Anyone building/built a thunderbolt GPU for their mini yet?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Oujmik, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Oujmik macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2012
    I'm intrugued by the idea of getting an external GPU connected via thunderbolt. It would really turn the i7 mini into a powerhouse if it worked well. I found a few dicussions on this, but nothing very current. As lots of you guys are working on getting the most from your new minis, surely one of your must at least be tempted to try an external GPU?

    From what I can see, the thunderbolt to PCI connectors are avilable, if rather expensive although there seems to be an issue withthe card not being able to run at 16x, but I couldn't understand if that was a limitation of thunderbolt or on the connector.

    Sorry if this is a stupid thing to ask, I just heard it mentioned a lot when the 2012 mini specs were announced, but haven't seen any evidence of people actually doing it just yet. I'd be keen to give it a try if I could do it for a modest amount of cash and be confident of some benefit.
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Personally, I would worry more about whether or not anyone could find a driver for a thunderbolt GPU.
  3. philipma1957, Nov 28, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    the case above is very expensive

    this case does not do the job

    reading the link for the hi end case suggests that a graphics card does not work see below

    they claim to be working on graphics cards . but this is a 900 dollar box plus 800 for a quad mini I am at 1700. no screen and no gpu. sounds like iMac would be better.
  4. Oujmik thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2012
    Seems to confirm what I have found elsewhere - thunderbolt connectors are insanely expensive and not widely available. Unless there is a radical change it doesn't look like this will ever be a viable option. If the connector was 16x, cost £20 and didn't need additional drivers it would seem worth buying a mid-range GPU and giving it a try. Hundreds of dollars just for an enclsoure that probably won't work does seem like a waste of time and money.

    I didn't know you'd need special drivers, I thought that once the thing was connected the mac would see it just like PCI card (assuming the PCI drivers are installed), but then I know nothing about drivers.

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