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2018 14" Clevo N141ZU [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10...
 

2018 14" Clevo N141ZU [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 [timginter] // 5cm NVME extender used to create pluggable NVME port  

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timginter
(@timginter)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Hi everyone.

Thanks to all who posts on this forum, for the research and support. It really makes a huge difference when setting up an eGPU.
Time came this year to replace my old Lenovo x230 with GTX 950 STRIX OC (and later GTX 1060 6GB STRIX). When I was setting it up a few years ago, it took me days of reading, swearing and hair-pulling to troubleshoot all the issues and finally get rid of Error 43 . Compared to around 30 minutes for the new setup including @nando4 's nvidia-error43-fixer.bat (instead of installing older drivers, editing registry and installing newer drivers on top) - this forum is a must-read.

On M.2 vs TB3
When I found out about Thunderbolt3 enclosures I was looking for a good laptop, preferably 13'' with at least quad core processor and Thunderbolt3. It all took a year and I read up quite a bit in the meantime - now I'm really glad I didn't have the money to buy a TB3 laptop - I didn't know how expensive enclosures were (being spoiled with ~£90 ExpressCard adapter) and that TB3 has ~20% performance loss even when it claims full x4 lanes.

If I didn't mind the performance drop (e.g. offsetting with a more powerful gpu) and spending A LOT more money wasn't an issue, I would have bought a TB3 laptop and enclosure for convenience. I loved the x230+EC and that I could just eject my eGPU from tray and take my laptop with me, then plug it back in when I was back at my desk.
The scrooge tinkerer in me won, though.

Without further ado:

 

System specs

14'' Clevo N141ZU (Lafite 14 III)
i7-8565U quad core 1.8GHz, 4.6GHz turbo
Intel UHD Graphics 620
16GB (2x8) Samsung 2400Mhz RAM
Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA SSD
Acer XG270HU 2560 x 1440 144Hz
Windows 10 Pro x64 1809 (later updated to 1903)

 

eGPU hardware

ADT-Link R43SG M.2 NVMe
ASUS STRIX GTX 1060 6GB
Dell DA-2 PSU

The R3G didn't come with the 8pin power cable from the adapter to graphics card and neither with the metal hexagon bar to stabilise the card. I had these from previous PE4C 3.0 setup, just needed a couple of extra washers for the metal bar - R3G is much thinner than PE4C and the screw was too loose.

 

Hardware pictures

 |   |   | 

Motherboard (screen hinge on top):

 

Installation steps

1) Download latest nVidia drivers and @nando4 's nvidia-error43-fixer.bat
2) Turn laptop off
3) Connect all cables - PSU to ADT-Link R43SG, power cable from R3G to card, M.2 cable to laptop's M.2 slot
4) Switch the "SW1" switch on R3G to "2" (options are "1" or "2". "2" will provide power to GPU even with the M.2 cable not connected).
5) Power laptop on
6) Check device manager - if graphics card not detected as "Microsoft Basic Display Adapter" - restart laptop
7) Install latest nVidia drivers, reboot. Device Manager should show "Error 43" for the card.
8) Run nvidia-error43-fixer.bat
9) Switch the "SW1" switch on R3G back to "1".
10) Drool!

 

Benchmarks

 |   | 

 

Comments

Holy crap... the difference is huge. Moving from PE4C v3.0 ExpressCard adapter to M.2 and a new laptop blew my socks off. I haven't had a desktop for over 17 years now (not counting anything up to Win95) and an MSI GX720 gaming laptop around 12 years ago. I got used to lowering graphics to play a game smoothly and I don't mind it, but only now I can see how everything progressed over the years.

I generally don't play a lot of new shiny games, but I run PUBG on 1440p maxed out and had stable 45-50 fps even in the plane / parachute phase. Homefront: The Revolution is next on my list - my previous x230 + 1060 6GB on ExpressCard really struggled with it. Then probably Witcher 3 (after Jagged Alliance 2 and other games from stone age in the meantime 😉 )

I do miss the convenience of ExpressCard (I could eject my graphics card like you'd eject a USB stick and take my laptop from my desk), but Thunderbolt3 version was 200 EUR more for a 13'' clevo laptop, with slightly worse spec, worse battery life and then the cost of the enclosure on top - I'm good with connecting the M.2. With an SSD system boots in a few seconds so turning it off to plug/unplug is not a problem.

