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Alienware Alpha Owners Club! - Page 187

post #1861 of 2154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dameyon View Post

Hey guys, Tried my hand at a Tutorial. Hope it is helpful, hope it makes sense and I hope it doesn't bore you to death *Hides Face*

UsingexternalgraphicscardwithAlienwareAlpha_2.docx 4736k .docx file

This is for Dameyon and the other eGPU pioneers out there
First of all, do you know if the cable connecting the eGPU to the alpha is a regular HDMI cable soldered to the NGFF card?
If it is, then we may cotinue...

I was thinking about Dameyon's tutorial and realized he gave up the portability of the system when he installed the HDMI cable between the Alpha and the eGPU through the case.
So I got romantic thinking about a solution and came up with a suggestion for the brave ones who:
- care about aesthetics and/or portability
- don't care about waranty
- don't care about the HDMI IN port of the alpha.
- don't fear a sodering iron
- has tons of patience
- won't blame me if it any of this goes wrong (after all this is just an idea)

You see where I am going already?
How about connecting to the eGPU to the HDMI IN conector of the alpha?
It would look better and make the eGPU plug and play (after installing the drivers)

What one would have to do would be to:
- label, photograph or do whatever is necessary to mark each wire from the HDMI cable soldered to the NGFF card
- get a short HDMI cable with a female conector (i.e. https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-106061-8-Inch-Ethernet-Female/dp/B004C4SHTG/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1465496915&sr=8-18&keywords=hdmi+male+female)
- connect a regular short (no booster electronics) HDMI cable to the female end of the new cable
- cut the male connector of the male-to-female cable to get something like that (http://g02.s.alicdn.com/kf/HT1ZML_FNhbXXagOFbXK/206149411/HT1ZML_FNhbXXagOFbXK.jpg)
- use a multimeter with this assembly of regular HDMI cable plus the cut female conector cable to identify which of the cut wires is connected to each of the pins of the male connector of the regular cable
- find the corresponding wire of the new assembly to the wires in the NGFF card by using the multimeter again
(no damage to the alpha nor the adapter so far)
- desolder the wires of the cable on the NGFF card (first real damage here)
- solder the corresponding wires of the new cable assembly to the NGFF card
- remove (desoldering) the original HDMI IN connector from the motherboard (good bye alienware warranty)
- install the NGFF with female connector card back into the alpha and glue the female connector to the back of the alpha from the inside in place of the old HDMI IN connector

Or simply ask if the manufacturer would make a PCI expansion card with a shorter cable and a female conector that would replace the removed HDMI IN conector of the alpha.

That would be it. An alpha prepared for plug and play eGPU. A GTX 860M on the go and a GTX 1080 whistle.gif at home

Anyone brave enough?
post #1862 of 2154
Quote:
Originally Posted by cborw View Post

This is for Dameyon and the other eGPU pioneers out there
First of all, do you know if the cable connecting the eGPU to the alpha is a regular HDMI cable soldered to the NGFF card?
If it is, then we may cotinue...

I was thinking about Dameyon's tutorial and realized he gave up the portability of the system when he installed the HDMI cable between the Alpha and the eGPU through the case.
So I got romantic thinking about a solution and came up with a suggestion for the brave ones who:
- care about aesthetics and/or portability
- don't care about waranty
- don't care about the HDMI IN port of the alpha.
- don't fear a sodering iron
- has tons of patience
- won't blame me if it any of this goes wrong (after all this is just an idea)

You see where I am going already?
How about connecting to the eGPU to the HDMI IN conector of the alpha?
It would look better and make the eGPU plug and play (after installing the drivers)

What one would have to do would be to:
- label, photograph or do whatever is necessary to mark each wire from the HDMI cable soldered to the NGFF card
- get a short HDMI cable with a female conector (i.e. https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-106061-8-Inch-Ethernet-Female/dp/B004C4SHTG/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1465496915&sr=8-18&keywords=hdmi+male+female)
- connect a regular short (no booster electronics) HDMI cable to the female end of the new cable
- cut the male connector of the male-to-female cable to get something like that (http://g02.s.alicdn.com/kf/HT1ZML_FNhbXXagOFbXK/206149411/HT1ZML_FNhbXXagOFbXK.jpg)
- use a multimeter with this assembly of regular HDMI cable plus the cut female conector cable to identify which of the cut wires is connected to each of the pins of the male connector of the regular cable
- find the corresponding wire of the new assembly to the wires in the NGFF card by using the multimeter again
(no damage to the alpha nor the adapter so far)
- desolder the wires of the cable on the NGFF card (first real damage here)
- solder the corresponding wires of the new cable assembly to the NGFF card
- remove (desoldering) the original HDMI IN connector from the motherboard (good bye alienware warranty)
- install the NGFF with female connector card back into the alpha and glue the female connector to the back of the alpha from the inside in place of the old HDMI IN connector

Or simply ask if the manufacturer would make a PCI expansion card with a shorter cable and a female conector that would replace the removed HDMI IN conector of the alpha.

