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Mnky313

Precision M6700 (Re)Build and eGPU Setup [Complete]

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Posted · Original PosterOP

How do I start this, well, I guess by saying that I know a laptop isn't really a 'build' per say, but I hope you understand why I classify it as one after reading this introduction. 
Backstory:
I have been interested in the older (2012-2014) Dell Precision laptops because of their still ok CPUs and upgradable MXM GPUs while having a ridiculous amount of built in I/O (the M6700 has 14 ports without the dock, 31 with the dock!). Another thing that peaked my interest was eGPUs for laptops, especially the idea of Expresscard, a port that external and therefore doesn't require the laptop to be disassembled in order to plug in the cable.  I have been browsing eBay for M6700s (because they are very similar to M6800s but I know there is a 120Hz panel for them and they are quite a bit cheaper than the M6800s) for a while now and finally found one that works perfectly for what I was planning. I was planning to upgrade the display, keyboard, CPU, GPU, RAM, basically the lot, but I found one listed for cheap that didn't have a display, RAM, Storage, Keyboard, and a few other things, (plus it had the 3D display cable & fingerprint reader installed, so I didn't have to buy them!) so I bought it.... (I attached some photos from the listing) and set about my plan to rebuild my new laptop.
The Plan:
(Some of this is already outlined above). I have a google sheets file that has a list of all the stuff I believe I'll need.  I started doing some research into upgrades people have done and discovered the K3100M in the laptop just wasn't going to be useful for just about anything, then I discovered the Firepro M6100, a $35 GPU that is basically a 960M.... (interesting as that's what my current laptop has) and added it to the list, then I discovered some cool things like the Precision (with a supported WWAN card) can do 4G LTE and added the card to the list. About a day or 2 ago I remembered that it also has Expresscard 2.0 @ 4.0Gb/s which doesn't sound like much, especially comparing it to thunderbolt 3's 40Gb/s but that meant I could do a simple undock and reboot to attach and detach the GPU, plus from what I've gathered the performance loss isn't that much and the laptop's CPU (an i7 3720qm) is actually better than my desktop's i5 4430... So the main plan is to buy all the stuff in Red, Orange, and Yellow in order to hopefully have a functioning eGPU setup with the 480 from my desktop.
Other Stuff:
There has been people getting eGPUs to work on M6500s and even the m6700 is listed under compatible laptops for the PE4C eGPU dock so theoretically if it works for that it should work for the EXP GDC dock as well.
This post (https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/11256-14-dell-5430-rx-4808gb4gbps-ec2-exp-gdc-v84d-win10-unrealmitch/) shows benchmarks for an RX 480 over Expresscard 2.0 @4 Gb/s (though it's a latitude with a 3320m) with minimal performance loss


Edit: I guessed I should have mentioned that I don't have the laptop yet and that's why I don't have pictures of it, plus this post is a bit early as I'm not getting any of this until we get back from visiting family in another country, so there probably won't be updates until at least after the 27th of Dec...
 

M6700 Build.png

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Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Interesting project! I find people are scared to try eGPU's because they don't like the idea of tearing down their laptops. But like you'll be using. my thinkpad still has an expresscard slot. I actually ran some benchmarks, and I saw a 15% performance loss against an ATX gaming PC using the same graphics card. So it's really not as deal breaking as some people make it out to be.



 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Ross Siggers said:

Interesting project! I find people are scared to try eGPU's because they don't like the idea of tearing down their laptops. But like you'll be using. my thinkpad still has an expresscard slot. I actually ran some benchmarks, and I saw a 15% performance loss against an ATX gaming PC using the same graphics card. So it's really not as deal breaking as some people make it out to be.

