DIY eGPU on Tablet PC's: experiences, benchmarks, setup, ect...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Agent 9, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. dmon88

    dmon88 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    hi agent 9!

    hows it going? thankyou for this great thread, i've been reading it for a while, but i've finally got some extra money and time and have decided to make my own eGPU.
    i recently bought a 2730p and absolutely LOVE the form factor, but unfortunately i didn't get a hydris screen, and am now tempted to upgrade to a 2740p or even 2760p before i put together THE ULTIMATE COMPUTING SETUP with one of these amazing eGPUs, and i was wondering if you have thought about doing the same and have any experience or have read anything regarding a eGPU setup on ether model?
    does it work/is it possible? i have read about only one sandy bridge eGPU solution, and even though i have tried to inform myself, having never done it myself i dont really understand all the details and factors involved in making a eGPU work. (drivers/different connectors/etc.)
    i'm only really interested in a solution that is capable or displaying games on the internal montor ( i.e. optimus ), and i'd like to get the best performance possible so the setup is relatively future proof.
    what are your thoughts on an upgrade to a 2740/60p, and would the available ports on ether model even cater for a more powerful eGPU or would bandwidth become a bottle neck?
    any info and guidance would be really appreciated. lastly, when its time to get the eGPU built, what would be the best place to get the parts i need in the UK? i have seen a few alternative parts that sound like they might be what i need, but i want to make sure i get exactly the right things to make my eGPU as successful as yours.

    many thanks,

    darius
     
  2. dmon88

    dmon88 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    (sorry for second post, first was already so long)

    EDIT: i've found this thread ( http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/hp-elitebooks/40620-2740p-vs-i5-tm2t-w-5450-a.html ) where you touch on the fact that the 2740p would show better results, clarifying that it is possible to use a eGPU with it, so thats good news. have you heard anything else about the performance increase one might expect?
    also, regarding the sandy bridge 2760p, if i'm not mistaken it has a expresscard 2.0 slot with higher bandwidth than our older models. is this correct, and how much performance gain might we get with it? d
     
  3. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    sorry for the delayed response,
    I think a 2740p should do better than a 2730p... I would have one right now if thew were cheaper (I got a steal of a deal on my 2730p so I am pretty content... until a good 2740p drops in price when I have the money to spend)

    The 2730p's disadvantage is the slower processor -easily overclockable to a level above the standard 2730p, but still a ways below the 2740p, doing so helps stem the performance gap- but because the eGPU works by transmitting data to and from the computer it needs a decent amount of CPU power to maintain that and work as a processor for the application/ game you are running... If you are going to get a 2740p, be sure to get a full voltage i5 model as it is far more powerful than the Low Voltage i5 or i7 (the processor to get will have a "M" at the end of the model name, for example the "i5-560M" or the "i5-540M", while the ones to avoid have "LM" at the end of their model name such as the "i7-640LM" -even though 'its a i7' it is not better than the full voltage i5)... as with some things, the more processor power the better with a eGPU system

    But the other big disadvantage the 2730p has is that the Intel 4500 MHD is inferior to the Intel HD in the 2740p -this is the part that receives the partially processed data from the eGPU and assembles it all and displays it all (having the Intel HD alone would be a decent boost in performance, most noticeably for smoothness when things get complex/ busy on screen)


    Is the 2740p worth it over the 2730p? well that is up to you, but I would give the thumbs up for the upgrade if you want to use a eGPU setup... although I don't recall anybody using a 2740p specifically with a eGPU, it should work fine as many other first gen Core-i systems do.



    As things stand right now you would not be able to use any sandybridge system and a eGPU to display on the internal screen, and until Nvidia changes their software it won't happen -which could be quite some time, if ever (to display internally it relies on the Optimus part of the modified Nvidia driver to do so, and currently it only works on a computer that has the Intel X3150, Intel 4500 MHD, and the Intel HD as a working GPU)

    Lets say hypothetically that wasn't a problem: now the issue is being able to use the faster Expresscard 2.0 port on the Sandy Bridge system to its fullest potential, the issue here is all the adapters that are floating around are not capable of working at the full speed of it, so it has to revert to the Expresscard 1.0 speed... they have been 'working on it' for some time now with no results as of yet

    So with a sandybridge system there is great potential, but there also great roadblocks to being able to use it (all of which are out of your hands... unless you are a person that owns a company that would be capable of making the driver, and creating the proper adapter, in which case I would yell at you to get it done already :) -I kid)
     
  4. nando4

    nando4 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Throttlestop can be used to tweak the i7-640LM's 2.93Ghz turbo mode to bring it up to full power i5-520M 2.93Ghz turbo mode performance.

