Lucid Thunderbolt External GPU Demonstrated

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egpu diy has been going on for quite sometime.
ALthough thunderbolt enabled will definitely bring out better performance.
 

edogawa

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This is amazing, I always knew this would eventually happen. While I know this won't replace the desktop anytime soon, for casual PC gamers this would be an amazing solution; you could play any game on your laptop at home then take your laptop to school/work/trips.

Dual/TRI SLI external cases would be cool though, you could really do a lot to improve cooling and keeping the GPUS separate from everything else heat wise would be an interesting idea. Several cool possibilities with this; you could even share an expensive GPU with someone else in your home and still use your PC while they game. What about consoles having an optional thunderbolt port to use an external GPU would be another neat idea.

Let's just hope this gets cheap. Only issues I see are bandwidth wise on Thunder-Bolt.
 
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Well, if you buy an ultrabook, you're normally not that interested in Games.
Gamers buy Gaming-Laptops, having a better Performance(like Alienware).
Also: isn't a Firewire/USB quite a bottleneck, compared with a fully-integrated Notebook-GPU?
 

classzero

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[citation][nom]Blaarg[/nom]Well, if you buy an ultrabook, you're normally not that interested in Games.Gamers buy Gaming-Laptops, having a better Performance(like Alienware).Also: isn't a Firewire/USB quite a bottleneck, compared with a fully-integrated Notebook-GPU?[/citation]
Thunderbolt!
http://bit.ly/PcFJBF
 

itsnotmeitsyou

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[citation][nom]edogawa[/nom]Only issues I see are bandwidth wise on Thunder-Bolt.[/citation]
[citation][nom]Blaarg[/nom]Also: isn't a Firewire/USB quite a bottleneck, compared with a fully-integrated Notebook-GPU?[/citation]

we're talking thunderbolt here, which despite all its apple-tied frustrations is essentially an external PCI-E port, something in the realm of PCI-E 4x? I am sure you could google some more accurate numbers, but it has sufficient throughput to be usefully applied.

TL/DR thunderbolt is fast.
 

ikefu

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For a low to mid range Graphics Card, the PCI-E 4x of Thunderbolt would be more than enough to run it without bogging down. We're probably not talking about putting a 7970 or 680 on it. Even a Radeon 7600 series card would be an insane jump over the HD4000 in Ivy Bridge that most ultrabooks and the upcoming Windows 8 Tablet have.

I would jump on one of these in a hurry if they reach the market. I like the small lightweight form factor of ultrabooks for airplanes and chilling on the couch but when I get to a hotel at night I often want the graphics muscle only a giant gaming laptop of doom can give you. This could be the best of both worlds.
 

boiler1990

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If this doesn't break the bank, it might be a good add-on for those who need a little extra oomph now and then (thinking somebody who uses a MacBook Air docked every once in a while).

Coupled with enough storage, this could actually make the Air quite the semi-mobile photo-editing machine.
 

shoelessinsight

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It's unfortunate that this is being implemented on Thunderbolt, rather than with an open external PCIe solution. But it's good to see external graphics on something besides USB.

I wonder if there are any latency drawbacks with an external graphics card that one wouldn't see with an internal one. It seems like the extra length of cabling wouldn't be able to compare to the few inches between the CPU and GPU on a motherboard.
 

jonathanrhunter

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I'd be more interested in this solution if they didn't "gracefully kill" the game your playing when you unplug... Why can't they just push the graphics back to the onboard GPU when you disconnect? I can understand some sort of pause while the drivers figure things out again, but don't kill the game I'm playing and may me have to relaunch it...
 

walter87

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[citation][nom]shoelessinsight[/nom]It's unfortunate that this is being implemented on Thunderbolt, rather than with an open external PCIe solution. But it's good to see external graphics on something besides USB.I wonder if there are any latency drawbacks with an external graphics card that one wouldn't see with an internal one. It seems like the extra length of cabling wouldn't be able to compare to the few inches between the CPU and GPU on a motherboard.[/citation]

Thunderbolt combines the PCIe standard with DisplayPort, so it is PCIe.
Eventually the thunderbolt technology will take advantage of optics (its original codename was Lightpeak) and will allow bandwidth limits beyond the current 10GB/s limitation of copper wire.

Thunderbolt will eventually drop in price and become mainstream and will coincide with the USB standard, just will take some time for that to happen and for the prices to drop. Intel has thunderbolt support on Ivy Bridge and all future CPUs will take the tech even further.

It may never be able to stay up to par with full x16 PCIe standards in terms of bandwidth, it will provide more than adequate for mid range solutions (and anyone looking to get a high-end graphics solution anyway should be considering a full desktop at that point)
 

lpedraja2002

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[citation][nom]UltimateDeep[/nom]Can we have this product in USB form please?????[/citation]

USB has a fraction of the bandwidth, much higher latency, is a bursty interface, and is far more reliant on the CPU than PCIe. It would be one of the least ideal configurations possible.
 

alextheblue

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[citation][nom]A Bad Day[/nom]SLI/Crossfire anyone?[/citation]Yeah I was just thinking this would have benefited Trinity Sleekbooks quite a bit, but it's on Thunderbolt so hard to say if such a thing will ever surface. It'd be nice if we had a good open-standard external PCIe-based connection of some variety.[citation][nom]UltimateDeep[/nom]Can we have this product in USB form please?????[/citation]USB is not suited for this sort of thing, at all. Maybe in a couple of years, if they design USB 4.0 with this sort of usage in mind.
 

shoelessinsight

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[citation][nom]walter87[/nom]Thunderbolt combines the PCIe standard with DisplayPort, so it is PCIe.Eventually the thunderbolt technology will take advantage of optics (its original codename was Lightpeak) and will allow bandwidth limits beyond the current 10GB/s limitation of copper wire.Thunderbolt will eventually drop in price and become mainstream and will coincide with the USB standard, just will take some time for that to happen and for the prices to drop. Intel has thunderbolt support on Ivy Bridge and all future CPUs will take the tech even further.It may never be able to stay up to par with full x16 PCIe standards in terms of bandwidth, it will provide more than adequate for mid range solutions (and anyone looking to get a high-end graphics solution anyway should be considering a full desktop at that point)[/citation]
I'm aware of what Thunderbolt is, and how it relates to PCIe. But my main point is that Thunderbolt is not an open standard, and it incurs expensive licensing fees to anyone that wishes to implement it.

On the other hand, there is an open external PCIe standard that could be developed instead that wouldn't involve those license fees and would also be capable of much higher bandwidths (up to x16 in the standard).

It seems to me that Thunderbolt is unlikely to make much headway in the market when there is a cheaper, open alternative that people could turn to, much like the competition between Firewire and USB.

In all likelihood, anyone that buys into these Thunderbolt external GPUs is going to end up with a device that is unusable in the future on the vast majority of computers that they will buy, similar to how those that bought Firewire digital cameras back in the day can't use them today without spending extra for an adapter or a motherboard that includes a Firewire port.
 
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