Concept Custom external GPU enclosure for low-profile cards

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
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I recently bought a Thinkpad T430 to be my laptop daily driver, to replace an Acer Aspire. Despite the Acer having a newer CPU and a dedicated Nvidia GPU I've grown disappointed by its hardware problems and difficulty servicing and expandability. The T430 seems to be much easier to expand in storage space but also I/O. I want to game on it on occasion and will need an external GPU dock.

The dock I'm going to get is a EXP-GDC V8.0 as it's cheap and pretty popular for DIY eGPU setups. I will be getting the ExpressCard version for this laptop.



The enclosure I will make is specifically designed to hold an EXP-GDC with internal AC power supply and a 2-slot low profile graphics card. I might also try to make a slimmer 1-slot version for low-end cards (that still beat intel HD graphics), although the slimmer version may require an AC adapter.

Part of the inspiration for this was from Thunderbolt eGPUs that have an embedded graphics card inside so it's not replaceable but at the same time keeps a slim profile. Here is the inside of an Acer dock with a GTX 960M.



A custom dock that can use any single slot card could be just as slim. The EXP GDC board will be removed from its own enclosure, then you can attach a riser cable to have the GPU lie flat alongside the board.

Right now I am still waiting for my laptop to arrive and then I'll have to install my own SSD with it and make sure everything is working fine.
 

Windfall

I'm a huge fan of SFF
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Nov 14, 2017
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I recently bought a Thinkpad T430 to be my laptop daily driver, to replace an Acer Aspire. Despite the Acer having a newer CPU and a dedicated Nvidia GPU I've grown disappointed by its hardware problems and difficulty servicing and expandability. The T430 seems to be much easier to expand in storage space but also I/O. I want to game on it on occasion and will need an external GPU dock.

The dock I'm going to get is a EXP-GDC V8.0 as it's cheap and pretty popular for DIY eGPU setups. I will be getting the ExpressCard version for this laptop.



The enclosure I will make is specifically designed to hold an EXP-GDC with internal AC power supply and a 2-slot low profile graphics card. I might also try to make a slimmer 1-slot version for low-end cards (that still beat intel HD graphics), although the slimmer version may require an AC adapter.

Part of the inspiration for this was from Thunderbolt eGPUs that have an embedded graphics card inside so it's not replaceable but at the same time keeps a slim profile. Here is the inside of an Acer dock with a GTX 960M.



A custom dock that can use any single slot card could be just as slim. The EXP GDC board will be removed from its own enclosure, then you can attach a riser cable to have the GPU lie flat alongside the board.

Right now I am still waiting for my laptop to arrive and then I'll have to install my own SSD with it and make sure everything is working fine.

Came up with a similar concept using the HDPlex 80w in this thread, for LP single slot/dual slot GPUs. I hope you do something with the concept, I would buy it!
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,058
2,211
Oh wow, that really is small. I was going more for a ultra slim profile over "stacked" for 1-slot but with a riser cable this design might work too. My laptop doesn't have any TB port so USB or PCIe based only connections will work.
 
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