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

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WOW!! than, ultrabook will be more powerful than now. :)

Defacts of ultrabooks are low-end iGPU, but if 3.1 supports eGPU, ultrabooks can carry it easily, and our home, It will transform to gaming book. LOL

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Still no demo of it running on the notebook display. In theory no reason it shouldn't work, but nothing being shown yet is kind of worrying.

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Still no demo of it running on the notebook display. In theory no reason it shouldn't work, but nothing being shown yet is kind of worrying.

Advertising stuff on a 4k display with fitting content is probably the better way than showing the stuff on a "tiny" notebook display without having a bunch of advertisement keywords at hand.

Also the intended great advantage of those docks is that you have your device with you at day and you plug it in at home to have a gaming machine. Many people might choose lightweight 13,3" devices over 15" models then and honestly, I wouldn't want to sit in front of a 13,3" display playing games. So you get a monitor for your stuff at home which is way more comfortable.

I'd suggest not to worry that much and just wait for those things to finally pop up. I also don't expect this feature of using the internal display to be explicitly removed. You can see in the video, that the display is turned on and not shut off(i.e recognized eGPU at boot and turn off internal display).

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It's just a leak, but information has surfaced that the new Dell XPS 13 is going to have Thunderbolt 3.

The new Dell XPS 13 could have up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD, leak suggests

In addition, there is this picture, and to me that box connected to the Type C port looks a little too big to be a port replicator (a man can dream eh?;))

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So, seeing that both the SP4 and SB don't have any system bus out (well PCI(-E) out) ports (except for the proprietary SB keyboard connector, probably), on to the question...

From what I've read thus far, the problems are the following:

1) http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/8875-those-hoping-thunderbolt-microsoft-surface-pro-4-a.html

...nevermind that this can be mitigated with an IOMMU, but:

-AFAIK driver developers still bypass the DMA APIs with https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff554464%28v=vs.85%29.aspx and https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff554489%28v=vs.85%29.aspx,

-Windows doesn't support IOMMUs, at least it was the case in December 2013: https://www.osronline.com/showthread.cfm?link=251064 (message 7)

2) the Iconia w700 case - supposedly both Intel and Microsoft forced Acer to remove the thunderbolt port.

So, does anybody know of any (upcoming) eGPU-suitable tablets, and/or any other problems contributing to the lack thereof?

note: to whoever moved my thread to a post here - thanks, wasn't aware of this discussion :)

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So, seeing that both the SP4 and SB don't have any system bus out (well PCI(-E) out) ports (except for the proprietary SB keyboard connector, probably), on to the question...

From what I've read thus far, the problems are the following:

1) http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/8875-those-hoping-thunderbolt-microsoft-surface-pro-4-a.html

...nevermind that this can be mitigated with an IOMMU, but:

-AFAIK driver developers still bypass the DMA APIs with https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff554464%28v=vs.85%29.aspx and https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff554489%28v=vs.85%29.aspx,

-Windows doesn't support IOMMUs, at least it was the case in December 2013: https://www.osronline.com/showthread.cfm?link=251064 (message 7)

2) the Iconia w700 case - supposedly both Intel and Microsoft forced Acer to remove the thunderbolt port.

So, does anybody know of any (upcoming) eGPU-suitable tablets, and/or any other problems contributing to the lack thereof?

note: to whoever moved my thread to a post here - thanks, wasn't aware of this discussion :)

Dell XPS 15 (October 2015) Preview - CNET

The new Dell XPS 12 Tablet has not one but two Thunderbolt 3.0 Ports!

The XPS 13 and 15 laptops have one.

Thank you Dell, for going all the way and doing what other OEMs have not.

post-10650-14495000908992_thumb.jpg

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Dell XPS 15 (October 2015) Preview - CNET

The new Dell XPS 12 Tablet has not one but two Thunderbolt 3.0 Ports!

The XPS 13 and 15 laptops have one.

Thank you Dell, for going all the way and doing what other OEMs have not.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]16192[/ATTACH]

Now I'm just hoping for somebody to do a 3:2/4:3/etc version of this.

Also wondering if the core M will limit performance (heavy throttle?) and if there will be an option for 16 gigs later on...

