2011 15" Lenovo ThinkPad W520 2000M + [email protected] (EXP GDC 8.5c) + Win10 Pro [norbert_z]  


New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 3
November 20, 2018 8:30 pm  

System specs
- notebook: Lenovo ThinkPad W520
- CPU: intel Core i7 2920XM
- RAM: 16GB
- SSD: Crucial MX500 250GB

- GPU (integrated): intel HD Graphics 3000 & Nvidia Quadro 2000M 2GB
- display: 15" FullHD, 1920x1080
- OS: Windows 10 Pro

eGPU hardware
- EXP GDC Beast v8.5C with Expresscard , used 25EUR
- ASUS Dual 1060 GTX 3gb, used 135EUR
- Evolveo 450W ATX PSU, used 18EUR
- slightly modded mini ITX case Silverstone Sugo SG13, 39EUR
total costs: 217EUR

Hardware pictures

Installtion steps

- disabled Optimus and Nvidia Quadro in BIOS, i.e. switched to integrated graphics only (intel HD graphics 3000)
- information sources: eGPU.io, ChimyChunga's W520 build and youtube (see link below)
- I used the following (older) driver version (as recommended): 372.54-desktop-win10-64bit-international-whql.exe
- Installed newest available driver from nVidia (417.35-desktop-win10-64bit-international-whql-rp)
- got error 43 (can be seen in Device manager) and card not working
- applied nando's "error 43 fixer" registry patch, to be found here:  https://egpu.io/forums/expresscard-mpcie-m-2-adapters/script-nvidia-error43-fixer/

- restarted, works now
- important: not to update graphics card drivers (ideally disable updates in Windows, otherwise you end up getting error 43 and reverting back to older driver version)


Internal display
CUDA-Z here https://imgur.com/a/907o8zx  
3DMARK TimeSpy won't run  https://imgur.com/a/GF0xG0K   :((
3DMARK FireStrike v1.1 score was 6840 points, see here https://imgur.com/a/Bp2R3iR  
Valley results here https://imgur.com/a/mGxYi9p  

External display results below (!)
Valley benchmark https://imgur.com/a/bdnIPnM

Tried with Destiny 2 and Battlefield 3 both on max settings in FullHD resolution (1920x1080) on the notebook's internal display, getting 35-50 fps in Destiny 2 and around 40-50 fps in Battlefield 3.
Both very nice and playable so far.

Will be more than glad to get comments, especially how to improve performance of this build if possible.

Strange thing: fps is almost always around 50, goes up to around 80 only if I lower the game resolution - this is valid for the internal display.
I think the limiting factor must be the bandwidth of the expresscard interface.

I found out later on that the internal display is really limiting the performance (see Valley benchmarks above, internal vs external display -- scores 1500 vs 2000 points)

This topic was modified 2 months ago

.. Lenovo Thinkpad W520 + Asus Nvidia Geforce 1060GTX 3GB ..

nando4 liked
New Member
Joined: 1 week ago
Posts: 1
February 13, 2019 11:41 pm  

Thanks for sharing. I am using the same W520. I have used 2920xm with gtx 1070 for years. Just one question: is your gtx1060 working under PCI E 1.0 or 2.0. Mine can only work under PCI E 1.0 or it will get randomly crash.

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

New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 3
February 14, 2019 8:42 am  

Hello James,
I am aware of the PCIE 1.0 /2.0 mode, did not manage to find out how to switch between them however.
Please give me a hint how/where you switched it, I will try and update my post with the results.
The only thing I could think of is in BIOS, where it is possible to set Expresscard to:
- Generation 1
- Automatic
whereas from the explanation (directly in BIOS) it seems, that Automatic has the chance to use mode 2.0 (if the card supports it).
I have set "Automatic" from the beginning and it works without issues, no crashes or so.

Note: I just got myself an external monitor and hooked it up via DisplayPort, getting a lot more performance out of the card.
e.g. Fallout 76 running 2x-3x better on the external monitor (from the framerate point of view, where on the internal monitor it barely reached 20-25fps, on the external it is between 30-60fps), on Full HD, game on ultra settings.

This post was modified 6 days ago

.. Lenovo Thinkpad W520 + Asus Nvidia Geforce 1060GTX 3GB ..