Example of an External Dock and GPU Over Thunderbolt Technology

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Sony just announced a new ultra-thin 13.1" notebook that integrates Thunderbolt in a unique way. Sony is offering a "Power Media Dock" which is an expansion module that connects to the laptop via an optical cable.
    The notebook itself only contains an Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU, while the external dock contains an AMD Radeon HD 6650M with 1GB of Video RAM. This allows the computer to gain extra graphics capabilities when connected to the dock. The dock can drive up to 3 additional displays beyond the notebook's own screen. As noted by ThisisMyNext, Sony's solution seems to be proprietary and based around a USB 3.0 connector as previously reported.

    The possibility of such an external GPU has been discussed many times on our forums, and Sonnet previously announced an external PCIe 2.0 expansion chassis that would allow customers to add PCI expansion cards over Thunderbolt. It has been pointed out however that Thunderbolt's available bandwidth is much lower than required by high end video cards, so this will only help in certain scenarios. Still, this shows some possibilities for expansion docking products for the MacBook Air or Mac mini after they get upgraded to Thunderbolt.

    Article Link: Example of an External Dock and GPU Over Thunderbolt Technology
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    res1233

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #2
    Funny... I got tweeted this article before it was up on the webpage... Refreshed it a few times.

    Why the hell are they using a USB connector? Are they trying to cause problems?
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #3
    In related news, hackers around the globe announced they're eagerly awaiting everything Sony will release.
     
  4. arn
    macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #4
    You'd think Sony would have learned its lesson by now with all these proprietary formats and connectors.

    arn
     
  5. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #5
    If Apple were to do the same it would answer the needs of some of us. Would love a MBA that is simple for on the go... and more powerful when at home...
     
  6. LarryC, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    North America
    #6
    This is great. Hopefully, apple will do something similar with the air.

    Are they any worse about that than apple is? I'm not trying to be a smarta$$, I'm really asking. The same has been said about apple.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #7
    so apple's going copy the media dock like mba copied the original vaio and chiclet keys? where are the litigation lawyers ;)

    monkey see, monkey do
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    #8
    Finally an original idea from somebody other then Apple.
     
  9. Googlyhead, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #9
    But the point surely is that the USB bunch specifically told intel that a USB port is not to be used for non-USB protocols. An alternative was found (by Apple, anyway), and now Sony decide; um... To be idiots.

    Anyway; I'd much rather the notebook not be cut down simply b'cos there's an external (but worse) option. Hopefully if external graphics processors are an option, Apple won't cut the dedicated chips out leaving just the intel integrated.
     
  10. macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #10
    Apple's proprietary stuff can be licensed out and perform better than the competition. The same can't be said for Sony. Especially their expensive, slow Memory Sticks.
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    #11
    Roto-Rooter

    i wonder if it comes with the root-kit pre-installed or you have to download it first in order to boot your PC?

    I personally won't buy anything that has a Sony label on it. Ever.

    :mad:
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #12
  13. arn
    macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #13
    I think Apple has learned its lesson for the most part. I mean compared to early Apple? Apple is doing great using relatively standard connectors for most things.

    And you can't even compare it to Sony. Sony who designs a new memory stick format for every device (I'm only exaggerating a little).

    arn
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #14
    If anything, the only use for Thunderbolt in this laptop is going to be for the dock, as I predict most manufacturers are going to stick with the official spec (and ports) for their products.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    res1233

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #15
    Apple used to be like that up the wazoo, in fact it was one of the things steve criticized when he was brought back into Apple from NeXT. They're far less like that now than they used to be, and as an above poster has stated, generally all their proprietary connectors are open for license to anyone who wants it. This retarded move by Sony could result in port fragmentation and cause two lines of TB devices to form: One for USB/TB and one for Mini DisplayPort/TB.

    EDIT: Also, because all the devices being brought to market are Mini DisplayPort/TB devices, it's highly likely this will be DOA.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    gmcalpin

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #16
    Since it doesn't look like they're marketing this as "Thunderbolt," it shouldn't cause too many problems. It's still kind of stupid, but there shouldn't be any confusion.
     
  17. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Cuidad de México
    #17
    The limited PCIe lanes are not terribly detrimental. Tom's Hardware and TechPowerUp love to run bandwidth crippled flagship video card every time a new one rolls out. A 6650M is insignificant compared to those monsters.


    They probably only wanted the features the controller provides and nothing else.
     
  18. LarryC, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    North America
    #18
    I did not know that. Thank you. It does kind of make you wonder if Apple is planning on doing the same thing with the Air? I did look at the specs of this new machine. They have a higher resolution than Apple's 13" Air, maybe Apple will increase that on their updated MBA. That had never occurred to me before... if you purchase a MacBook Air you could tell people that you have an MBA :D Just kidding.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LarryC
    Are they any worse about that than apple is? I'm not trying to be a smarta$$, I'm really asking. The same has been said about apple.
    I think Apple has learned its lesson for the most part. I mean compared to early Apple? Apple is doing great using relatively standard connectors for most things.

    And you can't even compare it to Sony. Sony who designs a new memory stick format for every device (I'm only exaggerating a little).

    arn

    I was not aware that Sony did that. I have never owned one. Thanks for the information. That is good to know.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    adcx64

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Cudi Zone
    #19
    Some things will never change!
    Though, I am eager to see if Apple will make a Thunderbolt dock.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    ouimetnick

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    #20
    Apple would never do something like that though. We would get "confused"


    OR

    They wouldn't be able to sell you on an upgrade if they offered better specs with a dock thing.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    deannnnn

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    New York City & South Florida
    #21
    This is a pretty cool idea.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #22
    I'm really curious what Apple has planned for the next version of the Cinema Display.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #23
    I'm also curious what Apple has planned for Thunderbolt. The MBA revision will clear up their strategy. The cost and space of a Thunderbolt connector on the already cramped MBA logic board will be a test of Apple's commitment to the technology.

    The popular view is that Apple plans to incorporate Thunderbolt into all future products. If this is the case, I'm sure they have some specific peripherals that they plan on bringing to market. If this is true, it definitely will be included in the new MBA.

    Alternatively Apple might see Thunderbolt as a differentiating feature found only on high-end Macs, such as the MB, MBP, and iMac.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    #24
    So maybe people switching to Premier Pro might be able to use NVIDIA cards to take advantage of Premiere Pro’s Mercury Engine? Or does that involve too much bandwidth?
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #25
    Nice! I knew someone would show something like this very soon.

    I don't think there will be any problems with having TB (Apple) and USB/LP (the rest). On another note, doesn't docks generally use manufacturer specific ports?
     

Share This Page