eGPU stuff

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lysol
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eGPU stuff

Post by lysol » 30 Mar 2018, 15:29

My main desktop computer is 100 % only built for music recording and production. Therefore, I built it with a passive streacom chassis and it is working great. Except that I can't have a video card... This wasn't really a problem since I'm not a huge gamer anymore. But I've been longing for at least some gaming every now and then, with better graphics than what my core i5 can deliver.

The typical eGPU cases use thunderbolt 3 (which I don't have, and there are no thunderbolt 3 PCI expansion cards that are low profile) and are also super expensive (might as well build a new desktop in that case).

Then I saw this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP_8EYQ-2RA

Is this stupid?
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Re: eGPU stuff

Post by psi29a » 30 Mar 2018, 16:19

It works, but was clunky when I tried years ago... things have probably improved since then. Basically you try do an external pci-express. Go for it if you have an availble mini-pci-express slot open with 16 lanes... otherwise you are limiting your GPU bandwidth to 1x, 4x or 8x lanes.

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Re: eGPU stuff

Post by lysol » 30 Mar 2018, 22:59

psi29a wrote:
30 Mar 2018, 16:19
It works, but was clunky when I tried years ago... things have probably improved since then. Basically you try do an external pci-express. Go for it if you have an availble mini-pci-express slot open with 16 lanes... otherwise you are limiting your GPU bandwidth to 1x, 4x or 8x lanes.
I didn't know there even was a 16x mini pci-e. I thought maximum was 4x? But yeah, limited bandwidth was something I was counting with, since a limited 1060 or whatever is still way better than an intel integrated graphics card.

I do have an available M.2 slot, which should work if I've understood it correctly.
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Re: eGPU stuff

Post by AnyOldName3 » 31 Mar 2018, 00:09

If you get a well-shielded riser cable, you could just mount a GPU outside your case and use regular PCIe. Depending on how much effort you wanted to go to, you could make this removable and look pretty if you wanted, too.
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lysol
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Re: eGPU stuff

Post by lysol » 31 Mar 2018, 07:14

AnyOldName3 wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 00:09
If you get a well-shielded riser cable, you could just mount a GPU outside your case and use regular PCIe. Depending on how much effort you wanted to go to, you could make this removable and look pretty if you wanted, too.
Thought about this too, but I don't think I would be able to get to look good. But sure, it would probably work great if I did put some time in it.
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Re: eGPU stuff

Post by lysol » 31 Mar 2018, 08:14

There seems to be this choice for m.2 which is 4x speed: https://www.banggood.com/M_2-X4-Version ... rehouse=CN

People say that there's not that much noticable loss with that. It's a lot more expensive than the 1x m-pcie, but it is probably worth it.

I saw in another thread that AMD is the brand of choice for linux nowadays. I've always used nvidia before, partly because of the better linux support. Should I consider AMD instead now? This machine is only running linux. What would be the AMD "equivalent" to a GTX1050ti and a GTX1060?
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Re: eGPU stuff

Post by Ace (SWE) » 31 Mar 2018, 12:05

It's worth mentioning that AMD fares worse than Nvidia when you reduce the PCI-e lanes below 8x, as their hardware/driver seems to expect a higher constant bandwidth to be available.

I run a RX580 myself for Linux and the open-source driver support today is truly amazing, have yet to have a single point where I've felt like I've been missing something due to not using proprietary.
While next to me I have a laptop with a GTX1060, can't say the same thing about that one.

The RX580 is about equivalent to a GTX1060 though, and with more memory to boot.

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Re: eGPU stuff

Post by lysol » 31 Mar 2018, 12:38

Ace (SWE) wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 12:05
It's worth mentioning that AMD fares worse than Nvidia when you reduce the PCI-e lanes below 8x, as their hardware/driver seems to expect a higher constant bandwidth to be available.
Thanks for the info! This is a bit of a shame though, since, as you say, the open source drivers for AMD seem to work great according to most people. So if this is the case, maybe I'd have to stick with nvidia anyway.

But the nvidia drivers then... Except that they aren't open sourced, are they working okay-ish on linux these days? A few years ago, I thought they worked flawlessly.
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Re: eGPU stuff

Post by Ace (SWE) » 31 Mar 2018, 12:46

I mean, if you want to be able to run the open-source drivers, and use wayland and all that cool modern stuff, then going AMD is probably the correct choice anyway.

Depending on the PCI-e generation, the loss won't be that bad. With gen 3 you're looking at around 3-10% reduction, while gen 1 can lose upwards of 40-50% depending on the load. (lots of large textures tends to require more bandwidth)

And let's just say the reason I run Nouveau on my laptop is not because the official drivers had any issues or performance problems, I just wanted to be able to use Wayland.

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Re: eGPU stuff

Post by lysol » 31 Mar 2018, 20:07

Ace (SWE) wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 12:46
Depending on the PCI-e generation, the loss won't be that bad. With gen 3 you're looking at around 3-10% reduction, while gen 1 can lose upwards of 40-50% depending on the load. (lots of large textures tends to require more bandwidth)
I have PCIe gen 3 on the m.2 port (I've understood that is 4x and slightly faster than thunderbolt 3). 3-10 % reduction, is that compared to nvidia then? In either case, it sounds like nothing I would cry over, so maybe AMD would be a good choice after all.
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