Are there any Thunderbolt external GPUs on the horizon?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by klover, May 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2009
  2. macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    MSI and Village Instruments have units in development that will take a standard PCIe graphics card. Last I heard neither are anywhere near launch yet.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    East Maitland, NSW, AU
    I believe I saw something about MSI working on one, should be out in the next quarter or so, but not sure.

    Any reason in particular you would want to immobilise your Air with a bulky box hanging off it?
  4. macrumors 604

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    And the big issue would be trying to find a driver for osx.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    East Maitland, NSW, AU
    Not really, a lot of NVIDIA and ATI cards, for example, work with MacPro machines by default. These cards would work easily in a thunderbolt GPU case, which I believe is essentially what MSI are working on, not so much a GPU, but a Thunderbolt to PCI-E converter with a box around it...
  6. macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The only ones I've seen are EXTREMELY not at all worth it. Why spend $1200 on a PCI-e external enclosure then $400 on a graphics card when you could just buy a desktop PC.
  7. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    There are a lot of problems with something like this. Assuming you're buying the card an enclosure separately, one isn't tuned specifically for the other. It's likely to be noisy with enough heat dissipation to keep a reasonably powerful card cool. Many of the ones I've seen are limited on what cards they will accept. On a macbook air you're also running with one of the lighter thunderbolt chips, so overall bandwidth may be a bit lower.

    The ideal situation for something like this would be a breakout box version of a graphics card so that cooling and power requirements can be tested with controlled hardware.
  8. macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2012
    MSI says they're waiting for release of Ultrabooks and more Thunderbolt-equipped PC. Waiting sucks, and GTX 670 is da perfect graphics for this! :apple:
  9. macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    How much is this GUS II baby likely to cost?

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