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Clean M.2 build?  


New Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Hi everyone,

I've been reading these forums with much interest lately. I have a Xiaomi Notebook Pro arriving soon, and I think it would be very cool to try adding an eGPU to its spare M.2 port.

The thing I'm wondering most about when I look at all the M.2 builds on these forums is: what would be the cleanest way to do it? I've browsed all the M.2 builds here, and the one with the best usability factor was using an M.2 extender cable, which seemed to come out of the laptop enclosure, with the M.2 extender board velcro'd on the lid of the laptop for easy access (I would post a link, but now I can't find it anymore!)
I think it was a very clever solution to not have to take the laptop apart everytime, but to really do this I would like to see a path to an even cleaner solution.

The GDC M.2 adapter v9 seems to use HDMI cables, and there are also the cheap ones which use USB3.0 cables. Wouldn't it be possible to somehow make a nice plug-n-play connector built into the laptop chassis for these?

So basically what I'm asking:
- what would be the cleanest way to integrate an M.2 eGPU in your opinion?
- Do you think that by using an extra USB3.0 or HDMI connector/adapter in the signal path (e.g M2->tiny USB3.0 cable->adapter->cable->GPU, but everything short) would completely destroy the link's signal characteristics for eGPUs?

Thanks and kind regards!

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

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Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago

A topic which is being investigated. Some tidbits to help you along:

1. EXP GDC is not Gen3 compliant. Confirmed by myself, others and noted in the Buyer's Guide.

2. ADT-Link adapters like R43SL or better packaged R3G are Gen3 compliant, even when chained with extenders. Even a 100cm combined cable length is still stable.

3. As you can move the provided NVME SSD into the second M.2 (x2) slot, you have an option of either:

- cutting a hole in the bottom of the chassis and plugging in the ADT-Link eGPU adapter on demand, preferrably via a slot-protecting M.2 extender.

- thread a R44MF M.2 extender via a slit cutout on the underside of the system and mount it on top of the LCD. Then connect the ADT-Link R43SG/43SL from that point.

You may want to watch do further reading and observe progress updates of @defvs's build on a 15" Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro:

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (6th,4C,H) + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 // compares M.2 vs TB3 performance

3RYL and mr.ribeiro liked
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Thanks, that's very informative! I hadn't seen @defvs' build yet. I may stick around a bit to see how it turns out, before taking any steps myself.

I guess a hole in the cover is a good possibility. Especially if it is somehow made to allow plugging the cut-out piece back in to close it.

I was hoping for a way to integrate it entirely and have a user-friendly connector of some sort - but I just received the laptop yesterday and now I am seeing just how thin it is. No way that anything more than the bare minimum will fit in there!

Thanks for the help.

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

Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago

I'm waiting for a spare backplate for my laptop so I can tinker around, too - my M.2 slot is 10cm away from the left side of the laptop unfortunately - too close for any M.2 extender to hide neatly just behind a cut-out side panel and I'd rather not stick out a longer cable with velcro - not exactly clean/neat on a brushed aluminium chassis.

I'm thinking about either cutting a shorter hole underneath and slotting the adapter from under the laptop, or cutting the panel on the side and a hole for the screw and slide the adapter from the side like an SD card.

I'm putting together a build guide, I'll add some photos of the chassis and motherboard for stage 2 - making it neat. Extender cable + velcro unfortunately looks like the best option so far

Clevo N141ZU + Win10 + M.2 ADT R3G + Zotac RTX 2070 8GB Mini
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