As a tablet I think it's slightly behind the surface (to a lesser extend - viewing angle, to a way bigger extent - screen ratio, no clue about the pen yet) but it's a far more versatile otherwise... simply because of the dual thunderbolts (and probably the better keyboard - we'll see).

I hope somebody else follows suit as well :)

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Thunderbolt3 equipped eGPU candidate notebooks

How does Thunderbolt 3 affect things. Intel said that thunderbolt 3 officially supports PCIE-x4 3.0. Can I buy any laptop/tablet with a thunderbolt 3 port and run a GPU from it (of course with power and docks)? or is it up to manufacturers to allow this.

P.S. I have an updated list about laptops with a Thunderbolt 3 port (rumor or otherwise), feel free to take them or if you want Edit access, tell me your email (by default, you can only view and comment)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12G1VTFWkTL5tb8nxUAtnDHwTLyya9I3Vw-OXXrIN4e4/edit?usp=sharing

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As far as I can remember I haven't read here in the corresponding Apple topic anything about this interesting Anandtech article about upcoming Thunderbolt 3. Worth reading the article.

There are several interesting parts of the story but the most important here is this:

Meanwhile gamers will be happy to hear that Intel is finally moving forward on external graphics via Thunderbolt, and after more than a few false starts, external GPUs now have the company’s blessing and support. While Thunderbolt has in theory always been able of supporting external graphics (it’s just a PCIe bus), the biggest hold-up has always been handling what to do about GPU hot-plugging and the so-called “surprise removal” scenario. Intel tells us that they have since solved that problem, and are now able to move forward with external graphics. The company is initially partnering with AMD on this endeavor – though nothing excludes NVIDIA in the long-run – with concepts being floated for both a full power external Thunderbolt card chassis, and a smaller “graphics dock” which contains a smaller, cooler (but still more powerful than an iGPU) mobile discrete GPU.

Another interesting aspect is that the Thunderbolt protocol is moving from Mini DisplayPort connector to USB-C type.

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A positive about it using Type C is that they are two types of USB3.1 - Gen1 supporting 5Gbps and Gen2 10Gbps, and only 5Gbps is incorporated into even Skylake CPUS - if OEMS want to add 3.1 Gen2 10Gbps, they need to add a separate controller - at which point they might as well use the Alpine Ridge TB3 controller as that has a built in 3.1 Gen2 controller.

I think this is why we are seeing TB3 on the majority of computers with Type C connectors, and a reason for the comparatively massive uptake in ThunderBolt compared to previous generations.

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I'm seriously considering buying a TB3 laptop just for eGPU purposes...

hence I first wanted to make sure any laptop with a TB3 port can support eGPU.

Here's the answer I got from the official TB account on twitter

https://twitter.com/GetThunderbolt/status/655070155353919488

Just thought I'd let you guys know before other people buy a laptop now just to discover it doesn't support eGPU

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Thanks @faenil

Yeah I think we need to wait until products are released or at least presented! Could imagine that BIOS/UEFI settings have to be made to fully support eGPUs.

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I'm seriously considering buying a TB3 laptop just for eGPU purposes...

hence I first wanted to make sure any laptop with a TB3 port can support eGPU.

Here's the answer I got from the official TB account on twitter

https://twitter.com/GetThunderbolt/status/655070155353919488

Just thought I'd let you guys know before other people buy a laptop now just to discover it doesn't support eGPU

Ofc Thunderbolt 3 is not enough. Becuase you only get 100 Watts through TB3. Thats not enough to power a egpu with the pci-e slot. All the demos intel showed so far have used an additional psu. (edit: there was one demo with an mobile gpu which didnt need an external psu)

I think that is what the reply meant. Wouldnt make sense if it needed another cable additional to tb3. This wont be the case.

This video is from the end of September and only uses TB3 + external PSU:

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Ofc Thunderbolt 3 is not enough. Becuase you only get 100 Watts through TB3. Thats not enough to power a egpu with the pci-e slot. All the demos intel showed so far have used an additional psu. (edit: there was one demo with an mobile gpu which didnt need an external psu)

I think that is what the reply meant. Wouldnt make sense if it needed another cable additional to tb3. This wont be the case.

This video is from the end of September and only uses TB3 + external PSU:

I'm afraid that is not what they meant, have a look at this other reply I got from them

https://twitter.com/GetThunderbolt/status/655069224361066497

"Without Thunderbolt certification for eGPU capability, the system behavior can be unpredictable."

