PCI external GPU solution in the future?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Radio Monk33, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Radio Monk33 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2007
    #1
    Hey guys, I was reading up on some upcoming tech. ATI's coming out with external GPU units that connect through PCI for notebooks to get serious graphics cards. http://ati.amd.com/technology/xgp/index.html

    I'd love to through this onto my MBP..
     
  2. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #2
    For all the others wondering, he meant PCI EXPRESS since PCI wouldn't help a notebook user one bit.

    I also don't see the point of this. The MBP already has some pretty good graphics boards in them. If you want to go nutz, you are probably better off with a desktop. World of Warcraft ran fine on mine, so I honestly can't see the need for one of those $10,000 graphics cards that people who love PC games need.

    I will also point out that they have a link to something about Windows Vista on that site, but nothing about Mac OS. I had a TV tuner for my PC that I almost used but then couldn't once I switched to a Mac. Apparently it was too difficult for them to write a darn driver. Arrgh.

    You've got my 2 cents now! :)
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #3
    The other thing against this is that it's an ATI proprietary technology/connector that will need to be on the logic board. ATI are owned by AMD. Apple use Intel chipsets and CPUs. Do we really think Intel chipsets will support a proprietary AMD technology? Me neither.
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #4
    It says it used a PCI Express 2.0 connection in partnership with JAE Electronics. I don't think JAE is owned by AMD.
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #5
    I agree, but only ATI are pushing this. At this stage I'd view it as proprietary. The other thing to remember is that Apple are not exactly famed for putting lots of connectors on their laptops. I can't see them adding this very niche connector.
     
  6. Radio Monk33 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    1) WoW has such low graphics requirements that I would not consider it at all for measuring gaming performance. It's more like what can't play WoW?
    2) Yeah it's developed for PC software, but anyone who actually cares about gaming will be using bootcamp.
    3) AMD/ATi would be stupid to limit the possible consumer base to their minority market share. They need to sell enough of these to recoup their own development costs.

    Maybe I'm dreaming, but if I could throw in a 500 gb HD, 4 gigs of ram and at least 1 8800GT onto my MBP rig I'd be happy for at least 3-4 years..
     
  7. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #7
    Well, you're not going to get this on a current MBP. It seems like something that has to be built in from the start.
     
  8. Jurwin macrumors regular

    Jurwin

    #8
  9. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #9
    You're quite right about WoW when it comes to anything can run it. I had it going on a G4 Mac Mini. What I should've said was it runs very well at very high graphics settings on my MBP.

    You also brought up the bootcamp thing that I didn't think about. Haven't used it myself, but very good point.

    As far as AMD/ATI being stupid to limit market share, yep. They (among others) have been stupid in the past. ATI alienated my by not MAKING A STUPID DRIVER FOR A TV TUNER. I don't get why so many people still make Windows-only stuff for extremely popular stuff like that. Nobody that I know of makes a webcam that works for Mac either. My dad has a pre-iSight G5 iMac that I have thought about finding a cam for, but I haven't a clue where to get one.

    I also still don't get the deal with all the extremely high-end graphic cards. I mean I know games are popular, but do that many of them need cards that cost many hundreds of dollars to play games. I honestly don't understand it (I played Half Life and a few other games back in the day) and I never saw the need for the budget-busting graphic cards.
     
  10. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #10
    What this enables is the possibility that higher powered GPU's can be used with laptops while also saving the laptop from heat issues. The fact you can just disconnect it to should save on battery power when not in use.

    The current MBP graphics processors are nothing compared to the performance of higher end GPU's really...
     
  11. Radio Monk33 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Er, we must have a crossed wire or something. The ram and HD is doable with the current MBP's and the whole point of this thread is to speculate on the possibility of adding an external graphics card (such as an 8800) via AMD/ATi's setup or Asus. I.e. not needing to have it built in from the start. But perhaps it's just wishful thinking.
     
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #12
    The infrastructure to support these external GPUs must be built into the laptop in the factory: this is not retro-fit-able to current machines. Which port on your MBP did you think it would connect to?
     
  13. Radio Monk33 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2007
    #13
    Doesn't it plug into that Express34 slot? Or is it a different PCI express thing? Not too familiar with that tech myself. It'd be a shame if it wasn't backwards compatible for current machines.
     
  14. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #14
    ExpressCard provides a single PCIe lane. Graphics cards plug into 16-lane slots. It could be work, but it'd only have 1/16 of the bandwidth to the rest of the machine and that would definitely show. My understanding was that this was a brand new connecter wired to a full compliment of 16 PCIe lanes.
     
  15. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #16
  16. Radio Monk33 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Aww thats disappointing.

    Oh well, like everything in tech we can hope for the best in the near future.
     
  17. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #18
    With the correct drivers that might work but even they not "Verdict: the XG Station is ready to game as long as you don't expect it to perform like a dedicated gaming rig." I'd not be surprised if dedicated internal mobile GPUs are faster due to the connection issue: that XG Station thing is on a single PCIe lane so will be bandwidth constrained.
     

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