Which CUDA card on Thinkpad Laptop?

I just bought a new T500 Lenovo laptop and it supports adding PCI Express cards via the Advanced Dock (ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs/options_iso/thinkpad_docking_solutions_feb2009.pdf) I am interested in your experiences with different laptop hardware configurations and similar solutions.

Here is a detailed spec so I’m wondering which latest CUDA cards match??

o Card dimension:

  • Full height & half length or Low Profile PCI Express card (*1)
  • Card dimension must comply with PCI Express specification 1.0a
    o PCI Express slot connector:
  • x1, x4 or x8 or x16 card edge connector
    o Other requirements: Work with x1 lane and Power consumption is lower than 50W

I think the highest performing card you could get that meets all these is the 8600GT, which has a TDP of 47 watts (source) – though the actual power consumption is probably higher, and thus over your limit. Maybe look at the 8400GS? I think that’s the lowest-end card that still supports CUDA.

If you get one of those, and it draws too much power for the dock, you could always under-clock it as well.

Also, if it has an x16 connector, but only supports x1 data transfer…I don’t even know that it would be worth using, except for a test-bench, since the data transfer would be so slow (PCIe x1 = 250MB/sec).

great answer, thanks!!!