Modder Upgrades Laptop Graphics Card Externally
There are some amazing tricks people pull off with hardware modifications, but one I didn’t expect to see was anyone adding an external PCI-e Video Card to their Laptop.
Board member Cyclone, over at [H]ard|Forum (The community part of [H]ard|OCP) developed a way to add an external ATI 5850 to his aging Lenovo T410 Thinkpad using some inexpensive parts. The video card connects to the system using a PCIe bridge card, an external PCI slot, external monitor and power supply.
Using the PE4H he was able to get the laptop to recognize the external solution and push the image to a connected external monitor. Cyclone mentions that the solution itself is not portable due to the need for an external power supply and inability to drive the signal to the laptop’s on-board LCD.
The video signal is also markedly slower than it would be installed on a main bus since it’s using a x1 or x2 speed rather than the normal x4/8/16 of onboard PCI-e connections.
This really is an interesting experiment. Maybe paving the way for commercial external solutions one day?
You can read the whole story at the forum and find links to the hardware mentioned.