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X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

Old(er) Thinkpads with New(er) Intestines: X62/T50/T70/X210/X330 etc.
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L29Ah
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Location: Moscow, Russia

X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#1 Post by L29Ah » Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:12 am

I've grabbed some miniPCIe riser kludge (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3286164 ... 4c4d5byZaI), plugged it in my X210 (instead of the wifi card, as the other minipcie slot doesn't work for some strange reason; wrong BIOS settings?), plugged in my AMD HD7870 and the power supply, turned the PSU on, turned X210 on (the video card fans start spinning at this point), but i don't see the video card in `lspci`.
The riser and video card setup works fine with my Thinkpad X230.
What might be wrong with my X210 setup? Do i need to adjust any settings?
Have anyone else tried to bring eGPU up with a 51nb board?
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

flyingfishfinger
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Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#2 Post by flyingfishfinger » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:44 pm

Make sure you turn off CLKREQ in the BIOS and ensure that pin 4 (CLKREQ) of the mini PCIE adapter is grounded, then it should work. Anything I've thrown at the bottom slot works, but admittedly I haven't done an EGPU

R

L29Ah
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Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#3 Post by L29Ah » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:26 pm

flyingfishfinger wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:44 pm
Make sure you turn off CLKREQ in the BIOS and ensure that pin 4 (CLKREQ) of the mini PCIE adapter is grounded, then it should work. Anything I've thrown at the bottom slot works, but admittedly I haven't done an EGPU

R
It isn't grounded, but does it even matter when CLKREQ is disabled in BIOS?
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

flyingfishfinger
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Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#4 Post by flyingfishfinger » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:07 pm

It shouldn't, but it might. I would try grounding it & try again!

R

L29Ah
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Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#5 Post by L29Ah » Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:45 pm

Not sure if grounding CLKREQ# helped, but the device gets attached with Hotplug enabled on Port4 in BIOS Setup, sometimes it takes time to appear in `lspci -H 1`, and after it appears, the kernel needs a gentle nudge to see it: echo 1 > /sys/bus/pci/rescan
Interestingly, it Just Worked™ on X230.
Maybe the top port link could use similar tactics, dunno.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

L29Ah
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Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:25 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#6 Post by L29Ah » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:40 pm

A-and after another reboot it just stopped popping up.
I wonder if PCIe PHY can be made stronger, like with i915.edp_vswing=2 in case of eDP.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

L29Ah
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Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:25 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#7 Post by L29Ah » Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:34 pm

Forcing the PCIe interface to Gen2 speed in BIOS setup made it work reliably.
The gaming performance isn't stellar though. I'm not sure whether a narrow bus, or [censored] drivers, or anything else is the reason though.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

axur-delmeria
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Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:31 pm

Maybe a shorter cable would help?
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

flyingfishfinger
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Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#9 Post by flyingfishfinger » Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:02 pm

Gen3 probably won't work over the USB cables they're using there, you'll need properly shielded cables. My Thunderbolt project works fine at Gen3 using the ADT-Link stuff, it's kind of expensive but it seems to be so for a good reason. This could work, for example: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000944634410.html

R

L29Ah
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Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#10 Post by L29Ah » Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:18 pm

flyingfishfinger wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:02 pm
Gen3 probably won't work over the USB cables they're using there, you'll need properly shielded cables. My Thunderbolt project works fine at Gen3 using the ADT-Link stuff, it's kind of expensive but it seems to be so for a good reason. This could work, for example: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000944634410.html

R
I wonder if a 30cm USB 3.1 cable would do the job. USB 3.1 pushes 10Gb/s after all while PCIe Gen3 is 8Gb/s.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

flyingfishfinger
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Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#11 Post by flyingfishfinger » Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:39 pm

I doubt it. USB 3.x has extra differential pairs in it, separately from the regular D+/D- that are used in USB 2.0 (those are kept for "backwards compatibility"). You could maybe get a shielded USB 2.0 cable (which is a thing) though, that may help.

Did you try the same method on the upper slot (after reflashing the BIOS with the FIT changes I mentioned)?

R

L29Ah
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Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#12 Post by L29Ah » Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:43 pm

flyingfishfinger wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:39 pm
I doubt it. USB 3.x has extra differential pairs in it, separately from the regular D+/D- that are used in USB 2.0 (those are kept for "backwards compatibility"). You could maybe get a shielded USB 2.0 cable (which is a thing) though, that may help.

Did you try the same method on the upper slot (after reflashing the BIOS with the FIT changes I mentioned)?

R
Not yet. I've tried with the tiny firmware header patch i derived, but that didn't work out.

Meanwhile i recall that i also disabled alternate functions of pcie in the pcie configuration in bios setup (not specific to a port).
darn, i wish there was a way to export/import/diff the bios setup config in a readable format.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

flyingfishfinger
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Re: X210 miniPCIe eGPU?

#13 Post by flyingfishfinger » Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:07 pm

L29Ah wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:43 pm
darn, i wish there was a way to export/import/diff the bios setup config in a readable format.
Yeah... that would be great. I also tried poking at kernel command line parameters (pcie_port_pm, pcie_pme etc) to no avail.

R

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