Setting up eGPU for Thinking X220

After my X220 arrived to my place through numerous troubles, I still didn’t find time to reinstall its system and use it heavily. But I have time to waste elsewhere: several hours spent on investigating how to make eGPU (external Graphics Processing Unit) working for X220.

Here are my findings. It is totally workable for X220 and does not require too many skills to set up. You only need the right hardware and the software.

Hardware:

  • Graphic card: Zotac Geforce GTX560 Ti 1GB GDDR5. A nVidia card is preferred to an ATI one.
  • Interface: PE4L ( PCIe Adapter ver2.1b ) connects the graphic card and the express card. PE4L 2.1b is capable of transferring 5Gb of data. This is a good match for X220, which has Sandy Bridge platform and Express Card version 2.0.
  • Power supply: Corsair CX430
  • Cables that connect the graphic card with the monitor (Maybe I will just use the default DVI cable. Not sure if this affects performance)

With these gigs, the bandwidth is x1.2Opt which means x1 lane and interface 2.0, and nVidia optimus is helping compressing the data. This is supposed to perform significantly better than x1.1Opt. This information can be found in the section of “Bus Interface” in GPU-Z .

Software:

  • New bios 1.23 and above for X220
  • nVidia Optimus driver for displaying image on the internal LCD
  • no need to restart the system if using Windows 7

I am not longer a gaming person and the only game I can think of playing is Need for Speed. If I can get the papers done, I will implement it and hook it to my TV and play.

The benchmark results of this configuration should be similar to this:

Set-Up: X220 i5 2520m, 8 GB RAM, GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores, PE4L v2.1b

3D Mark 2006: 17.879
Resident Evil: 143,6

3D Mark Vantage GPU: 17.973
Devil May Cry: 181,4

3D Mark 2011: 4.560
Heaven: 1306

 

Four years of blogging

This blog started in the April of 2008 and now it is almost four years. A lot of things have happened and I didn’t record them all in this blog.

I just did some cleaning and editing of this blog, deleting two lame posts, reinserting a missing and removing the empty folders in the upload directory.

There are 143 posts right now. Those posts in which I have invested efforts and time, are still very readable. I can’t believe I actually spent so much time writing the trivial things, but this is not a waste of time as long as I keep writing in English. At least my English writing will not get so rusty and I am not supposed to compose a magnum opus here.

The thinking and the weirdness will go on.

Inspirations from the Wizard of OZ

If you are willing to go a thousand miles to look for a master, there may be one right next to your door, so I read from Steven Job’s biography.

This time, the master, or great wizard to be more accurate, that I am seeking was delivered right to my desk. It is a children’s version of the Wizard of OZ which inspired me and taught me the important lessons on how to live a life.

To be honest, I have heard about this book and the movie adapted from the story long ago, but I despised it because the movie poster looked strange to me, so I never took my time to watch or read it.

After reading the dumbed down version of the book, listening to its audio version and watching half of the film over the past week, I realize, just like the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion and the Kansas girl discovered, that you need three things to live a good life. They are:

  1. A brain to learn and think
  2. A heart to feel and love
  3. Courage to seek and fight

And you do not need to go over the rainbow to find them because you already have them — just look inside over the places where you have overlooked. After you find them, then you need to learn how to use them just as Dorothy’s did with her red shoes.

So what do I want from the great wizard of OZ? I would say all the three of the natures but most importantly the courage to do things. I often scare myself and conjure up the worse case scenario whenever I leave my comfort zone. The very few times when I ventured outside of my spiritual confinement, I gained and learned a lot and those experiences became the most memorable moments of my life.

This year is the time for me to drive once again on the route of 66 for self-fulfillment.