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

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It's great, we are sick and tired of troubleful eGPU...

It is great news but! I never had a single problem with my eGPU setup. It works flawlessly on Windows 8.1 and OS X.

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

According to

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

I'm assuming a distinction is made between "Expansion chassis certification" and "e-GFX validation".

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The Thunderbolt Twitter Chat happened, and here is a summary of important points and I'd say they look good:

Yes, internal LCD mode will work!

Jv7jYs5.png

Yes, they will be certifying empty chassis!

wnp2PkS.png

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Hi everyone,

 

I have got a few questions about Thunderbolt 3 and eGPU to ask you guys. 

I'm planning to buy the next MBPr 15" with a i7 quad core Skylake processor, 16Go of DDR4 RAM and an SSD PCIe. I've decided to wait until the next Pascal GPU from nVidia (Q2/Q3 2016) to make an eGPU system. But I read that Pascal GPU bandwith will be aroud 1TB/s and I was wondering if the Thunderbolt 3 speed will be enough or not ? :dejection:

 

Thank you in advance :)

 

EDIT : Intresting article https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Impact-of-PCI-E-Speed-on-Gaming-Performance-518/

Edited by Clarkent

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4 hours ago, Clarkent said:

Hi everyone,

 

I have got a few questions about Thunderbolt 3 and eGPU to ask you guys. 

I'm planning to buy the next MBPr 15" with a i7 quad core Skylake processor, 16Go of DDR4 RAM and an SSD PCIe. I've decided to wait until the next Pascal GPU from nVidia (Q2/Q3 2016) to make an eGPU system. But I read that Pascal GPU bandwith will be aroud 1TB/s and I was wondering if the Thunderbolt 3 speed will be enough or not ? :dejection:

 

Thank you in advance :)

 

EDIT : Intresting article https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Impact-of-PCI-E-Speed-on-Gaming-Performance-518/

 

In my signature is a comparison.

TB3 is still enough.

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Thank you for your answers ! 

So, from what i can see, nowadays TB3 is still enough but what about Pascal bandwith and future games bandwith requirements ? I'm afraid of the possible limitation of the Thunderbolt 3 speed in 2 or 3 years. I don't want to buy an +600€ eGPU to be limited because of Thunderbolt 3 :unsure:

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6 hours ago, Clarkent said:

Thank you for your answers ! 

So, from what i can see, nowadays TB3 is still enough but what about Pascal bandwith and future games bandwith requirements ? I'm afraid of the possible limitation of the Thunderbolt 3 speed in 2 or 3 years. I don't want to buy an +600€ eGPU to be limited because of Thunderbolt 3 :unsure:

 

The future? There will be Oculink and TB4/TB5.

 

FYI: HP DV6/7 gaming notebooks connect their dGPUs at x4 3.0 link speed. The Alienware graphics amplifier that attaches to their gaming series notebooks too connects their eGPU at x4 3.0.  If it's good enough for them . . .

 

x4 3.0 is 25% the bandwidth of x16 3.0.  If a game were to require the full x16 3.0 bandwidth then yes, performance would suffer. Thankfully none as yet do as can be seen at the following comparison.

Use the x8 2.0 results as a marker for TB3 [x8 2.0 is same bandwidth as x4 3.0]

 

http://postimg.org/image/lo5wkykzp/full/

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I'm just wondering if there will be support for TB2 laptops... My MacBook has 2 TB2 ports, which add up to equal 1 TB3 port's bandwidth, perhaps an adapter will come out that would allow one of these eGPU enclosures to use both TB ports.. Or at the very least, support TB2.

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32 minutes ago, jimmyco2008 said:

I'm just wondering if there will be support for TB2 laptops... My MacBook has 2 TB2 ports, which add up to equal 1 TB3 port's bandwidth, perhaps an adapter will come out that would allow one of these eGPU enclosures to use both TB ports.. Or at the very least, support TB2.

 

The 2 TB2 ports are running off the same bus, connected at x4 2.0 (16Gbps).  Ufortunately this means their combined throughput is limited to 16Gbps.

