Lucid Thunderbolt External GPU Demonstrated

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alxianthelast

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[citation][nom]A Bad Day[/nom]SLI/Crossfire anyone?[/citation]

I was thinking a bit bigger than that but thunderbolt isn't optical yet nor are the cables really long.

But with this you could potentially have the PSU and GPU in different rooms than the PC and greatly reduce the noise of a generic (cheap) gaming PC.. while having the option to add, hopefully several extra GPUs (cheap) depending on the bandwidth you can get over thunderbolt, having them daisy chained or pooled (whatever is the appropriate term).

how far is that from having a small GPU farm in the next room for running a display wall?
 

Draven35

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I don't think there's enough bandwidth for SLI/Crossfire...

I could see Nvidia using a box like this as a way to add GPU (CUDA) processing capability to thunderbolt-equipped systems
 

rantoc

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[citation][nom]shoelessinsight[/nom]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]

It will add some latency but should not be bad in any way. I'm more concerned about the dma access. It opens up ton of new attack vectors, plug in a dongle and get very low level access. Sure it will be somewhat secured but will it be enough once the hackers fully start to use the thunderbolt approach.
 

belardo

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Products like this should be standard... any tablet or computer could have gaming graphics if needed... if there are games that can push it, of course.

Some years ago, they tried this with a "wired" version of PCIe slot... guess it never came out.
 

TeraMedia

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@alxianthelast:

Wouldn't it be easier to just have a USB 2.0 hub connected to a PC in another room, and plug a keyboard, mouse and ODD (if you want/need one) into that, and then connect your screen / receiver via an extended HDMI cable? Then you have effectively ZERO noise audible from your PC. USB can extend 16 feet before you need a repeater. HDMI can extend 16 feet as well with decent-quality cables. What else do you need to interact with on your PC?
 
[citation][nom]alxianthelast[/nom]I was thinking a bit bigger than that but thunderbolt isn't optical yet nor are the cables really long.But with this you could potentially have the PSU and GPU in different rooms than the PC and greatly reduce the noise of a generic (cheap) gaming PC.. while having the option to add, hopefully several extra GPUs (cheap) depending on the bandwidth you can get over thunderbolt, having them daisy chained or pooled (whatever is the appropriate term).how far is that from having a small GPU farm in the next room for running a display wall?[/citation]

PCIe on ?Thunderbolt might not have too high of latency with the short cables that it's using, but for a device the computer to be in different rooms, the latency might get unbearably high. The bandwidth is high enough to add a cheap desktop card to a nearby laptop instead of paying a huge premium for mobile gaming cards that most people wouldn't use on the move anyway, but multiple high-end GPUs? No way, at least not with the current implementations of Thunderbolt. You probably ask too much of it at this time.

Like TeraMedia said, it would probably be much more practical to use a USB hub and a long HDMI cable.
 


There are wired version of PCIe, they simply aren't common and aren't cheap. The external PCIe boxes that I'm aware of use cables based on the HDMI cable (you need a lot of bandwidth and video cables are designed for high bandwidth, so they were probably the best solution for the time). They aren't common, but they did come out and you can buy them from a few places.
 

walter87

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[citation][nom]shoelessinsight[/nom]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.[/citation]

True, it may not be an open standard like USB, but I have a feeling the full potential of Thunderbolt will not be appreciated until it goes fully to optics. It will dramatically increase bandwidth potential far beyond even USB3 or even SATA speeds. Open standards like USB also takes years to progress.

Its too soon to judge, but to me Thunderbolt vs. USB3 won't be similar to USB2 and Firewire because just how much bandwidth potential it has. It can be extremely useful* for delivering external gpu power, SSD raid arrays or daisy chaining multiple devices to a single connection.

Time will tell.
 
[citation][nom]walter87[/nom]True, it may not be an open standard like USB, but I have a feeling the full potential of Thunderbolt will not be appreciated until it goes fully to optics. It will dramatically increase bandwidth potential far beyond even USB3 or even SATA speeds. Open standards like USB also takes years to progress.Its too soon to judge, but to me Thunderbolt vs. USB3 won't be similar to USB2 and Firewire because just how much bandwidth potential it has. It can be extremely useful* for delivering external gpu power, SSD raid arrays or daisy chaining multiple devices to a single connection.Time will tell.[/citation]

Firewire was much better than USB 2.0 for a lot of things because it could actually hit over 90% of its specified bandwidth in real-world situations, had much more consistent performance, and had other advantages such as not being as reliant on the system's CPU and being an ~4 times faster alternative to Fast Ethernet until Gigabit Ethernet was affordable. Thunderbolt is in a very, very similar situation in that it is better for pretty much any given task even if only somewhat for some things and far superior for others, but is more expensive. Thunderbolt might work out better for consumers because it has even more interesting functionality and is unlikely to be beaten by anything in the market that isn't truly better.
 
