Began Aug-2009 at notebookreview (NBR). At 2.8million hits on 10-Sep-2012 was banned by Lenovo advocate ZaZ over HP comments -> moved to T|I. NBR, a eGPU saboteur, ignore DMCA/copyright takedowns. Pls consider ceasing eGPU/all discussion at NBR as protest.
THIS PAGE IS A RUNNING SUMMARY OF THIS LONG THREAD. >> SEARCH << this thread.
GETTING STARTED >>> Introduction A brief introduction with the story of the solution.
Pros and Cons
A summary of the pros and cons of a DIY eGPU
Pre purchase FAQ Answers to questions before you commit
First steps Parts/software/info for a successful installation
Performance: AMD versus NVIDIA benchmark results Compares AMD and NVIDIA perf on the same sys
Performance: Scaling Analysis
Compare performance over x1, x1E, x1.Opt, x2, x2E links
Implementations: Examples and Leaderboard PC and Macbook eGPU implementations by users
Implementations: older Macbook
Implementations on older core2duo Macs
Implementations using the GPU for applications+computation
Non-video implementations: soundcards atm
Non English eGPU forums
eGPU forums in non-English speaking locales
Misc other articles
This thread serves as a roadmap for those who wish to attach an external Graphics Processing Unit (eGPU) to a notebook/laptop computer. Connection may be achieved through an ExpressCard, mPCIe slot, or Thunderbolt port.This thread is a place for users to share installation and performance details for others to duplicate or reference.
Note: For those running Windows 7, you can install the eGPU without rebooting your system. Simply and the turn the system to standby system and attach the PE4L. Your system will return to its desktop presets once it detects the PE4L. You will immediately see a significant upgrade in the performance.
* SimoxTav's Video game benchmarking* Graw/TWE/MafiaII12" Len.X201t+HD5770* StarcraftII13"_Dell_M1330+GTX460* Star Trek Online15"_Macbook Pro+GT240 Gaming videos running on an eGPU implementation US$70 PE4L-EC2C (expresscard) or PE4L-PM3N (mPCIe) products $91 PE4H-EC2C (expresscard) or PE4H-PM3N (mPCIe) products HP 2560P GTX560Ti @x1.2Opt DIY eGPU impl playing NFS Shift on the internal LCD HP 2510P: [mPCIe] Swap wifi card via underside covers
For example. a Inspiron 1440 using the x1E tweak saw 3dmark06 go from 866 to 9551. RE5 benchmark went from an unplayable 4.1FPS to a very playabe 60.9FPS. The HP 2560P's x1.2Opt link saw 3dmark06 increase over 4 times to 18340 and RE5 gave an average of 148.3FPS(!!), even allowing the internal LCD to be driven by the eGPU.
- Inexpensive: US$92-shipped PE4L with HD5770+120W=$200, GTS450+120W=$160, GTX460-1GB+430W=$210, GT430+72W=$130, HD5670+72W=$140. Add $66 for a x2 capable kit using a PE4H.
- can be used on any system with an accessible expresscard OR mPCIe slot
- has inexpensive eGPU enclosure examples if you want an enclosure
- 10 times or more increase in video performance
- can have Internal LCD-only setup: NVIDIA Optimus or Ultramon/Chung-Gun method.
- provides additional HDMI video+audio, s-video and VGA out
- provides dual-link DVI connection for 2560x1600 LCDs
- allows multi-monitor connectivity:
- AMD Eyefinity to provide up to 3 LCDs attached to any HD54xx or better card.
- Drive up to 6 LCDs to using a HD7xxx or better card supporting Eyefinity 2.0
- AMD FirePro 2450, 2450x1, and 2460 to drive up to 4 monitors from a low power card
- NVIDIA Surround can connect up to 4 simultaneous LCDs.
