Couple weeks ago, I was able to successfully set up my first eGPU. So I decided to add implementation guide.
laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad T430s(2356GRU).
BIOS version: G7ETA6WW (2.66)
BIOS supports hot-plug: yes
CPU: Intel Core i5 3320M (dual core, 2,6GHz)
Memory: 2 x 4Gb DDR3, 1600MHz
SSD: Crucial BX 220, 120GB mSATA SSD @ 6 GB/s as main drive.
HDD: Western Digital 750Gb, 7200rpm as secondary drive.
eGPU: Gigabyte GTX670 2GB Windforce 3X
iGPU: Intel HD 4000
PSU: ATX 400W, single 12V rail, 21A on 12V.
BIOS setting related to eGPU setup:
PCI Express Power management: disabled;
ExpressCard speed: automatic.
Quick note here: EXP GDC works fine on Gen 2.0 speed on this setup (knocking on the wood), so I leave it automatic.
On Adapter: ATX-PW is set to ON (Left switch on the right position) and timing is OFF;
iGPU is disabled.
First of all, I connect the all the required cable and turned the PSU on. Then I insert the ExpressCard plug into the laptop. Laptop detected new device in device manager. I Installed GeForce drivers with no errors (384,94 desktop version). After That there was famous ERROR 12. The solution of this problem is well written on this forum and works great. After applying the solution I successfully tested eGPU on external monitor. But I wanted to use internal LCD. Since my system doesn't support optimus, it wa a bit tricky.
The solution is to use single 75 ohm resistor, 1/4 watt is sufficient.
On DVI-I: Insert the resistor between C2 and C5.
Then turn on The PSU and Insert the ExpressCard into the laptop.
Now open Display Settings and choose duplicate display.
Then check if eGPU is active. Use GPU-Z "?" mark or run any game as you wish. If you have decent FPS, eGPU is activated. Click on "Display adapter properties". There should be eGPU info written.
Important note: First time I tried to use internal LCD using resistor trick, I was not able to activate eGPU. The solution is to open Nvidia control panel. Change display resolution to 1024 X 768. Then Change resolution to 1600 X 900 (laptop LCD resolution). The changing of the resolution activates eGPU. This is needed only the first time. After that, every time you connect The ExpressCard into the laptop, eGPU will be automatically activated.
I like ExpressCard interface, since it is more convenient than mPCIe. Also it is hot-plug capable (on T430s). But it is not so "hot" to Insert and remove it anytime you wish. To avoid VIDEO DXGKRNl FATAL ERROR or other BSOD:
- Make sure your eGPU is idle
- disable eGPU in device manager
- Remove ExpressCard from your laptop
- Enable iGPU (If you still want to use laptop without eGPU to have better performance)
And if you want to connect it back again:
- Disable iGPU if it is already enabled
- Insert ExpressCard into the laptop
- Enable eGPU
This step-by-step approach minimizes system failure during ExpressCard insertion-removal.
NOTE: After inserting the ExpressCard into the laptop and enabling eGPU, sometimes ERROR 12 comes, but don't panic. Just disable eGPU, Remove EC and try it again.
P.S. I have also made a custom enclosure - box that has ATX, eGPU and EXG GDC in it. The case is big enough to insert any GPU. I have also installed case cooler to avoid overheating. Running eGPU at default clock, this box doesn't experience overheating and ATX/eGPU/EXG GDC emergency shut down. I'm happy with the result.
At the end of the implementation, I want to say that eGPU is definitive solution for laptop users who want to increase the system performance and maintain the portability at the same time. And if laptop supports TB2, TB3 or other high speed interface, it is definitely worth to try eGPU.
Thank you for your implementation guide.
Your Lenovo T430s has a HD4000 iGPU and so if your eGPU has no error 12 or 43, the NVidia Optimus driver will use the eGPU to accelerate your internal LCD without needing the ghost DVI adapter. As I understand it, the only trick on Lenovo systems may be to either:
- hide the eGPU from the BIOS on bootup by either using the eGPU adapter delay switches (PTD) or to hotplug the expresscard eGPU adapter after BIOS boot but before Windows starts loading.
- just bootup without a ghost adapter/LCD attached to the eGPU
Please refer to this guide if want to configure your system as a HD4000+GTX670 but encounter issues like error 12/43:
Thank you for your fast reply. I have tried different options before the resistor trick: PTD, hotplugging, Direct bootup with ExpressCard inserted into the laptop, but either way it fails to useeGPU and internal LCD at the same time. There are 2 ways:
- If eGPU is detected in BIOS, I get Black screen followed by ACPI_BIOS_ERROR.
- If I hotplug the EC just when windows loads, windows starts, but eGPU is not active:
I thought, since my laptop doesn't have NVIDIA mobile GPU(dedicated GPU) installed in it, it doesn't support optimus.
shaki, your laptop does support NVidia Optimus since it has the HD4000 iGPU but needs it enabled. Please refer to my previous post on how to get the iGPU+GTX670 to work together.
For some reason cant send message to @shaki so:
Having T430 working with V8.4 great without disabling iGPU - just plug-in between bios and windows starting.
Plugging external display directly to eGPU leading to BSOD, display port works fine. How can I fix this?
This method works form me. Thanks to @ shaki Adding a 100 ohm resistor (not the blue ones). Lenovo x 201T and a low profile gtx 9600 for testing. the only problem is that I cannot open the Nvidia control panel with an Error '' You are not currently using a display attached to an Nvidia GPU '' . Hoping for the response for this error. Thank You.