Using Macbook Pro 2011 and Vidock

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RedRed99, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. RedRed99 macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2011

    I'm a noob when it comes to this so excuse my lack of knowledge, but i'm looking to increase my Macbook Pro's (see specs below) graphical capability with the addition of of a Vidock and a higher end graphics card (the geforce gtx 560 for instance), under Windows 7 in bootcamp, as the 256mb Raedon 6940m my Macbook currently boasts has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment with games such as Battlefield 3 when running at anything higher than low settings- I overclocked it using rivatuner and although it gave me a very good increase in performance, it's still relatively poor.

    I know that current Vidocks connect via an ExpressCard port but my machine doesn't have one. It seems my options would be either to wait until a Vidock is released that can connect directly via thunderbolt port (i believe VillageTronic are in the process of manufacturing one), or to buy a vidock and then a separate ExpressCard to Thunderbolt adaptor ( ), and then of course the thunderbolt cable from Apple. Then this would all be plugged into an external display.

    However, i'm not certain if this would work. Firstly, i'm unsure of the compatibility of this setup when it comes to using it with a Macbook Pro running windows 7, and secondly, whether or not connecting via thunderbolt, most likely through the Expresscard adaptor, would limit in any significant way the graphics cards overall performance.

    In short, i want to know if it would actually work, as right now it seems like the only option short of building a gaming pc or buying an xbox.

    If anyone far more knowledgeable than myself can enlighten me on this, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any responses.


    Early 2011 15.4" Macbook Pro 8,2
    2.0 GHZ intel i7
    4GB ram
    Ati Raedon 6490m with 256mb V/ram
    intel hd3000 onboard graphics
    osx Lion and Windows 7 ultimate x64
  2. smali macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2010
    All these docking solutions for gaming are a joke atm esp with no TB support yet.

    Here's why:

    Vidock+Sonnet Expresscard Adpator+TB Cable+Nvidia 560 = $658


    i5 2500k+4GB RAM+1TB HD+Nvidia 560+Asus motherboard,PSU etc = $780

    So for just over $100 extra you can get a decent gaming pc that will play BF3 at a mix of high/ultra settings with 40fps.

    Also you have the obvious benefit of having another machine if the other goes in for repair.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    This. Gaming on a laptop is a bad idea in the first place.
  4. RedRed99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2011
    Fair enough, and i have considered this, but i'm really looking to know if my proposed setup would work or not, as i can't find any examples of people doing the same thing with my generation macbook pro. Is there any reason it shouldn't? Thanks for response though.
  5. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I was hoping Thunderbolt would bring forth a new generation of ViDocks... I was hoping to buy an AMD 6870 or maybe an AMD 7870, depending on how long the dock takes to come out... And maybe none of you have tried using two computers together... It is hell.
  6. RedRed99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2011
    Would there be a difference between the Expresscard-Thunderbolt adapter and and a straight Thunderbolt Vidock, if one were to be made ? Would the adapter limit performance?
  7. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    sincerely I would simply wait
  8. smali macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2010
    I agree I do like to have one computer as a go-to machine for everything. Hence why I went for the high-end MBP which runs all the games very well (well enough for me).

    I was just suggesting that the OP could spend his money more wisely on a dedicated gaming pc than the current ViDock Solution.

    I think the whole external graphics unit is too much of a niche market for it to ever get real cheap and I mean no more than $50 max for what is essentially a small box with a PCIe slot.

    As in waiting for TB, you'll be waiting a long time and spending a lot of money to boot. Even big players like Lacie, G-Drive etc were supposed to have bought out consumer TB drives by now all I see is a raid drive costing almost half of what my MBP is worth.
  9. EpicBlob macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2012
    I know this topic has not been discussed for a while, but I have successfully paired my 2011 macbook pro 13inch using the Sonnet TB adapter and Vidock 4+. In Windows 7 (havnt found out how to get os x to work) I achieved a 3Dmark06 score of 14639 with a gtx 560 1gb (my score was mostly bottlenecked because of my dual core 2.3ghz i5 CPU).
  10. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    I'd like to know more.

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