2012 14" Lenovo Thinkpad T430 [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 980 Ti @ 4Gbps-EC2 (PE4C 3.0) + ...
Clear all

2012 14" Lenovo Thinkpad T430 [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 980 Ti @ 4Gbps-EC2 (PE4C 3.0) + Win10 [dras]  


Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago

I thought I might as well chip in with a build guide for good measure. I've been lurking for far too long. =)


System specs
- Model: Lenovo ThinkPad T430 (14" (1366 x 768))
- CPU: Intel Core i7-3632QM @ 2.20GHz
- RAM: 16 GB @ 800MHz
- iGPU: HD 4000
- BIOS: 2.78
- OS: Windows 10 1803 (build 17134.345)


eGPU hardware
- Enclosure: PE4C v3.0 ExpressCard
- eGPU: ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 980 Ti (GeForce Game Ready Driver v. 416.34)
- PSU: Energon EPS-550W
- External monitor: Lenovo ThinkVision L220xwC (22" (1920 x 1200))


Hardware pictures

None as of yet.


Installation steps

I followed the setup guide for my PE4C and installed the latest GeForce Drivers without the 3d fluff. And from there on things "worked".
After messing around for a while with my expensive high wattage PSU from my disassembled desktop PC — getting a lot of kernel panics '— I tried an old cheap one I had lying around.

The Energon PSU apparently works flawlessly, albeit noisily, as long as I don't expose the rig to power surges (i.e. plugging power hungry appliances into the same power strip). So now I'm a happy camper.



All tests ran on the external monitor, with the internal monitor turned on. I have yet to see a difference in performance between on/off internal monitor.
- 3dmark Fire Strike


Things are running really well! I come from a i7-4970K with 32GB of very fast RAM and 16 lanes of PCIe, so there's obviously less performance now than before. But the beast underneath my table is gone, and that is so worth it. =)

I mainly did this as a fun project (when a friend didn't need their PE4C anymore), and the system has thus far only been used for gaming purposes, no CUDA stuff.


My only two questions now, before I can lean back and relax with my working setup:
1. Can I still get better performance from a better eGPU? Or am I already maxing the bandwidth of the EC?
2. Does a PSU exist, that is tried and true and runs silent?

2012 14" Lenovo Thinkpad T430 [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 980 Ti @ 4Gbps-EC2 (PE4C 3.0) + Win10 [build link]