- easy, on-demand attachment without a reboot if running Win7
- can be reused after a system upgrade, or shared amongst multiple systems
- see an extra 30-60% in performance when attached to an expresscard 2.0 system, or do a x2 1.0 setup
- provides an additional USB port when connected to expresscard slot
- Time-share your desktop video card b/w your desktop and notebook system.
- perform CUDA/OpenCL processing for applications that support it like Adobe CS5/Premiere [NVIDIA graphics only]
- ability to use physX/hybrid physX & game detail
- components can become a stepping stone to a full deskop system if want higher performance
- requires a 12V PSU to drive the desktop eGPU
- requires an external LCD/CRT/TV to connect to display at highest FPS
- may require booting DIY eGPU Setup 1.x from a disk image or USB stick to overcome error 12 issues
- restricted bandwidth: a x1/x2/x4 link represents 1/16, 1/8 or 1/4 the bandwidth of a x16 slot.
AMD versus NVIDIA back-to-back benchmark results
GTX560Ti vs GTX660 @x1.2Opt (int vs ext) (i5-2540M 2.6, bjorm)
HD7770@x1 vs x1E (P8400-2.26, damir001 inc PCISpeedTest)
HD7870 vs GTX660 at all expresscard/mPCIe bandwidths available (i5-3320M 2.6, nando4)
HD6970@x4 2.0 vs GTX460@x4 2.0 vs x16 2.0 (i5-2400 3.1, tomshardware)
GTX670@x1.2Opt vs GTX560Ti (i7-2820QM 2.3, carage)
HD5850@x1.2 vs GTX460@x1.2Opt (i7-2630QM 2.0, timohour)
NVS4200M vs GTX560Ti@x1.2Opt (i7-2670QM, Tom_ger)
GTX680@x1.2Opt vs x1.1Opt and GTX580 versus GTX680@x1.1Opt (i5-2520M 2.5, arsenal243)
GTX480 versus GTX560Ti@x1Opt (i7-620M 2.66, Mikjoa)
GTX460-1GB versus GTX560Ti @x1.1Opt (i5-2520M 2.5, Warwickeo)
GTS450 versus GTX460 @x1.Opt (i7-640M 2.80, docusyn)
HD5750 versus GTX470 on x1, x1.Opt and x2 links (i5-430M 2.26, nando4)
HD5750 versus GTX460 on x1 and x1E links (T9300-2.5, ithildin)
HD5750 versus GTX470 on x1, x1E, x1.Opt and x2 links (T6600-2.2/T2050-1.6/U7600-1.2, nando4)
(07-05-2014) [Performance] Desktop vs eGPU - GTX770 + R9 270x
HD5870@x2 1.0 vs x16 2.0 (i7-720QM/i7-3820, kizwan)
HD7970 versus GTX680: pci-e scaling x4, x8, x16 @pci-e 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0
HD7970: pci-e 3.0 x2, x4, x8, x16 scaling
GTX580: x1.2Opt vs x1.1Opt +30% overclock & (i7-2920XM 2.4, Khenglish)
GTX560Ti: x1.2Opt vs x1.1Opt [internal LCD vs external LCD] (i5-2540M 2.6, nando4)
HD5850: x16, x4, x2, x1 (~i7-2820QM, timohour)
HD5870: x2 versus x1 (i7-720QM 1.6, kizwan)
GTX580+GTX460: x2 vs x1 vs GTX260M (P8700-2.53, mangos47)
GTX460@x1.Opt scaling analysis internal vs external LCD, +25% PCIe, +40% GPU core O/C (L9600@2.90, nando4)
GTX460@x2 scaling analysis +20% cpu, +20% PCIe, ~20% GPU (T9400-2.53, khenglish)
HD5750: x1 versus x1E (T9300-2.5, ithildin)
04-03-2011 MacBook 17 T7600-2.33 with X1600 + HD6850 implemented with Win7/32
11-10-2010 Mac Mini T7200-2.0 + HD5450 implemented with Win7.
11-05-2010 MBP 17" T2600-2.16 with X1600 + GT240M result with Win7.
