2011 15" Asus N53SN + [email protected] (PE4C v3.0) + Win10 [Doink]^  

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Doink
(@doink)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 8
March 29, 2017 11:33 am  

Hey guys.

I'm already using this system since the end of 2015 so i just want to share my expreiences and some upgrades. This guide works on all the model variants N53SV/N53SN/N53SM. My system is a N53SN with a i7-2630QM and 8GB of RAM.

Overall you will have 3 issues with this notebook:

  • It forces PERST instantly and freezes on POST with AMD and newer NVIDIA cards
  • Even with TOLUD set to automatic, Windows can't allocate space for the eGPU (at least on mbr)
  • It's a nightmare to reach the mPCIe socket, you need to remove the top cover, !but! the positioning is pretty damn good 

 

To solve the first issue you need to insulate PIN 22 (PERST#) on the mPCIe connector and set the PDT delay switch on your adapter to maximum. The BIOS freeze (ASUS logo) is because the software can't do anything with the new gpu so its pretty straight forward to use the switches on the adapter to hide it right? - Yes, but since the motherbord forces PERST instantly on power on, your adapter delay circuit is useless (There is a PDT/PERST LED indicator on the adapter whitch on while the delay is counting down) and thats the reason why insulating the PERST pin with a small electrical tape + delay circuit solves these type of problems.
This method has a small cost, if you reboot, the adapter delay circuit will not start -> so your computer sees the eGPU -> you will stuck on the Asus logo screen -> always do shutdown/power on or sleep/power on instead of reboot.
Some Acer laptops have the same PERST issues.

After the easy part, you have two routes:

 

(Option 1) DSDT override/in-memory substitution route (safer option)

As explained in  [GUIDE] DSDT override eGPU error 12 fix , I don't want to cover this step-by-step because its the same on all computers. You will have only one compile error where you need to convert that string to uppercase. The resulted .aml file will smaller than the original so there is no need to delete anything if you on the in-memory substitution with setup 1.35 road. So just boot your computer, wait for the delay LED to go off (usually vga fan starts to spin at this time), enter setup 1.35, disable the dGPU, endpoint:36bit, put the eGPU to 36-bit and keep the IGFX on 32bit and it will work. I tested it but being an advanced user found the modded bios route is better for my purposes.

 

(Option 2) Using modded bios (for advanced users):

The benefit over Option 1 being is below. The danger is bricking your system since are flashing modded BIOS here.

  • Hotplug for nvidia 10 series cards (but this is an amd guide)
  • Don't need to deal with dsdt override after every windows reinstall (it's not a real issue, even when the user doing the in-memory substitution they need to save the .aml to the Setup 1.35 disk image)

 

There is a way to unlock the hidden features in this notebook where you can disable your dGPU and manually set your TOLUD :

  1. Disconnect your eGPU or just remove the power for it.
  2. Flash the latest bios from the asus website, check the correct bios version with cpu-z the paint on the motherboard is always SV. Mine is N53SN.209, your is probably N53SV.215 and flash it with the asus tools if you are not on the latest.
  3. Run AMIBCP4.55.0070 and open .rom file
  4. Go to Advanced in the left tree and you will see something like this, except you will see Default instead of USER in the Access/Use column  

  5. You can force these menupoints to show up by changing the access to USER like on the picture
  6. The interesting part is the chipset tab is where where you can change the Memory frequency, PCI-E configurations, IGP configurations, LCD setting, TOLUD config (default is dynamic) etc.). The problem is that the visibility is hard coded so setting the tab to user doesn't work, just save the file.
  7. Now we have to use MMTool (mmtool_aptio_4.50.0.23) to get the Setup module GUID. Load the image and find the FileName: Setup row:

  8. I coudn't manage to replace this module with MMTool so we just need the GUID for the Setup module (899407D7-99FE-43D8-9A21-79EC328CAC21 for me)
  9. Open UEFITool (0.21.4_win) and open your rom file.
  10. Click File->Search->GUID and type in your GUID (899407D7-99.....), select header only then click search. On the messages block double click on the found entry and right click on it => extract as is and save the fss file, don't close UEFI Tool.
  11. Open the FFS file with a HEX Editor.
    They store in a boolean array the hidden/showable tabs, in our case it is: 01 01 00 01 01 01 which equals to
    (Main: enabled, Advanced: enabled, Chipset: disabled, Boot: enabled, Security: enabled, Save & Exit: enabled)
    Search for 01 01 00 01 01 01 and make sure you have only one matches (you should have only one) and change the red value to 01 and save the file.

