2011 15" Dell XPS L502x (GT525M) [2nd,4C,Q] + GTX 1050 Ti @ 4Gbps-mPCIe2 (PCE164P-N03) + Win7 & Linux [Jaswant Panchumarti]
My system specs and components
- CPU : i5-2410m @ 2.30ghz
- dGPU : gt525m (1gB vram)
- RAM : 8gB ddr3
- eGPU : gtx 1050ti 4GB gddr5(Asus PH-GTX1050-TI to be specific)
- PCE164P-N03 from here (India), delivered in 5 days.
- PSU : Corsair VS 450 W (Upgraded from a very old 250W psu which i think was the root cause of all the bsods and crazy things)
Let's get started now , shall we?
I was skeptical about my eGPU setup with 1050ti and was afraid of the dreaded code 43. But i found a neat solution for it which is documented in the process. The basis of this setup is along the lines of this guide, thanks to TheGermanGuy for it got detected in WWAN slot.
TIP : Always ensure, that when rebooting that the USB TYPE-A is unplugged from adapter. The laptop doesn't reboot with it plugged in for me, it shows a blank screen. The same must be followed even while powering up, connect USB TYPE-A to the adapter only after you see Dell logo. Otherwise you'd always get a blank screen and the only way to get out of that is to press and hold power button.
Procedure (after a lot of failures)
- carefully seat GPU into pcie x16 slot on the adapter
- Short the atx power cable's green and black wire.
- Plug the mini-B type into the mpcie end and shove it up the wwan slot and screw it in firmly, I used a screw from beneath the optical drive, if you happen to have a spare screw , use that. No need to remove your wifi card and loose the precious intel wireless connectivity.
- Don't yet plug in the usb type-A end of the cord into the adapter.
- Obtain a suitable tested and working modded bios from here. Choose appropriately, if you have 525m or 540m, a wrong one might corrupt the bios and brick your laptop. It is recoverable but its a painful process. Install the bios.
- Enter the modded bios that you installed in the first step. Advanced >> South Bridge Configuration >> SB PCI Express config >> PCI Express Root Port 1 >> Hotplug = Enable.
- Save Bios settings and reboot.
- Remove all existing drivers with DDU.
- Install eGPU Setup 1.35 obtained from nando and install it following the steps given in the reply mail.
- Perform a dsdt override by getting this file and follow this post to perform a dsdt override.
- Don't connect USB TYPE-A to adapter yet.
- Power on the laptop, when dell logo shows up, connect USB TYPE-A to adapter.
- Now select and boot into setup 1.35.
- Activate gen2 on pcie.
- switch off dGPU.
- Run compact with options : endpoint 56.25 GB on eGPU and force which gpu to 32bit ? >> none
- Test run chainloader and select mbr in options FOR NOW and boot into windows 7.
- With help of nando, I've managed to configure my startup.bat such that it checks if eGPU is found or not, if not found, it uses dGPU 525m and boots into windows 7, if found it switches off dGPU, and activates eGPU and displays on monitor.
- Nando4 provided info on how to do an automated booted to eGPU Setup 1.35 before Windows
- Then my startup.bat is :
:: waits for 10 seconds to detect eGPU i.e., if plugged in. call vidwait 10 if "%eGPU%"=="" goto OS :eGPU_found call vidinit -d %eGPU% call loaddsdt call iport dGPU off call pci :OS call chainload mbr2
- Reboot, disconnect USB TYPE-A adapter while its rebooting. Don't yet plug in the hdmi[mpcie] to beast. It should automatically boot into windows 7 using dGPU 525m. After we're in , clean install version 375.70 drivers and reboot.
- This time, when the dell logo appears, plug in theUSB TYPE-A to the adapter and let it detect the card and once we're in, again clean install 375.70, it will ask you to reboot and will continue install after a reboot. (reboot similar to the previous step).
- Final check >
- Hotplug : Enable
- Dsdt override : done
- Pci compaction : done
- dgpu off : done in startup.bat cuz, we made it such that only if eGPU found, dgpu off
- USB TYPE-A : disconnected when system began to shut down, connect it when dell logo appears on final start.
- It should work, if it doesn't , well, you gotta do what you gotta do, repeat!
Many many thanks to Nando and all the other members of this forum which encouraged me to invest into buying the adapter and a gpu.
On XPS motherboard there are 2 mPCI-e slots.
What is mandatory to use this laptop as eGPU is to have something plugged into the mPCI-e slot at boot, i.e the wifi card.
It mean you can use your wifi and your eGPU at the same time.
In my case with my old XPS, i could run the eGPU and the wifi card together with no issue.
I just want to report my findings for those keen on eGPU with mPCIe setup on an ubuntu system. I've an XPS l502x and have successfully paired a 1050 Ti with windows 10 and nando's setup 1.35. I thought why not try ubuntu? So I set out on the plan and it worked flawlessly!
