PC Builds - We Transformed The All-new Lattepanda 3 Into A Fast Micro Gaming Pc. First Look
It's ETA prime. Back here again with another latte panda 3 article, and in this one we're going to be adding an external GPU to this x86 single board computer now.
If you're not familiar with the Lattepanda line of spcs, the last one was released about three years ago, but a few days ago, as I was making this article, they released number three.
This is known as the latte panda 3 delta. I've made one article checking it out without an external GPU, and it's a decent little x86 single-board computer, but we can definitely get more out of it with an external GPU connected. Unfortunately, these don't support thunderbolts, so the only way to get an external GPU working with this is over an m.2 slot, and luckily we do have two on this unit.
We've got one m2b key which supports pcie 3.01, x and the other is an m. The 2 m key is really made for an NVME SSD, but it's running at pcie 3.0 2x, so I opted to populate the other one with an SSD. It's just the Sata M.2, and we're going to be connecting a GTX 1650 to the m key slot here. If you're interested in seeing what this board can do all by itself, I will leave a link to the first article I created, but I did want to give you a quick rundown on the specs for the CPU. We've got the Intel celeron n5105, four-course no extra threads, up to 2.9 gigahertz obviously.
We've got an iGPU, which is an Intel uHD with 24 eu's, but we're not going to be utilizing it in this article. We've got eight gigabytes of LP ddr4 ram running at 2933 megahertz, onboard 64 gigabyte emmc version 5.1, wi-fi 6.
Bluetooth 5.2, and this will support Windows and Linux, but we're going to be running Windows 11 in this article, so now I'm going to show you how I'll get this all connected. There are several ways to.
Go about this There are a bunch of different adapters that you can pick up online to get this working m.2 to pcie, x16, or even pci ex4 It's really up to you and most of the time I would go with a super small form factor build with something like a pico power supply, but for this I'm going to use one of my favorite adapters, the Adt Link R3G.
So this is a bit expensive on Amazon, but you can pick it up pretty cheap on Aliexpress. We can power this from an atx power supply or we can use a dell 24 pin power supply and that's how I'm going to be doing it in this article, but yeah, this does make it really easy to connect an eGPU to anything with an m.2 slot, and basically what we're going to do here is plug the gpu into the dock itself and then we'll insert the m.2 end into our free slot on the lattepanda 3, and from here I will be powering the panda separately from the gpu.
Unfortunately, it's just not going to put out enough power over that m.2 to power this GTX 1650, so I've got a 24-pin Dell power supply that'll plug right into the dock itself, and I could rig something up to also power the panda from it. But for this one here, I just want to get it going and see if it would be worth doing in the first place.
It's pretty easy to do. I've got a lot of these standoffs. I've got a bunch of these laying around, and I could definitely figure something out to get them looking pretty decent and having a nice little compact form factor, and after fiddling around with it for a little while. I came up with something like this.
Not too bad. I mean, it's definitely a nice little compact design and that GPU is basically open air, so I'm not worried about blocking off that other fan. I've done a little bit of testing so far and it's not going to get hot at all, but yeah, with something like this I can access all of the ports on the panda and the ports on the gpu, and personally I think it looks pretty cool , so I'm ready to start testing here remember the gpu is running over the free m.
Testing out some games
And here it is, so as you can see, we've got that celeron n5105, four cores up to 2.9 gigahertz. And unfortunately, this is running on a single channel out of the box. We can also access the built-in Intel UHD graphics, but we're not going to be using these because we've got the GTX 1650 attached to this unit.
It'll actually support up to x4. But unfortunately, it's only showing up as x1 and I also tested an rtx 3060 just to make sure and it's doing the exact same thing, but either way you look at it, this will offer better GPU performance, so I want to jump right into some gaming. Then we'll run a couple benchmarks and then move back over to some more PC games.
Okay, so starting off light here, we've got four dead. This is one I tested on the internal GPU and I did have to go down to medium settings 720p, but here we're maxed out at 1080 and I know that the GTX 1650 can handle it, but we're connected in a weird way here, so we're not getting the full performance out of it, but we can get well over 80 fps on average with this one.
Next up, we've got the original Sky RAM and on the internal GPU, it will play this game at low settings in 720p, and it does a decent job. We get a couple dips under 60 with it set up like that, but it is playable. But with the GTX 1650 attached, ultra settings at 1080p, running at a constant 60.
So yeah, I know these are older games, and that's really one of the big reasons. I tested them first, but now I want to take a look at a couple benchmarks that I ran on this thing. First up, we've got 3DMark Wildlife with no external GPU. These are the integrated graphics on this little n5105, and we got a total score of 2381.
And as soon as I connected the GTX 1650 and ran the same benchmark again, we went from 2 381 to 22 450, a major jump in GPU performance. Our CPU performance is obviously going to stay the same. And with the next benchmark here, I just ran it with the GTX 1650 because I knew the internal graphics were really going to struggle.
We got a total score of 7026 with 3Dmark Firestrike. Another one that worked really well with this little setup here was Street Fighter 5. At maximum settings of 1080p, there's no resolution scale going on, and we're running at 60. I mean, this is a great little experience here, but again, this is an easier one to run.
I know for sure that the GTX 1650, running in normal mode, can run this at maximum settings and, as you can see, connected over m.2, this lower-end CPU can also run it at full speed, but I want to test out some newer AAA games to see what's really going on. And here's God of War 720p, low and you know, I really didn't expect it to do a great job with these newer games given the CPU performance and RAM.
That's what's going to hold us back in a lot of the newer AA stuff. The system's RAM We've only got eight gigs there, and we've got four gigs of vram. And not to mention we've maxed out all four cores here on that n5105. They're running at a hundred percent and the max clock we can get out of all four cores at the same time is about 2.8 gigahertz on the CPU.