Using a M.2 to PCIe adapter to connect a gpu

I’ve been wondering if there was support in the bios for using a gpu hooked up via an M.2 to PCIe adapter instead of the cpu’s integrated graphics. Can this be done? Has anyone tried to do this before?

I don’t believe that requires BIOS support, PCIe is surprisingly adaptable! As long as you have another boot drive (from USB) you’ll be able to do this!
In fact I think if I remember correctly someone who set up a home server (out of Framework mainboards) did exactly this!

Why bother? Are you trying to avoid Thunderbolt overhead specifically or are you unaware you can attach a GPU through the Thunderbolt ports?

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Thunderbolt adapters tend to be pricier and more finicky than a direct PCIe connection - after all, PCIe in Thunderbolt is tunneled, not native, and Thunderbolt doesn’t always work wonderfully either.


I think Thunderbolt is still pretty viable, I found this video on YouTube yesterday about using GPU

Crafting a Framework Desktop: The Mainboard & GPU Enclosure Build!

I have tried this and it doesn’t work well. I got a gen 4 m.2 to PCIe 4x adapter paired with an RX6400. My intention was to embed the entire setup in an old iMac to make a nice modern computer. The framework would would boot and use the GPU as a display out, but I couldn’t seem to get video acceleration out of it. It was somehow still using the Xe graphics, and I never did figure it out. It was also prone to black screens on reboot and flickering while launching windows. For what it’s worth, I got the same setup running well on a cheap ryzen mini-pc with only small flickering at boot.

edit: I was using the 11th gen intel framework. Also, thunderbolt was not viable for my application because it needs to be re-plugged occasionally and I obviously wasn’t going to do that inside the iMac.

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