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  1. #1
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    Default Alienware external graphics amplifier, thunderbolt solution?

    Hi

    Some may already noticed this very interesting eGPU solution from Alienware itself
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5fX...I&spfreload=10

    I think this is where all have been waiting for (full slot gpu solutions in one small box, 350W PSU included),
    BUT there is one enormous drawback, it uses a selfmade connector that only fits on the Alienware13.
    This probably done to overcome bandwidth limitations with thunderbolt.
    Anyway it's already sure this won't take off with this custom connector.

    Now my question to the more techsavy people, is there a way to make/buy some connector form that custom interface to thunderbolt?
    I know it would have limits for the GPU, but hey, I would still prefer a 70% GTX970 over any 100% performing mobile graphics cards solution in a sub 20mm notebook.
    I currently use a macbook retina 15 with a GT650M and 16GB ram if that would be of any help


    EDIT: some sort of same solution from MSI, who already wanted to release a eGPU thunderbolt solution with their GUS II (but was never released)
    http://www.kitguru.net/components/gr...gdock-preview/
    but also uses a custom connector DOCK (not even with a cable, which makes using the external graphics card while gaming on your laptop is rather impossible. Which means you will have to game on an external monitor.

    I think there is a enormous market who just want to be able to play all games with decent settings, but don't care about ultra settings @4K/60FPS
    I would be happy enough if they just release a thunderbolt solution, even with an upcoming GTX960 that will run on my native 2880x1800 res @ 30-40FPS with medium graphic settings. Definitely if you just have to upgrade your graphics card 3or4 years later and keep your laptop, because if we are honest, games will still run on a quadcore mobile cpu in 3 or 4 years, it will always be the GPU who is the bottleneck
    Last edited by Devenox; 2nd January 2015 at 01:25 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Alienware external graphics amplifier, thunderbolt solution?

    Yes, it is possible to do. Look up "eGPU" on this forum. You'll find lots of posts, guides, etc on what people have done in the past to do it.

    Please note that you're looking at a pretty expensive solution... it will cost a few hundred bucks for the eGPU enclosure by itself, plus the cost of the GPU.
    You're also looking at a solution that will primarily rely on hacked / unsupported drivers, which may cause incompatibility issues down the road.
    You're also looking at a solution that can only drive an external display. You won't be able to use the eGPU to drive your laptop's built-in display.

    It's really a project to do if you're looking to tinker, and not something that has any practical use. If you want practical, you're much better off building an inexpensive gaming PC around a decent video card, rather than trying to use some kind of eGPU enclosure solution around that same decent video card.

    For what it's worth, Alienware's solution does have merit. Their eGPU comes with support, and can feed the video signal back to the laptop's internal display.
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    Default Re: Alienware external graphics amplifier, thunderbolt solution?

    I know it has been done in the past, but not with ONE fairly small 299$ box that includes everything already without a billion cables lying on your desk.
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    Default Re: Alienware external graphics amplifier, thunderbolt solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devenox View Post
    I know it has been done in the past, but not with ONE fairly small 299$ box that includes everything already without a billion cables lying on your desk.
    That's pretty much the pitfall on this. You're not going to find a single off-the-shelf solution today that you can just buy and have it work.

    Because it would take a lot of research, a lot of effort, and a pretty heavy investment to support a new concept that may or may not work. You basically need to develop a new standard to do everything you need it to do. And if you spend all that money to do that, you're not going to just give away all of that work for free. You're going to make it proprietary, so that you can recoup the money you put into that project. That's exactly what Alienware did.

    The other option today is to do all of the research yourself (which other forum users have generously shared with this community), support it yourself, and deal with the drawbacks yourself.

    It's a crappy situation, but it is what it is today.
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    Default Re: Alienware external graphics amplifier, thunderbolt solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by kent1146 View Post
    That's pretty much the pitfall on this. You're not going to find a single off-the-shelf solution today that you can just buy and have it work.

    Because it would take a lot of research, a lot of effort, and a pretty heavy investment to support a new concept that may or may not work. You basically need to develop a new standard to do everything you need it to do. And if you spend all that money to do that, you're not going to just give away all of that work for free. You're going to make it proprietary, so that you can recoup the money you put into that project. That's exactly what Alienware did.

    The other option today is to do all of the research yourself (which other forum users have generously shared with this community), support it yourself, and deal with the drawbacks yourself.

    It's a crappy situation, but it is what it is today.
    Too bad..
    if I were Alienware i would have made it thunderbolt, I mean you get a market that is 20 times as big, why wouldn't they do it..
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    Default Re: Alienware external graphics amplifier, thunderbolt solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devenox View Post
    Too bad..
    if I were Alienware i would have made it thunderbolt, I mean you get a market that is 20 times as big, why wouldn't they do it..
    Maybe they are trying to capture the market by providing an Alienware only connection to the eGPU. Since the market is moving toward BGA, I feel the only way to keep our gaming laptop as top of the line is to change the GPU for atleast 2-3 years.There will always be backlash and problem, but change always attracted this thing.

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    Default Re: Alienware external graphics amplifier, thunderbolt solution?

    Thunderbolt = royalties. No reason to do it, even if it performs better.
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    Default Re: Alienware external graphics amplifier, thunderbolt solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devenox View Post
    Hi

    Some may already noticed this very interesting eGPU solution from Alienware itself
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5fX...I&spfreload=10

    I think this is where all have been waiting for (full slot gpu solutions in one small box, 350W PSU included),
    BUT there is one enormous drawback, it uses a selfmade connector that only fits on the Alienware13.
    This probably done to overcome bandwidth limitations with thunderbolt.
    Anyway it's already sure this won't take off with this custom connector.

    Now my question to the more techsavy people, is there a way to make/buy some connector form that custom interface to thunderbolt?
    I know it would have limits for the GPU, but hey, I would still prefer a 70% GTX970 over any 100% performing mobile graphics cards solution in a sub 20mm notebook.
    I currently use a macbook retina 15 with a GT650M and 16GB ram if that would be of any help


    EDIT: some sort of same solution from MSI, who already wanted to release a eGPU thunderbolt solution with their GUS II (but was never released)
    MSI GS30 Shadow and GamingDock Preview | KitGuru
    but also uses a custom connector DOCK (not even with a cable, which makes using the external graphics card while gaming on your laptop is rather impossible. Which means you will have to game on an external monitor.

    I think there is a enormous market who just want to be able to play all games with decent settings, but don't care about ultra settings @4K/60FPS
    I would be happy enough if they just release a thunderbolt solution, even with an upcoming GTX960 that will run on my native 2880x1800 res @ 30-40FPS with medium graphic settings. Definitely if you just have to upgrade your graphics card 3or4 years later and keep your laptop, because if we are honest, games will still run on a quadcore mobile cpu in 3 or 4 years, it will always be the GPU who is the bottleneck
    Works on AW13, 15, 17
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