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USB is a CPU HOG! Hell I would like to see a computer wilh a 10 gigabit ethernet port I am sure with some tweeking and hardware you could tunnel PCIe over ethernet! Thunderbolt is controlled By Intel for Intel, I am sure if any laptop OEM would attempt to use an open standard that Intel would not be willing to sell CPUs to that OEM.
 
[citation][nom]CipzillaHasUbyTheBalls[/nom]USB is a CPU HOG! Hell I would like to see a computer wilh a 10 gigabit ethernet port I am sure with some tweeking and hardware you could tunnel PCIe over ethernet! Thunderbolt is controlled By Intel for Intel, I am sure if any laptop OEM would attempt to use an open standard that Intel would not be willing to sell CPUs to that OEM.[/citation]

I highly doubt that Intel would refuse to take money from customers just because they use an open external PCIe standard and given that they still sell CPUs to several companies who made other external PCIe solutions, I'd say this claim of mine is quite accurate.
 

TeraMedia

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@CipzillaHasU: I agree with blazorthon. From a different angle, Intel just paid out huge sums of money to AMD for anti-competitive behavior, and that was to protect their primary profit-maker. I doubt they would risk putting that kind of money in jeopardy for just a few bucks' worth of licensing fees. The courts don't take kindly to repeat-offenders.
 

ZakTheEvil

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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]

Who's talking about Firewire/USB??? Do you know what Thunderbolt is?
 

army_ant7

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Honestly, I thought that when he unplugged the Thunderbolt cable, that he game would (magically) continue running on the iGPU. Well, I guess it's too far-fetched, but one could dream! :lol:

This technology doesn't seem to need to have an external monitor plugged into the external GPU (if it even has ports), but I'm not sure if other similar solutions do. I was also hoping that some Lucidlogix magic would come into play in the form of the iGPU working in tandem with the eGPU. Hm... I wonder if they could apply Virtual V-sync and Hyperformance to this. It would make it more compelling IMO. :D
 

army_ant7

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Though that other guys proposition/solution which you restated seems nice. Just to be fair, I want to point out that alxianthelast may have been referring to the future optical version of Thunderbolt, which I don't think I've personally heard of. :)
 

eatfoodnow

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the MSI GUS II and a thunderbolt vidock are both on their way. The potential is there and it's very real. I'm fairly sure cable length isn't an issue with bandwidth or latency for thunderbolt (up to the maximum length for copper cables of course).

There are a couple problems with thunderbolt eGPUs right now, which I'll cover (these are just educated guesses of course, I've just read around a bunch):
1. Feeding back the output to the laptop screen. Basically there has to some sort of hack done for this to work out, for an example of this, if you have an optimus enabled laptop, it's possible to feed the input back into the laptop screen from an external GPU connected via express card.
2. The main market for this is mac users. Why? Almost all laptops out there with thunderbolt are macbooks. This means OS X support has to be figured out, which is an additional pain (MSI GUS II tech demo earlier this year only worked in Windows)
3. hotplugging. Since it's connected via pcie, if you unplug it while the laptop is running, things go horribly horribly wrong.

There's other stuff as well, but that's just some stuff to think about.
 
[citation][nom]Deemo13[/nom]Sounds pretty cool. I wonder if anything above a 6700 would be bottlenecked by the interface.[/citation]

It'd depend on the game and settings, among other possible factors, but chances are that anything less than a PCIe 2.0 x4 interface will bottle-neck some higher end cards at east a little in most gaming situations.
 
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There are cloud server companys that have proven PCIe over 10 gigabit ethernet, Lucid and valve should provide an ethernet solution also! I am sure there are 10 gigabit ethernet and faster solutions that should work with desktops that would be cheeper for gamers! As far as laptops are concerned, I would love to see 10 Gigabit ethernet cards for laptops! USB, until it can use DMA, needs CPU cycles to function!
 
[citation][nom]EthernetGO[/nom]There are cloud server companys that have proven PCIe over 10 gigabit ethernet, Lucid and valve should provide an ethernet solution also! I am sure there are 10 gigabit ethernet and faster solutions that should work with desktops that would be cheeper for gamers! As far as laptops are concerned, I would love to see 10 Gigabit ethernet cards for laptops! USB, until it can use DMA, needs CPU cycles to function![/citation]

"10 GbE" and "cheaper" than what's in this article don't belong in the same sentence without an "is nowhere near" between them unless I've missed some huge price drops.
 

ToKiiNz

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i understand using a 6700 to keep the power down, the cost, i might get experimental with my old 6870 though and see if i can get it working on my lenovo
 
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