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Old Jun 19, 2012, 06:20 PM   #51
oripash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatian View Post
why in the world are you getting a Laptop that has a.) a CPU unfit for gaming
Until very recently I've been gaming quite happy on a Core 2 Duo.
I've happily gamed in the past on (carefully chosen) lower-cache Core2 LV chips (I used to play with MoDt a lot). Turns out even a Core (1) Duo with a solid graphics frontend will do a more than acceptable job if decked out properly.

If you think anything that doesn't have any CPU "EXTREME H4X0R!!!17COREZ!" sticker
placed by intel on the chassis/CPU, you need to stop reading marketing hyperbole and become more technical.

In that sense, the MBA has a totally decent i7. Learn to read specs. It'll game just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatian View Post
and
b.) a GPU unfit for gaming
*yawn*.
Thunderbolt carries PCI. PCI carrries external GPU's. This is tangentially what this thread is about.

Here is a reference setup:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/e-gp...cbook-pro.html

The 2012 Air's CPU has more grunt, and the built-in GPU is irrelevant.
The bottleneck in that setup is that the data between the machine and GPU passes through an expresscard that bottlenecks at one PCIe lane. It's the single thing that's slowing the rig down. Unless you fix it, throw a CPU 100 times faster at it, throw a GPU 100 times faster at it, the performance will stay the same.

What I've proposed widens that bottleneck from x1 PCIe 2.0 lane (500Mbytes/sec) to.... the lower of
1. The interface constraint (2012 MBA has 40Gbits configured as two channels, each with a 10Gbit up lane and a 10Gbit down lane). So in theory it can move 20Gbits/sec (that's ~2500Mbytes/sec theoretical) from the laptop to the GPU.
2. The dock design constraint (Sonnet's tech support replied to my email saying (quoting verbatim):
"The two slots in the Echo Express Pro Chassis share a single 10Gb TB connection bi-directionally."
That's 1250Mbytes/sec between laptop and GPU.

So using it would take a rig that's been shown to be quite playable at 1080 res, and more than doubling its major bottleneck.

Tell me I can't game on that again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatian View Post
so that you can c.) get some weird cable/box/graphiccard-combos so you can have a few extra FPS and turn a non-gamer laptop into a pseudo-semi-casual-gaming laptop when you can also just use the money and get a 15" MacBook Pro with or without Retina, which has a graphic card equal to what you would get out from a bandwidth and power constrained enclosure you are suggesting?
Because that makes a whole bunch of other lifestyle compromises I don't want to make.
I like my machine to pass the 2-finger test. Try lifting a (new, retina) MBP with 2 fingers (when open) off your bedside table at 7am in the morning. With 2 fingers.
I like my machine everywhere with me.
I like to have ONE machine, not many.
MBA allows that. With the (temporary) exception of thunderbolt, so do the Asus and Lenovo Carbon analogs. Your rig epically fails. Do that yourself if you like.

Maybe my purpose was not clear. What I want the box to do is to actually play games, not engulf myself in obsessive Frames-per-second optimization.

----------

From Sonnet tech's support website: (Their support directed me to this and pointed out this applies to any GPU):

Is the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Macintosh compatible with Echo Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis?

No, the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 is not Thunderbolt compatible. Apple and Intel have prescribed specific connectivity standards for products with Thunderbolt technology interfaces. These include drivers that are recognized by Thunderbolt and allow the product to connect and disconnect while the computer is running (hot plug - unplug). Products with Thunderbolt interfaces are tested by Intel/ Apple and certified as compatible with these standards.
For PCIe expansion chassis to function correctly in this Thunderbolt connectivity paradigm, the drivers for PCIe card used in the chassis must also be updated to support these requirements. In most cases, each card manufacturer is responsible for updating the drivers of their cards. For the Quadro, it is Apple that controls the driver in Mac OS.

Intel has required all PCIe chassis manufacturers to agree to list only compatible cards that have been tested to support these standards. Apple has determined that for now, there are several technical reasons why it is not a good idea for a GPU card-including the Quadro-to connect over Thunderbolt, therefore GPU cards do not have a Thunderbolt compatible driver. UntilThunderbolt compatible drivers are released for GPU cards, they will not work over Thunderbolt.


