[Sticky] [GUIDE] accelerated internal LCD on non-Optimus systems in Windows and MacOS  

 

nando4
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January 5, 2017 9:50 am  

Introduction

Systems without an Intel HD iGPU do not get Optimus accelerated internal LCD mode in Windows. They however do allow *windowed* apps to be started on an external LCD and then dragged to the internal LCD.

The same solution can be applied if using an AMD eGPU, whose Optimus equivalent X-Connect requires even more stringent requirements (TB2/TB3 link, very new AMD cards, Intel iGPU).

Below we show a solution of how to do that without using of a physical external LCD. Instead, a fake external LCD is used to start your app along with management software to drop the window onto your internal LCD.

 

Hardware required – fake external LCD

US$19 Headless Ghost or similar products. A display emulator for digital video interfaces that fits discreetly into your computer.

http://headlessghost.com
http://www.newertech.com/products/hdmi_headless_video_adapter.php

Or DIY one using a 80-100ohm resistor. From here and implemented using ‘duplicate displays’ here.

PICTURES:

  • How to build you DVI dummy display using a 80-100 ohm resistor on C2/C5 pins of the DVI connector!

 

 

Internal display working (no need for external display – Windows)

Posted by: enjoy

So the deal with this is, any program started on the ‘external screen’ (being powered by the eGPU) will use the eGPU. So what you’ll want to do is set the fake display as your main display. Then anything started on that display will be running from the eGPU. Now there is a little limitation here; only games that run in windowed mode will work (which is most). You’ll want to start the game on the fake screen in windowed mode and then drag it over to your internal display.
So how do you grab from a display you can’t see?

Well, I found this free program called Dual Monitor Tools (it’s free right here: Dual Monitor Tools – Home ) and what you can do in this program is set a keyboard shortcut to move the selected window over to the other display. So you click on the game in the task bar, and hit the shortcut you assigned and it’ll pop over to the internal screen, but because it was launched on the fake screen, it’ll be powered by the eGPU.

Simple as that.

A good tip is to have the internal display set as default first, launch the game, go to options and set the game to windowed mode now, then quit and relaunch after you’ve changed the fake screen as your primary. Otherwise you might not be able to switch it with the shortcut while it’s in full screen.

 

Use the Borderless-Gaming app to make Windows apps appear like full screen ones:
https://github.com/Codeusa/Borderless-Gaming

 

macOS: using accelerated internal LCD (by goalque)

See How to: eGPU-Accelerated Internal Display in macOS at:

https://egpu.io/how-to-egpu-accelerated-internal-display-macos/

 

Edited: 4 months  ago

eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference TableeGPU Setup 1.35


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survfate
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January 5, 2017 11:35 am  

AMD gpu internal mode can be done with this method too am I correct?

EDIT: I have to add: nearly every game nowaday can be play with window mode thanks too stuff like dxwnd / D3DWindower

Edited: 1 year  ago

2012 15" Asus K55VJ GT635M i5-3210M + GTX1050Ti@4Gbps-mPCIe2 (EXP GDC 8.4d) + Win10 // Hot-Plug BIOS mod


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nando4
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January 5, 2017 11:58 am  

Yes, AMD eGPUs with no equivalent Optimus mode (eg: X-Connect) can use this Windowed program shuffling idea too.

Posted by: survfate

 

AMD gpu internal mode can be done with this method too am I correct?

EDIT: I have to add: nearly every game nowaday can be play with window mode thanks too stuff like dxwnd / D3DWindower

   

eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference TableeGPU Setup 1.35


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dream3
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January 13, 2017 5:04 am  

Nando can you make a guide for that to work in macOS with mbps with iGPU only?


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nando4
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January 13, 2017 5:12 am  
Posted by: dream3

 

Nando can you make a guide for that to work in macOS with mbps with iGPU only?

   

I’ve asked some Macbook equipped colleagues to have a look at it. The sticking point being how to launch your app on your fake LCD and then snap it to to appear on your internal LCD.

eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference TableeGPU Setup 1.35


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survfate
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February 8, 2017 4:26 am  

It seem like EXP GDC already having something like the Headless Ghost for a while now, but only for DVI:

https://world.taobao.com/item/42235880540.htm#detail

2012 15" Asus K55VJ GT635M i5-3210M + GTX1050Ti@4Gbps-mPCIe2 (EXP GDC 8.4d) + Win10 // Hot-Plug BIOS mod


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Rayhan96
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April 7, 2017 3:55 pm  

pls help, i am a little confused. Does this mean i can receive 90% of the GPU power for the internal display? (like it would if i plug in an external monitor)

I have an xps 13 and been holding out on an akitio egpu because of my limited experience. I plan to use a 1050ti inside to make life easier, and i think what you have here could help me.

