[Show OFF] External Universal GPU (Day0)

[Show OFF] External Universal GPU

who said external GPU is stupid and useless and dead in the water, like ASUS XG station.

my current research area are robotic/image processing/ embedded system, i am very addicted to small, portable, mobile platform. Example: VIA’s product; Small is beautiful™

currently i am migrating all the robotic calculation from sequential CPU code to GPU using CUDA, and to make my development and debug easier, i want to have a high CUDA core count GPU but still stay mobile, solution? external GPU, (BTW 15” Laptop is far from mobile, I prefer 12”, but I the best I can find during the that time was 8400M, I prefer 8600M+)

one thing bad about CUDA is debugging, unless you are running Linux in which you use DGB and yes it is a great “command only” tools, but if you are working on Windows you will need to use Nsight for debugging and the Nsight requirements are the following:


so either i need 2 CUDA compatible GPU or 2 PC that has 2 CUDA compatible GPU that is on the network (and no, IGP does not work) , but all Dual GPU laptop are 17″+ no good for mobile or on fly demonstration or quick testing.

my current “Mobile” CUDA development setup:

1X heavily modified Dell XPS M1530
– C2D T9300
– GF 8600GT DDR3
– 8GB DDR2
– Touch screen

1X home made tablet Dell Inspirion 1520
– C2D T9300
– GF 8600GT DDR2 <——- custom PCB
– 8GB DDR2
– Touch screen
– 4 Axis accelerometer
– Intel 160GB G1 SSD


And YES, I do have “Stationary Lab Development” setup as well:

Which are just bunch of C2D/C2Q desktop with Geforce 8800GT, Geforce GT210, Geforce GT240, Quadro NVS 290, so on, they are not the greatest card but they do provide some minim CUDA testing/development environment.

So technically I have 2 mobile PC/laptop on some sort of communication which meets one of the Nsight requirement for remote debuging.

Remote debugging using Nsight require Visual Studio and NSight to be installed on both computers which I don’t like, I don’t mind Nsight on both system, but just not VS2010, i am reluctant to VS2010, it is huge/messy and will for sure kill my 1st Gen Intel SSD, as the 1st Gen Intel SSD does not support trim

This is a external PCI-Express 16X adaptor, it basically split the lane to PCI-E 2X *4, and it can be share across 4 different device (unsupported without modification), i also add an Samsung S3C6410 SoC as a micro-controller to do the sharing, quick removal, logging, debugging and ejecting through the USB interface

S3C6410 provide 1 USB HOST, 1 USB Client, that is why you also see there another USB on the PCB, there is a lot of things you can add to that USB port, such as sound card, wifi, modem so on.

Any PCI-EX slot/independent lane also provide 1 USB signal, that is how I add S3C6410 piggyback onto the PCI-EX 16X slot, there is 2 way to implement addition USB devices off PCI-EX lane

1) PCI-EX -> S3C6410 -> Free USB

2) PCI-EX -> Root Hub -> nth many USB devices

Why I used 1), b/c I want to have direct control over the USB through the SoC instead of going to CPU interrupt to control the USB, if is CPU interrupt it also drain more resource, so 1) choice is just drain the SoC’s resource.

so, it uses laptop’s express bus for communication (2x) or desktop pci-e redirector (it comes with pci-e 1x, pci-e 4x, pci-e 8x cards, but i purchased only the 1x card, as data communication is not that important)

i also decided to use Geforce GTX 560Ti, why not any better card? b/c it has highest CUDA core count and highest CUDA version; 2.1, the only other card that has more core and CUDA 2.1 is Nvidia Tesla. Note: GTX 570, GTX 580 only support CUDA 2.0.

i also ebay-ed a used XBOX 360 1st gen PSU, why? b/c 1st gen can provide up to 203W, compare to all the newer one; 170W or less, as Geforce GTX 560Ti only use max 175W on load the 203W is more than enough, and 203W version has a nice active cooling build in (a fan in the PSU)

Components Listing:

1X Geforce GTX 560Ti

1X External PCI-Express 16X adapter

2X Express Card Buss extender

2X Desktop PCI-Express redirector @ 1X

1X XBOX 360 1st Gen 203W PSU

IMG_1233 2IMG_1234 3

Hacked open x360 PSU

IMG_1238 2IMG_1239 2IMG_1240 2

PSU Soul Searching (Load test (Testing for MAX Amp on 12V, and toggling state: standby/active):

IMG_1242 2IMG_1243 2IMG_1241 3

The NEW & Improved X360 PSU

IMG_1244 2IMG_1245 2IMG_1246 2

Hardware Test Run:


My own CUDA Code Test run:


SEEEE! it detect both 8600GT Mobile and my 560TI

Whats is this for? To Be continue




*P.S. My Bebe said she helped too!! (my small big boss Smile)


[/Show OFF]


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