I have been experimenting with setting up an eGPU using an EXP GDC Beast Version 8.0 with a Sapphire R9 280x OC 3GB Vapor-X Tri-X. on a heavily modded HP Envy 1060ea laptop which originally had an ATI Mobility Radeon 4830 DX10 GPU and an i7-720QM processor. The laptop was originally purchased at the start of 2010.
I have upgraded the laptop over the years. The motherboard CPU Socket died > 1 year ago and I replaced it with an HP Envy 1110ea motherboard which contains an ATI Mobility Radeon HD5830 (nonGCN) discrete GPU supporting DX11. It also adds USB 3.0. ports which are needed to use an external Video capture card.
The modded laptop specs are still pretty good now, even though it was purchased back in 2010 it now has the new 1110ea motherboard with the HD5830 (nonGCN) discrete GPU.I also upgraded it with a Full HD 1080p Display, Dual Samsung 1TB Msata SSD's, and an an i7-920XM Extreme Edition Processor. I have been using it as a "mobile" Video Capture station with Avermedia LGX capture card, and it is just about good enough but I needed more GPU power for Video Capture and OpenCL work.
I have been able to get the HP Envy 15 to work with an EXP GDC Beast Version 8.0 by removing the wireless card in the HP Envy 15 and connecting the EXP GDC Beast adapter to the mini PCIe x1 slot previously used for the wireless card on the HP Envy 15. I am currently running the HP Envy 15 with only 2GB of RAM for eGPU initial Testing purposes.
I had to revert to using AMD Catalyst Control Center Drivers Version 15.11.1 Beta Drivers because the latest Versions of AMD Crimson ReLive does not install correctly on a system with GCN and Non GCN GPUs!
I was previously running AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.1 for Non GCN Products Release Notes on the HP Envy 15 integrated ATI Mobility Radeon HD5830.
I temporarily removed the R9 280x OC 3GB Vapor-X Tri-X where it was the secondary GPU in a system with an Nvidia 780Ti GPU as Primary GPU.
The R9 280x was running well with AMD Crimson Drivers WHQL version 17.4.4. I was using it to run an additional display and for OpenCL and Video Capture work.
So this situation of having to revert back to old AMD Catalyst Control Center 15.11.1 Beta Drivers is not good.
I have an AMD (ATI Mobility Radeon Laptop) which was running great on AMD Crimson Legacy Drivers and an AMD GPU which was running great on the latest WHQL 17.4.4 drivers.
However, if I want to use an EGPU solution which works with the very latest gaming drivers, including DX12 and Vulkan Support Improvements ... I will have to look for an Nvidia Card to run on my eGPU at present.
Why am I unable to install the legacy Crimson Driver for the HD5830 and the latest WHQL driver for the R9 280x?
Why do I have to resort to running AMD Catalyst Control Center Drivers Version 15.11.1 Beta Drivers?
Has anyone thought about this issue?
FYI as an initial Performance Tests I looked at Crysis 2 Gaming Performance on Ultra with Ultra Textures set on the modded Laptop using the ATI Mobility Radeon HD5830 versus the EXP GDC Beast 8.0 and R9 280x at 1080p Resolution.
Here is the FPS range I see:
ATI Mobility Radeon HD5830 = 1-10 FPS. = Unplayable.
EXP GDC Beast 8.0 and R9 280x = 30-60 FPS. = Playable for sure. the 30FPS is at the start of the game when initial textures are loading. Mostly it runs around 50-60FPS.
Is there any chance that something could be changed in the installer to allow installation of GCN and Non GCN Crimson Drivers for laptop with Non GCN Discrete GPU?
Is there some workaround available?