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  • CES 2012: MSI Flaunts External GPU Connected Via Thunderbolt

    Information regarding a PCIExpress expansion chassis serving as a docking hub compete with external graphics cards for high end performance was speculated last year. With many Thunderbolt-equipped peripherals being released during CES this week, it isnít much of a surprise to see progress on the expansion hub concept being made. The folks over at AnandTech are reporting that MSI is the latest entrant into the category showing off an early demonstration model of such a product with its GUS II.

    As of right now, the GPU featured in the demonstration only works under Windows but AnandTech suggests that Mac support will be easily achievable for those GPUs supporting the platform. The external chassis features a Thunderbolt interface and an internal PCIe slot. Despite running on a MacBook Pro, there is currently no OS X support for the solution, although it does work under Windows. It is being assumed that if thereís OS X support for the GPU inside the enclosure it would work under the OS X as well.

    Although the concept sounds ideal, there is one limitation. The internal GPU has to be powered by PCIe alone since there are no aux PCIe power connectors inside the chassis. A release date and pricing for the GUS II hasnít been announced yet but it seems that the Thunderbolt standard that Apple and Intel are promoting continues to gain momentum as it seeks to lead the next generation of multipurpose connectivity technologies.

    Are any of you interested in purchasing one of these if and when itís released? Share any thoughts and opinions below!

    Source: AnandTech
    This article was originally published in forum thread: CES 2012: MSI Flaunts External GPU Connected Via Thunderbolt started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Daerid's Avatar
      Daerid -
      This's could be fantastic for CAD, rendering and 3d modeling. As well as high end floating point computations.
    1. dennder's Avatar
      dennder -
      ^^ Audio/Video, Imaging editing (those programs capable of using GPU computing) and gaming as well, provided that apple will support GPU's with proper drivers.

      But i'm afraid it won't happen, or will be somewhat limited, simply because this solution will damage already low sales of MacPro's...

      P.S. As of now, i am waiting for the newest MP. Planning to custom upgrade it's internals with stuff from Macsales, because i need more GPU horsepower. However, if this solution works, i am already prepared to reconsider, and go for a MPB + TB Display + TB HDD Raid + this. This way i'll retain my mobility, and will gain horsepower and storage i need.
      Those who require two processors will go for MP anyway.
    1. JesseDegenerate's Avatar
      JesseDegenerate -
      Quote Originally Posted by Daerid View Post
      This's could be fantastic for CAD, rendering and 3d modeling. As well as high end floating point computations.

      the macbook air just became so much better.
    1. McMichael96's Avatar
      McMichael96 -
      Wow, with Thunderbolt I guess we can upgrade our iMacs. (and turn MacBooks+ and external moniter into a powerhouse of a desktop)
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I had always thught something like this should come around. I guess with thunderbolt that wish may become a reality. Gaming with a laptop can be great, but you generally have to buy a clunky, heavy POS. With something like this, I can take the video card where I want, when I want, and still have something thin, like my macbook air! Now... I what I would really like is an external enclosure that I could just drop my own pci-e card into. That will likely not happen, but this is the next best thing! Wonder what the pricing will look like.
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      The only problem with one of these is that they will cost in the upwards of $200-300. I have one from a beta test (different company though) and they work very nicely with Windows gaming on the MacBook Pro. I suspect that they will work great with every other Mac that supports Thunderbolt as well. Sorry folks, won't work with Mini Display port Macs.