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:
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
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?
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)
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
Anyone has any experience with this one?
It's much cheaper and also has cheaper shipping than the hwtools ones.
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.
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.
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 €.
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.
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.
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.
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.
>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
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.
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
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)
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?
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.
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?
I have this dell xps 14 2013 edition with 2 usb3.0 ports and i also have a gtx660.
How will it perform?
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
Heres a simple breakdown for everyone:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.