2020 12" Lenovo Thinkpad X2100 [10th,4C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 8Gbps-mPCIe3 (PCE164P-N0...
 
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2020 12" Lenovo ThinkPad X2100 [10th,4C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 8Gbps-mPCIe3 (PCE164P-N03) + Win10 20H2 [nitroglycerine]  

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nitroglycerine
(@nitroglycerine)
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Joined: 8 months ago
 

System specs

  • "Thinkpad X2100" (fan-developed 10th-gen i7 motherboard installed in an X201 chassis)
  • 1280x800 internal display, 1080p 144Hz external display
  • Intel Core i7-10510U, PL1 set to 12 Watts
  • 16GB DDR4 @ 2400MHz
  • 512GB SATA SSD
  • Only the motherboard is replaced; the rest of the components on the laptop (card reader board, display, keyboard, etc) are from the original X201

eGPU hardware

Hardware pictures

(Update: reorganized into 3 layers with a spare ITX case)

 

Installation steps

  1. Remove the keyboard and palmrest of the laptop plug the mPCIe<->MiniUSB board that came with the PCE164P kit to the mPCIe slot.
  2. Connect the mPCIe<->MiniUSB cable with the PCE164P board with the USB cable that came with the PCE164P kit.
  3. Plug the GPU onto the PCE164P board.
  4. Connect the 6pin to 2x8pin splitter to the Dell DA-2 power supply. Follow the instructions on this page to bridge pin #5 and pin #6.
    • Once pins #5 and #6 are bridged and when the power supply is plugged in, its indicator light will change from amber to green.
    • If the eGPU is plugged onto the PCE164P adapter board and pins #5 and #6 are correctly bridged, the eGPU cooling fan will start to spin.
  5. Plug one 8-pin plug that came out of the splitter cable onto the PCE164P board (only 6 pins are used and the other 2 pins are left unconnected.)
  6. Plug the other 8-pin plug onto the eGPU (same as step #5, only 6 pins are used and the other 2 pins are left unconnected.)
  7. Connect the eGPU and a monitor using an HDMI cable. 
  8. Power on the X2100. The OEM Logo should show up on the external display.
    • If the internal display is being used instead of the external display, power off the laptop, disconnect the DA-2 power supply, re-connect the DA-2 power supply, and turn on the laptop.
  9. For this particular laptop, the GRUB bootloader will run at 640x480 when the eGPU is being used. To compare, GRUB runs at native resolution of 1280x800 if the laptop is not connected to the eGPU and the internal display is used.
  10. The Basic Display Driver will be activated when booting into Windows 10, assuming there are no existing NVIDIA driver installations. Noticeable lag in the windows UI and high CPU usage can be observed, especially when the semi-transparent blur effect is activated and when large portions of the desktop are covered by the blur effect.
  11. Download the latest GeForce driver from NVIDIA and install.
  12. After installation, error 43 will appear. Run the nvidia-error43-fixer. Reboot laptop.
  13. After reboot and the fix, the eGPU will become usable and the laptop may be used just like a desktop PC. (Thanks to nando4 for creating the fixer script, and a small donation was the best I could think of doing to express my thanks)
    • For some reason the internal display does not work and both the internal display and the iGPU disappear from the device manager, very much like when someone disables the iGPU in a laptop with iGPU/dGPU switch in its BIOS like the Thinkpad W530.

Benchmarks

All tests are done using an external display (the internal display is not usable on this machine anyway.)

CUDA-Z bandwidth test:

A few other tests:

Comments

The X2100 BIOS has a lot more options enabled (for example PL1 and PL2 settings) than commonly found on other laptops.
Previously I had the same GPU installed in an Aorus Gaming Box connected to a Dell 7275 tablet running Folding@Home almost 24/7. A few days ago I paired the GPU with the X2100.
The installation process was smooth and easy!
I am wondering why the iGPU and the internal display disappears. I'll continue looking into it!

This topic was modified 8 months ago

2020 12" Lenovo Thinkpad X2100 [10th,4C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 8Gbps-mPCIe3 (PCE164P-N03) + Win10 20H2

 
2020 12" Lenovo ThinkPad X2100 [10th,4C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 8Gbps-mPCIe3 (PCE164P-N03) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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