Thanks! Yeah, I always loved the idea of eGPU because of convenience (yeah, I know, sounds a bit backwards), considering the M6700 has 2 2.5in sata bays and an mSATA ssd port there should be plenty of storage space (and if I need more, I could replace the ODD with a HDD as well.)  this means instead of going somewhere just to realize I forgot to copy something I was working on or forgot to install a game, I can just have all my files and games on one machine, that can be simply undocked and taken with me. Some of the arguments against eGPUs I've seen are mainly focused on that "you're spending $200+ on a gpu, why only use it to 80% of its potential?" and my answer to that is because I'm already using it to 80% of it's potential because my CPU is bad anyway XD. Oh @Ross Siggers, your Thinkpad is 3rd gen as well, so you should have Expresscard 2.0, what dock are you using? If you're using the EXP GDC 8.0 could you send a screenshot from GPUz I can't find anything on if V8.0 does 4Gb/s (PCIe 2.0 x1) or if it is limited to 2Gb/s (PCIe 1.1 x1).
Edit: A few more questions, What CPU does the 'ATX Gaming PC' have? Is the 15% performance loss exclusively because of Expresscard/eGPU or is it because of CPU Bottlenecking?


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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@Mnky313 Same situation with storage here; I have an ssd in the normal drive bay at the moment, but I also have an mSATA should I want a second internal ssd. I'd only be losing my WWAN card, which is basically obsolete in this day and age. I also have the matching Lenovo Ultrabase docking station, which has a 1tb drive for when I'm at my desk. That's what has all my games on it, because i never game on the go.

 

An eGPU worked out really well for me initially, because I had a spare graphics card laying about, so the setup cost was ridiculously small. Essentially the cost of a laptop power brick, and the EXP GDC adapter itself. I also make the same argument regarding performance; For the most part, people who consider this kind of setup aren't going to be the sort that have a high end laptop in the first place, it'll be people using laptops more like ours. The adapter I'm using is indeed the Beast v8.0, although I'm not using it right now because the GTX680 is fried :( I can throw in my original AMD card and take a look for you though! Off the top of my head I can't remember the bandwith and I don't have a screenshot of my GPU-Z to hand.

I do however have screenshots of the brief benchmark I ran when I first set it all up. I ran Unigine Superposition as my test program, and the 'old desktop' was a build of mine from back in the day. You can see the specs in the screenshots. Not representative of a modern gaming PC by any stretch of the imagination, but it was A. the rig the graphics card came out of and B. the most similar tower I had to compare to.

 

The laptop integrated graphics result is just there for laughs really. It was painful to sit through. The eGPU one is done through an external monitor, because of both the higher resolution, and the extra bandwidth this frees up.

 

 

30581310_10155663156291871_1168094185249570816_n.jpg.6dbb7a4c8936390664ba364163049c3a.jpg

30581310_10155663156291871_1168094185249570816_n.jpg.b5f1ee5b2ad3226ec8ecdf9a0e0f5424.jpg



 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
23 minutes ago, Ross Siggers said:

@Mnky313 Same situation with storage here; I have an ssd in the normal drive bay at the moment, but I also have an mSATA should I want a second internal ssd. I'd only be losing my WWAN card, which is basically obsolete in this day and age. I also have the matching Lenovo Ultrabase docking station, which has a 1tb drive for when I'm at my desk. That's what has all my games on it, because i never game on the go.

 

An eGPU worked out really well for me initially, because I had a spare graphics card laying about, so the setup cost was ridiculously small. Essentially the cost of a laptop power brick, and the EXP GDC adapter itself. I also make the same argument regarding performance; For the most part, people who consider this kind of setup aren't going to be the sort that have a high end laptop in the first place, it'll be people using laptops more like ours. The adapter I'm using is indeed the Beast v8.0, although I'm not using it right now because the GTX680 is fried :( I can throw in my original eGPU card and take a look for you though! Off the top of my head I can't remember the bandwith and I don't have a screenshot of my GPU-Z to hand.

I do however have screenshots of the brief benchmark I ran when I first set it all up. I ran Unigine Superposition as my test program, and the 'old desktop' was a build of mine from back in the day. You can see the specs in the screenshots. Not representative of a modern gaming PC by any stretch of the imagination, but it was A. the rig the graphics card came out of and B. the most similar tower I had to compare to.