---

So that last one is a lie. It is not /certified/ to work by nVidia/ATI, but in some cases it will work, with likely caveats being running into the exact kind of trouble that people already doing the express card hack are running into - bad support for hotplugging resulting in bluescreens if you plug it in in the wrong sequence etc.

Last edited by oripash; Jun 19, 2012 at 07:10 PM.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 12:16 PM   #52
rookpsu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterJP View Post
You want your Air to drive a Terry Pratchett-like setup ? Check out photo #2 in this article.

I think if you want that sort of setup, you might want to consider another system than an ultra-portable

My ideal setup would be an Air 11" with a 27" screen. To start with, of course


Peter.
What you say is obviously true. I was making a tongue-in-cheek dig at the malcontents who seek to drive 5120 x 2880 worth of external display with - as you noted - an ultraportable.
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 08:13 PM   #53
GoSooners
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http://9to5mac.com/2012/06/20/retina...t/#more-196449
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 08:40 AM   #54
eklof
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Nice, I just ordered the 11" mba as well. Nice to know it can power two screens. However, two tb-displays are %"# expensive

When will we see cheaper displays with thunderbold/daisy chaining you think?
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 10:08 AM   #55
philstone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardabrams View Post
I bought a USB displaylink video adapater (USB 2). I've been testing that to give me dual (non tb) external monitors.

It works well in Windows 7 (bootcamp) and you can play 1080p video without a horrible hit on the CPU but in OSX it's horrible. Anyone else found a decent non TB video option? Are there any USB 3 solutions with OSX drivers?....I don't have 1500 to drop on two TB screens.

Richard..
I'm surprised - I was using one of these by Kensington for sometime on my old C2D 11" and it was more than acceptable.. Did you have the latest drivers for it as I know they did have some problems with the early Lion drivers from memory.
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 11:49 AM   #56
HurryKayne
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Is the new thunderbolt chip on MacBookPRO (2012) too?
Some ,me too,are waiting for a Imac..,so maybe a macbookpro or a AIR
with cactus ridge and a sonnet external box plus Gpu could be a good deal..
isn't it?
4 lanes are ,in terms of bandwidth?
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Old Jun 23, 2012, 06:57 AM   #57
Boyd01
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The MacWorld review also confirms that then 2012 MBA can drive two external displays.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1167...nectivity.html

Quote:
Once you update your 2012 MacBook Air with the MacBook Air (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0, you can connect two external Thunderbolt displays for a total (including the built-in display) of three displays.
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Old Jun 30, 2012, 08:43 PM   #58
bossxii
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I have used the 13" 2012 MBA hooked to two 27" Thunderbolt displays and it worked no issues at all. I only used it for about 30 mins as the 2nd display was for a co worker but I wanted to test it. It worked fine in the few tests I ran from PS, Web, various other stuff I was going at work. I didn't notice any lag at all with the UI so don't see this as an issue. I have not tried the 11" so can't confirm that but it's the same GPU so don't imagine it would be an issue.
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Old Jul 4, 2012, 03:59 PM   #59
cypherz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oripash View Post
From Sonnet tech's support website: (Their support directed me to this and pointed out this applies to any GPU):

Is the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Macintosh compatible with Echo Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis?

No, the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 is not Thunderbolt compatible. Apple and Intel have prescribed specific connectivity standards for products with Thunderbolt technology interfaces. These include drivers that are recognized by Thunderbolt and allow the product to connect and disconnect while the computer is running (hot plug - unplug). Products with Thunderbolt interfaces are tested by Intel/ Apple and certified as compatible with these standards.
For PCIe expansion chassis to function correctly in this Thunderbolt connectivity paradigm, the drivers for PCIe card used in the chassis must also be updated to support these requirements. In most cases, each card manufacturer is responsible for updating the drivers of their cards. For the Quadro, it is Apple that controls the driver in Mac OS.