    If you get a SL9600 2730P you'll be able to dual-IDA overlock it 2.4Ghz. If you get the ICS PLL rather than SLG one, then can do a pinmod which allows overclocking to near 3.0Ghz levels as done on another 2730P here based on the 2530P overclocking info. A BIG advantage then is you can overclock the PCIe bus by 25% which pays big dividends when running the internal LCD x1.Opt eGPU setup.

    4500MHD inferior to Intel HD? Meh.. unless you are gaming on the go they'll be equal in performance when eGPU connected since both are just acting as frame buffers.

    If I was buying, I'd be trying to get an ICS-equipped SL9600 2730P and pinmod it, even paying someone up to $50 to do it for me. Then overclock it with setPLL software. The x1.Opt internal LCD mode will be *faster* than a i5 2740P and the overclocked CPU would deliver performance close to i5 levels. So for eGPU purposes it would be cheaper AND faster. The 2730P's ICH9M port3 expresscard slot also allows the x1E tweak to engage, gaining 15-30% more performance when using an ATiAMD eGPU. The 2740P runs a crippled x1 link with ATiAMD cards.

    Not to mention the SL9600 2730P will have longer battery life than the i5 2740P when on the go. Then would wait for 2760P prices to drive with hopefully the pcie-2.0 eGPU kit by hwtools done by then.

    If don't want to PLL pinmod then I'd be looking at the i7-640LM 2740P + Throttlestop for best performance/battery life.. at a price.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  5. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Good to have you help out nando4!

    I completely forgot about the ability to OC the PCI-e bus (as the stupid PLL chip in my 2730p is one of the ones that is completely locked down :( ), Even still with software OC and a PLL mod I would think that a i5 M would still be significantly better, clock speeds alone don't detrmine true power (quick and dirty example: I can run wprime -2 threads, 32m- on my SL9400 @ 2.13Ghz and it gets ~40sec; while the i5 560M gets ~17 based on notebookcheck -the standard for the SL9400 is 43; and for the SL9600 it is 43 -on the x200t it gets 38-... by no means is this a scientific approach, but calculating in less than half the time than the Core 2 Duo processors is a pretty big difference in terms of raw power, and all without having to open up and modify the computer, or use software all the while pushing your hardware further... sure its easy and there isn't much issue doing it, but you still have to do it, and it doesn't quite get you the results)


    I would agree that a LV C2D would be better than a M Core-i for efficiency, but this computer already gets ludicrous battery life as it is (I get about 8 hrs with the slice battery while @ 2.13 Ghz while browsing the the web pretty heavily. Yea there is a trade off of either more power or more battery life), and a member here says after a fresh install, and some minor and rather basic tweaking he has it pretty cool running, and quiet, so IDK if the efficiency thing is mostly poor OS optimization having a large impact... or its gremlins in the system :\

    hmm... I would have thought the Intel HD would play a better role in it all, maybe not? IDK, I wish I had a 2740p to test out and play with (anybody want to start a fund, or donate their 2740p? -joking... but if you want to, I can't stop you ;) )



    Any word on Nvidia opening up Optimus capability for the Intel 3000 or other notebook primary graphics cards? Last I checked was quite a while ago and their response to you was basically they had no intention of doing so, but they would 'look into it'... if it is true that they won't even open it up to the Intel 3000 it would be really stupid, and it would make it impossible to use the 2760p (or any SB based notebook for that matter) with the internal screen to its fullest capability
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  6. nando4

    nando4 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    My 2530P's L9400@2.64 gets wprime32 of 30.76s. A L9600@2.97Ghz would get a wprime of ~24s. A little bit slower than a i5-540M, but then would have the pci-e overclock ability which gives more boost when using the internal LCD mode. It would be a close call b/w them. If it was me, I'd go the PLL modded L9600 2530P but that is because modding doesn't phase me and the money I'd save I'd put towards a SB 2760P. There doesn't appear to be many chassis differences b/w a 2730P and 2740P, unlike the 2530P vs 2540P where they took a step backwards (heavier, garbage keyboard).

    We have a confirmed i7-2620M X220 Intel HD3000 iGPU + GTX560@x1.1Opt eGPU setup in the eGPU experiences thread. It's getting 3dmark06 of 18216. That's with the link running x1 1.0 because the hwtool's kit isn't capable of transmitting x1 2.0 signals properly yet.

