ADT-Link R43SG M.2 eGPU Adapter - No Detection & PCI Resource Error
After testing the ADT-Link R43SG successfully with a 2019 16" MacBook Pro through an M.2 to Thunderbolt mainboard, I tried direct M.2 interface. Unfortunately this has been more challenging than anticipated. The two host laptops I tested so far both have two M.2 NVMe slots (Alienware 13 R3 and MSI Prestige 15).
One of the two slots is occupied by NVMe Windows boot drive. The other hosts the R43SG M.2 connector. The eGPU testing subject was an AORUS RTX 2070 ITX card removed from the Gaming Box. It fits the ADT-Link R43SG footprint nicely and can work with Dell DA-2 power brick.
The Alienware 13 R3 struggled booting up the first time with M.2 eGPU connected. It eventually booted into Windows but there was no sign of the eGPU. I tried switching the M.2 slot but no change in detection.
The MSI Prestige 15 immediately showed a PCI RESOURCE ERROR screen when it found a foreign M.2 device connected. When I checked the PCIe M.2 slots the BIOS showed empty.
Ideally I'd like to make it work on the Alienware 13R3 because this laptop already has Alienware Graphics Amplifier port and Thunderbolt 3 port. Having the third interface through M.2 PCIe would allow me to compare the three eGPU options.
On the ADT-Link R43SG, set the following and try again:
J1 = open (PERST# delay enabled)
SW2 = 2 (PERST# delay 4.5s)
For the AW13 R3 suggest clear CMOS/UEFI as explained below from service manual. After which boot with the eGPU attached and ADT-Link R43SG switches/jumpers in default settings.
Clearing CMOS settings
- Remove the base cover.
- Remove the wireless card.
- Remove the solid-state drive.
- Remove the rear I/O cover.
- Remove the computer base.
- Remove the battery.
- Remove the coin-cell battery.
Wait for one minute.
- Replace the coin-cell battery.
- Replace the battery.
- Replace the computer base.
- Replace the rear I/O cover
- Replace the solid-state drive.
- Replace the wireless card.
- Replace the base cover.
Some other threads that may be of interest regarding the issue:
They are troubleshooting on Desktop though, so may not be relevant, but they seem to be the same issue.
@nando4, I kept trying with different GPUs in hope one of them would get detected. Unfortunately no progress so far. I decided to try a non-GPU PCIe card and that worked right away. Here's the Device Manager screen capture of a PCIe SSD installed in the R43SG. Does this mean there's a blacklist for GPU in the BIOS of this Alienware 13 R3 system?
Then resume system and do a device manager scan.
Often the system will maintain the PCIe settings and enabled ports during a sleep-resume cycle to allow cards to work that might otherwise be blocked if detected by BIOS during bootup.
@nando4, Your suggestion was right on! The AW13R3 is now able to detect graphics card through the M.2 eGPU adapter. When I did the hardware swap in computer sleep mode, Device Manager hardware scan actually caused BSOD. However when the computer restarted the M.2 eGPU has been working since. I ran drivers installation and restarted the laptop several times and detection remains working!
However when the computer restarted the M.2 eGPU has been working since. I ran drivers installation and restarted the laptop several times and detection remains working!
Nice work. AW13R3 could now have two direct PCIe GPUs .. one via the M.2 port, the other via the Alienware Graphics Amplifier. Given they are x4 3.0 links, SLI/CF might be possible.
Amazing then the AW13R3 could have up to 5 GPUs.. the dGPU, a TB3 eGPU, a M.2 eGPU and a AGA eGPU.
As the AGA is a direct CPU link and the M.2 port is on the PCH, you have a platform to prove (or disprove) the theory that a direct CPU attached GPU is a superior performer.
Yes it opens up many possibilities we have not been able to test previously. I will try Crossfire next with the AGA. CPU vs PCH is also another good test. Thank you again for your advice!