I hear from your previous articles that this laptop has 2 lane and that would restrict the internal display to use 50% of the GPU only, so if i could get it to use 90% you can see how it would really help out

The thing is all other tutorials seem to do it for Mac and not the laptop i have. Are there any links i could follow to help me out.

If this doesn’t work, would playing on the xps internal display with 1050ti be worth it and competitive enough despite the 50% drop?


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vava726
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April 13, 2017 7:09 pm  

Risultati immagini per run as graphic processor

I am a skull nuc owner and I am able to benefit of nvidia acceleration on skull video output even if there is nothing connected to the video ports of my gtx 980 connected with an akitio thunder 3. ( it was an experiment to evaluate the gap of performance between this configuration and the direct connection to the gtx980).

I think my situation is similar to the laptops’ one.

Let me know what do you think about it.

How 


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ybodhanya
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April 19, 2017 2:41 pm  

@nando4 Is the performance drop found when using the internal LCD with Optimus also present with this method?

Thanks


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rmvz3
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June 10, 2017 3:49 am  

In fact, I’m using the ghost adapter trick (with a hdmi to vga adapter and 3 resistors) without need of any extra software. Just setting the displays to clone mode. The games need to be running on window mode (if you change to full screen they simply won’t update their view but you can change them back to window mode and they will not crash)

Even better, Windows seems to remember the settings and it changes the layout to extended when I use my cinema display (display port) as external monitor and duplicate screen when I use the fake hdmi adapter.

If only I could boot windows without having to try dozens of times it would be great  8_(


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jefniro
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July 6, 2017 6:20 am  
Posted by: rmvz3

In fact, I’m using the ghost adapter trick (with a hdmi to vga adapter and 3 resistors) without need of any extra software. Just setting the displays to clone mode. The games need to be running on window mode (if you change to full screen they simply won’t update their view but you can change them back to window mode and they will not crash)

Even better, Windows seems to remember the settings and it changes the layout to extended when I use my cinema display (display port) as external monitor and duplicate screen when I use the fake hdmi adapter.

If only I could boot windows without having to try dozens of times it would be great  8_(

Me too, I use mirror mode (the best for me). I don’t know why but I use games in full screen mode and it works, maybe because I have installed DisableMonitor and I have set the LCD resolution as Full HD like the external “fake” monitor.

late-2016 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + XFX-RX480@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS & Win10


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Laferu
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July 19, 2017 2:56 pm  

The problem in dragging the window onto the notebook screen is that the performance seems to drop to half. A game running at 60 fps on the external screen changes to 20 fps when I drag to the notebook screen.

Is this just a particular problem of mine?

Sorry for my bad english. 


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Sky11
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July 25, 2017 2:55 pm  

Hi Nando,

Some corrections:

Folks, you are mixing Microsoft Hybrid Graphics, NV Optimus and AMD XConnect. Those are very different technologies!

  •    Microsoft Hybrid Graphics is on Windows Operating System feature, first introduced in Windows 8, and then greatly improved in Windows 10. Basically, Microsoft took idea of Switchable Graphics first implemented by ATI (way before it got bought by AMD) as PowerXpress switchable graphics technology for Windows 7 (later they changed the name to Enduro  http://www.amd.com/en-us/innovations/software-technologies/mobility/enduro  ) and made a generic switchable graphics technology so it can work between any integrated Graphics and any discrete (so AMD and NVIDIA behave exactly the same on Windows 10)
  • NVIDIA Optimus is a proprietary switchable graphics for Windows 7, similar to AMD Enduro tech. It is replaced with Microsoft Hybrid Graphics on Windows 10
  • AMD XConnect is AMD’s proprietary Detachable Graphics tech for Windows 10 only

What AMD GPUs are supported by XConnect

  • Any GPU which is supported in currently webposted Radeon Crimson ReLive. Older GPUs which require special legacy drivers (like Radeon HD 4750), are not supported in Crimson drivers and hence you cannot get XConnect working

What kind of host platfroms AMD XConnect supports?

  • Integrated Graphics only (laptops and PCs)
  • Integrated Graphics + internal dGPU (laptop itself is in Hybrid Graphics)
  • internal dGPU only
  • Thunderbolt 3 only (officially) / Thunderbolt 2 (unofficially)

In last two cases, you must use external display to get app acceleration by eGPU. However, if you have a laptop with both Integrated and dGPU (config 2), you still can get apps accelerated on internal screen – simply disable internal dGPU before you connect AMD eGPU! By disabling internal dGPU, you allow OS to create Hybrid Graphics link between Integrated and eGPU. Note that this trick will NOT work for config 3.

Any questions, please let me know.

