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Intel unveils Thunderbolt 3.0, mentions eGPUs (Skylake 6th-gen i-core)

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Very exciting news.

Is there any definitive information on whether the TB3 eGPU solution will work on the laptop's internal screen?

The demos in the video only show accelerated applications running on external screens. I'm afraid they might have circumvented the tricky hot-plugging issue by allowing the eGPUs to only output to external monitors. Hope I am wrong!

A thin 15" rMBP with Skylake (which I expect to have iGPU performance on the level of current midrange discrete cards) and a high-end video card docked to it via TB3 for gaming would be absolutely perfect.

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Very exciting news.

Is there any definitive information on whether the TB3 eGPU solution will work on the laptop's internal screen?

The demos in the video only show accelerated applications running on external screens. I'm afraid they might have circumvented the tricky hot-plugging issue by allowing the eGPUs to only output to external monitors. Hope I am wrong!

A thin 15" rMBP with Skylake (which I expect to have iGPU performance on the level of current midrange discrete cards) and a high-end video card docked to it via TB3 for gaming would be absolutely perfect.

The video's mobile GPU chassis would probably route connect the GPU's DP connector to the internal LCD via TB3's DP interface. That would make best use of the 40Gbps available, eg: 32Gbps PCIe + 8Gbps DP.

The desktop GPU example would be using the same Optimus/LucidLogix tech that uses part of the available 32Gbps PCIe bandwidth for internal LCD traffic via the iGPU.

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Also, because Intel might finally enable the likes of MSI and Silverstone to sell their own self-contained eGPU enclosures, the cost of the eGPU might actually decrease.

My only concern about enabling internal screen display on eGPU is whether GPU manufacturers will support it.

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Now I'm really excited for 2016! With all these announcements (Skylake, TB3+eGPU, 512Gb micro SDXC, etc.) would the NUC have a fighting chance at gaming?

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With G-sync also coming to notebooks, should be a good time to upgrade soon

Mobile G sync only works when the gpu is directly connected to the eDP display. If you want to display to the internal lcd with an egpu, you are gonna need an intel igpu as the intermediary. Currently, intel gfx does not support any kind of free-sync/g-sync like protocol.

This could change in TB3, if laptop manufacturers or intel decide to have a dedicated way to route the egpu display to the internal lcd directly, but I don't think that will happen.

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And Apple will not use G-Sync… there is just NO chance ^^

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Yes, there is going to be some confusion. Different machines will have different capabilities but port will look the same. It is likely that a machine will even have some USBC ports that are TB3 and others not. Same with cables and peripherals. Going to have to look for the TB lighting logo.

Going to be lots of peeved folks returning things that "don't work" because they didn't read the small print.

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MSI preps external graphics solutions with Thunderbolt 3 interface | KitGuru shows a pic of a desktop and mobile GPU MSI prototype TB3 enclosure. At least 30 notebooks with USB-C TB3 interfaces to be released:

<a class="title" href="http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/anton-shilov/msi-preps-external-graphics-solutions-with-thunderbolt-3-interface/" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to MSI preps external graphics solutions with Thunderbolt 3 interface">MSI preps external graphics solutions with Thunderbolt 3 interface</a>

<p>The first two generations of Thunderbolt interfaces revolutionized the market of external storage devices and professional equipment. With 40Gb/s of bandwidth, the third iteration of Thunderbolt can be a game changer for external graphics processing solutions designed for notebooks. In fact, MicroStar International is already working on two Thunderbolt 3-based external graphics products.</p>

<p>40Gb/s of bandwidth – or about 5GB/s – provided by Thunderbolt 3 is tremendously lower than 15.75GB/s offered by a fully-fledged PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot, but that could be enough even for today’s high-end graphics cards in numerous games. Alienware, a boutique PC maker, currently sells its <a href="http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/anton-shilov/alienwares-graphics-amplifier-external-gpu-is-here-but-do-we-need-it/" target="_blank">Graphics Amplifier</a> external box with PCIe 3.0 x4 interface for graphics cards designed for its laptops. Despite of bandwidth limitations, reviewers have <A href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/2907954/reviewed-alienwares-amplifier-turbo-boosts-a-laptop-with-titan-x-graphics.html" target="_blank">found</a> that the Graphics Amplifier solution equipped with a modern graphics adapter can enable dramatic boost of performance in video games.</p>