 

 

 

 

30581310_10155663156291871_1168094185249570816_n.jpg.6dbb7a4c8936390664ba364163049c3a.jpg

30581310_10155663156291871_1168094185249570816_n.jpg.b5f1ee5b2ad3226ec8ecdf9a0e0f5424.jpg

RIP the 680 :(
Yeah, I'm in the same boat of 'I want a higher performance laptop but financially it doesn't make sense' I could buy a laptop with comparable CPU and GPU (7700hq is a bit better, 1060 Mobile) for $1150 but that's a lot of money when I could spend <$100 on a dock, PSU, and have very similar performance, the only place I take my laptop is school and over to friend's places/vacation, which I wouldn't need an eGPU at school (I could use the Firepro 'basically a 960m' for stuff there), and I could just take the dock + PSU if I needed the extra performance. The other solution is a lot cheaper, but again is less performance: I could buy a 980m MXM card to slap into the Precision, but these run $300+ and again, it's much better financially to run eGPU with a GPU I already have, plus then I'd need better laptop chargers (I still might, Idk is 130W will cut it under intense load, but I hope so as I have 2 of them...), which for some reason aren't cheap (like really?! $45 for a used charger!) added a bunch of comparisons for userbenchmark (Passmark results are very similar)
If you could test it with another GPU that would be helpful but don't feel rushed, I'm not planning on ordering anything for 3+ weeks...

edit: I forgot to mention that for your setup there might be a bottleneck, userbenchmark reports the 3320m having ~15% better single core, but the Phenom II having 78% multicore, I would say at least a bit of that 15% performance loss is CPU related, probably not all of it though...

480 v 1060m.png

960m vs m6100.png

980m vs 480.png

7700hq vs 3720qm.png


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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12 hours ago, Mnky313 said:

I'm in the same boat of "I want a higher performance laptop but financially it doesn't make sense" I could buy a laptop with comparable CPU and GPU for $1150 but that's a lot of money when I could spend <$100 on a dock, PSU, and have very similar performance. The only place I take my laptop is school, over to friend's places, or on vacation. I wouldn't need an eGPU at school and I could just take the dock + PSU if I needed the extra performance.

Especially in my case, coming from a laptop which had an okay CPU but trash onboard graphics, the price vs performance of an eGPU was impossible to beat. I take my laptop to work, so my setup lives on my desk at home, I just plug the express card in when I dock the laptop. 

The only inconvenience I've seen is that to detect the GPU properly you have to do a fresh boot, windows doesn't support hotswapping such devices, obviously. And being a laptop, I tend to leave it sleeping a lot. But that's not a huge issue.

Quote

The other solution is a lot cheaper, but again less performance: I could buy a 980m MXM card to slap into the Precision, but these run $300+ and again, it's much better financially to run eGPU with a GPU I already have. Plus then I'd need better laptop chargers (I still might, Idk is 130W will cut it under intense load), which for some reason aren't cheap (like really?! $45 for a used charger!)

Power consumption for an 980m MXM card shouldn't be drastically higher, it's still running through a bastardized PCIE slot after all; the power limit should be pretty low. But yeah prices on those MXM format unicorns is frankly ridiculous, it was a good idea, but has been dying out for years really. 

The higher wattage external power supplies are pricey, but that's because not many laptops/media PC's have such high power draw. There is one that Small Form Factor PC builders use, that's 330W from an external brick, which is crazy. Also crazy expensive and hard to get.

If you want to use one with an eGPU and go all out, you might wanna look at the DELL DA-2. It's a 230W brick, and it plugs into that 8-pin connector on the side of the EXP GDC, next to the DC barrel connector. The barrel limits you to 150W TDP maximum cards, but using the 8-pin gets around that for truly beastly cards. I didn't strictly need it, but I got one anyway. The DA-2 is originally designed for use with DELL small form factor office computers not laptops, hence the different connector and fairly high power rating. 
 

Quote

edit: I forgot to mention that for your setup there might be a bottleneck, userbenchmark reports the 3320m having ~15% better single core, but the Phenom II having 78% multicore, I would say at least a bit of that 15% performance loss is CPU related, probably not all of it though...

