MBP External Graphic Card?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iHazbadmac, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. iHazbadmac macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2011
    Are there any external graphics card for mbp that work and increase the speed and stuff? :confused:
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Not yet but they will come. Just watch pages like fudzilla.com and you will here the first rumors and news. Once such a thing is available you can be sure it will be worth a news at Macrumors and many other such websites.
    Have some patience and stick to your thread there is all the rumors and currently available knowledge in there already. No need to start a new thread.
  3. Wafflausages macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
  4. Freddy1765 macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2011
    Think I read about a Thunderbolt enclosure which could contain a graphics card a while ago, don't recall the specifics but you could try googling it.
  5. thundersteele, Nov 23, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011

    thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    At this point, only the apple thunderbolt display and a number of external HDs are available for thunderbolt.

    some stuff has been announced, but is not available yet. In particular this three slot PCI express expansion box: http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt.asp

    Estimated availability is december 2011... we'll see. It's super expensive of course. But you could add two graphic cards in SLI mode to your MBP :D
  6. Hyper-X, Nov 23, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011

    Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    I'm going to take a guess and say no. The Windows PC market has a few Express-Card units that do basic stuff but aren't readily available. Most online retailers don't stock them since it doesn't sell.

    For Apple, I'd be suspicious about how reliably it would perform, they can't seem to get their IGP/GPU equipped MBP's to work properly, so I have my doubts that it can properly manage one that's connected to the TBolt port without major problems.
  7. seanman236 macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2009
    Washington DC
    I don't mean to be blunt but what are you talking about? What problems did you mean?
  8. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    From the time they started to use dual IGP/GPU setups, I've seen freezing, black screen, unable to switch from one to the other, causing sleep issues, full blown kernelpanics on stock, unmodified MBP's. I've went through a few where the GPU was dead on a unit pulled out of first time unboxing.

    Buying a MBP with those dual IGP/GPU is like gambling, you might get lucky with one that works just fine out of the box, but from my experience with my own machines and client computers, I simply avoid those MBP's if I can help it.
  9. seanman236 macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2009
    Washington DC
    I don't know your experience both personally or with clients, but I would have to say on the whole you are mistaken. If the standard were that these dual graphic boards were failing as frequently as you suggest, there would be some form of recall, I would suspect.

    That said, I have owned two macbook pros and never had a graphics related issue.

    I am confused, you cited black screens and kernel panics, but those issues are not solely due to IGP or GPUs. Do you have any sort of data to back up your claim, or is it just personal experience? I only ask because from my personal experience, I have yet to meet an individual who has had a GPU related hardware failure. Does that mean they don't exist? No. It means my sample exposure is the complete other side of the spectrum.

    If you have any data on the dual graphics boards stating that their chance of failure is as high as you suggest, I would genuinely be interested in reading it.
  10. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    ViDock has already announced that a thunderbolt dock is in the works. They've previously made devices that allowed external GPU support and they claim to have OSX compatibility but I have no experience of my own. It is looking like the most promising option for now.

    OSX seems to activate to the discrete GPU even for menial tasks. That's the complaint most people have. There are also many issues with switching graphics with certain apps although that is mainly an incompatibility with 3rd party apps so I don't think its Apple's fault.
  11. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    I've posted many threads on Apple's discussion forums trying to find a solution to the issues. In the end I took the units to the nearest Apple store to have them work on them since they were merely months old. 1 unit had to be swapped, the others were refunded for different models.

    You could simply do a search of GPU related issues plaguing MBP owners here on these forums, however your assumption is that I'm referring to hardware and I don't believe any of the issues are hardware related, but that's not that important since both hardware and software must work properly.

    MBP's IGP/GPU switching issues: Seriously, is Apple so incapable of making something like this work like how Windows is able to? Why does a user have to switch it manually by using a 3rd party application?

    MBP's IGP/GPU Kernelpanic issues on early 2011 models:

    Not sure how much you know about the history of video cards but Matrox came out with their first attempt at a "gaming" card called the G400 Max, put together with hardware superior to GeForce cards of its time, however Matrox never got the driver software right so the result was a sucky product.

    Again, it doesn't matter if Apple installed the best GPU on the planet into a MBP, until they're able to get the software portion tuned right at least on the level of Windows computers where its switching between IGP and GPU doesn't rely on the application's API (which is a terrible way to implement things), I have little hope that Apple would be able to make an external GPU product work since they control all the software being used by OS X.
  12. smali macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2010
    You can have an external graphics card for your current mbp if you're willing to spend $650 (including a midrange card).

    For $100 more you can get a highly capable gaming pc.

    External graphics for laptops are just pointless, get the right machine for the job in the first place.
  13. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Finally some sense. An external graphics card via Thunderbolt is going to be expensive. And who's going to provide drivers for it? And the external graphic card isn't going to help the built in display on a laptop - it would drive an external display.

    I don't know if it's cost or following Apple's rules to make the Thunderbolt boxes work. So far only Apple has produced anything beyond a HDD for Thunderbolt, and that's the $1K display with ports.

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