<p>MicroStar International is working on two external graphics processing solutions for mobile and small form-factor personal computers with Thunderbolt 3 interface. The details about the products are scarce, but we do know that one is called “Thunderbolt Card Chassis” and another is described as the “Thunderbolt Graphics Dock”. Both products will feature Intel Corp.’s “Alpine Ridge” controller. While it is logical to expect MSI’s external graphics devices to hit the market before the end of the year, MSI does not reveal any launch dates at present.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.kitguru.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/msi_external_graphics_thunderbolt.jpg" title="MSI preps external graphics solutions with Thunderbolt 3 interface"><img scale="0" class="alignnone wp-image-252732" src="http://www.kitguru.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/msi_external_graphics_thunderbolt.jpg" alt="msi_external_graphics_thunderbolt" width="800"></a></p>

<p>The Thunderbolt card chassis is an external enclosure for desktop-class graphics boards that will likely have its own power supply unit and some other things. It remains to be seen whether MSI will offer such solution as a dwellings for a graphics adapter or as fully integrated external graphics processing device for laptops and SFF desktops.</p>

<p>The Thunderbolt graphics dock is, as the name implies, a docking station with a built-in laptop-class graphics processing unit along with multiple additional I/O ports and other possible extension capabilities (e.g., Gigabit Ethernet). Since such solution uses mobile graphics adapters, it will not provide levels of performance comparable to that of desktop computers. Exact configuration of MSI’s Thunderbolt graphics dock is unknown. A notebook dock designed for gamers could benefit from additional storage and an optical disc drive in addition to a powerful GPU.</p>

<p>While both products from MSI look very promising, they need software support from developers of graphics processing units. At present, it is unknown whether Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia Corp. are working on enabling external graphics processing solutions with Thunderbolt 3 interface. Neither of the companies commented on the matter when asked by <em>KitGuru</em>.</p>

<p><img scale="0" class="alignnone wp-image-252733" src="http://www.kitguru.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/msi_gt_80_gt80_titan.jpg" alt="msi_gt_80_gt80_titan" height="440" width="650"></p>

<p>Thanks to the fact that at least 30 high-end notebook designs will have Thunderbolt 3 interface with USB 3.1 type-C connector next year, it makes a great sense for makers of video cards to offer special external graphics adapters for mobile devices. Therefore, MSI will unlikely be alone with its Thunderbolt 3 graphics processing peripherals.</p>

<p>At present MSI offers its GS30 <a href="http://www.kitguru.net/desktop-pc/leo-waldock/msi-gs30-shadow-with-gaming-dock-review/" target="_blank">Shadow with Gaming Dock</a> solution, which combines a thin laptop with an external GeForce GTX 980-based graphics processing box. The package is completely proprietary, rather bulky and very expensive, but it offers truly high performance in games to those, who need thin-and-light notebooks. For those, who do not, MSI offers <a href="http://www.kitguru.net/laptops/zardon/msi-gt80-titan-review-2x-gtx980m-023uk/" target="_blank">GT80 Titan</a> with two GeForce GTX 980M in SLI, Intel Core i7, multiple SSDs in RAID 0 and even a mechanical keyboard.</p>

<p>Discuss on our Facebook page, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=883035038431002&id=162236020510911" target="_blank">HERE</a>.</p>

<p><span style="color: #990000"><em><strong>KitGuru Says: PCI Express-based external graphics solutions have existed for about a decade now. Some of such products were proprietary and compatible only with select notebook, which greatly limited their popularity. Other did not provide enough performance. It remains to be seen whether Thunderbolt 3-based external graphics cards eventually become popular. If they are not too expensive and provide tangible performance benefits, they may be appealing for gamers with notebooks.</strong>

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I just wish we wouldn't need to wait until next year.. I want it in August already ;-)

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This is awesome. I really hope this doesn't disappear. Official Intel eGPU support with hotplug on a thin-and-light with a quad core is my dream and it looks ever close to reality!