 

Edited: 7 months  ago

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theitsage
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July 25, 2017 3:22 pm  

@Sky11 Thank you very much for the background of each switchable graphics technology and how they work. This workaround arose due to the needs of internal display acceleration on hosts without an iGPU.

I have one question regarding the identification of the switchable graphics mode. How can we tell Microsoft Hybrid Graphics is active?

Here’s what I’m able to tell and have been referring to as:

AMD XConnect

NV Optimus

Edited: 7 months  ago

Numerous implementation guides


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nando4
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July 25, 2017 3:57 pm  

@theitsage, I too have this question. I run 3dmark11 and then lookup benchmarks to confirm the GPU is accelerating my internal LCD.

@sky11, thank you for this update. We knew the iGPU was important in having an eGPU accelerated internal LCD mode and we knew a dGPU had to be disabled for the eGPU to accelerate the internal LCD.

The new information is that Microsoft drivers, rather than NVidia Optimus, can now link the eGPU to accelerate the internal LCD.  This means AMD eGPUs provided this acceleration too. I’ve also checked the Crimson Drivers and they start at the HD 77xx series.

We’ll need some users on older mPCIe/EC interface to verify this. There NVidia was very popular due to the Optimus accelerated internal LCD mode.

eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference TableeGPU Setup 1.35


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Sky11
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July 25, 2017 4:07 pm  

How to check if AMD GPU is in Hybrid Graphics? An indirect way it to see if Switchable Graphics Tab is available in Radeon Settings:    https://community.amd.com/docs/DOC-1581

How about NVIDIA? Sorry – no idea 🙁

@theitsage: your NVIDIA screenshot is the same function as right click on XConnect Tray Icon – it shows what apps are running on eGPU:

XConnectTrayIcon

Regarding Internal GPU + eGPU:

– starting the windowed application on eGPU and moving it to laptop screen may not always help – depending on application, some apps will continue to run on eGPU, some apps will switch to internal GPU

– ‘Dublicate” mode with a fake screen attached to eGPU: quite creative workaround, but I need to check what are Microsoft rules about it. As far as I remember, you will not get a good performance in dublicate mode….

 


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Sky11
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July 25, 2017 4:44 pm  
Posted by: nando4

@theitsage, I too have this question. I run 3dmark11 and then lookup benchmarks to confirm the GPU is accelerating my internal LCD.

@sky11, thank you for this update. We knew the iGPU was important in having an eGPU accelerated internal LCD mode and we knew a dGPU had to be disabled for the eGPU to accelerate the internal LCD.

The new information is that Microsoft drivers, rather than NVidia Optimus, can now link the eGPU to accelerate the internal LCD.  This means AMD eGPUs provided this acceleration too. I’ve also checked the Crimson Drivers and they start at the HD 77xx series.

We’ll need some users on older mPCIe/EC interface to verify this. There NVidia was very popular due to the Optimus accelerated internal LCD mode.

Some clarification regarding Microsoft Hybrid Graphics:

– it was originally designed for laptops, and it does have certain requirements for both hardware and drivers. For example, in laptops the internal GPU gets completely powered off when no app is using the GPU and no display is connected to that GPU; to support that requirement, the laptop has to be designed with HG in mind (circuitry to power on/off the GPU , BIOS support, etc.)

For detachable graphics both vendors just force enable Hybrid Graphics for eGPUs – as none of them need anything special from the laptop (unlike “real” Hybrid Graphics)

If you can install the latest Crimson 17.7.1 on your graphics card, then on iGPU only laptop you will both get XConnect and Hybrid Graphics (=you will be able to use eGPU to accelerate apps on the internal screen)

NOTE: Guys and girls with non-Thunderbolt setups: unfortunately, no XConnect for you. And I do not think that NV officially supports such configurations either (the only exception is Alienware Graphics Amplifier)

 

P.S. XConnect does work beautifully on XPS13 and any NUC with Thunderbolt 🙂

Edited: 7 months  ago

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goalque
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July 25, 2017 5:41 pm  

I thought it might be good to recap terminology here as @Sky11 used “internal GPU” instead of dGPU which can be confusing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_processing_unit

iGPU = integrated GPU, integrated graphics processors (IGP)

dGPU = dedicated/discrete GPU/internal GPU

eGPU = external GPU (aka eGFX which refers to Intel’s certification category)

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204349

The main difference is that iGPU allocates system RAM and it is generally on the same die with the CPU. dGPU has its own dedicated RAM.

In Apple’s terminology there a few more concepts:

LowPower GPU“:

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/metal/mtldevice/1433409-lowpower

Offline GPU” and “Online GPU” where the latter means a GPU that is connected to a display.

With dGPU equipped MBP on macOS, display mirroring gives similar internal screen performance as moving the app from the eGPU display, but it’s not useful in a situation where user needs HiDPI mode and details.