Possibly? My testing wasn't an exact science, and when you start talking about the nature of workloads, single or multi-core, you start to get far more technical than these results were intended to be xD Superposition is a GPU-focused benchmark, but it's not that old so I would assume it's coded for multi-threaded CPU loads.

Speaking of CPU's and beastly old Phenoms, it's worth noting one more thing; The eGPU setup was far, FAR more power efficient than the desktop I was comparing it to. That may not matter if you're not paying your own utilities, but it's a big enough difference to be worth noting.

**EDIT**
I actually have a build thread for an eGPU case. But because the GTX680 that was kinda in limbo... is now permanently dead, I may be shrinking the dimensions down before I fabricate. Because that was one big bitch.

despite me not updating it, I figured it might be interesting to you.



 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Ross Siggers said:

Power consumption for an 980m MXM card shouldn't be drastically higher, it's still running through a bastardized PCIE slot after all; the power limit should be pretty low. But yeah prices on those MXM format unicorns is frankly ridiculous, it was a good idea, but has been dying out for years really. 

The higher wattage external power supplies are pricey, but that's because not many laptops/media PC's have such high power draw. There is one that Small Form Factor PC builders use, that's 330W from an external brick, which is crazy. Also crazy expensive and hard to get.

If you want to use one with an eGPU and go all out, you might wanna look at the DELL DA-2. It's a 230W brick, and it plugs into that 8-pin connector on the side of the EXP GDC, next to the DC barrel connector. The barrel limits you to 150W TDP maximum cards, but using the 8-pin gets around that for truly beastly cards. I didn't strictly need it, but I got one anyway. The DA-2 is originally designed for use with DELL small form factor office computers not laptops, hence the different connector and fairly high power rating. 

Yeah, the 130W adapters I have are the chargers I got for my Inspiron Gaming, I was talking about using them the charge the precision, not for the eGPU setup, I already planned to buy one of those DA-2 Adapters to power the GPU, the internal Firepro card draws ~75W where as the 980m draws ~100W that's what I was referring to about the laptop without eGPU drawing 130+ Watts, thinking about it now I wonder if there is a way to adapt the DA-2's connector to a normal Dell barrel jack because they are a lot cheaper than 240W bricks for laptops. (I'm in class, so Ill finish this response when I get home in 90 minutes or so :). )


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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I don't think the DA-2 can be adapted to a single barrel. At least, it's not something I'd try and do without decent experience wiring high powered parts. There are loads of separate wires inside the lead, I would be sketched out personally, but I can give you a picture of the pin-out on the back of the brick if you'd like. I was only confident enough to shorten the cable on mine.

 

There are other similarly powered chargers that use the barrel style connector already though, I simply highlighted the DA-2 because the EXP GDC has a port specifically for it. For my small form factor PC build, I actually ended up getting an HP power brick, that pushes 230W through a barrel connector(p.s. the DA-2 is actually 220W, my mistake). The part number for that is 609946-001 if you want to check it out.

Also bear in mind there are different styles of DC barrel for power, higher power uses a beefier connector. I've not entirely fathomed this bit out I'll be honest, it's a minefield when you're not using the charger with it's intended device...

 

I had no idea MXM cards drew so much power, over 100W through the PCIE style bridge sounds wrong. The x16 slot you'd find on an ATX motherboard can only supply 75W. Above that additional power cables to the GPU are required.



 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

 

1 hour ago, Ross Siggers said:

I don't think the DA-2 can be adapted to a single barrel. At least, it's not something I'd try and do without decent experience wiring high powered parts. There are loads of separate wires inside the lead, I would be sketched out personally, but I can give you a picture of the pin-out on the back of the brick if you'd like. I was only confident enough to shorten the cable on mine.

 

There are other similarly powered chargers that use the barrel style connector already though, I simply highlighted the DA-2 because the EXP GDC has a port specifically for it. For my small form factor PC build, I actually ended up getting an HP power brick, that pushes 230W through a barrel connector(p.s. the DA-2 is actually 220W, my mistake). The part number for that is 609946-001 if you want to check it out.