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I can't wait to see how much Apple would hike the prices of their laptops. They have hike their phones, ipads and imacs so far.

 

Ice

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Yup, and it also provides 4 USB 3 and an ethernet port, which is even better because you then really only need to plug the Thunderbolt cable into the device. Unlike now where I have to plug in the Thunderbolt cable, my USB HDD and my USB 3 hub each in one of the 2 USB 3 ports provided by the Macbook which can get kind of annoying.

We're awaiting great times regarding eGPU I guess :D

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ASUS ROG XG2 TB2 eGPU enclosure

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3019297/hardware/asus-rog-xg-station-2-dock-wants-to-up-your-laptops-game-with-desktop-graphics.html

 

Only youtube video showing it in action is in German.  The Asus TB3 notebook driving it is shown at 0:39. A very good looking enclosure design there.

 

 

Zooming into the feature placard it points to compatibility only with ASUS notebooks. We'll need to figure out cross compatibility with other TB3 notebooks.

 

XO4M45L.png

 

EXTERNAL GRAPHICS DOCKING STATION - ROG XG2 Ultimate Performance

 

Specifically designed for ASUS laptops and is compatible with ASUS Geforce and Radeon graphics cards

Proprietory circuit design to give laptops a boost in graphics performance.
Safety removal allows unplug without restarting the laptop.

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We're attempting to get in contact with Razer and see about getting samples for the future.

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43 minutes ago, Tech Inferno Fan said:

ASUS ROG XG2 TB2 eGPU enclosure

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3019297/hardware/asus-rog-xg-station-2-dock-wants-to-up-your-laptops-game-with-desktop-graphics.html

 

Only youtube video showing it in action is in German.  The Asus TB3 notebook driving it is shown at 0:39. A very good looking enclosure design there.

 

 

The only interesting part he's saying is that the notebook is a modified Asus Zenbook of the UX series and it's got an i7 6700HQ instead of the usual U-CPUs put in the Zenbooks. The rest of what he's saying is the usual stuff. Usual GPU you can put in there, PSU inside, blablabla. 

 

If that notebook would make it to production it would give a perfect eGPU notebook. You'd still have a small device but a powerful CPU and battery time would still be acceptable I guess.

Edited by Morv
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2016 is going to be year of the eGPU, calling it now.

 

Loving seeing these enclosures.

 

Now all that remains to be seen is cross connectivity.

 

And if any SFF notebooks with Quad Core appear

Edited by rhx123

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From the Asus Video it seems like they are using classic USB 3.0 (with PCIe connection) and they can use 1-2 USB ports for that (to combine the bandwidth).

Guess Asus made sth proprietary?!

Edited by Dschijn

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Might as well re-post the details we know so far about the Razore Core enclosure from https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/7891-intel-unveils-thunderbolt-30-mentions-external-graphics-skylake-q4-2015/&do=findComment&comment=135226 since it's getting a fair bit of interest.

 

Razor Core eGPU enclosure

 

From http://www.pcgamer.com/the-razer-core-looks-like-the-graphics-card-enclosure-weve-been-waiting-for/

 

Quote

But what’s really exciting is the Thunderbolt 3 connector it uses, in the form of USB Type-C. Thunderbolt 3 supports up to 40 Gb/s of bandwidth, and there’s absolutely nothing proprietary about the design. The dream is tantalizingly close--a single graphics card enclosure that could work with a wide range of laptops and turn any portable into a real gaming champion.

 

Could it be? Could such a thing be real? It’s not quite guaranteed yet, but it’s looking promising. There are no special graphics drivers required to make the system work—you’ll just be using the normal AMD or Nvidia drivers for the GPU you place in the enclosure. The one catch is the laptop BIOS. According to Razer, the laptop BIOS will need to properly support Intel graphics switching, so the system can recognize and utilize the dedicated GPU when plugged in, and operate on the integrated GPU when unplugged. Right now, the system only works with the Blade Stealth, but once the Core is released, nothing should prevent Dell or Lenovo or Asus or anyone else from supporting the hardware, too.

