Dell DA-2 adapter switches off/loses power when gpu is connected
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Dell DA-2 adapter switches off/loses power when gpu is connected  


Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago

Hello all,

After trying for a few days, I have been unable to get my eGPU setup working. When I have it connected as I think it should be, the Dell DA-2 power seems to switch off but otherwise it seems to be working fine. I am not sure if it is a Dell DA-2 problem but I was hoping I could get some help on this from the community. I have included all details I thought were relevant in order to give the most complete picture so I apologize if the post seems a little long

I bought the following components with the aim of having an eGPU setup to work with my Lenovo T420.

  1. A Dell DA-2 220W adapter
  2. EXP GDC Beast 8.5c enclosure (expresscard)
  3. EVGA GTX 970 FTW GPU (used) that needs two 6 pin power connectors
  4. 6pin male to 6pin male PCIe cable
  5. two 6 pin PCIe power splitters - 6 pin female to two 6 pin male PCIe power splitter

My plan (based on other working builds and research I had done prior to purchase) was to use the Dell DA-2 to power the EXP GDC Beast. Then connect the 6 pin output from the EXP GDC and connect it to the two 6 pin power connectors on the GPU.

Following are the things I tried and the behavior I observed

  • I connect the dell da-2 adapter to the exp gdc and have the gpu in the pcie slot without any additional cables connected. when I switch on my laptop I see the green light on the adapter and the exp gdc green light. The fans on the GPU switch on and then turn off(its more like a twitch) constantly. If I remove my expresscard and then reconnect it, the fans run at (what I think is) full speed. During this time, the GPU is never detected by the OS (neither windows 7 nor linux). Since the power connectors for the GPU are not connected, I thought it makes sense that it's not working
  • There are 2 6pin slots on the GPU - slot #1 and slot #2. If I now connect the "6 pin male-6pin male" cable from the exp gdc beast output to slot #2. I observe the exact same behavior as before - fans start spinning at full speed or repeated twitch and turn off
  • However, as soon as I connect the 6 pin output from the exp gdc into slot  #1 using the "6pin male-6pin male", the dell DA-2 powers off (green led switches off), exp gdc powers down.
  • I tried connecting the 6 pin output from exp gdc to both the slots via connecting "6pin male-6pin male" cable to the "6pin female to two 6pin male cables" and observed the same behavior. Any time the 6pin output from the exp gdc is connected to slot #1 (irrespective of whether slot #2 is connected or not), the da-2 switches off. In addition, if I have this setup before powering on the adapter and then try to power it on, it doesn't power up (no green led on the adapter or light on the exp gdc)
  • I also tried all of this by following some of the recommendations here to have the PSU to be permanently on. I first tried with the ATX switch set to On on the exp gdc beast. I also tried the paperclip approach. When I tried these, I didn't need to turn on the laptop - I could observe the same behavior as soon as power was connected i.e. I repeated the same steps above without the laptop turned on and observed the same behavior

My understanding is that I need to have both the 6 pin power slots in my GPU connected in order for it to function properly. However, trying to do so seems to shut my PSU (Dell DA-2) off. When slot #1 is not connected, the adapter does not switch off but the GPU doesn't get detected in my OSes and the GPU fans either constantly twitch and turn off or run at full speed depending on when the expresscard is connected.

Could someone help determine what I might be doing wrong or how I could go about trying to fix this ?




To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.


Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago

@ugpu_igpu_wegpu, there's 3 things to check in your case:

*Your PSU is actually not faulty and outputs the whole 220w

*Your GPU works in a PC without problem

*GPU 6-8 cables pin polarity

Hope some of this can get you in the right direction


EXP GDC Expresscard
GTX 1070
450w CM450 PSU
Lenovo T540p i5-4300M 8gb RAM W10 1Tb SSD