  12. Double check the saved file size an continue only if its exactly 2 621 440 bytes like before the editing
  13. Back to UEFITool, right click on your GUID and press replace as is. Browse your edited fss file and click ok then File->Save image file. This creates your unlocked .rom file
  14. Now you can flash this bios file with AFUWINGUI v5.05.04. Open->your rom file. Go back to Information screen, in my case Current Firmware ID: 0ABUC0007, ROM file ID: 0ABUC000 so on the setup tab i had to check "Do not Check ROM ID" then click Flash if you confident.

  15. Reboot and check the bios  

     

  16. You can disable your dGPU: Chipset tab -> System Agent (SA) Config -> Graphics Config -> Primary display = IGFX
  17. You can change the TOLUD: Chipset tab -> Memory Config -> Max TOLUD = 2.25GB
  18. You can change the link speed or enable Hot-Plug if you fighting with NVIDIA GTX 10xx series cards here: Chipset tab -> CougarPoint (PCH) Config -> PCI Express Config -> PCI Express Root Port 2
  19. Probably if you change the TOLUD value windows will meet you with an ACPI_BIOS_ERROR but a windows re-install (?repair?) solves it.
  20. So you have a new bios, new windows. Now you can connect your eGPU with PIN22 insulated, enter setup and just do the normal
    1. PCI compaction -> 32bit compaction -> igp+egpu
    2. chainload mbr

 

Some quick Q&A:

  • Is it worth to buy a 390x for a 2630qm? - No, but there are plenty of gpu bound games where its pretty salad and plenty of where its pretty useless.
  • 3DMark scores? - Here they come
  • Is it stable? - Yes, i have no random crashes even with an EXP GDC Beast.
  • Is it portable? - No, but read below.

 

Make my life great again

Life is never easy and sometimes i have to move my notebook and i don't want to remove 20+screws or hanging EXP GDC hdmi cable out of my computer so i just cut the PE4C hdmi cable and soldered an HDMI socket/connector to make things easy. HDMI soldering is not the greatest thing with a soldering gun but it worked out for me.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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dani_tx
(@dani_tx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 166
March 29, 2017 5:05 pm  

@Doink,by disabling some of the USB Ports i saw some improvement using the internal display.I left only USB Port 00,01 and 11(SD Card) enabled(on mine port 9 was the camera but i never used it so i don't care also the fn key is not working......don't really care about that either).My goal is to free up as many resources as i can.If you messed with your BIOS and have any tips please share.I'm still looking to disable the HDMI and VGA ports as well but no luck so far.Wondering  what DMI VC1 Control and DMI VCP Control does(couldn't find any good results on the web about them).About the iGPU.....YES......switching from SG to IGFX was a game changer for me.Nvidia Optimus is working at it's best on that setup.About the Hot Plug and Gen 2 Port....well even though i'm with GTX 970 not with ATI i've had random driver crashes usually right after quit playing games and the GPU-Z wasn't showing the gpu clocks and memory readings untill i restart the windows.After enabling the hot plug....ALL STABLE....so this is a MUST.

I didn't need to use nando4's eGPU SETUP 1.35. Mine was plug and play from the very beginning !!!!!!