Also bear in mind there are different styles of DC barrel for power, higher power uses a beefier connector. I've not entirely fathomed this bit out I'll be honest, it's a minefield when you're not using the charger with it's intended device...

 

I had no idea MXM cards drew so much power, over 100W through the PCIE style bridge sounds wrong. The x16 slot you'd find on an ATX motherboard can only supply 75W. Above that additional power cables to the GPU are required.

yeah, I figured you couldn't easily adapt the DA-2, but as for the barrel jack power supplies, if I need one, ill probably just buy a dell 240W one, but I'm hoping I don't (though the TDP of just the CPU/GPU combined is 120W so....) as for the MXM slots, according to the Mobile PCIe Wiki page you can pull 200W from a 3.0B slot, which is a ton, though type b is usually only on high end and larger machines, from what I've found 15 inch machines usually only have 3.0 type A which is limited to 55W, even then most cards have a TDP of 100W or less (except maybe higher end 10 series cards, the 1080 in some of MSI's high end laptops apparently can draw 195+ Watts...). And with barrel connectors, yeah they are kind of hit or miss, you have to not just find one that has the right connector, but the right voltage and polarity, the HP one you sent actually looks like a good option, its the same 19.5V and outside negative polarity while being like 1/2 the cost of the dell one, though I've heard of dell laptops refusing to charger because they detected it's not a dell charger (based off the sense pin in the middle of the Dell ones).  Another discovery I just found is that there is a brick used for the old alienware laptops that is 330W but uses the same connector and voltage, part number is XM3C3.


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So, the listing was legit (or at least I think, everything looks right, none of the connects look damaged or anything, and it even has the smart card (both slot and contactless).  Minor scuffs but boots fine on external display and has the correct CPU/GPU... here are some pictures of it and comparison to my Inspiron gaming.

IMG_20181206_185533.jpg

IMG_20181206_185546.jpg

IMG_20181206_190710.jpg

IMG_20181206_190740.jpg

IMG_20181206_190758.jpg

IMG_20181206_190806.jpg


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Most of the parts have been ordered, the latest date that a part should arrive by is the 14th, I also discovered that someone had previously ripped the CMOS battery connector off the board, but when I get my hands on one I will solder it back on to the board, Ill update once parts arrive.


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

The eGPU dock and some other stuff arrived and being me and completely impatient, I had to test it... After some tweaking the RX 480 works fine as an eGPU and is running at PCIe 2.0, but I still can't give performance numbers because someone hasn't even shipped the 240w power adapter and the 130w adapter I have limits the CPU to .9 GHz..... But more good news, the GPU is hot swappable, its still funny to me that I can just plug in a GPU and windows is OK with it and it works fine XD

IMG_20190104_221209.jpg


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Are you sure it doesn't just detect, but not actually use the card? If I tried hot plugging, it crashed the laptop 🤔 



 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 hours ago, Ross Siggers said:

Are you sure it doesn't just detect, but not actually use the card? If I tried hot plugging, it crashed the laptop 🤔 

Nope! I'm amazed but It does in fact work, though the laptop will not output to the dGPU and eGPU at the same time sometimes, I did get it to work once but not since (I don't have an internal display yet so I use HDMI on the laptop) but I can hotplug the GPU and get a display output however it only works with my 480, I've tried the extra 2 old quadros I have and both give error 43...


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I also just discovered that the EXP GDC I have that was just titled 'EXP GDC V8' is actually a V8.5c so I still don't know if V8.0 can run at 1x 2.0...


