is it possible to turn a PC into an eGPU device??  

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Mangix
(@mangix)
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Joined: 2 years ago
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January 7, 2017 3:50 pm  

hi, this is my first post in forum.

 

i own a laptop and i was wondering if it is possible to transform my PC into an eGPU device??

i find it cool if i can hook my laptop to my pc, and use it's gpu whenever i want!

of course i still be able to use my own pc when i decide to.

 

can some one hint me from where to start investigating this topic? (hardware wise)

 

thanks

 

 

 

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


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nando4
(@nando4)
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January 7, 2017 4:04 pm  

You could create a pluggable eGPU device using common link interfaces to both your notebook and desktop as shown below. Do note the premium added by having such Thunderbolt adaptability:

1. You have a Thunderbolt2 port on your notebook
2. You have a Thunderbolt2 port on your desktop system via say an Asus ThunderboltIIEX card and compatible systemboard
3. You create a Thunderbolt2 eGPU using eg: AKiTiO Thunder2 enclosure + GTX1050Ti card + 120W AC adapter.

Pls review all Thunderbolt devices available if planning for such an arrangement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Thunderbolt-compatible_devices

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2018 14" HP Elitebook 840 G5 i5-8350U 16GB 512GB + GTX 1080Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT R43SG) + Win10


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Mangix
(@mangix)
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Posts: 4
January 7, 2017 4:17 pm  

thanks for the fast replay nando4!

actually i thought before about your set up! having an eGPU device that pc and notebook connect to!

but the thing is, i think current eGPU enclosures in market is overpriced.. (i can make gaming pc with total price of such setup).. so i find it smart - if possible - that a PC can have a feature to enable it to function as eGPU on demand.

 

i hope motherboard manufactures take a note of this topic and try to add it in their future motherboard designs!~

or at least create cheap eGPU enclosures!

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


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ijobain
(@ijobain)
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May 28, 2017 9:41 am  

Hi, i´m looking for the same.

An ATX Motherboard  + cpu  + memory + ssd + hdd + GPU + Thunderbolt 3 card Sonnettech

A minimum linux distro running without GUI to share: Hard drives, Ports & GPU

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


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mcarver316
(@mcarver316)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 133
May 29, 2017 1:14 am  
Posted by: Mangix

hi, this is my first post in forum.

 

i own a laptop and i was wondering if it is possible to transform my PC into an eGPU device??

i find it cool if i can hook my laptop to my pc, and use it's gpu whenever i want!

of course i still be able to use my own pc when i decide to.

 

can some one hint me from where to start investigating this topic? (hardware wise)

 

thanks

 

 

 

I'm finding out that gamers actually drive development of GPUs (and now eGPUs) and will continue to do so.

The only way to accelerate eGPU development with regard to turning normal PCs into eGPUs in a pinch is to convince PC OEMs that it is in their best interest to do so.

So maybe a petition? Imagine if all future motherboards had such a switch, whether via hardware or software or a combination of both.

2015 17" MSI GT73VR-6RF 2xGTX1070 + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node driving Cubix Chassis) + Win10 > 365Gigahashes per second


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karatekid430
(@karatekid430)
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November 8, 2017 4:32 am  

Interesting concept. It is just like I believe that every laptop should be able to act as a USB-C monitor for another device, with a direct connection to the internal display (no video capture).

I will start out by saying I have reason to believe it is possible.

The Thunderbolt Networking which delivers point-to-point emulated 10GbE should just be a subset of the possible features. I cannot remember where I read it (but it was while researching why it is still not yet present in Linux), but it said something like they establish a DMA ring and compare services that each end supports, one of which can be Thunderbolt Networking. This should imply that other services could be written in kernel mode drivers which do other things with DMA.

Now, we have Intel VT-d and AMD Vi - which are basically IOMMUs. Their most important (but lesser known) use is guarding against DMA attacks from Thunderbolt 3 with the IOMMU. But the most common use of the IOMMU is to allow VMs direct access to the computer's hardware.

So we could write drivers that agree on the emulated eGPU service, and set it up such that the commands from the laptop get issued to the desktop's GPU as if they originated from a VM running inside the desktop. Using the same techniques. No actual VM. That way, it can use the GPU, not hijack the whole system with DMA attacks, and not prevent the desktop from using the GPU at the same time.

Hopefully in 2018 when Intel releases Thunderbolt as royalty-free (hopefully that also implies open-spec and no mandatory certification), then there will be more documentation on this. Nobody is even sure about what the Thunderbolt GPIO header on the AICs does.

Right now, Thunderbolt is a pain for Linux developers. I am surprised that Intel did not insert its own driver into the Linux git, but the developers just made a massive release with kernel 4.13. There are at least a couple thousand lines in the diff between 4.12 and 4.13 in the Thunderbolt drivers. I can verify that it dramatically improves the support, but it is still dire. No Thunderbolt Networking, hot plugging barely works, but it can see my eGPU, but I have seen comments online that it works well for Thunderbolt monitors. But my point is that these developers must get information about Thunderbolt from somewhere for use in kernel development. I don't know if they have a line to Intel, or if somebody is reverse engineering it. But Linux could be our biggest hope for revealing actual technical information about the workings of Thunderbolt.

Right now, my biggest hope is that 2018 might bring Thunderbolt AICs that work with any motherboard, without BIOS updates or the header cable (presuming that it is only for license enforcement / locking the technology down). PCIe is complicated, but if I can hot-plug plain PCIe and have things work, then Thunderbolt should be able to make it work without major system changes.

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


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emonten
(@emonten)
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January 9, 2019 5:16 pm  

New to the topic and this forum; Has there been any interesting developments on this topic the last couple of months?

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


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 880
January 9, 2019 5:20 pm  

@emontenNo, this still remains impossible in practice.

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"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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