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Thread: PC graphic card for Laptop

  1. #1
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    Default PC graphic card for Laptop

    While wandering around the MSI suite at The Venetian today I came across a very interesting new device. The GUS II is an external discrete graphics card dock that connects to a notebook PC (or small-form factor, etc) via a Thunderbolt connection.

    Thunderbolt is a somewhat new interface that extends the PCI Express bus outside of the machine allowing for performance as high as 10 Gb/s per channel in its full implementation. Current Intel implementations that ship with the Macbook Air and likely included in the first batch of Thunderbolt-capable Ultrabooks are built around Eagle Ridge that offers two bi-directional channels. Still, even with a 10 Gb/s rating, we are seeing more than enough bandwidth for a discrete graphics card.

    You can see that device obviously won't fit your new Radeon HD 7970 3GB in there but the GUS II will support cards with as much as 150 watts of power consumption via the included external power brick. 75 watts of power is supplied by the internal PEG slot while the internal 6-pin ATX power connector supplies another 75 watts.

    MSI was running an HD 5770 inside the GUS II on a MacBook Pro running Windows 7. Unigine Heaven was playing on the graphics card outputs and it was definitely running at speeds and quality settings that the GPU in the Macbook would not have been able to.

    MSI mentioned they were hopeful the price would be in the $150 range which is actually quite a good surprise considering they are going to be including the Thunderbolt cable in the box - an accessory that is notoriously expensive today.

    All that is holding up the GUS II from release at this point is compatibility and driver support from AMD and NVIDIA. Because you are essentially adding in another PCI Express graphics card to system that might only have been prepared and QA'd for a single one, there are some issues to work out. Even with the hardware in a basically complete state, there is no time table for release though hopefully we can get this pushed into the mainstream soon.
    Thunderbolt might finally bring us the dockable and upgradeable graphics we have always envisioned for notebooks.
    http://www.pcper.com/news/Graphics-C...Upgrade-System

  2. The following users thank 2 For this above post:

    criss_glitch666 (14-01-2012), realneil (14-01-2012)

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    Default Re: PC graphic card for Laptop

    Wow! Thank's for the info!

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    Default Re: PC graphic card for Laptop

    Good news for people with only laptops, but this sort of thing just seems to defeat the portibility aspect of laptops, which is their only advantage over desktops.
    Vem är du?

    Jag är döden.

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    realneil (14-01-2012)

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    Default Re: PC graphic card for Laptop

    Asus has something like this, it was trialed in Australia but was pulled off the table for some reason. The Asus on looked a lot more compatible and user friendly than this.

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    Default Re: PC graphic card for Laptop

    That notoriously expensive Thunderbolt Cable that was mentioned was so expensive because it was specific to Mac computers until just recently. Apple's 1 year long exclusivity contract with Intel runs out this month and everyone with be able to license the technology from now on. These cables will be within a normal price range soon enough now that Apple isn't standing between manufacturers and the public.

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    Default Re: PC graphic card for Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyarlathotep View Post
    Good news for people with only laptops, but this sort of thing just seems to defeat the portibility aspect of laptops, which is their only advantage over desktops.
    This would enhance your home docking solution and probably not go to portability for most people. And having more graphics "Ass" added to your macbook's capabilities would be welcomed by many.

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    Default Re: PC graphic card for Laptop

    But the thunderbolt cable hasn't been used very much, the Asus external graphics solution can hold a 3 expansion slot graphics card and fits in an express crad which is VERY common for laptops.

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    Default Re: PC graphic card for Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by PoLoMoTo View Post
    But the thunderbolt cable hasn't been used very much, the Asus external graphics solution can hold a 3 expansion slot graphics card and fits in an express crad which is VERY common for laptops.

    Thunderbolt didn't see any adaptation by anyone other than Apple for the first year it existed.
    Apple had an exclusive one year agreement with Intel, who originally developed the technology under the name of "Light Peak"
    Apple's one year fix on the technology did it no favors, because (as Apple usually does) it was priced far too high for most people to buy into.

    Now that other manufacturers are not restricted from developing their own Light Peak/Thunderbolt devices and connectors, you'll see it become a mainstream and affordable product line.
    It has a lot of bandwidth and it's fast too.

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    Default Re: PC graphic card for Laptop

    But even eSata hasn't quiet caught on yet, this will take atleast 2-5 yrs to become widely used

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