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update: Bad news, one of 3 things doesn't work, either the eDP port on the board is bad, the cable that connects to the display is bad, or the display itself is bad. The internal display does not display anything, the onboard diagnostics says "2000-0321 failed to read EDID", so I assume that the display is ok (I have visually inspected it and the box it came in as well as the screen itself looks fine, but when I unplugged the eDP connector from the board there was some small particles of what i presume to be dirt or something inside the connector, I tried to carefully remove it but even though it looks clean (and the pins look intact) it still didn't work, whatever.  I also noticed the Intel Management Engine is password protected (which I have no idea how or why) but considering the board is only $35 new tested on eBay I ordered a new cable and board, I will update once they arrive. The battery was also DOA, said 'Battery needs to be replaced' in BIOS so I filed a return on that aswell, at least the SSD that arrived today works!
Edit: The EDID error has nothing to do with me assuming the display is good, I ordered the display as 'working' where as the laptop wasn't tested and was for parts so that's why I assumed the display to not be at fault...
Edit again: here are some completely unrelated pictures of the internals and one of the battery issue!

Edit 3: BTW I did check if the display is compatible and from what I found it seems like the LTN173HT02 is the display dell used if you ordered a 3D screen with the laptop (or at least a replacement), both are eDP 40 pin in the same spot as well, so I assume they are compatible.

IMG_20190105_192545.jpg

IMG_20190105_193449.jpg

IMG_20190105_200154.jpg


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update: SO... the Samsung LTN173HT02-T01 that I ordered showed up and it's not an LTN173HT02, its a completely different panel, with guess what! an LVDS connector, NOT eDP! so that's why it doesn't work.... but there was still crap in the eDP connector so I am not rushing to cancel the motherboard/display cable orders yet (plus they have free returns so if it turns out to be fine, ill just return them. Now I have to contact the amazon seller and see if they ACTUALLY have the correct panel or if they are just going to send me another incorrect one....

IMG_20190106_114752.jpg


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update: So, evrerything is ordered, the only parts I don't have are the battery, charger (which I ordered on the 30th and he STILL has only printed the label, not actually shipped it yet!), screen, keyboard surround, main board and LCD cable (might not need the LCD cable) but my board has somethings wrong... it reboot when selecting a boot device ~50% of the time, the CMOS battery connector was ripped off & the Intel Management Extensions Bios thing is locked with a password I don't know... I included some pictures, the quadro is just for testing, once all the parts get here I'm going to transfer my 480 and get benchmark results. there is 12GB of ram, I planned to have 4GB in the Inspiron, 16GB in the Precision, but my Inspiron just has 'no memory installed' error, it doesn't like the 4GB stick, so it will have to 8/12 instead of 4/16 for the time being, I stuck the 2 HDDs in raid, but performance is still awful (1-2Mb/s random 4KiB in Crystaldiskmark), whatever it's for mass storage, the SSD is alright, not particularly good, only ~250Mb/s, ~20Mb/s random 4 KiB, but overall  responsiveness is good, so Ill take it.

IMG_20190108_204434.jpg

IMG_20190108_204107.jpg

IMG_20190108_204046.jpg

IMG_20190108_203754.jpg


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update: New board came in, it worked once but after rebooting it only shows LED Diagnostic code for 'No CPU Installed' so now I have to wait for another one... can I just get something that isn't broken XD, other than me having to tear down and rebuild this damn thing 4 times nothing else really got done, the CMOS battery I ordered specifically for this model was the wrong polarity :/... I just pulled out and swapped the wires to fix that. 


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update: Screen came in, it works great including 120Hz, still waiting on the charger, but besides that everything is here (well except for the keyboard bezel (6194J) which I can't find on anywhere except parts people for $25 +shipping...)

unknown.png


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update: getting close, everything (except the kind of not needed) replacement board, but with the 240W adapter connected running at full turbo without any tweaking I got 601Cb in Cinebench running at all core turbo 3.4Ghz, that's quite a bit better than my desktop's 409Cb... running cables now & swapping GPU after that I will provide more benchmarks for the eGPU and stuff.