ASUS A53SV: i7-2860QM, 16GB DDR3 running WINDOWS 10 Enterprise LTSB 2016
SSD: SAMSUNG 850 PRO(256GB)+SAMSUNG 850 EVO(120GB)
eGPU: EVGA GTX 1080 FTW+ PE4C V3.0(mPCIe)+EVGA 650 G3 PSU (internal display ONLY)


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Doink
(@doink)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 8
March 29, 2017 8:31 pm  
Posted by: dani29m

 

@Doink,by disabling some of the USB Ports i saw some improvement using the internal display.I left only USB Port 00,01 and 11(SD Card) enabled(on mine port 9 was the camera but i never used it so i don't care also the fn key is not working......don't really care about that either).My goal is to free up as many resources as i can.If you messed with your BIOS and have any tips please share.I'm still looking to disable the HDMI and VGA ports as well but no luck so far.Wondering  what DMI VC1 Control and DMI VCP Control does(couldn't find any good results on the web about them).About the iGPU.....YES......switching from SG to IGFX was a game changer for me.Nvidia Optimus is working at it's best on that setup.About the Hot Plug and Gen 2 Port....well even though i'm with GTX 970 not with ATI i've had random driver crashes usually right after quit playing games and the GPU-Z wasn't showing the gpu clocks and memory readings untill i restart the windows.After enabling the hot plug....ALL STABLE....so this is a MUST.

I didn't need to use nando4's eGPU SETUP 1.35. Mine was plug and play from the very beginning !!!!!!

   

 

I don't care about internal screen since the performance is pretty bad (1080p internal screen) and i don't get the point disabling stuffs when i can just dsdt or lower my tolud and everything works even the internal screen since windows 10 can hadle the copy back to the igp.

You are a bit lucky because 2 people reported me they have POST hang with nvidia cards. I only tested it with a desktop gtx 5 and 6 series card and had no issues but my 390x loves hanging on the asus logo without the magic tape. Thats the reason why i wrote what is causing the issue and how can people fix it.

Do you use UEFI or MBR?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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dani_tx
(@dani_tx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 166
March 30, 2017 1:25 am  

First i was on MBR now UEFI.No problems on either one but let me clarify something because i think i misled you.My ASUS is A53SV which  i think is little bit newer then yours and they made some changes.For example by looking at your bios screenshots they are similar  to mine but not identical also on mine the mPCIE port is next to the memory modules(in my case i had to take apart entire laptop,make opening where the battery resides in order to connect it) and the latest BIOS is 320 for mine,yours is 215.Again,it was plug and play from the very beginning but i guess i was too paranoid after reading all those postings in the forums how everyone complaining and crying and i thought that i'll have the same problems.My TOLUD is Dinamic,the card got recognized right away doesn't matter MBR or UEFI.Onliest problem that i've had so far was the hot plug and i guess i'm the only one who had that problem on 9XX series GPU's even though it was working without enabling it but those random crashes were very annoying.

About the internal display...well...we both know that mPCIE  is the bottom line and probably 90% already gave up on it by moving to something better like Thunder 2 and 3.I guess i'm just too stubborn trying to achieve the unachievable.It's a challenge for me.There was no need to argue with me,i know that external display will make big difference i just don't like the easy way i guess.I was just trying to help you with my discoveries not pretend that i'm smarter then you.I thought that by seeing improvement on internal disp. you'll probably see much bigger on external.Remember.....forums are to share information and help each other first and foremost.No bad feeling here and apologies if i in any way i messed up your IMPLEMENTATION REPRESENTATION.Good Luck !!!!!

ASUS A53SV: i7-2860QM, 16GB DDR3 running WINDOWS 10 Enterprise LTSB 2016
SSD: SAMSUNG 850 PRO(256GB)+SAMSUNG 850 EVO(120GB)
eGPU: EVGA GTX 1080 FTW+ PE4C V3.0(mPCIe)+EVGA 650 G3 PSU (internal display ONLY)


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Doink
(@doink)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 8
March 30, 2017 10:30 am  

You can just bechmark the host-to-device(egpu) copy then remove your usb/webcam stuffs and re-run the benchmark. (cuda-z, viennaCL)

 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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TheCeiling
(@theceiling)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
April 9, 2017 11:27 am  

Dude, that's dope.

I really need to know how you managed to solder an HDMI port to the mPCIe cable... and how does that connect to your mobo?

