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Laptop with external PhysX gpu?


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#1
BeyondTom

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I recently watched the Borderlands 2 PhysX trailer and the fact that they had just about every cool eyecandy feature disabled unless you have a Nvidia card was a major letdown.

My laptop has x2 AMD 6970m in it and I was looking into the possibility of using a card such as a gtx [460/550/560] for PhysX. I have seen cards like these used as external cards for laptops and I know there are modded drivers to allow the Nvidia card to handle PhysX with AMD cards as the primary so the big question is would it be possible? It seems a bit out there but I think it would be a pretty cool thing to have working.

#2
Mujuro

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I would think it would be possible. I used to play Oblivion from a laptop (had a GTX 200M or something like that as the main video) and then had some external card (can't remember which one) connected via a ViDock (mine was like their original "prototype/proof-of-concept" model, allowed for a single, external video hard). Note that this was like 3 years ago, I just checked the ViDock page and it appears they've significantly improved their offerings. :)

#3
hoofhearted4

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only problem is that Vidock thing costs as much as the card does!

#4
ziitch

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I thought that many NVIDIA GPUs still have problems running a large amount of PhysX anyways - Go look at the PhysX-centered UT3 maps for instance, and how bad the framerate can get.

Edited by ziitch, 13 September 2012 - 05:56 PM.


#5
BeyondTom

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Thanks for the feedback Mujuro. It is good to hear from an actual person that the external card actually can work. As for the PhysX performance a card like a gtx 460 would be enough to do that while my crossfire 6970m's would handle borderlands. I have seen some games where the PhysX was less than ideal to run but I am hoping Borderlands 2 will be fine (thank you for the reminder ziitch, I will definitely watch for that). I will wait until the release of Borderlands 2 before I even think of trying it out.

#6
Mujuro

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No problem, and good luck! :)

#7
BeyondTom

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I think I may be stopped before I can even get started. From what I have read the eGPU requires that you card(s) are turned off before you use it so it isn't likely that I will be able to run my 6970m's with the gtx 460 as a PhysX card at the same time :confused: .

Thanks again though.

#8
Mujuro

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Hmm, is that something to do with the ViDock itself? I don't recall having this issue, but then again, I was using one of their earlier models (don't even see it listed anymore). Note that I'm not sure if the laptop build itself makes a difference (or the graphics card/chip on the laptop motherboard) ... I was using an industrial-strength Sager that basically was a desktop replacement (it was even running a desktop processor, i7 975X) with 3 HDDs, 12GB RAM, etc., and you could even swap out the video chip. It literally performed like a desktop, and I don't recall having issues configuring it to use both video cards.

#9
BeyondTom

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My laptop can be taken apart/upgraded just like the Sager 7200 (mine is also a very large laptop). When you set up and used the ViDock did it just get recognized having a second/third video card?

The way I had intended it to work was to get a ViDock or equivalent device and a card like the gtx 460 to run Nvidia PhysX, set it all up and use it along with my crossfire 6970m through the modded hybrid drivers.

My problem is that I have read about desktop crossfire 6970 working with a PhysX card, laptops using an external GPU but never a laptop with dedicated AMD mobility cards using a third Nvidia card solely for the purpose of enabling PhysX in games. I also read that a monitor is required for it so it is unlikely that I would be able to use my laptops screen. Would it be possible to utilize the HDMI in/out to allow the ViDock to use your laptops own monitor?. I can't honestly say I know all that much about this topic as I have never used an eGPU (or the HDMI ports on my laptop for that matter :tongue: ).

#10
Mujuro

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It got recognized as a 2nd video card for me, but I was also using an external monitor rather than my laptop screen (external plugged into the laptop, not the ViDock). I was using both nVidia cards, but I'm not sure what would make a difference in your situation if you're using modded hybrid drivers. Regarding the HDMI out, I never really tried that, I was just using the DVI out. Unfortunately, I gave away my old ViDock or I'd be able to hop on my laptop and tell you how I had it configured. :(




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