwidth.Unless you are using an PCle Express 3 x4 slot that are used to connect PCle SSDs,performance is wasted a HELL lot and latency have the same impact though.TB3 with 40Gb/s is not going to cut it.Only with things of the future like TB4 with 80Gb/s or higher with no or minimal latency and protocol overhead will be sufficent.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  7. Grant B Gibson

    Grant B Gibson Notebook Deity

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    TB3 is 40Gb/s, not GB, and even then, isn't that great as it has too much overhead. NVME (M.2) is probably the best solution for raw performance of GPU's, but its too bulky for most people, and doesn't have quick disconnect
     
  8. zsolti900

    zsolti900 Notebook Enthusiast

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    1. I have 7x ASUS RX570 from my mining machine. So i dont need buy any graphic card.
    2.Its not mess, i have enought place for this in my desk.
    3. If i use m.2 plug only 10-15% what is lost from performance.

    But thank you your "help".
     
  9. Grant B Gibson

    Grant B Gibson Notebook Deity

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    This thread was never about you,it was about whether you could solder back a M.2 Slot
     
  10. Mr.K-1994

    Mr.K-1994 Notebook Consultant

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    Oops,sorry.Will edit them right away.
    M.2 seems to be the only way to ultilize the GPU to its best but bulky,hard to set up and software compatiblity(a modded BIOS-in some cases) is the deal breaker.
     
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