Lucid Thunderbolt External Graphics Card Prototype

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by fireworksdesign, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. fireworksdesign, Sep 13, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012

    fireworksdesign macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2011
  2. Wokis macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    First time I've seen them sending the picture back through thunderbolt to the "native" screen (in theory) in such solutions. I believe MSI showed an TB-GPU in the beginning of the year but you'd have to have an external screen as well..

    Problem is Lucidlogix (I assume with "lucid" he's referring to them?) always come with these fantastic ideas, but then the implementations and the software they make are filled with so much bugs and issues that the final product becomes near-useless.
  3. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    Looks like more trouble than it's worth, honestly.
  4. MacLappy, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

    MacLappy macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2011
    Tomshardware just did a review on the Sonnet Echo Express Pro, found it an interesting read. Also am wondering what would be the best graphic card that I could possibly pair with the cheaper Sonnet Echo Express. Noting that the length cannot exceed 7.75" and it needs to have a maximum draw of only 100 watts.,3263.html

    P.S. All the games that I play, runs really well on the MacBook Air, only considering this for extra eye-candy when pushing the image to an external monitor.
  5. MacLappy macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2011
    Have been really looking into this and am really thinking of pairing the Sonnet Echo Express SE with AMD HD 7750 in windows 7. Running this on the Macbook Air 11"/i7/8Gb/128Gb.

    Reasons for going this route is as follow.

    1. I really would like to run World of Warcraft with more options turned up on my dell 30" 3008 WFP. The intel HD 4000 runs at 1080p pretty well on basic raiders settings but it would be nice if I am able to run 2560x1600 with more eye candy turned on, hopefully with this configuration I can at least do "good settings" @ constant 30 fps.

    2. Electricity is really expensive in the country I reside. My current electrical bills ranges from 250 to 300 USD. This is considerably low. I don't want to build a gaming rig simply because it takes so much electricity to run a top end machine. The last time I had one I was paying close to 550 USD a month, that was 8 years back and electricity prices have gone up since then.

    3. Cost. The Sonnet Echo SE is perhaps the cheapest, neat solution at the moment for an external thunderbolt graphics card. Total cost with an ATI HD 7750 low profile graphic card would be around USD 500. Not only is it cheaper than building a dedicated mid tier gaming rig but also it would probably cost a whole lot less electricity to run.

    Here are some concerns I have which hopefully the collective brain trust of MacRumors would be able to help me deal with.

    Question 1. The Sonnet Echo Express SE is x8 PCIe 2.0. compared to both the higher end configurations which run at x16 PCIe 2.0. Will this noticeably affect performance considering that the total throughput of thunderbolt is closer to x4 PCIe.

    Question 2. The AMD HD 7750 low profile card has a peak power consumption of about 42 watts, The Sonnet Echo Express SE has an external power supply of about 60 watts. Does this means that 18 watts will be wasted. Is there anyway I could "save" that power.

    Question 3. Seeing that this is an external power supply, would I be able to switch to a more power one in future should the need arise.

    I do hope to get near about the same graphical performance as the Retina display macbook pro. After all the AMD Radeon HD 7750 low profile is a discrete desktop card compared to the nvidia 650m mobile card in the macbook pro.

    p.s. I am a complete hardware nub so any help will be appreciated, thanks in advance.

    Link to the Sonnet Echo Express SE

    Link to HD 7750 low profile
  6. KimHansenDK macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2011
    Will you be able to connect it to the macbook air and still run a thunderbolt display as well?
  7. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    Yeah, that's kind of true... Last time I heard of Hydra (another one of their products) was a while ago...
  8. locoboi187 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2012
    From the looks of it, they might have gotten their act together. I personally am very interested in this. I hope it comes out.
  9. ssn637 macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2009
    The Sonnet Echo Express SE is available here in Europe as well, and I'd be interested in dropping in the ATI 7750 card along with a MacBook Air 13" for desktop gaming. Looks like the integrated graphics included with Haswell will only offer a 30% increase in ULV chips next year, so an external thunderbolt interface sounds pretty exciting.

    Has anyone actually tried this with a MacBook Air? I'd hate to dish out that amount of cash unless I were sure it would work! Even a mere doubling of the HD 4000 output would be significant for gaming in Windows.
  10. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    Anyone hear anything new regarding this lately?
  11. npdale macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2007

    U was under the impression that the Sonnet system couldn't be used with external GPU's - I am looking for an enclosure i could put an nVidia card into to use with Premiere etc on my 17" MBP but so far I cannot find anything and dont think an external GPU solution will ever appear.... hope I'm wrong..
  12. Mackan macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2007
    The laptop industry probably have no interest in seeing or providing good eGPU solutions. It would just mean that people can keep their laptops longer, and that they don't sell laptops with higher end graphics cards inside.

    It's just today's rotten world.

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