GPU Docks Could Bring Gaming And VR To MacBooks; Wolfe Kickstarter Paves The Way

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Robert Cook

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but you have to run boot camp, at that point why even have a mac? frankly I want the technology to bring PCIE through thunderbolt 3 to drop in price so that anyone can build their own. Also Laptop CPUs really need to get better.
 

Jeff Fx

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$600 to add what is now a low-end video card to a Mac to attempt to use it as a PC for VR? Why not get an actual PC, where you can get a Geforce 1080 for the price of this 970?
 

jjbtexas

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External GPUs are niche products at best. I'm actually shocked they reached their kickstarter goal. I've also lost faith in Kickstarter. With the proclivity for Kickstarter campaigns to be late on their rewards (seriously, it's probably well over 75% of campaigns with physical rewards), I bet they receive these around the time the 1100 series arrives...
 

3ogdy

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scaM users should never be able to play PC games. Oh you want something that's available on PC only?
Should've been smart in the first place and bought a PC, not CrApple "products".
 

kewlguy239

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All of these are valid points. GPU docks seem like a niche product, especially to PC enthusiasts. Why couldn't a Mac user just buy a powerful desktop if they want to run VR games? However, try for a moment to understand the mindset of a Mac user. For the most part, price-to-performance ratios PC enthusiasts live by don't affect a Mac addict, who generally doesn't have a problem spending the money and LOVES their device. Ever try having that conversation with a Mac enthusiast? You can't get them to stray from their brand loyalty, and they often can't defend the performance of the device but still profess to love it regardless. Professionals who spend the big bucks on a Mac workstation for their video projects get the performance they need in an Apple device, but average consumers that want to use it for VR are out of luck. A GPU dock really could be the answer for that, especially if Apple decided to go into production of such a device itself. It makes sense to a Mac user to buy a plug-in device to give their notebook or iMac better performance, regardless of the cost. Although this doesn't make sense to PC users, it could really hit with Mac users.
 

falchard

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GPU docks tend to not perform as advertised because the interface and latency are no where near as quick as a dedicated motherboard lane. Going through a single path from CPU to GPU over less than 5" of board is just better then going through a USB interface to pci-e interface to GPU over 3'.
 
Aug 5, 2015
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Personally? I could use this. I own a Mac, but I purchased it a year ago to try my hand at iOS development. I have Boot Camp on it, but the only games I can get away with on the road are Team Fortress 2 and Half Life. While I shy away from the price tag, as I'm usually frugal (the Mac was more of an impulse buy than anything), a brand new gaming laptop is probably more expensive with Pascal chips, so I think I'll wait.
 

amk-aka-Phantom

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a GPU dock has no purpose in a world where desktop-class graphics cards are available in mobile devices
Yeah right, because we can totally change laptop graphics when they get obsolete... hmm wait a second... (inb4 wiseguy comments listing 1% of gaming laptops like MSI GT80 that do allow that)

lol omg they haven't stopped with these GPU docks for notebook
It's a perfect solution for people who want to game but can't just "get a desktop". I just moved halfway across the world and there is absolutely no way I could have hauled my 20 kg tower with me nor can I build a new desktop here in the foreseeable future. I'd freaking love a GPU dock right about now to drop my 970 into. If you can't understand it, don't criticize it blindly, there are reasons this tech exists.
 

tunaphish6

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As someone who just spent a week trying to get a modern graphics card to work in an old 5,1 Mac Pro, the only way this is going to work is with Boot Camp or with an AMD card and possibly a bit of tinkering; both of which undermine the need for this product.

It's embarrassing how much is locked down, and the different nuances within the Mac operating system. You could quite literally have something like this working during one OS update, like Sierra (which supposedly, natively supports the RX460), and then have it break in the next yearly update.
 

Rhinofart

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You don't buy Macs for Gaming. You buy them for solid dependable WORK applications. I'm a DJ who used to travel around a lot. My 17" Macbook Pro I bought in 2010 is still rock solid. The ONLY time it crashed on me was my own damn fault. I've never had an issue with it. There were other DJs playing gigs along with me that had their Windows Laptops, and they would poke and ridicule my MBP, right up till the point their laptop crashed in the middle of a set, and the "Crappy Mac" had to bail them out until their system was rebooted, and able to get back into the mix. Talk about embarrassing. I use it for Playing live with Rekordbox to my Pioneer equipment, and I have a small Virtualbox lab that runs on it most of the time for training for work. Runs all my apple stuff along with 2 server 2012R2 DCs, an SQL Server, File Server, Tails, Ubuntu, Kali, Win7, Win8.1, and Win 10 workstations. 16Gb Ram, 1TB Samsung SSD. It's just awesome.
 

Robert Cook

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As I own a MBP 13 2009, I know the "they always work" I pulled this thing out of a dumpster ( it was going to be scraped and they let me take it) and it has never let me down, but you cannot mean to tell me a windows laptop just randomly crashes unless you have done something to anger it, or upgraded instead of clean installed to windows 10...
The thing also overheats with abandon until you boost the fans....
 

micheal_15

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This won't provide Rift support because:

1. APPLE still has systems costing thousands of dollars with 256mb of video memory
2. Mac has around 4-5% of the userbase
3. Power users using a mac comprise around 0.001% of the world computer userbased
4. The subset of those users buying a GPU-Addon will be a couple of hundred AT BEST
therefore no-one wants to build an SDK for just a couple hundred people.

Also the fact that over $100 billion in Apple shares was dumped onto the market, given their threats to expose politicians iTunes history if they're forced to pay 13 billion in back taxes means Apple has enough troubles to deal with without new products getting in the way.
 

synthetase

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This already exists for Thunderbolt 2. I imagine they will make one for Thunderbolt 3 as well. https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/HELIOS1TB2/
 

Robert Cook

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cool as in it is great to see PCIE over thunderbolt, stupid as in you have to be running windows on the macbook, and with the cost of the mac and the GPU dock combined you could by a truly beastly regular laptop which would run circles around this idea.
 
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