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eGPU

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We had a thread on this a few weeks ago and it was pretty good.

What experiences do you guys have with external graphics for laptops?

I'm thinking of using a bplus PE4C an anon recommended with a cheap R7240 for light gaming. Two issues though:

Power:
blplus recommends this extreme (12V @ 18A = ~220W) laptop charger that's pretty expensive, but users with cards slightly more powerful than the one I'm considering have used chargers in the realm of 100W. I really want to keep the project under $200, so I was thinking something like this 180W charger that uses the same connector
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005D9K4AE/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3RCB7N5A6MA1J

Display:
Most of the successful implementations I've researched have used an external display. I don't have the desk space or money for that and was hoping to output the card's power to the laptop itself. I plan to connect the card to the laptop through a 54mm external express card slot. I read that attempting to send video back to the laptop in this configuration can come at a performance loss. What experience do you guys have with using the laptop itself as the output?

egpu thread
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Not OP, bumping because eGPUs are an incredibly underrated technology
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i have a t430 with a 7850 that i had won in videogames connected via pe4c express card, it's pretty sweet
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BAMP
>>
guess i didn't pick a good time to start this thread
>>
Newbie here, didn't know it was possible to change gpu. Only knew that some brands allow to put SLI cards like the ideapad from Lenovo.

This is relevant to my interests.
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>>46991948
look up power usage of cards (ONLY the cards), my 7850 apparently maxes out around the 100W mark (96-101W), so i could use their 120W psu for it

you can send the video back to the laptop, yes there's a performance drop for it (it has to use part of the already-constrained pcie bandwidth to send completed video frames back to the pc)

overall you'll be beating the laptops' internal video unless it's already pretty awesome, though you obviously won't be making the most out of the card (unless it's a low end card, in which case why even do it)
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>>46992454
got any rough performance numbers to share?
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eGPU is retarded

build a desktop
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>>46993764
the point is to have the portability of a laptop when you need it but the ability to just plug it in and set it up on your desk with the eGPU when you're not going anywhere. Giving up and getting a desktop would defeat the purpose.
>>
This thing would be good if it was $100 less expensive
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http://www.banggood.com/EXP-GDC-Laptop-External-PCI-E-Graphics-Card-p-934367.html

Anyone has any experience with this one?

It's much cheaper and also has cheaper shipping than the hwtools ones.
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>>46995556
The MSI one is far superior
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>>46991948
What's the purpose of an eGPU? If you want to do some decent gaming you will be bottlenecked by battery life, slow CPU speed, and other laptop limitations. If you keep your laptop plugged in just to power the eGPU, then it defeats the purpose of a laptop and you should have gotten a desktop or something.
>>
OR

You could do what smart people with money do: buy a gaming laptop, limit the CPU and GPU while it's on battery, and put it to full force when it's not.
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>>46996015
>smart people
>gaming laptop
>>
How is Optimus support being handled? I was thinking about getting a weak card like a GT 520 for it, since it doesn't even draw 30W and should be enough to give a significant boost to graphics performance.
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>>46993979
MSI also did one

Also why EGPU, buy a cheaper laptop and desktop for gaming. If you dont want to game on your laptop it will be very cheap, otherwise consider a 850M GDDR5 >6-700 €.
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>>46996008
Docking station.
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>>46996030
>How is Optimus support being handled?

it isn't, the card is alimented by and external power supply
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>>46996066
I know, but I can use a laptop power supply instead of an ATX one for that, making it more portable.

And I've read that with modded drivers and NVIDIA cards from the 4xx and 5xx series, it's possible to use optimus. It even gives a slight performance boost over not using it due some compression magic. But the forums are fucking hellish to navigate.
>>
>>46996056
But then you have to carry around a damn docking station
>>
Perhaps if the technology at work here improves it won't be too long before we can use any computer on the network for processing (with permissions of course).
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>>46996127
I'm pretty sure he meant that you could have a docking station at home with the eGPU plugged in. So you get home, pop your laptop in and presto!
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>>46996287
something like that already exist, with the difference that the processing power is supplied from some servers. The biggest problem is that the client will have to receive an HD stream in real time so that requires a really fast connection.
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>>46995984
GS70?
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I've got a question, if the mPCIe is designed for shit like wireless cards, how in the hell does it move enough bandwidth for a high end card?

Otherwise i'm keen as shit to try this. Got an old HD6870 sitting around and a couple 1/2 broken laptops this would be perfect for.
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>>46996008
>>46996127
What if you only game at home, but still need to have a laptop for work/school/travel?

Getting a laptop with a dock and an eGPU would be the most cost effective solution by a long shot in that case.
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>>46996527
>how in the hell does it move enough bandwidth for a high end card?

it doesn't, this is why nobody use that thing. Of course it will give a big boost of performances on some laptop but the card is going to be incredibly bottlenecked
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>>46996595
Meh, i'll give it a go.