What adapter did you use? I want to try this on my M.2 slot so I could easily plug and play an eGPU

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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Doink
(@doink)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 8
April 9, 2017 9:43 pm  

Adapter is a PE4C v3.0. Soldering was pretty painful, small place, lot of wires and i have no microsoldering/crimping tools so i used what i have:

  • Good old 45/65W soldering gun with some random solder containing flux inside
  • Epoxy + shrink tubes to make it durable
  • ~5 hours to solder all the 38 wires

I don't want to disassemble the notebook to take a photo for you but it connects like this:

Just to clarify something, connectors reduces signal quality and cable length increases crosstalk. It means it's possible you get signalling issues (drive crash, bsod etc) after doing this but it works fine for me. Only do this if you have soldering experience and if you don't mind to break your cable and start over.

Btw, I wanted to put the adapter right next to my computer so i cut off a pretty long piece from the hdmi cable, now its just 20 cm overall.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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Pabloz
(@pabloz)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
June 9, 2017 7:23 pm  

Hi!

I have GDC Beast v8 mPCIE, GTX 1060 and Asus N53SV. It took me some time to manage this to work - but it works without Setup 1.x, without pin#22 trick (card was not visible) and gdc beast PTD switch in default configuration (OFF).
It turns out that main problem was integrated Intel graphics card. Unlocked Bios allows to disable intel GFX totally and laptop starts to detects my GTX 1060 (of course gf540m is disabled too, and laptop screen is useless without intel gfx).

Bios Configuration looks like this now:
1. Chipset Menu -> CougarPoint (PCH) Configuration -> PCI Express Configuration -> PCI Express Root Port 2 -> Hot Plug=Enabled / PCI Speed = Gen1
2. Chipset Menu -> System Agent (SA) Configuration -> Graphics Configuration ->
options changed in following order:
    2.1 iGPU Port Configuration = Disabled
    2.2 Internal Graphics = Disabled
    2.3 Primary Display = IGFX (probably 'Internal Graphics=Disabled' overrides this value and uses Auto/PCI/PEG automatically)
3. ADVANCED Menu -> Boot VGA Controller Selection For = Reserved (i think bios is changing to this value when 'iGPU Port Configuration = Disabled')

MaxTolud in default configuration  - Chipset Menu -> Memory Configuration-> MaxTolud = Dynamic

If i remember correctly 'Boot VGA Controller Selection For = Other' enables GF540M, but it cannot display anything without intel gfx  (lspci in ubuntu shows 2 nvidia devices - and shows desktop from egpu on external monitor but 2D accelleration did not work for egpu). Didn't check this option in windows 10, so there is a chance that both nvidia cards will work at the same time and maybe GF540M could work as Physx accelerator.
Forcing PCI Speed=Gen2 randomly crashes, PCI Speed=Auto allows to work in gen2 mode, but at heavy load automatically switches to Gen1 mode and it's not 100% stable. I think the mPCIe cable is not best quality, will try to make some shielding for it or maybe it's worth to make it shorter?
Didn't remove intel gfx or nvidia drivers - just reinstalled nvidia drivers without nvidia experience (368.81 version wich was used with gf540m). Yesterday I installed newer 383.33 driver and it works without problems too.

Many thanks Doink for your bios modding guide!

English is not my native language, sorry for mistakes 😉

Best Regards
Pabloz

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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(@yudistira_epicmushroom)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 1
March 28, 2018 3:51 pm  

i cant find 01 01 00 01 01 01 in setup guid, just how u can find it?
i7 4700hq
8gb ramm
dgpu gt745m
egpu gtx1050ti
bios version 219

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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Doink
(@doink)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 8
April 15, 2018 3:28 pm  
Posted by: Yudistira “EpicMushroom”

i cant find 01 01 00 01 01 01 in setup guid, just how u can find it?
i7 4700hq
8gb ramm
dgpu gt745m
egpu gtx1050ti
bios version 219

You have a different notebook model. This guide is for N53 variants from 2011.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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