EDIT:
I made the laptop more plung-n-play'able using a spare bottom lid, some cutting and an M.2 extension, see the later post for details: https://egpu.io/forums/builds/clevo-n141zu-gtx-1060-6gb-strix32gbps-m2-adt-r3g-win10-timginter/#post-59212

This topic was modified 1 month ago

Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Zotac RTX 2070 8GB Mini
Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 950 2GB STRIX OC


Janver Codilan, NOOOJASON, AMZMA and 1 people liked
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DamianS555
(@damians555)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Interesting build. How is the laptop under load ? Reviews say that this series of laptlaptops can have a quite loud fan noise.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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timginter
(@timginter)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

hi @DamianS555
didn't see your message earlier.

It can be loud when spinning - that's definitely true. I'll check with a DB meter, curious myself actually.
Performance-wise it's good, though, no issues with temperature throttling so far.

Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Zotac RTX 2070 8GB Mini
Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 950 2GB STRIX OC


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timginter
(@timginter)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 
Posted by: DamianS555

Interesting build. How is the laptop under load ? Reviews say that this series of laptlaptops can have a quite loud fan noise.

With no load and the ambient noise in my office it's less than 5dB when measured just above the laptop.

Under max load with dB meter in the same spot it's around 25 dB

Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Zotac RTX 2070 8GB Mini
Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 950 2GB STRIX OC


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NOOOJASON
(@nooojason)
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

What cable are you using to connect the 8-pin GPU to the ADT-Link?

I can’t find one like it anywhere.
Link would be great!

Thanks!

WIP eGPU:
Y700-15ISK
EVGA GTX 1660 SC ULTRA GAMING
ADT R43SG
Dell DA-2


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timginter
(@timginter)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 
Posted by: NOOOJASON

What cable are you using to connect the 8-pin GPU to the ADT-Link?

I can’t find one like it anywhere.
Link would be great!

Thanks!

hi NOOJASON,

I don't have a buy link, it came with the PE4C 3.0 from my previous build.

It's an 8pin to dual 8pin (6+2) splitter, part number is Y08-V02-032 : https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=y08-v02-032

Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Zotac RTX 2070 8GB Mini
Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 950 2GB STRIX OC


NOOOJASON liked
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NOOOJASON
(@nooojason)
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

Thanks!

The cable you’re using is the same one on the pictures shown on the banggood website which is exactly what I needed.

Neat.

WIP eGPU:
Y700-15ISK
EVGA GTX 1660 SC ULTRA GAMING
ADT R43SG
Dell DA-2


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Janver Codilan
(@janver22)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Awesome setup! Been checking your guide and @Jkeychen as references for my new convertible Dell laptop which I am also working on a build guide later on.

Have you managed to make yours easier access to the M.2 slot? Got mine a spare bottom cover as well and used dremel to open up the slot and am thinking of ways to make some sort of an easy access door that does not add too much thickness to the bottom panel.

2012 12.1" Fujitsu Lifebook T731 + GTX 1060 6GB Zotac [email protected] (PE4C 3.0) + Win10 (Retired)

2012 15.6" MSI GT683 GTX 770M (original GTX 560M) w/ EC Slot mod (from GX660) + GTX 1060 6GB Zotac [email protected] (PE4C 3.0) + Win10 (Retired, dGPU failing)

2018 "14 Dell Inspiron 5482 2-in-1 + GTX 1060 6GB Zotac [email protected] (ADT R43SG) + Win10 (Current)


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(@jkeychen)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

hey @Janver, I'm still using the same method which plug in the M2 to the back of the laptop. I'm no longer using the extension as it make the gen 3 signalling unstable and sometimes crash the game/make the game sluggish. I will update my post if I found any new way to make it much better like easy access door like what you intended. 🙂

This post was modified 5 months ago

2015 15" Dell Latitude E5570 R7 M370 + GTX1070 @32Gbps-M2 (ADT R3G) + Win10


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timginter
(@timginter)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 
Posted by: Janver Codilan

Awesome setup! Been checking your guide and @Jkeychen as references for my new convertible Dell laptop which I am also working on a build guide later on.

Have you managed to make yours easier access to the M.2 slot? Got mine a spare bottom cover as well and used dremel to open up the slot and am thinking of ways to make some sort of an easy access door that does not add too much thickness to the bottom panel.

Thanks @janver_codilan

Yeah, I went with cutting the side of the bottom lid and using an M.2 extension inside. I can plug the R3G easily into the extension now. Before I cut anything, I tested the card with and without the extension to check if there are any performance drop or any issues - didn't seem like any so the spare bottom lid went under the knife. I'll put together some photos and post soon

This post was modified 5 months ago

Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Zotac RTX 2070 8GB Mini
Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 950 2GB STRIX OC


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timginter
(@timginter)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

After some tinkering, cutting and swearing I got the M.2 port to be more plug-and-play. Works really well, actually. As mentioned before, I tested the performance earlier with and without the adapter – there didn’t seem to be any difference with or without the extra M.2 extension cable.