Another question though, if i just use an old PSU to power the GPU, how do i make it turn on?
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>>46996637
Short the GND and PSON pins of the PSU, that'll turn the PSU on.
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>>46996637
there is a switch on the adapter
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is it possible through mSATA?
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>>46996559
That's what I've been considering for college. I need a laptop for notes and shit but I still want something to game on in my dorm. These are pretty small too which would be good for a dorm.
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>>46996876
from what i can tell, msata is not pcie-compatible, or doesn't officially need to be

its replacement, M.2, is pcie though, i haven't seen anything to suggest you can use external graphics with this slot type though
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>>46996951
I would suggest a really compact mini-itx build.
It's small enough to be easily moved between you house and the uni.
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>>46997137
if his laptop is already otherwise new/good enough, adding an external graphics card will be a far cheaper option than building another small computer

for example, a simple PE4C setup could be;
PE4C - $60 (same price for expresscard or mpcie adapter versions)
power supply (hwtools power bricks are $30 for 120W or $45 for 220W, also any standard ATX psu will work)
a graphics card (required either way, naturally)
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>>46996834
I use 400 pretty much all the time. You get used to it. >>46997287
I'm the guy. No laptop right now other than a Chromebook as I've never needed one before now. My desktop is also getting a bit old now so before heading to college I need to find something to use which is why I'm considering gaming laptops or a laptop with an external gpu. Any suggestions?
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>>46997287
the problem is that those egpu are shit, unless we get a proper interface similar to >>46995556
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>>46997359
A chromebook will be fine for taking notes etc. so your options are getting a newer laptop with eGPU or upgrading your desktop computer. The upside of going with laptop+eGPU is that you get to use a powerful laptop during school, the downside is that you risk breaking/losing it. If you go with upgrading your desktop you'll need to use the chromebook for classes and your battlestation will have little portability, but you will be able to pick whatever components you want for it.

Honestly, I'd go for a laptop with a good CPU, good screen and a decent battery life and use it with an eGPU. That way you only need to maintain one machine, get to have a decent laptop for classes and still have a powerful enough build for gaming at your dorm.
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>>46997359
if you're considering buying a laptop with the intention of using an egpu, then focus more on the cpu speed and version of the mpcie/expresscard slot, the newer the slot, the more bandwidth it has, and the more you'll get out of an egpu

the laptops' internal gpu shouldn't be much of a consideration and even just an igpu (no internal dedicated chip) will be fine (actually could be easier to configure as you won't need to disable the internal dedicated gpu)

expresscard would be more convenient than mpcie as you can can plug it in and remove it quickly and at any time

nvidia cards can also be more convenient, as they will immediately work with nvidia's own optimus support (there's ways to do similar with amd cards too, though)
>>
You guys are talking about shit like this right?

http://www.amazon.com/RIF6-PCI-E-Adapter-Extension-SATA-powered/dp/B00IKT1OGM/

I have this dell xps 14 2013 edition with 2 usb3.0 ports and i also have a gtx660.

How will it perform?
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>>46997632
it will explode, the usb3.0 cable is just a cable, it will not work with a usb port. they just use usb cables because they are cheap
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>>46997440
Laptop with eGPU seems like a good option for me as I'll be most likely going into Computer Science which may mean I'll need a laptop for more than just notes in the classroom. I know that thunderbolt ports are incredibly fast for use with eGPUs but I'm not sure which laptop would be best for this. The new XPS looks awesome but doesn't have the right ports.
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>>46997686
Lots of modern laptops dont have express card slots nowadays, what would you recommend?
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>>46997800
a sensible model with an expresscard slot
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For the charger, you can pick up Xbox 360 power bricks which are somewhere around 200w for $20.
http://www.vetco.net/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=143_146&products_id=17159
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>>46997800
Most modern workstation laptops have expresscard. And nearly every laptop has an internal WiFi card through mPCI
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>>46996724
>16x cards won't work
Well there goes nearly every half decent GPU
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>>46997869
Any card can work, it will just be limited to x1 bandwidth.
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>>46997800
Thunderbolt has really great performance with eGPUs. You may want to look into that.
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>>46997869
it's poorly worded, it's warning about how some machines may not be able to allocate enough memory to the card, but there are tools out there to work around that on machines that need it
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>>46997359
My advice is that if you are going to college take a break from gaming and focus on your studies.