 

Razer Core open


 

Razer Core - pictures from http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade-stealth

 

 

Razer Core - Specifications

 

  • Connection to PC:  Thunderbolt™ 3 using included 40Gbps cable
  • GPU Support (Desktop graphics card not included)
  • GPU Type
    Single double-wide, full-length, PCI-Express x16 graphics card

    GPU Max Dimensions
    12.20” x 5.98” x 1.73” (310 x 152 x 44 mm)

    GPU Max Power Support
    375 Watts

    Plug and Play compatible graphics
    Please check back for a list of Plug and play compatible graphic chipsets

    Graphics Output
    Based on capabilities of installed graphics
  • Input & Output
  • USB 3.0 X 4
    Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000
    Thunderbolt™ 3 (for connection to PC)

     
  • Lighting
  • Chroma - 2 Zones
  • Power Supply
  • 500 Watts
  • Approx. Size
  • 4.13” / 104.9 mm (Width) x 13.38” / 339.9 mm (Depth) x 8.6” / 218.4 mm (Height)
  • Connection to PC
  • Thunderbolt™ 3 using included 40Gbps cable
  • GPU Support (Desktop graphics card not included)
  • GPU Type
    Single double-wide, full-length, PCI-Express x16 graphics card

    GPU Max Dimensions
    12.20” x 5.98” x 1.73” (310 x 152 x 44 mm)

    GPU Max Power Support
    375 Watts

    Plug and Play compatible graphics
    Please check back for a list of Plug and play compatible graphic chipsets

    Graphics Output
    Based on capabilities of installed graphics
  • Input & Output
  • USB 3.0 X 4
    Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000
    Thunderbolt™ 3 (for connection to PC)

     
  • Lighting
  • Chroma - 2 Zones
  • Power Supply
  • 500 Watts
  • Approx. Size
  • 4.13” / 104.9 mm (Width) x 13.38” / 339.9 mm (Depth) x 8.6” / 218.4 mm (Height)

 

Razer Core

 

 

 

ULTRABOOK™ MEETS DESKTOP
 

EXTERNAL DESKTOP GRAPHICS

 

The Razer Core is the world’s first true plug and play Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) external graphics enclosure, allowing you to transform your notebook into a desktop gaming experience. Featuring plug and play support with compatible graphics cards, you won’t need to reboot your system every time you connect your Razer Blade Stealth to Razer Core. Connect to the future with the most advanced and versatile external desktop graphics solution available.

 

GPU SUPPORT


Easily upgrade or customize your preferred level of performance with support for full-length, double-wide PCIe desktop graphics cards (sold separately) for a level of performance that fits your play style

 

.amd-logo.png   nvidia-logo.png

 

Graphics cards use varied designs based around a common graphics chip. Please ensure the GPU selected meets all size, power, and additional requirements.

 

ULTRABOOK UNLEASHED

 

With the ability to connect gaming peripherals to Razer Core’s additional I/O ports, you can easily transform your Razer Blade Stealth into a full gaming setup.

 

Complete with 4 USB 3.0 ports and Ethernet, the Razer Core makes it incredibly easy for you to connect all your devices. By using a single USB-C connection to your notebook, this stellar graphics dock provides you with both data transfer and notebook charging without any hassle.

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4 hours ago, Dschijn said:

From the Asus Video it seems like they are using classic USB 3.0 (with PCIe connection) and they can use 1-2 USB ports for that (to combine the bandwidth).

Guess Asus made sth proprietary?!

 

No, most probably not. The guy is telling at about 3:10 that the enclosure is using 2 cables and you can choose how many lanes are being used by the eGPU, x2 with 1 connection or x4 with 2 connections. It's a bit strange because 1x TB3 is already x4 3.0 but maybe they need further stuff for USB, ethernet, etc.? Razer doesn't seem to need multiple cables so I'm also quite a bit confused about it.

 

 

Apart from this, I honestly hope Akitio will bring up something for us, too. Simply because they were somewhat cooperative and nice to us, giving information, reducing price for this forum etc., in a time where eGPU was not an official thing and kind of suppressed by Intel. If the feature set of an Akitio enclosure would be about the same as the Razer one I'd rather buy that than something made by any other company just to say "Thank you".

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