Intel has required all PCIe chassis manufacturers to agree to list only compatible cards that have been tested to support these standards. Apple has determined that for now, there are several technical reasons why it is not a good idea for a GPU card-including the Quadro-to connect over Thunderbolt, therefore GPU cards do not have a Thunderbolt compatible driver. UntilThunderbolt compatible drivers are released for GPU cards, they will not work over Thunderbolt.


---

So that last one is a lie. It is not /certified/ to work by nVidia/ATI, but in some cases it will work, with likely caveats being running into the exact kind of trouble that people already doing the express card hack are running into - bad support for hotplugging resulting in bluescreens if you plug it in in the wrong sequence etc.
I totally agree. I will acquire the Echo Pro ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter (plus an ExpressCard eGPU) and burn my brain to make it work under OS X (Lion or Mountain Lion).

I have to confess I was hopeless untill I see this video which a guy from MediaPros make a nVIDIA Quadra 4000 work through Thunderbolt.
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Old Aug 3, 2012, 11:27 PM   #60
Konrad
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2011 13"mbp with 27 TB Cinema Display

2 weeks ago I purchased a 27 TB display and the end effect is momentarily black screen every few hours on the 27. Problem has been duplicated today at apple store with second 27 TB. Has apple addressed this anywhere? Is it typical for the 3000 not to be able to handle it, or could the graphics card be defective?
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Old Aug 5, 2012, 09:43 AM   #61
bniu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AznTakumi View Post
I can't even afford one thunderbolt display.. I probably won't experience 2 thunderbolt displays for a long time.
You're not missing much, a friend went on vacation and let me borrow his Thunderbolt Display so I could try out using two, it seems OS X multiple monitor support is rather half baked. One is plenty.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:22 AM   #62
attila
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bniu View Post
You're not missing much, a friend went on vacation and let me borrow his Thunderbolt Display so I could try out using two, it seems OS X multiple monitor support is rather half baked. One is plenty.
Half-baked? Multi-monitor support has been awesome for years! Easier to set up than any Windows version.

Unless you count the new fullscreen-app functionality, which currently is crap
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:27 PM   #63
wditters
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Until proper TB docks come out (Belkin, Matrox etc) you are stuck to either daisy-chaining two Apple TB displays or use a Matrox Dualhead2Go.

The latter is what I use to drive two Lenovo 24" 1920x1200 displays. Works like a charm one you adjust to the limitations (They form 1 desktop at 3840x1200, Matrox software takes care of zoom2display functions)

No performance issues however :-)
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 10:03 PM   #64
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Unless you count the new fullscreen-app functionality, which currently is crap
Yeah, this is what I mean is half baked.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 02:24 PM   #65
Sean Dempsey
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Is there literally not a single picture of an 11" MBA running 2 thunderbolts? I can't find 1 picture, 1 video, or even a firsthand account of it being possible.

And, that link to the anandtech thread where supposedly you see it - that's 2 thunderbolts running off a 13" RMBP. I would hate to spend the $1000 just to have to return it to the store. I can't be the only person who wants 2 TB's off a MBA 11".
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 03:43 PM   #66
Sean Dempsey
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Originally Posted by Sean Dempsey View Post
Is there literally not a single picture of an 11" MBA running 2 thunderbolts? I can't find 1 picture, 1 video, or even a firsthand account of it being possible.

And, that link to the anandtech thread where supposedly you see it - that's 2 thunderbolts running off a 13" RMBP. I would hate to spend the $1000 just to have to return it to the store. I can't be the only person who wants 2 TB's off a MBA 11".
no one? It's probably not possible if literally no one on the internet has talked about it.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 05:12 AM   #67
stevieg83
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it's possible.

I bought myself a TD whilst I was in New Zealand for 3 months and ended up bringing it back to Scotland.

Before I ran my iMac as the external display for my Air but I've literally just plugged the Air into my TD and then chained the TD to the iMac with a TB cable and then put the iMac into Target Mode. Works like a charm as you can see here

Whether my desk takes the weight is another question

Hope this helps.

Last edited by stevieg83; Feb 5, 2013 at 05:19 AM.
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