That would be it. An alpha prepared for plug and play eGPU. A GTX 860M on the go and a GTX 1080 whistle.gif at home

Anyone brave enough?

You sir have a beautiful mind lol

Relative to the cable. Saying as though I can't find it separately anywhere I am assuming it's custom..the NGFF end is just the bare teeth or connectors, it isn't an actual card. Relative to portability, I wouldn't say portability is gone. The hdmi end can be unplugged from the dock and it's not that much cable that you can't put to one side and travel with. The cable is actually more flexible than the average hdmi..it's extremely flat and thin. I have been communicating with Dell about what I have done and they have their engineers going over a few things. I haven't heard back from them this week so will shoot them a follow up email to see what their thoughts are. What you suggest is very nice indeed though, I would love to do it myself but I would now have to learn soldering lol.
Edited by Dameyon - 6/9/16 at 2:58pm
post #1863 of 2154
I can solder! And damn that is an amazing idea. If I can convince myself I ain't going to ruin anything (in a bad way) I'll do it. Soon as the GDC comes.
post #1864 of 2154
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroPhil View Post

I can solder! And damn that is an amazing idea. If I can convince myself I ain't going to ruin anything (in a bad way) I'll do it. Soon as the GDC comes.

First of all thank you for the compliment Dameyon.

That would be nice retroPhil. Just remember I am not responsible for any eventual damage.

As Dameyon said the NGFF end is nothing more than a pure connector. So it means you could try it with another NGFF card if you don't want to damage your GDC.
I would try it with a NGFF to PCIe adapter if I could find one and if it is short enough to fit the motherboard. My search for "NGFF to PCIe adapter" led me to http://www.ebay.com/itm/PCI-E-4X-Female-to-NGFF-M-2-M-Key-Male-Adapter-Power-Cable-with-Converter-Card-/311414541676. But I don't think this is the right type of NGFF connnector. It would be nice if we found one because it has no electronics soldered to the board and is supposed to have all the necessary connections from the NGFF interface to run a PCI express card (this is just a slightly backgrounded guess).
I'd remove the plastic connectors to have a pure board with the soldering spots for the (hopefully) necessary connections, than identify the wires accordingly and solder them to the board. It could all be done without any harm to the GDC nor the alpha so far. If it doesn't work one would only loose one HDMI female cable and the NGFF to PCIe adapter. Nothing expensive. If it works, then one could think about removing the motherboard HDMI IN connector.

ALERT! If anyone chooses to take this route, BEFORE turning anything ON, one should check not only the connections between the wires and the NGFF connector but also the short circuited paths in each board to ensure there will be no harm to any of the expensive components. And take small steps. Don't try to turn it all on with an expensive GPU installed to the GDC. Go slow and test one thing at a time.
post #1865 of 2154
Uploaded a video of Doom on High settings with my +310 core and +601 memory clock on the 860m. Pretty respectable I think...
post #1866 of 2154
For sure 😊...what program do you guys use so the fps shows in recorded videos? Want something like that.
post #1867 of 2154
Most use Riva Tuner which is built into MSI Afterburner. Unfortunately for whatever reason my setup refuses to run it and won't start the server. Doom has a built in one that you can select within the settings.
post #1868 of 2154
oh ok..Ye same for me, Riva Tuner doesn't work so I started using the one from Nvidia experience but it doesn't show during recordings.
post #1869 of 2154
Was going to wait till I had the new card but I am curious now how the 960 would run it. Still want something to compare it to...I can now the 970 when I get it to the over clocked 860m and the 960. Gonna go get doom off steam in a minute. It's your fault Zebular..curiosity has got the best of me now lol
post #1870 of 2154
was able to run it pretty much maxed out. Going to run it again because the Nvidia Share beta showed slight jitters coming down to the end but it wasn't evident in gameplay at the time. Game play was smooth.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvi2UcjuzXU
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