9-27-2010 MBP 15" Unibody T7500-2.2, 6GB RAM with 8600M GT+HD4650/HD5770-7LCDs impl. & & & with Win7.
8-11-2010 MBP 15" Unibody T7500-2.2 with 8600M GT + HD4870 implemented with Win7 and MacOS 10.6
For MacOS DIY eGPU implementations see DIY eGPU MacOS Experiences.
Octane Render: 10x faster than CPU-based rendering.
CUDA/OPENCL APPLICATIONS >>>
Badaboom: CUDA based video transcoding
Creative SB X-Fi Titanium desktop sound card via the ExpressCard slot. See details.
NON-VIDEO PCI-E CARDS >>>
NON ENGLISH eGPU FORUMS >>>
- Croatia (bug.hr): EGPU - Eksterna graficka za laptop and (pcekspert.hr): eGPU - Eksterna graficka i laptop
- Finland (murobbs.plaza.fi): DIY eGPU eli pöytäkoneen näytönohjain kannettavaan
- Germany (hardwareluxx.de): ATI HD5770 per ExpressCard am Laptop !
- Germany (computerbase.de): [Erfahrungsbericht] [PE4H] externe Grafikkarte für das Notebook
- Hungary (prohardver.hu): eGPU tapasztalatok
- Indonesia (kaskus.us): [VGA CARD] DIY ViDock (Solusi External Graphic Card Untuk Laptop)
- Italy (techarena.it): eGPU
- Poland (notebookcheck.pl): Zewnetrzna karta graficzna, (DIY) ViDock, Magma Box i pochodne, czyli czym to sie je
- Spain (chw.net): Tarjeta de Video externa para Notebook DIY eGPU [REVIEW]
- Vietnam (vozforums): [Review]EGPU công cụ thêm card đồ họa cho laptop
ARCHIVED NEWS >>>
- 06-05-2014 US$68 ThunderboltEX II PCIe-eGPU adapter mod
- 02-12-2014 Successful AMD HD6950 x1 Crossfire under Win7
- 10-1-2014 Thunderbolt eGPUs: Silverstone T004 = ASUS XG2
- 12-27-2013 US$250 SilverStone T004 TB enclosure ETA Q1-2014
- 12-15-2013 Hacking a NVidia Geforce into a Quadro/Grid Pro card
- 12-12-2013 Q: what do you want in the next BPlus eGPU adapter?
- 11-20-2013 Ivxy's GTX770/GTX660/GTX560Ti-448/HD4870 scaling
- 11-03-2013 BF4 vids on i7-3632QM@2.2 +GTX780@x1.2Opt
- 10-18-2013 Lenovo X230 BIOS 2.56 for eGPU
- 09-23-2013 Future x2 2.0 M.2/NGFF (mSATA) slot eGPUs
- 08-24-2013 Howto: using eGPU under MacOSX
- 08-22-2013 20Gbps "Thunderbolt 2" sysboard released
- 07-27-2013 ~US$250 450W TB enclosure: Silverstone T004
- 07-25-2013 modding PE4L 2.1b for longer delay
- 07-15-2013 Acer ditches Thunderbolt in new systems
- 07-03-2013 PE4H 2.4a + EC2C/PM3N + PCIEMM-060B are not Gen2 compatible
- 06-17-2013 project saboteurs named
- 06-11-2013 Important: HIT Setup 1.x customers
- 02-02-2013 older PE4L/PE4H fails Gen2 testing
- 11-28-2012 LucidLogix Virtu MVP Mobile installation
- 02-05-2012 Khenglish's color depth perf analysis
- 02-02-2012 Internal Screen for AMD GPUs with Virtu Driver (timohour)
- 01-28-2012 US$55-shipped PE3A+riser (pci-e 2.0) (timohour)
- 08-28-2011 JediMasterZon's modded PE3A
- 06-30-2011 Kizwan's HD5870@x2 and x1 game benchmarks
- 06-04-2011 modded PM3N 1.1 to start CLKRUN when setting the jumper details
- 05-31-2011 Thunderbolt eGPU product preview
- 05-10-2011 Khenglish' request to unlock x1.Opt compression regardless of primary video.
