Dell Latitude E5450 - M.2 NGFF with EXP GDC "Beast" V8
Hey, I decided a few weeks ago to go ahead and give eGPU a shot for my E5450 seeing as there's two M.2 slots readily available (WiFi & WLAN).
I ordered the EXP GDC "Beast" V8 a few weeks ago and received it a couple of days ago. I noticed a few days after ordering it that the connector wouldn't fit either of my M.2 ports and ordered an adapter 2230 card. Which didn't fit either.. Or well it fits into the M.2 port but the M-PCI-E cable from the "Beast" doesn't fit adapter card I bought (16$!).
So today while browsing this site I found a link to Banggood for this thing which is obviously what I should've bought in the first place... Oh well, I'd like to try to get this thing working to see if it'll even work for this laptop, haven't been able to find anyone else working the Latitude E5450.
At the time the only resource I found was eBay and a few shoddy articles from Google, most of them depicting Thunderbolt setups and rather expensive hardware - I'm looking to keep the costs down as much as possible.
I am curious about the advertised possibility to use the "Beast" in x2 mode, but I'm not sure how this is done and I haven't been able to find much information about that, what I did find is 18 gold plated pads on the card that came with the eGPU dock I've got. Is it possible to solder an extra HDMI cable onto this and redo the connector on the dock's PCB somehow? I'm open to replacing components on the PCB if that's neccessary.
What I looking for now is a diagram for the wires for the cable from the "Beast" to the end connector so I can remove the adapter on my hastily bought card and solder the cable directly onto that one instead, is there anyone who has an overview of that available?
From what I understand the process should be as simple as to connect the corresponding PCI-E lanes to one another and hook it up.
One more thing, and I realize this post is getting damn long at this point.
After reading some of the topics around here about eGPU setups I stumbled across the program "HWiNFO" and used that to check out the pci lanes/bus' that are available.
I find one of the three PCI root ports listed under PCI bus #0 is one "PCH-LP PCI-E Root port #5" - this is the only one that comes up with x4 lane capabilities but I'm not sure if there's an actualy connector to this in the PC, I'm wondering if this is a pci lane dedicated to something else internally in the computer. There's also PCI-E listings under "System slots", the first one's x16 and there are four x1 lanes - I'm not really getting my hopes up of finding a x16 slot in here and I'm guessing this is the "master lane" which they all connect to somehow..
This picture that I found online which apparently depicts all the lanes of the motherboard seems to give hope otherwise though, as I'm counting five seperate PCI lanes there, do anyone know if this is the actual case?
If the x4/x16 (if either exist) are wired/soldered to a component, is it possible to remove them and insert a m.2/m-PCI-e socket in it's place?
Again, sorry for the long post, getting a little bit tired and I've been worrying about this build for a while!
I reviewed the E5450 lspci.txt here finding:
port1 : connects to the SD card controller
port3: connects to the 7265 wifi
port5 (x4) connects to a GT840M dGPU. If you have a iGPU-only model then this is not connected BUT can't readily be used for an eGPU
The wifi in the E5450 is mPCie, rather than M2. You can at best do a x1 2.0 eGPU (4Gbps) implementation on this system. See the buyer's guide for the appropriate eGPU adapter: https://egpu.io/external-gpu-buyers-guide-2017/#mPCIe-interface
It's wifi M2 based on subsequent photos.
Thank you for the help, I read you wrong the first time and unscrewed and had a look on the motherboard for that GPU connector - of course there was none 🙂
As I already have the eGPU dock and cable available with a PCB adapter that fits I was hoping to do some rewiring, as in soldering the cable directly to the adapter PCB. I've been unable to find the wiring for the EXP GDC cable that I have in order to do this - and several google searches has not helped me find anything.
Do you or anyone else know/have the wiring the connector for the HDMI/mPCI-e output?
@metallus84,@ neoHannibal and @wimpzilla are doing end connector resoldering. Maybe ask in this thread if one of them can map out the HDMI to mPCIe EXP GDC pinout for you with DMM continuity probing?
Thanks, hope they can assist with it as some of the leads on the cable don't seem to connect to anything on the egpu PCB, and some connectors broke off on the mPCI-e card I've got.
Are you sure it's no M.2 in the e5450? Maybe the speed isn't up to what M.2 can deliver but I think the form factor is M.2 - this is a picture of the WLAN controller installed, and you can see the connector in the background.
If nando4 agree i post the GDC c8.4d cable wiring, i have it saved somewhere!
I see here you got a NGFF M2.A, unfortunately it support only the pci-e 1x, only the M2.M adapter are 4x compatible. But dunno if the wiring is the same. Go have a look on my thread, i have some pics of the EXP GDC pcb, see if it is the same around the HDMI connector. If yes i can pr²ovide you the cable pinout, in your case the HDMI connectors pinout.
For the soldering it depend on your skill and soldering tools. I would suggest you to use a NGFF blank connector. If you are skilled enough you can grab the pins from the connector and around the chipset. Also i suggest you to use old PATA cable for the wiring, single wire, low impedance, nice to deal with.
Also i tried the 2x pci-e link, didn't worked right straight like i was supposing, the pci-e gen2 wiring and electrical specs are a bit more rigid than i thought! Couldn't go further since the laptop died a couple of hours after, after had spent hours in soldering and flashing the ME. For external reasons unfortunately.
That HDMi pin diagram would be amazing, I'm positive I'll be able to work out the wiring for the M.2 adapter if I know where the HDMI connector's pins go to on the EXP GDC PCB itself (ohm'ing them helped me find 12/15, don't know where the last three lead).
I have a good soldering iron available, my skills with it in regards to this kind of operation is unknown 😛 first time I try to solder something as small as this, but it should be good for learning either way.
Can you link to your thread? I'm not familiar with this forum and going to your profile didn't give much of an overview of topics you've started.
Did you try to make the cable & connector work over 2x PCI lanes? Sounds sweet, sorry it didn't work though.
@wimpzilla any news on the wiring schematics?
For that matter, I'm also interested in a wiring diagram for M.2 in general, seems nigh impossible to find some information about this online!
Here you go!
BEWARE to asses correctly the pin number on the HDMI connector, you will notice that on the pic there is 2 lines with pin number.
The upper one is for the HDMI cable connector view, the line under is for the EXP GDC HDMI connector, since when you look at and pug it it invert the pin number.
Awesome! Thanks a bunch