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Now I'm really excited for 2016! With all these announcements (Skylake, TB3+eGPU, 512Gb micro SDXC, etc.) would the NUC have a fighting chance at gaming?

NUC platform might be shaking knees..I want t see them implement an MXM based gpu support so they can co exist and compete with these new stuff intel will be implementing soon, as consumers, its decent to have enough choices for portable computing you know [emoji1]

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Reversible, tiny, faster: Hands-on with the USB Type-C plug | Ars Technica

Individual manufacturers or standards organizations will be able to develop their own alternate modes after obtaining a standard or vendor ID (SVID) from USB-IF. “One example of an Alternate Mode is PCIe,” a spokesperson from USB-IF told Ars.

I'm not exactly sure what this means, but here's to hoping it means any USB C device will be eGPU capable.

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USB will never really be eGPU capable (not the way we do it). The plug and cable yes, but there has to be right chip behind it ;)

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hey guys..

do you think that with optimus or something similar it will be possible to use the internal screen with those new tb3 egpu solutions from intel ? and if so.. would it be on par with an external monitor ?

unlike ur DIY solution where egpu with internal screen is just so much worse..

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hey guys..

do you think that with optimus or something similar it will be possible to use the internal screen with those new tb3 egpu solutions from intel ? and if so.. would it be on par with an external monitor ?

unlike ur DIY solution where egpu with internal screen is just so much worse..

Perhaps I'm doing something wrong in my testing, but I've found only a 12% difference in eGPU performance between internal screen and external screen.

eGPU vs desktop is an different story though. Comparing my external monitor eGPU result to a desktop use there is a 25% difference.

I am looking at 3D mark firestrike graphic benchmarks. link: Result

Going by other 3D mark graphic scores, it seems my eGPU performance (GTX 970, stock settings from vendor) is on par with the top overclocked GTX 960s

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Perhaps I'm doing something wrong in my testing, but I've found only a 12% difference in eGPU performance between internal screen and external screen.

eGPU vs desktop is an different story though. Comparing my external monitor eGPU result to a desktop use there is a 25% difference.

I am looking at 3D mark firestrike graphic benchmarks. link: Result

Going by other 3D mark graphic scores, it seems my eGPU performance (GTX 970, stock settings from vendor) is on par with the top overclocked GTX 960s

The higher the bandwidth the lesser the loss of performance. It should be obvious that a 20 Gbps connection has not as much loss of performance as a 5 Gbps connection when sending the data back to the internal monitor. 5 Gbps are easily utilized to their maximum where 20 Gbps are not.

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The new round of Alienware laptops just launched, and aside from the 18 inch model (for PCIE lane reasons with 2x GPU I guess), they all feature a Thunderbolt 3 port in addition to the Graphics Amplifier port. What's great is the entire range seems to have the port, it's not an optional extra. Let's hope this trend continues and we see a much wider range of TB notebooks available.

Also, on another note, does anyone here with links with BPLUS know if they are intending to re-enter the TB eGPU business now Intel seems to be happy with it all?

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hey guys..

do you think that with optimus or something similar it will be possible to use the internal screen with those new tb3 egpu solutions from intel ? and if so.. would it be on par with an external monitor ?

unlike ur DIY solution where egpu with internal screen is just so much worse..

I believe that currently, Optimus (the technology that allows use of internal display with eGPU), only works when running at x1. If eGPU becomes more mainstream, I can see Nvidia enabling Optimus when running at greater than x1, but for now it's not happening.

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I believe that currently, Optimus (the technology that allows use of internal display with eGPU), only works when running at x1. If eGPU becomes more mainstream, I can see Nvidia enabling Optimus when running at greater than x1, but for now it's not happening.

Posting to ensure incorrect information isn't being posted.

Optimus works with x1, x4, x8 and x16 link widths. Only anomoly x1 provides is the NVidia driver engages PCIe compression when it detects a x1 link. Necessary to get some decent performance especially when using DX9 apps over such a narrow link. x4 onwards having far more bandwidth to play with.

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