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Old August 20, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Default My Laptop on DRUGS[steroids?]! (must see)

I've done it.

I've finally done it.

External GFX for a laptop.

And it works.

And its Plug and play.

Check it out:










How it works:

1. There is a mPCI-e to PCI-e adapter assembly attached to the mPCI-e slot where my wifi card used to be.
2. On the PCI-e end, there is a 4-pin floppy connector for 75w of 12v power, and a 1x PCI-e slot
3. Attached, is a Powercolor hd5750 512mb PCS edition.
4. Attached, is an SFX12V 250w PSU, with a dual molex to 6-pin adapter (courtesy of [member] Photograph, thanks again)
5. Attached to the HD5750 via HDMI is my 32" HDTV (must use an external display for this mod)

On the software side:

1. Upon startup, disable integrated hd4200 gfx in device manager.
1.5. (First time setup ONLY) Install drivers for the gfx attached to your laptop (ATI Catalyst)
2. Restart computer

To Revert back:

1. Unplug mPCI-e adapter
2. Plug in WIFI card
3. Start computer
4. Enable integrated hd4200 gfx in device manager
5. Restart computer

My performance comments:

HD4200 integrated graphics usually yields me about 1.5k in 3dmark06 (pretty standard result). With the HD5750 attached I get about 8.5k (remember, I'm on a 1x 2.0 link) so its roughly a 4x improvement in performance. The HD5750 usually gets around 17k in '06 so the reduction in performance from using a full x16 2.0 link is 50%. My cpu is a 2.1 ghz mobile athlon II M320, and I have 4gb of ddr2 ram on win7 x64 premium.

Pretty cool result no? All that's left is to build a nice case for it (or get someone to do it for me) and I'm set.

Please leave any of your Comments or Questions below, I would love some feedback on this or suggestions on what to do next.
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Last edited by Cowboy; August 20, 2010 at 05:09 PM.
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:13 PM
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very nice, did something similar with a craptop a while ago, except your setup looks much much cleaner. bravo!

bandwith will suffer considerably because of the 1x ...actually pop open everest and check the bus speed, im really curious
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:30 PM
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Link is x1 2.0
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:42 PM
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sorry, im blind lol.

makes sense, for that pourpose anything more its wasted, probably.


nice project, a bit impractical though :) i think mine had sis or some crap graphics lol. biggest issue was to connect the connector cable thing. ended up hot gluing it to the plastic bracket.
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:42 PM
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not to put a bad overtone on the project.. I think it's cool and all.. but it kind of defeats the purpose of 'portability' in a laptop.
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:44 PM
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The system is plug and play, I can take it out and move my laptop to wherever I want. Doesn't affect my mobility at all.
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Old August 20, 2010, 06:16 PM
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Thats a pretty neat project..you do it cause you can! Screw portability :)
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Old August 20, 2010, 09:43 PM
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so cool cowboy and why do this some would say well i say why not this is with out a doubt a very cool Frankenstein setup. just a quick question how does it game?? thanks for posting this
I kinda thought you where not doing the whole computer thing anymore. glad to see your still bitten by the bug ( computer bug )
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Old August 21, 2010, 06:14 AM
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that is one of the coolest things i have ever seen.. Lol
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Old August 21, 2010, 06:18 AM
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You can count me in as one of the folks who thinks this is pretty damn cool!!!! Pity it's only a 1X slot, but you can only use what you've got, and even with the 1X slot it appears to be a fairly hefty improvement over your onboard.

I'm curious about the process when you revert back though.... until you re-enable the card in device manager is the card just recognized as an "unknown" video card?
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