What I did ?
- Install proprietary set 384.90 from additional drivers for dGPU and reboot into ubuntu to verify it works with dGPU.
- reboot into windows, run setup-disk-image-linux executable.
- add a custom grub menu entry to /boot/grub/grub.cfg as mentioned in the prompt.
- leave the startup.bat as it was for windows, don't make any change to it.
- shut down
- power on, when in grub menu plug in mpcie-hdmi cable to gdc beast dock and select DIY eGPU setup in grub bootloader.
- run the automated startup.bat.
- that's about it.
Here is my glmark2 result
[email protected]:~# glmark2 ======================================================= glmark2 2014.03+git20150611.fa71af2d ======================================================= OpenGL Information GL_VENDOR: NVIDIA Corporation GL_RENDERER: GeForce GTX 1050 Ti/PCIe/SSE2 GL_VERSION: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 384.90 ======================================================= [build] use-vbo=false: FPS: 505 FrameTime: 1.980 ms [build] use-vbo=true: FPS: 5547 FrameTime: 0.180 ms [texture] texture-filter=nearest: FPS: 5208 FrameTime: 0.192 ms [texture] texture-filter=linear: FPS: 4413 FrameTime: 0.227 ms [texture] texture-filter=mipmap: FPS: 4514 FrameTime: 0.222 ms [shading] shading=gouraud: FPS: 4580 FrameTime: 0.218 ms [shading] shading=blinn-phong-inf: FPS: 4900 FrameTime: 0.204 ms [shading] shading=phong: FPS: 4640 FrameTime: 0.216 ms [shading] shading=cel: FPS: 4118 FrameTime: 0.243 ms [bump] bump-render=high-poly: FPS: 3445 FrameTime: 0.290 ms [bump] bump-render=normals: FPS: 4225 FrameTime: 0.237 ms [bump] bump-render=height: FPS: 4187 FrameTime: 0.239 ms [effect2d] kernel=0,1,0;1,-4,1;0,1,0;: FPS: 3653 FrameTime: 0.274 ms [effect2d] kernel=1,1,1,1,1;1,1,1,1,1;1,1,1,1,1;: FPS: 2826 FrameTime: 0.354 ms [pulsar] light=false:quads=5:texture=false: FPS: 4147 FrameTime: 0.241 ms [desktop] blur-radius=5:effect=blur:passes=1:separable=true:windows=4: FPS: 2140 FrameTime: 0.467 ms [desktop] effect=shadow:windows=4: FPS: 2653 FrameTime: 0.377 ms [buffer] columns=200:interleave=false:update-dispersion=0.9:update-fraction=0.5:update-method=map: FPS: 212 FrameTime: 4.717 ms [buffer] columns=200:interleave=false:update-dispersion=0.9:update-fraction=0.5:update-method=subdata: FPS: 416 FrameTime: 2.404 ms [buffer] columns=200:interleave=true:update-dispersion=0.9:update-fraction=0.5:update-method=map: FPS: 250 FrameTime: 4.000 ms [ideas] speed=duration: FPS: 5587 FrameTime: 0.179 ms [jellyfish] <default>: FPS: 4055 FrameTime: 0.247 ms [terrain] <default>: FPS: 571 FrameTime: 1.751 ms [shadow] <default>: FPS: 4372 FrameTime: 0.229 ms [refract] <default>: FPS: 1765 FrameTime: 0.567 ms [conditionals] fragment-steps=0:vertex-steps=0: FPS: 4213 FrameTime: 0.237 ms [conditionals] fragment-steps=5:vertex-steps=0: FPS: 5839 FrameTime: 0.171 ms [conditionals] fragment-steps=0:vertex-steps=5: FPS: 4976 FrameTime: 0.201 ms [function] fragment-complexity=low:fragment-steps=5: FPS: 4842 FrameTime: 0.207 ms [function] fragment-complexity=medium:fragment-steps=5: FPS: 6466 FrameTime: 0.155 ms [loop] fragment-loop=false:fragment-steps=5:vertex-steps=5: FPS: 7116 FrameTime: 0.141 ms [loop] fragment-steps=5:fragment-uniform=false:vertex-steps=5: FPS: 7106 FrameTime: 0.141 ms [loop] fragment-steps=5:fragment-uniform=true:vertex-steps=5: FPS: 6406 FrameTime: 0.156 ms ======================================================= glmark2 Score: 3936 =======================================================
A few screen shots regarding stats and benchmarks :
The desktop 1050Ti results for unigine benchmark were somewhere between 5000-6000, so I guess, it was worth it! (?)
obs: sorry my english dudes, i don't speak english very well, i'from brazil.