My DIY eGPU project – Benchmarking

Well, I have done a spot of benchmarking. Specifically using 3DMark06 and the Resident Evil 5 benchmarking tool. If you are wondering what I am talking about here is an introduction and a follow-up.

I guess a brief recap wouldn’t be out of place. I have a laptop with integrated graphics. This severely limits the games that I can play. This makes me sad. I have read that I can put together an adapter that plugs in to the ExpressCard slot in my laptop that allows me to use a desktop GPU to power the graphics. This makes me happy.

Now, to the benchmarks. First 3DMark06: before and after.

Not bad I think. A threefold increase from 1207 to 3654 on the 3DMark06 hand-wavy score of magic beans. Next, bring on to the Zombies!

The Resident Evil 5 benchmark program runs through a fixed and variable scene and logs the average frames-per-second (fps). The first of the results is the fixed scene where the integrated GPU managed a shameful 8.0fps, soundly thrashed by the eGPU at 23.8fps (though still on the low side for playability).

For the variable scene another pleasing result. Up from an unplayable 9.6fps to 40.8fps which is pretty respectable.

And now for the test that makes it all worth while, the one we (I) have been waiting for. Can I play DayZ on my laptop? YES! I am very pleased. Next things on the to do list for this project are: buy a graphics card (almost certainly second hand from eBay) to replace the borrowed one I was testing with, and construct some kind of enclosure to clear my desk of the precariously balanced computer componentry from this project. For the graphics card I am aiming for something like the Nvidia GTX460 which I understand has a good performance-to-value ratio. When I do I will rerun the benchmarks (they should have improved) and let you know how it goes. Same goes for the enclosure construction and modding.

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