Likelyhood of thunderbolt external GPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by boonlar, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. boonlar macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Any chance apple will make a thunderbolt enclosure for desktop PCI-E video cards?

    That way you can plug in a GTX590 at home and play BF3 on your MBA.
     
  2. jsolares macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Apple itself nearly nil i'd guess, i believe the vidock guys are working on such a solution tho.
     
  3. boonlar thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I don't see why they wouldn't want to make one. It would sell to those who want a powerful GPU but stay away from MBA/MBP because of the crappy laptop GPUs.
     
  4. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    They REALLY should build one into their cinema display. That would be brilliant! I would definitely buy one!
     
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #5
    I don't think Apple sees it that way. I could be wrong, but I think they'd rather you get a MBP or a desktop if you want more powerful graphics. Apple is not exactly known for its wealth of 3rd party support options.... :cool:
     
  6. boonlar thread starter macrumors 6502

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    That would be a terrible idea. They would have to use a mobile GPU which defeats the purpose. I want a nice fat box with good cooling to stick a dual slot desktop GPU in. If we had this we would have no need for desktops anymore.
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    Apple isn't about choice. ;)

    They want you to buy a 15" or 17" MBP, an iMac, or even better still, one of their outdated Mac Pros. They're not going to sell you an accessory that will serve your needs at a cheaper price.
     
  8. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    Apple wouldn't make something like that. It would be elegant if built into the monitor. Something external seems very PC-like.
     
  9. boonlar thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Sony went the "elegant" route and everyone hates their external GPU because it's just a laptop GPU. If you are going to make an external GPU at least make it something good. Not to mention desktop GPUs are like 5x cheaper than laptop ones.
     
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #10
    That isn't the kind of thing Apple would make. If it were, they'd have put it into the Thunderbolt dock. Whether someone makes one, though, is a different story. Obviously it can be done, since Sony has done it with the new Vaio Z. Unfortunately, Sony used a USB port for Thunderbolt, rather than mini DisplayPort. With as many MacBook Airs that are out there, however, it could be financially feasible for someone to try.
     
  11. unixperience macrumors regular

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    #11
    I heard a few companies are working on this actually. thunderbolt to PCIe adapters. so you can stick in whatever you want. I think the first one is set to launch in january 2012;)
     
  12. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #12
    Will the macbook air's cheaper thunderbolt work with an external GPU?
     
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #13
    There's no reason to think it wouldn't. It just has one channel in each direction instead of two. Mainly that's because the HD 3000 can only support 1 external display, anyway, and Apple needed to save space with the Air's smaller logic board. It should still be quick enough to communicate with an external GPU.
     
  14. jsolares macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    That cheaper thunderbolt port is the same as a single port on any other machine, the benefit of the "beefy" thunderbolt chip is only in the iMac where you have two ports afaik.
     
  15. appleguy123 macrumors 603

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    #15
    You can't daisy chain monitors with the MacBook air version.
     
  16. jsolares macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    From what i read, that's a limit on the HD3000 GPU and not the new thunderbolt chip.
     
  17. appleguy123 macrumors 603

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    #17
    It's both.
     
  18. jsolares macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I think you're misunderstanding what 2 vs 1 display port support really means.

    All thunderbolt ports have two thunderbolt channels and one display port. which is what the new chip provides.

    The only Apple machine that actually uses the bigger chip to the fullest is the iMac with 2 thunderbolt ports so it has 4 thunderbolt channels and both support display port.

    That still has nothing to do with daisy chaining displays.

    Don't be surprised if apple puts an extra thunderbolt port on the 17" or moves all portables to the new chip.
     
  19. sloan47 macrumors member

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    #19
    I think it's inevitable and I'll definitely buy one. It's one of the reasons I got the new 2011 Air. I don't always need a fast GPU for my work, but when I do I'm usually at home in front of my desk. I'd love to be able to do dual monitors from an external GPU on the air. It may be "PC" like, but hey... I like PC's too. ;)
     

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