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Benchmarks! (well, a few benchmarks)
i7 3720qm, RX 480 eGPU (Via Expresscard):
Cinebench: 601
3Dmark Firestrike: 9368 (I don't have a picture yet, I'm still testing)

I'm wondering why I can only get ~8000-8300 in the Physics test, I've seen a ton of benchmarks with the same i7-3720qm (which isn't overclockable) getting 9000, sometimes even 10000+... but the eGPU seems to be working fine, getting ~11300 graphics score. I'll be back with more benchmarks and hopefully a fix for the low Physics score soon. (I checked, it is running at 3.4Ghz (max turbo) during the whole test with temps below 80, so it isn't a core clock/thermal issue.)

Edit: I discovered I wasn't running the latest AMD driver, that boosted my score by a few hundred points, now if only I could figure out the physics score, damnit I want this thing to pass 10k!
 

Edit 2: Unigine benchmarks seem to be significantly less than 3Dmark...

Edit 3: In order to push this thing past 10k I'd need to improve Physics by ~1000 points and Combined by ~500... I doubt that is possible with this laptop, but I'll try... 
image.png.646af28199c723c1bec0047005400d74.pngunknown.pngimage.png.39a7dc3f4e4da26862e862f46d4b05de.png


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Some Photos :) (The internal display does not even light up with the eGPU plugged in, this causes some issues where neither GPUs start up meaning that there is nothing on the screen, but rebooting without the eGPU plugged in, then plugging it in and rebooting fixes that)IMG_20190116_214145.thumb.jpg.ae280f1a19b5e81bda743f984dda4c66.jpgIMG_20190116_214117.thumb.jpg.2e888d30304ce939fdd5912fb5b2d2af.jpgAGGkY4dg_jOWKAuQ3jpI8PVJQ0gRwEoaGOH7ZKlHfmvdBDEGSZqT3-V3UxBkDOwvS1POAaZXMEYi6doHDENvHnYM-jTsSVlREG8ZVog-tzTsetWV7vp3cuOLSNRH_eB7xaLTheGLuzDcMVb1p7Q869zsOCHU2WQ1Vw_HyUMKaw6TQ3NdocUVmPembebQItLbSmexh5AdpmKIkdU2IQiuYE3dBn0jUTffpyDrxmFrAouraOjB1Y5XD3WtGFbOuSRQ6o86yrrShyIu40EOCGJR5TA00H3NiFiPqZxIiVU43F1T9QtfnHoimo1RT-EjOxPX-yLrSuwCXPIjLTmdt53KqIdkr6x4ut11mpH2YunFAjYFFwpV6CGi7j2cJJtstO6ok9X-3sJREHgd9Yu5atTD8_2YsA_I0O2VR2OqvQrczHhmTJv1HO6zsl592KX_SomNzVJSijnMoc8dRHLQGHoLYX0jcfPtFEJkjGzhTD0SscrVVCaJ7009clQApM5RdmYLmlAXB-NXwcXlWDqkA96YUNkUKs7yzixe85Pod8Ka2uev7ZzpRTxbhlmdT_cHJ9QrA9lUS7MZMDY0GmX2ju57vEQlQ9JneGrkVSece-zajJAPDw5hYkVJ6FMLJ_WkvZKcGlkgyFmqTg4w1FpzLO93A6LH=w1266-h949-no


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update:
So, I guess it's done, the only part I don't have is the keyboard bezel, but I can't even find one so I'm just going to leave it for now.  The eGPU works great, I got the internal display working by disabling the dGPU in task manager (by accident, I need to disable it in order to fix DWM.exe from using 70+% of the GPU).  I might update later if something arises but for now that's about it. :)


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I finally got to 10k in firestrike! w/ the GPU core @ 1378Mhz and Mem @ 2100Mhz! 

image.png


Current:

Dell Precision M6700:

- CPU: i7-3720qm @ 3.8Ghz all cores
- GPU: K3000M (internal), RX 480 (external)
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Impact @ 1600Mhz
- Storage: 256GB mSATA w/ 2x750GB HDDs in RAID 0
- Display: Samsung LTN173HT02 120Hz 1080p internal display
Old:
- Custom Desktop w/ i5 4430 and RX480 (moved to eGPU)
- Inspiron 7559 w/ i5 6300hq and 4GB 960M (SOLD)

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