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Increasing laptop performance with eGPU, ViDock, etc?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 10, 2012 7:05:41 PM

Hey, so recently I've been getting more and more into gaming. In the summer of '11 I got a Samsung RF511-S02. However, now that I'm playing more and more games I want more performance. So I did some searches online and found that two options to increase graphics performance are creating an eGPU or using a ViDock. Learning new things generally comes pretty easily to me but as soon as the DIY article about eGPUs started talking about PCIe I started getting the feeling I would need knowledgeable people to help me, not just the internet.
So what I first would like confirmed is whether or not I can use an eGPU. I have no express card slot. Nor do I have a PCIe slot, on the outside of my laptop at least. The slots I have are:
2x USB 3.0 ports
2x USB 2.0 ports
1x HDMI port
1x VGA port

However, I believe that I saw online somewhere that, if I go inside my computer, somewhere near the Wifi card there will be a mPCIe slot of something which I could feasibly use for the eGPU?

Anyways, please enlighten me on this whole process and, if you can with the information I have given, tell me if my laptop is compatible with an eGPU or a ViDock.

By the way, another thing I am very open to is upgrading my Nvidia 540m to something with a bit more of a kick. However, I understand that the already difficult process is made even more difficult if I don't get assistance from my laptop's manufacturer (Samsung) and, when I have asked about other computer related upgrades such as a larger battery, I got the feeling they didn't really want me messing around and didn't condone it at all. So this might not be an option either.

Oh and if you happen to know any other ways I could improve my laptop's performance, please feel free to mention them.
a c 1362 U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
March 10, 2012 7:54:32 PM

If you really get into gaming then it is better to get a desktop. All this external add on stuff takes away the portability anyway!
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March 10, 2012 8:00:03 PM

Ah, but see that's the wonder of it. Be totally portable all day at work or school, come home, plug it into the PCIe or Express Card port and boom! Instantly have more powerful graphics. Perhaps you weren't really aware of exactly what I was saying, so here is a link to the DIY page for eGPU's:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/gaming-software-graphic...

Plus, my computer is relatively powerful with:
i7-2630QM
8 GB DDR3 PC3-10600 RAM
540m with 1GB dedicated memory

All I want is to be able to turn the graphics settings up a little bit more when I get home.
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a c 1362 U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
March 10, 2012 8:04:54 PM

Just stating my opinion nothing I would do! I game on desktop (easy to upgrade) use laptop for travels!
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a b U Graphics card
March 10, 2012 8:17:51 PM

What you are trying to do is a noble endeavor - but without express card slot... you are limited to a USB 2.0 Vdock. They dont make a USB 3, at least not that i heard of...
With the bandwidth of the USB 2 connection, you will not see much of a perfomance increase at all.

What you are really looking for is that Thunderbolt (bout double the bandwidth of a USB 3). Thunderbolt is a new interface, Vdock already said they will make a version of their product for it... Trouble is there wont be any PC with that interface for at least another 2 years.
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March 10, 2012 8:53:35 PM

I do not know how external gpus work and cant help you with that.
But GT 540 is powerfull enough to play anything on it, as long as you are carefull which settings to turn on, and which off.

here's a rough guide:for 1366x768
Texture: high-ultra
Geometry(models,or similar):high(no ultra)
Effects,Shaders: high(no ultra)
shadows:( avoid highest level)
Depth of field, post-processing,HDR: Only if you have fps to spare.
Texture Filter: 4-16x
Anti-Aliasing:2-4x(based on fps, first to go off)
Teseleration: same as AA

This is what i use for Skyrim,BF 3, Batman arkam city. roughly 35 fps.
Mass Effect 3: everything on, 60 fps.

1920x1080:
texture: medium-high
geometry: medium-high
Effects,shaders: high
shadows: high(not highest available)
DoF, Post process, HDR: off
Texture filter: 4-8x
AA:o ff,FXAA
Teseleration: off

Again this is for: skyrim,BF 3, Batman arkam city, 25-35 fps, depends on details.
everything else runs smoothly.
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March 10, 2012 11:56:32 PM

Hmmm. I play Skyrim a bunch and I maxout a bunch of the graphical settings but the real reason I wanted to get an eGPU was because I want to get BF3 and be able to play it on settings other than low or medium or whatever the graphical settings are called for BF3. You really get 30-35 FPS for BF3 and Skyrim with settings like that??? I get like 19-30 in Skyrim with view distance for NPC's on ultra, objects on ultra (the highest the sliders go) and the rest for the high quality setting. I also have water reflect the sky. How is it that your getting 30-35 with a 540m?
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March 10, 2012 11:59:35 PM

Also, is there absolutely no way I can somehow add a PCIe or Express Card slot to my laptop?
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March 11, 2012 12:53:13 AM

i DID overclock it to 750 mhz core, 1ghz memory though, forgot to mention that :) , also stay away from ultra, try high preset just lower AA.
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