It could be just marketing talk, of course...

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It will work with a normal TB3 Cable. The rest is typical proprietary business bs. It already worked with TB2, why should it stop with TB3? PCI-Lanes are in the cable, so nothing prevents it. They just want to get a standard up and running and licence fees for a "egpu-ready" label on the notebook.

"Unpredictable.." means, they wont have to give support for notebooks without an "egpu-ready" label.

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It will work with a normal TB3 Cable. The rest is typical proprietary business bs. It already worked with TB2, why should it stop with TB3? PCI-Lanes are in the cable, so nothing prevents it. They just want to get a standard up and running and licence fees for a "egpu-ready" label on the notebook.

"Unpredictable.." means, they wont have to give support for notebooks without an "egpu-ready" label.

Sadly it's not as simple as that. It will be down to the UEFI and whatnot, I mean in theory all notebooks with a mPCIE slot, or ExpressCard should work, they have PCI-E lane, but look, we have the EGPU Setup program, having to faff about with TOLUDs, and whatnot.

I imagine EGPU-Ready will mean it will all work perfectly with plug and play, whereas non certified machine may require more messing about to get working.

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You are right. Plug and Play will certainly require a fitting UEFI. Lets hope the rest wont be that much of a hassle, at least not more than the current solutions.

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Isn't another major issue with plug n pray is that nvidia/amd will need to ensure their drivers support this usage?

There will be situations with intel igpu only and intel igpu + amd or nvidia dgpu. I already have the alienware version of an egpu and when I use it, theres a mux that switches off the dgpu after reboot. Upon booting into windows, the driver initializes for the egpu. Even though the driver has initialized for the egpu before, it has to do the same thing every time I switch between the egpu & dgpu. It takes about 30 seconds and there is some flickering of the screen.

I find it hard to believe nvidia drivers will work with the epgu plug n play without some driver update. I find it even harder to believe this would work ideally if the laptop also has a dgpu. Can't say for amd as I don't use one.

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Good news! (for some). According to the twitter, the new Dell XPS machines are certified.

post-10650-14495001034015_thumb.png

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So its a normal Thunderbolt 3 Controller. Dell uses Intel Thunderbolt Driver 15.2.35.250.

Its good to know no additional/updated cables are required. My MSI GT72 6QD uses Thunderbolt Driver version 15.2.34.5. Will try to install the Dell one later, to see if the chipset is supported.

/edit:

Windows Update already updated my driver to 15.2.35.250. So yeah, normal TB3.

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Nando. It is possible to make any windows (prob. only on Win10) laptop with TB3/alternative port (and free TOLUD space) work with eGPU without rebooting in anyway.

if you look at the Surface Book review on laptopmag (Surface Book Review: Beautiful, Blazing, Buggy)

Other 2-in-1 devices, including the Surface Pro 4, make it easier to switch modes -- you just pull the magnetically connected top and bottom pieces apart. But there's a reason for Microsoft's unique approach here. The discrete-graphics version of this device can't continue to run apps that use the dedicated GPU when detached, because the graphics card is located in the base. (You'll be asked to close those apps.) Makes sense, but it seems like an unnecessary burden for the integrated graphics version of the Surface Book.

I'm not saying that the device needs to be a 2-in-1. But a program could be developed to (when a key combo is pressed. eg. Ctrl+Alt+Delete) close all games/apps using the dedicated GPU then you could unplug.

btw. annoyed that Microsoft did not put a TB port on the Surface Book.

Wait. Just for One Clear Answer: Will the Dell XPS line work with eGPU?

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Wait. Just for One Clear Answer: Will the Dell XPS line work with eGPU?

Yeah, the Thunderbolt team confirmed on Twitter, that the new XPS will all support eGPUs.

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Interesting information:

Thunderbolt external graphics (e-GFX) policies

- e-GFX must support hot plug & surprise removal

- Expansion chassis certification does not equal e-GFX validation

- Initially, e-GFX must be certified & validated with target computers

- e-GFX support for horizontal solutions is planned, but still under investigation

https://thunderbolttechnology.net/developers/training-tb3

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I just hope Intel allow non-populated eGPU enclosures so we don't see insane markups on GPUs.

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