Unfortunately, there is no universal switchable graphics technology for eGPUs on macOS. The GPU selection is done in the app. The gmux switches between the iGPU and dGPU only.

automate-eGPU.shapple_set_os.efi
--
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late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/RX580@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Sky11
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July 26, 2017 3:50 am  

goalque – I made corrections to my post, thanks the feedback


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mantide
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August 17, 2017 11:41 am  

Hi, guys!

Thank Sky11 for your clarification. I can’t find this option on my setup. Is there any special software you installed?

I have a problem about my own setup:

AsRock Z270 ITX + Aorus Gaming Box(Gtx 1070).

For now every time I need to play a game, I unplug the DP cable from motherboard iGPU and plug it into the eGPU.

Which is a nuisance. More importantly, I am going to assemble my own 4K monitor. And the monitor driver board won’t support Nvidia GPU(crap!).

So I will have to use a trick to let GPU work with the “internal” display port.

Do you guys happen to know a way around this?

Thanks a lot!

Edited: 6 months  ago

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theitsage
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August 17, 2017 12:14 pm  

@mantide Check in the BIOS and see if there’s an option to always enable iGPU. I built a TB3 test bench with a Gigabyte Z170x-Ultra Gaming motherboard and there’s such an option to keep iGPU even when there’s a dGPU or eGPU. Nvidia Optimus does not work as well as AMD XConnect in my experience so it’s possible this is one of those situations even when you have both iGPU and eGPU, internal display mode still doesn’t work.

On the positive side, connecting the monitor directly to the eGPU gives you the best performance.

Numerous implementation guides


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(@tom_morter-laing)
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September 15, 2017 1:54 pm  

Apologies for my stupidity – I’ma bit new to this: 

Is the original post describing more than one method to making this work without an external monitor? Or is it saying you need to do all the things? (I’m trying to work out if there’s a way of doing this on my iMac without buying a fake hdmi dongle thing). 

Thanks 🙂

Edited: 3 months  ago

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Serje
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September 21, 2017 5:29 pm  

Hi!

I have two cards in my all-in-one pc. Nvidia G210M is inserted in MXM 3.0 slot on motherboards and handles display.

Recently I bought EXP GDC 8.4D and Nvidia GTX1060 for it. I had no problems with card installation. And according to windows device manager, GTX works well now. 

Since I can’t have both videocards working simultaneosly (nvidia doesn’t allow different drivers on the same machine) – I use G210M with standard VGA graphics adapter.

Now I want to make GTX1060 be my primary adapter and transfer video through G210M to my internal display. Before bying EXP GDC I read some notes about Windows Display Driver Model and it’s ability to copy display data from one adapter to another. Thought it will be easy to choose primary adapter when second appears. It isn’t.

Seems like windows doesn’t provide any built-in options for switching adapters. And I can’t load Nvidia control panel because it works only on displays plugged through their adapters. And I haven’t any options in BIOS related to dedicated graphics. 🙁

Does setup 1.35 by nando4 allows to switch primary graphics cards as it’s done in UEFI bios usually? Or is there any chance to adjust this in Windows?

Edited: 3 months  ago

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champkris
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November 1, 2017 10:23 am  

I never thought to get to my dream there’s such alot of custom process I need to do but feeling great I’m not alone lol.


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(@gioni)
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November 2, 2017 9:38 am  

what are the performance, are worse or equal to a monitor


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nando4
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November 2, 2017 11:31 am  

@gioni, the eGPU accelerated internal LCD mode has an additional bandwidth overhead sending display traffic back to the notebook that isn’t present when the eGPU send traffic straight out to an attached LCD. This means there is a decrease in performance.

https://egpu.io/performance-internal-vs-external-display/

eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference TableeGPU Setup 1.35


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(@marcos_codas)
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November 11, 2017 8:45 pm  

Arg, this is gonna kill me! I’ve got everything set up right to the point where the resistor is being recognized as a dummy display, but I can’t get Windows to duplicate displays between the iGPU and the eGPU! I’m using a GDC EXP Beast over Expresscard and an HD 7770. Anybody willing to help a brother out?


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(@get_saiyan)
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November 26, 2017 10:35 am  

I have tried this method with my 7$ adapter and hd 6870 on my k52sv (i7 2670qm) and i have been getting terrible performance. I tried running it on 768p and i had 30-35 fps on Overwatch on Low settings. Changing the resolution scaler didnt help but changing the resolution to a lower one (like 1024×768) did help, so even if the render res. were the same the fps were different. Now i really dont get it but i was expecting at least 60fps on 720p or 768p,, i know 6870 isnt a great card but i was really low on money and i only wanna play overwatch on 720p anyways. What can i do to improve performance ?


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