Don't wast your time there gaming.
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>>46998042
Not him. I do my homework in the library and when it's all done I go to student life and play smash. College is pretty great for gaming.
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>>46997632
So this is the laptop with its guts opened and at 4:15 he points to what looks like a mpcie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXPLATZ67WM

Do i have a chance at anything?
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>>46996008

Because that requires two computers. Almost everyone needs a laptop, so why buy a separate desktop and have to buy redundant parts and have to worry about keeping your files synchronized across two computers?
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>>46991948
install vulkan
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>>46998618
This is what I think too. My limiting factor is gaming and my laptop already has an i7-3630QM, which is a strong quad-core CPU. So all I really need is a mid-range GPU. I wouldn't want to build an entire new desktop just to fill that void.
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>>46998042
I won't game as much as I do now certainly but it's still a great way to relax. It's a hobby and I'd like to continue doing it in college.
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>>46998417
That's an mSATA slot. Refer to
>>46997005

>Do i have a chance at anything?
Only one way to find out!
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>>46997440
Who the hell loses/breaks their laptop?
Never seen that happen before.
Even if you risk breaking your laptop, if you buy a business class laptop from Lenovo/Dell with a 5 year warranty you'll never have trouble
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>>46999340
Nobody does. However, niggers cause the loss/breaking.
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OP here
My laptop is from 2013, so I don't anticipate much CPU bottlenecking during light gaming (CS:GO, WoW). My question is how can I get the card to output back to the laptop (at a performance loss due to bandwidth issues)? Does just powering the card up and connecting it to the laptop through the expresscard slot do that?
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>>47000147
Well generally you shouldn't have any problems, i remember somebody hooking up an old Latitude with a C2D (2nd gen) to an eGPU setup with a 750ti connected via the expresscard slot and it worked fine. He ran AC:BF at medium settings and got like 40~50 FPS average.

I was considering to do the same with my T420 after i swap the screen for a X1 FHD panel, but i think it's best to use an external monitor.
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>>46999386
>university
>niggers on campus
I'm pretty close to LA and nobody even sags here.
People who steal shit prefer objects that print less anyways, like phones and USB drives.
>>
>>46995984
I disagree. I don't like how you have to put the laptop on the top of station. Doing this usually makes the display a little too high on the desk for my taste. Now granted most people will be using an external monitor but im sure there are some people who wont want to buy an internal display.
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Heres a simple breakdown for everyone:

DIY
Best bandwidth: thunderbolt 2
Best for old laptops: expresscard slot (pci-e 1x)
Best egpu system: Akitio tb2 for $189. (checkout techinferno forum egpu thread) You would need to rig a powered pci-e riser and an desktop powersupply in a mini itx case probably .
Best laptop: surprisingly macbook pro with intel gfx only running windows
(laptops with dgpu require to disable the dgpu to get the egpu to work)
If you want to use the laptop screen with egpu, you need an nvidia egpu with intel gpu on the laptop. Optimus will pass the display output of egpu through pci-e to the intel gpu, but you will assuredly lose performance doing this on an already limited pci-e bandwidth. AMD enduro won't work if you want to display to the laptop lcd.

Consumer ready solutions:
MSI GS30 with dock station (full pci-e 3.0 x16, literally a pci-e x16 connector on the back of the laptop). But it has to sit on the dock and you are forced to use external keyboard monitor to effectively use it. Dock is fuckton huge.

Alienware graphics amp
For new Alienware 13/15/17 models. Uses pci-e x4 connection. Cable is 4.5 ft long so egpu can be placed away from your laptop. Able to use laptop lcd or external lcd, but laptop lcd will send the display output back over limited pci-e bandwidth with some performance hit.
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>>46997735

google "techinferno egpu list"
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>>47001368
>best laptop
>Macbook Pro
The ThinkPad W540 should be a good competitor. Or the W550 whenever Lenovo announces that, as long as it has Thunderbolt.
It (should) have Thunderbolt as well as a UHD display.
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>>47001431
W541 will have TB2. But more user how-tos exist with MBP and better to have no dgpu for less issues.
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>>47001431
>ThinkPad xx40
>Good
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>>47001462
jusd meneing that is a meme doesnt make it any beta anon peas
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>>46993764

some of us already have laptops anon

also there isn't a single generic case that doesn't look like shit
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>>46993659
It's not really changing the GPU, but adding a desktop one. Some laptops have connectors on the bottom/side in which you plug in a PCB. On this PCB there is a PCI Express socket where you plug in the GPU. Add power and turn it on and little configuration is required.
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I can it on a Thinkpad T61? If yes what is the price
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>>47002697

You can just buy a real dock for less than a quarter of the price with a real PCIe slot
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>>47002697

yes through expresscard slot, but its DIY project ranging from $100 - $300 without the gpu.
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While all this DIY EGPU stuff sounds cool I don't think it's too practical. Looking at some of the guides there are too many problems from the looks of it. It doesn't look like you can simply waltz over to your desk, hook up your laptop while still turned on, then automatically have everything transfer over to the external GPU.

Of course if you're just going to leave everything hooked up it seems perfect. But then again why not just build a desktop?
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>>46997632

>>46997686
this guy is correct. Even though its USB 3.0, its not enough of a transfer rate. Or even at least for gaming.

They sell something like that at best buy, but its really just for a second display to surf and type on.
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