- 04-01-2011 tabletpcreview's eGPU on Tablet PC's: experiences, benchmarks, setup, ect...
- 11-07-2010 DA-2 220W AC adapter mod
- 09-08-2010 i5-520M 2.4+HD4890@x1 NBR review
- 08-27-2010 Panzer's fuse bypass on PE4H < 2.4 for GTX465+
- 08-01-2010 Modded driver details
- 07-05-2010 Enzyme 1.4b3 versus Catalyst 10.6
Acknowledgements Many thank yous to all the members who have shared their DIY eGPU experiences for others to be able to learn from and duplicate. Special thanks to SimoxTav for the artistic touches.
Project saboteurs of this community-driven project who halted/derailed the creative opportunities that pluggable, affordable eGPU graphics/processing provides.
Spoiler[Aug-2014] BiZon (RU) selling US$274 EC-to-Thunderbolt parts for US$610, undermining the cost-effectiveness of eGPU solutions for Russian Macbook customers. A Rip-off alert issued here.
[June-2013] Randy Case @ Harmonic Inversion Technology (US) collected but then walked away (stole) 16-months worth of Setup 1.1x donations he received for 'development purposes'. REF:Summary: dealing with HIT's abandoned eGPU commitments [customer thread]. Note: Randy was previously a Villagetronic distributor but supposedly switched to distributing DIY eGPU hardware due to a fallout with the Villagetronic CEO.
[Dec-2013] Apple/Intel (US): initiate US$170 BPlus TH05 Recall Notice thereby eliminating cost-effective Thunderbolt eGPU solutions. <-- Rectified by June-2014 release of http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-g...html#post98210 . Still, Intel appear to be doing whatever they can to limit application of Thunderbolt to eGPU by making vendors use 25W PCIe slots, instead of 75W or making Thunderbolt enclosures way too expensive. *Appears* to be a company survivalism/profit strategy to prevent migration towards CUDA/OpenCL GPU-based processing instead of Intel's CPU processing.
[10-Sep-2012] notebookreview.com (US) : banned nando4 (me) for ridiculous reasons from their site preventing my input into the original 9-18-2009 DIY eGPU experiences (NBR) thread I initiated and maintained. As a result relocated the main content to Tech|Infero. Notebookreview.com refuses to remove my copyright content on their site to allow unified discussion here. Instead, the mostly abandoned thread just confuses users with stale info. NBR continue to draw ad revenue from that thread, the biggest one they've ever had by a significant margin. REF: Nando4 NBR ban summary.
[Aug-2011] Villagetronic (CN), commercial eGPU vendor directs their users to the then free DIY eGPU Setup 1.x software to supplement their hardware sales, ignoring the "free for non-commercial use license". As a result the software is moved to be US$25 restricted donationware as of Feb-2012 REF: FAQ and VT breach: 1, 2, 3.
[Jan-2011] Intel (US) locks down the x1, x2, x4 port settings in their Series-6 chipsets (2nd-gen i-core) or newer making x2/x4 configurations impossible for all but the extremely technically minded individuals. Series-5 and earlier chipsets did allow x2/x4 links to be setup if the system had the right port configuration. REF: nando4 investigation
[8-Sep-2010] notebookreview.com (US) posts an underperforming Intel HD iGPU + AMD eGPU configuration in their DIY ViDock (eGPU) review rather than the superior Intel HD + NVidia Optimus eGPU one requested. That giving validity to their claim of underperformance and external LCD requirement and overall downplays it as more for amusement than as a serious competitor to gaming notebooks. Had the latter configuration been used then it would have outbenched any gaming notebook at that time except the top tier dual-GPU XF/SLI ones. REF: How to Upgrade Your Notebook Graphics Card Using DIY ViDOCK