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Detachable M.2 NGFF extension to eGPU setup.  

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fredwck
(@fredwck)
Active Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

Hello, I gather that M.2 NVMe is better than TB3 due to no controller so I want to utilise this (I can't remember if there was any direct benchmark comparisons?). I gather many reports of using the ADT-Link R43SG adapter shown below.

image

To connect this directly to a NUC kinda defeats its portability purpose, and taking lids on/off is not a solution. I think I've seen some setup with an M.2 to M.2 extension cable (ADT-Link R44SF) with the R43SG like below.

image
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The M.2 end on the extension cable is not so plug-friendly with the screws and that's relatively big to stick on. Alternatively I was thinking of a setup like M.2 to PCIe x4 riser (ADT-Link R42SF/SR/SL) then PCIe x4 to x16 (ADT-Link R23SG) as illustrated below.

image
image

 

 

Questions: any/how much stability/performance issues of either? does the PCIe x4 connector make more sense? are there some advantages of an all M.2 connection, which is utilising 4 lanes anyway?

 

PS: Any good ideas for a TB3 controller-less, PSU-including enclosure? I can't 3D print. Maybe I'll wait for one with faulty controller etc and replace it with the ADT-Link.

Intel NUC8i7HvK + Aorus TB3 Box + GeForce RTX 2060 mITX


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

For stability issues regarding additional M.2 extenders see comments at:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2016-15-6-dell-latitude-e5570-r7-m370-gtx-1070-32gbps-m2-adt-r3g-win10-jkeychen/

 

For M.2 versus TB3 performance see:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2015-15-dell-precision-7510-q-m1000m-6th4ch-gtx-1080-ti-32gbps-m2-adt-link-r43sg-win10-1803-nando4-compared-to-tb3-performance/

 

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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tilchev
(@tilchev)
Active Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

@fredwck, Do you have any new findings regarding ADT-Link R42SF/SR/SL + PCIe x4 to x16 (ADT-Link R23SG). I'm considering this option for my build because of the smaller footprint of the connector. For my case the R42MF, R42ML, R42MR variant with a 3cm cable seems like it would fit best:

IMG 20200425 183019 edit
IMG 20200425 183114

 

My main concern for this connector is the power pins on the female PCIe x4 port. I understand they are meant to be used if you would run something power consuming right off this connector but I don't know if they could cause a problem with our type of setup. I'd wrap them in electric tape - that's for sure. Can you tell me anything about these power pins?

 

2015 15" Dell Latitude E5570 (R7 M370) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 [build link]  

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fredwck
(@fredwck)
Active Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

@tilchev, I managed to contact ADT-Link. I think they weren't keen to recommend this way of connecting even though I showed them the M.2 extension cable method post. They say there are more failed cases than success cases and multiple connecting may damage the adaptors (somehow?). Also they say that the R42SL on its own needs the 4pin powered through ATX interface.

 

Without any further verification it's quite hard to estimate how this compares to M.2 extension without additional power in the middle. A small good news is if you order it directly through them they can customise cable length for you (if you need only 3cm).

Intel NUC8i7HvK + Aorus TB3 Box + GeForce RTX 2060 mITX


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tilchev
(@tilchev)
Active Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

@fredwck, Thanks for the update! I decided that not damaging my equipment and maximizing connection stability is more important for me than the convenience and detachable factor. I ended up ordering a 50cm R43SG along with spare bottom cover for my Latitude E5570. I plan to keep my original cover intact and cut trough the bottom of the spare one. This way I keep the resale value of my laptop and get maximum performance out of the eGPU + it is still detachable without having to take of the bottom cover off every time. I don't plan to detach it very often so the M.2 connector should be fine. I very hyped to finally do this build but sadly COVID19 measures around the world are still affecting shipping by delaying airlines - I am almost 30 days into my orders now 🙁

 

2015 15" Dell Latitude E5570 (R7 M370) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 [build link]  

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