Can someone explain what different PCI slots do?

Charlie A

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Mar 20, 2016
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Hi there, I am a laptop user and have relatively good tech knowledge but I am running into some confusion over inputs/outputs.

I am looking into using an external GPU setup for my laptop and am aware of the predicaments and have heard the classic 'just get a new___' , I can't, I'm a student so money is very limited, I've heard a lot of this before and would appreciate not being discouraged and shouted down further by arrogant people with £1000 PC rigs. I like the idea of using an external GPU but do not have a Thunderbolt slot on my laptop.

So please, be helpful.

I'm hearing the term PCI, PCI express, mini PCI e, and PCI e thrown around a lot lately, and would like a clear answer as to what they all mean, if they possess the same bandwidth and also any helpful links. Also, I don't have a clue which slots my laptop has and which one I would use for an external, desktop sized Graphics Card.

My laptop I believe has a space inside it for a mobile graphics card but I don't want to deconstruct it or even do anything to void the warranty until I know a little bit more about the process. I'm thinking I could use the mGPU slot for a cable that could go to an adapter, which could go to a GPU and so on.

Summary: What do the different PCI's mean, which one do I need, and do I have it?

Please keep the responses at a 'need to know' level if you know what I mean. I really don't need to know what the cables are made of or how a GPU works in detail, just the info to see the project throogh.

Laptop:

Lenovo G505S.


p.s: No one said that building an external GPU setup would be easy and I'm aware of this, but I'm more than willing to put the effort in as the results look very promising.
 
G

Guest

Guest
PCI: obsolete standard
PCIe (aka PCI Express): what modern GPUs plug into
PCIe-Mini: what your laptop probably has; likely in use by the integrated WiFi card

You can buy something like this to achieve your goal:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q4VMLF6
It requires an external PSU to power the card.
 

alkpwn77

Estimable
Jan 6, 2015
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PCI refers to a long thin slot on motherboards for devices like graphics cards. In short, if your laptop doesn't have one, you cannot use a graphics card. That being said, it can be very cheap to build a powerful desktop yourself. If you give me a maximum budget, (preferably at least $400) I can design one for you using PC Part Picker.
 
G

Guest

Guest
PCI: obsolete standard
PCIe (aka PCI Express): what modern GPUs plug into
PCIe-Mini: what your laptop probably has; likely in use by the integrated WiFi card

You can buy something like this to achieve your goal:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q4VMLF6
It requires an external PSU to power the card.
 

k1114

Distinguished
Moderator
Your laptop, like the majority of laptops, has no internal slot for a gpu. That is only on a few high end gaming laptops. You do have easy access to your mpcie, as stated is used by your wireless card, by removing the bottom panel. This will be limited to x1-2 speed vs the full x16 a desktop card typically has. This results in almost half of the performance you'd normally get from a gpu so you want to get a decent gpu, maybe a 960 depending on your budget.

The link swings linked to is on the expensive side and also an older version. http://www.gearbest.com/laptop-accessories/pp_229101.html Usually you can find mpcie to pcie adapters in the $30-$40 range. There are a few other ones you can find, not just the exp gdc. I think I saw a generic one for $20 before but I can't find it.
 

Charlie A

Commendable
Mar 20, 2016
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Hi there, I'm not too sure if that's the case. A pre-soldered graphics card would have no chance of removal, but there is a sticker on my laptop that says 'Dual Graphics', I believe this means I have an MXM slot (possibly a synonym for mini pcie) which I have not yet used and which was designed to house a mobile GPU but is not in my system.

Would I be able to use this slot, if it indeed exists? My budget for the total project would cap at around £350 or $500 but ideally I would like to get it done for under £300. Also, would it be better just to get a cheaper card then to reduce bottlenecking? Thinking of getting an AMD R9 390 Strix (£250) for it if compatible.
 

k1114

Distinguished
Moderator
Dual graphics is what amd calls their hybrid crossfire with the igpu and dgpu. This has nothing to do with mxm, your laptop does not have mxm, and mxm is not mpcie. The cheapest laptop with mxm is $1100 sager/clevo. They do not make mxm cards of low end gpus.

Getting a lower end card just means lower performance for you. Don't forget about a psu in your budget. You'll have to look around for prices there, I only know US stores with adapters.

http://shop.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/lenovo/g-series/g505s/#tab-tech_specs The specs are limited in range. I don't see why he has to look up his specs but I did forget to mention, a low end cpu like these apus will cause a bottleneck too. There's nothing you can do about these bottlenecks and you will just have to deal with lowered performance if you want to do this.
 

Charlie A

Commendable
Mar 20, 2016
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1,580
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Charlie A

Commendable
Mar 20, 2016
56
0
1,580
0
And BTW, not expecting £1000 gaming PC quality performance here, but I'm expecting it to be worth the money and effort and play without worrying about my laptop exploding from the load or playing through a frustrating lag fest. Its also important for me as I like to be on-the-go and would like to do more CAD/modelling.

If you don't like desktops (which I don't) then you're caught in a no man's land between inferior performance and massive expense, just want to bridge the gap a bit.
 
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