    You still have the option of trying the 2730P SLG pinmod for 300Mhz operation (L9400@2.4Ghz).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  7. dmon88

    dmon88 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    hi guys,

    thank you both so much for all the information and input. i imported the 2730p i have from america, and as i said, i was a little disappointed because it was absolutely battered and doesn't have the good screen, but compared to the price they go for in the uk i still got a pretty great deal, and i've spent the last few weeks restoring it as well as i could, so based on what you have said i think i'll stick with it for the time being.
    if you are interested in getting a 2740p this one from the US strikes me as a really good deal.
    HP 2740p i5 520M 2.4GHz/160GB/2GB/CAM/MULTITOUCH | eBay UK

    its the full voltage i5 multitouch model with one year warranty, and in perfect physical condition, and given what i ended up with for almost £400 after repairs and upgrades i'm VERY tempted to grab it if i can shift this one.
    anyway, for the time being i'll get started with building a eGPU that i could later use on a 2740p anyway. i have yet to begin or even buy any of the parts, but you've given me alot to read up on and think about, so once i have the basics in place i'll return (hopefully understanding some of what you said) for some guidance on how to squeeze the most out of my setup.

    for now i plan on getting the PE4L adapter, a gtx460 and whatever suitable power supply i can find, and i have a L9400 1.86ghz 2730p to work with.

    nando4, were you suggesting that an ati vidock solution would get better performance than an nvidia based one and that i could still put together an internal monitor solution with an ati card, or did you mean that if i were to go for an ati card ( which if i understand correctly rules out the internal monitor as main display ) i could get 30% better performance compared to ITS initial performance ( which is initially crippled - not an issue with nvidia(?)).

    and lastly, how do i know whether i have an ICS or SLG processor and to what extent its 'locked down' - i understand that there are options for both, but as you say, ICS can achieve higher clock speeds and being able to oveclock the PCI-e bus would be cool, but on the other hand SLG doesn't demand the pinmod to achieve results at least on par with yours Agent 9.

    other than the options potentially available to me if i have a ICS-equipped system, would you say your setup has maximised the performance possible on a 2730p Agent 9, or would it be possible to connect the eGPU to a second, internal mPCIe slot for better results?

    sorry about the many questions guys, i will keep reading up on the topic, starting with some of the threads you have linked, but i really appreciate your input, so thanx again!

    kind regards, d

    P.S. i WISH i had my own company to develop all my dream gadgets and enough money for my own 2740p, yet alone one for you helpful folks, but alas, i haven't gotten there yet. maybe one day :)
     
  8. nando4

    nando4 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    How to ID if your 2530P has a ICS9LPRS397 (ICS) or SLG8SP553V (SLG) PLL

    To ID the PLL, run the freeware setfsb version, go to the Diagnosis screen, choose ICS9LPRS365, Get FSB. Then evaluate your byte 7 as either bit[2:0]=001 (ICS) or 110 (SLG). SRC: PLL codes.

    [​IMG]

    RE: ATiAMD card. Since you can x1.Opt NVidia setup which can use the internal LCD, you wouldn't go ATiAMD because it's slower and doesn't have internal LCD mode. My point was that if you wanted to run an ATiAMD card for whatever reason, (had one spare?) the 2730P has the x1E tweak available whereas the 2740P doesn't. The 2730P would definitely be faster with the ATiAMD card because of it.

    x1.Opt doesn't engage when a x2 link, nor does the 2730P/2530P have the right port layout to allow x2 anyway. They have wifi=port2, expresscard=port3. In any case, x1.Opt benchmarks faster than x2 (non Optimus).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  9. dmon88

    dmon88 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    brilliant, thankyou for clarifying nando4. i tried setfps very quickly and it gave me a PLL id error, but i'll read up on it and try again later. maybe i need an older version. unfortunately i have to go to work for now.
    regarding ati/nvidia, the cards i have lying around are ridiculously old so i'm going to start from scratch and probably go for a gtx460 like Agent 9. i'll report back when i've made a little progress. thanx again. hope you have a good day.
     
  10. danenick1212

    danenick1212 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    nando4,
    I am looking for a dual-IDA modded bios for the Lenovo x200t. If there isn't one already modded, I'd be willing to mod mine for the community(I would just need a little guidance from someone in addition to the PDF by kizwan. Also, that kind of performance gain on the internal screen will I see with the pci bus overclocked? I get ~50fps on most games. Would the bus overclock yield fps over 60? That is my ultimate goal with my eGPU.
     
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