My cutting and filing doesn’t look too great on the photos below – I scuffed the bottom lid in a few places when I had to use pliers instead of a metal file and the edges are not as neat as I’d like. I didn’t have the best tools (at one point I had to use scissors...) and did a rushed job - I actually didn't think it would fit so was quite surprised when I put it together and everything worked. The lid is very soft and easy to cut, patience, good wire cutters and a fine metal file will do a very neat job.

Needed parts

- 1x M.2 NVMe SSD Extension Cable / Riser, custom length 5cm - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/M-2-NVMe-SSD-Solid-State-Drive-Extension-Cable-Riser-card-support-M2-M-key-PCI/32858904221.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.2a294c4da2gF0O
- Pliers
- Cable/wire cutters
- End cutters (cable/wire cutters with the blades perpendicular to the handles). You can do without these, I didn't have any at hand, but they help a lot.
- Metal file.

The shortest cable ADT-Link could make was 5cm - much too big, so I had to cut the circuit board/base (where the M.2 screws go) and bend the cable on itself (in an “S” shape) to fit it inside the laptop’s frame.
I unscrewed the 2 “blocks” (probably just additional protection for the cable) at the beginning of the adapter cables - with them it wouldn't fit under the lid.

I had to shorten the adapter as much as possible now. The circuit board/base at the end which plugs into the laptop's M.2 didn't seem to have any circuits, so I cut it as close to the tape as possible.

The other end of the adapter has a circuit on the circuit board/base – I cut it as close to the circuit as I dared and filed any sharp edges.

The shorter and lower version of the adapter:

I marked the lid where the adapter would be to have some lines to cut along. I cut approx. 1cm along the marked lines and bent the cut part up with pliers (towards the "inside" of the lid), then cut the bend part flush (end cutters would come in really handy here). This was more trial and error - the lid is curved so difficult to give measurements and I didn't want to make a hole bigger than needed. I had to cut a bit more from the sides - the R3G cable is a bit wider (has tape at the end). I filed the edges when I was done with cutting.

I screwed the lid loosely in by 2 screws opposite of the cut edge so I could lift it a bit to put the adapter in. I had to bend the adapter in an "S" shape on itself so it didn't stick out of the laptop - trial and error here, too. When the end of the cut circuit board/base of the adapter was flush with the part of the laptop where the power button is, I pushed the lid to hold the bend adapter in place and screwed in remaining screws. It’s a bit tight, may bulge a tiny bit, but holds well.

The R3G adapter slots in perfectly into the cut lid. You feel a tiny “click” when it plugs into the adapter inside. To plug and unplug I just tilt the laptop up and the circuit board/base of  the R3G holds the cable against the desk when I lower the laptop.

When I’m travelling and taking my laptop I replace the cut lid with the original one, then put the cut one with the adapter back in when I’m home. Works really well and with an SSD shutting the laptop down to plug/unplug and boot takes literally just a few seconds.

This post was modified 5 months ago

Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Zotac RTX 2070 8GB Mini
Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 950 2GB STRIX OC


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timginter
(@timginter)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

I enabled BitLocker encryption on my laptop and run into a bit of a problem - every time I plug/unplug the R3G, BitLocker asks for the 48-digit recovery code. BitLocker sees it as hardware change and forces recovery for security.

There's a way to disable it via Group Policy for TPM validation profile (gpedit.msc -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> BitLocker Drive Encryption -> Operating System Drives), but it feels like compromising security. Besides, gpedit is not available on Home editions.

I wrote a quick PowerShell script to suspend BitLocker for 1 restart, and shut down the PC. Save it as *.ps1 file, right-click and "Run with PowerShell". You can convert it to an *.exe file with some free tools, too.

# restart script as admin if needed
if( !([Security.Principal.WindowsPrincipal][Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent()).IsInRole([Security.Principal.WindowsBuiltInRole]::Administrator) )
{
    Start-Process powershell.exe "-NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File `"$PSCommandPath`"" -Verb RunAs;
    exit
}

# -RebootCount is 1 by default
Suspend-BitLocker -MountPoint "C:" | Out-Null

# shut down
Stop-Computer

You may need to change the drive letter in 9th line if yours is not "C:".
Hope it helps anyone who's swapping eGPUs with encryption on

Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Zotac RTX 2070 8GB Mini
Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 1060 6GB STRIX OC
Lenovo x230 + Win8.1 + EC PE4C V3.0 + Asus GTX 950 2GB STRIX OC


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