External PCI-E video card for MBP.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2007
Alright; I alright have an eVGA 8800 ULTRA, and my parents want to use my computer somewhere else in the house when I get my MBP + ACD. Anyways, I've found this product,


that lets me use my 8800 ULTRA with a laptop (I know it wouldn't work when I'm using OS X, I would use it when I Bootcamp Vista).

Anyways; I was wondering if I could just buy the


Spare Magma ExpressCard/34 card with for ExpressBox1



Spare 3 meter x1 PCI Express cable

and then buy a power supply which would just be used to power the video card.

Would that work? It would be much cheaper then buying that box that they have. The box that they offer can't even fit my video card, because it's not double wide, and it can't even power my video card, LOL @ 50W.

If anybody could call them and ask them if they don't know, then that would be cool, because I don't have access to the phone ATM.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2004
In the near future, "Double-wide" graphics cards or cards that require auxiliary power will be compatible with Magma ExpressBox1 Wide. Join our Interest List!

FOR WINDOWS VISTA: It is best to use a laptop with ATI graphics technology paired with an external ATI graphics card. For Quad Video, we recommend Nvidia NVS440 with Sony Viao SZ Series.

FOR MACOS X: You must use the Nvidia 7300GT graphcis card (Apple part number 661-3932, available at www.mac-pro.com. The ATI Radeon x1900XT and Nvidia Quadro FX 4500 are "double-wide" cards and will not physically fit into Magma ExpressBox1.

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
First, the extension cable is to go solely from the ExpressCard to the box, the cable itself does *NOT* have a standard PCI Express connection. You need the box.

Yes, they will make an x16 box, to allow for video cards, and Asus has such a box that is double-width to allow for wide video cards.

But... Are you really willing to spend $800 on a way to hook up a video card to your MacBook Pro? That only provides x1 bandwidth? (Even the box that has an x16 port can only go as fast as the x1 connection in the MacBook Pro's ExpressCard slot.) Just spend $800 on an el-cheapo PC with its own PCI Express x16 slot! If you have even a few old parts lying around, you could build a faster machine than the MacBook Pro for $800.


macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
I whole heartedly agree with ehurtley. Since you already have the 8800 Ultra just build a tower. Even if they make a box that accepts the x16 card I am sure that there would probably be all sorts of technical problems that would occur by using a x16 card in a x1 express card slot.

From Newegg.com

Intel Core 2 Duo e6550 $179
250GB HD $60
EVGA 122-CK-NF63-TR Motherboard (nVidia 680i SLI northbridge) $160
Rosewill Tower Case with 400w powersupply $55
A-DATA 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM (2x1GB) $82
Good Keyboard and Mouse $50
19in Widescreen LCD Acer AL1917WAbd $160

$746 For everything. This solution would be a little less than that express box and provide far superior gaming performance.


macrumors newbie
Apr 25, 2007
Using one of the external video card boxes to expresscard could possibly be made to work, but you have to run at x1 speed through expresscard, which would bottleneck the 8800ultra like crazy. Here's some more info on pci-e bandwidth comparisions.

In response to the suggested above windows box, good luck running a c2d system with a 8800ultra on a rosewill 400w. :eek:


macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004

You are correct about that power supply.

I did just check and the 8800 uses a lot more power than the ATI X1900. So instead of the above Rosewill case you could get a cheapo $25 case and spend $57 on a Rosewill 550W power supply which supplies 36A on the 12V lines. Bringing you to $773 for everything.


macrumors 68000
Sep 22, 2006
Making your own cheap pc would definitely be the best way to go since you already have the card. Get a retail 1.83ghz C2D (e4300 I think) and overclock that bastard to 3ghz (can be done on stock with no effort at all, dont waste money on expensive C2D's, the e4300 is an amazing overclocker and will last years for gaming), a $100 motherboard (make sure it overclocks well, I was able to overclock my e4300 to over 3ghz on a Gigabyte 965P-S3 which is a cheap gaming board without SLI), cheapest case you can find, and a ~500w psu, recycle the ram you have in your old machine since you probably have a lot and just buy another 1gb(vista) or 512mb(xp) and replace it in the old one.