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Pi Laptop

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:22 pm
by moose406
Hello, I am building my own Pi Laptop and have a question. I asked Customer Support but all they said was they "don't offer individual support", then whats the point of customer service. Anyways, as i was saying, im building my own Pi Laptop using the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, and I would like to use a low profile graphics card. I have found a PCI to M.2 Converter, but the Model A+ does not have a M.2 plug. But i did happen to find a M.2 to USB converter. Can I use that way to power the Graphics Card then just use a HDMI cable from the Card to the laptop screen? Links Below.


PCI to M.2 - https://www.ebay.com/i/223681719158?chn ... dkQAvD_BwE


M.2 to USB - https://www.pcnation.com/web/details/8P ... i8QAvD_BwE

Re: Pi Laptop

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:46 pm
by jamesh
Customer support is this forum. You don't get individual customer support when you only pay $35-$55 for a device, not enough profit margin to pay for it.

Use the onboard graphics. Doing it via your proposed route won't give you any decent performance.

Re: Pi Laptop

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:00 pm
by fruitoftheloom
moose406 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:22 pm
Hello, I am building my own Pi Laptop and have a question. I asked Customer Support but all they said was they "don't offer individual support", then whats the point of customer service. Anyways, as i was saying, im building my own Pi Laptop using the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, and I would like to use a low profile graphics card. I have found a PCI to M.2 Converter, but the Model A+ does not have a M.2 plug. But i did happen to find a M.2 to USB converter. Can I use that way to power the Graphics Card then just use a HDMI cable from the Card to the laptop screen? Links Below.

The Raspberry Pi 3A+ does not have a PCi Bus, obviously with a single USB Port you are limited to adding peripherals...

....as above stated utilise the onboard graphics and then add a HDMi Screen.

Re: Pi Laptop

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:23 pm
by HawaiianPi
moose406 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:22 pm
... im building my own Pi Laptop using the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, and I would like to use a low profile graphics card.
Why? The Raspberry Pi already has a capable (and supported) GPU.

moose406 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:22 pm
I have found a PCI to M.2 Converter, but the Model A+ does not have a M.2 plug. But i did happen to find a M.2 to USB converter. Can I use that way to power the Graphics Card then just use a HDMI cable from the Card to the laptop screen? Links Below.

No, you can't.


  1. USB 2.0 is much slower than PCIe, so even if you could get it to work, it would be slower than the built-in GPU.
  2. USB 2.0 doesn't supply enough power to run a PCIe graphic card, especially on the Pi, which has less current than the USB 2.0 spec (per port). You only have 1.2A for all 4 ports combined (at 5V, which = only 6W).
  3. Where would you get drivers for the card? It's unlikely GPU drivers are available for anything other than the ones included in an ARM SoC. Graphics card drivers for x86 (Intel/AMD) computers won't work on a Pi.
  4. And finally, the SoC in a Pi computer is actually booted by the GPU, which then turns control over to the ARM cores, so you have to use the built-in GPU to start the system.

I could go on, but that brings back the question of why? What's wrong with the VC4 GPU?

Also, be aware that the Pi 3A+ only has a half gig of RAM (half as much as the 3B+), which is not ideal for a laptop (or any computer intended for daily use). At the very least I would go with a 3B+ model, and a 4B2 or 4B4 would be a better option.

Re: Pi Laptop

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:23 pm
by LTolledo
get RPi3B+
get PiTop kit
assemble
install OS
install fave packages
enjoy
/EOP