Thursday, September 13th 2012

Lucid Demos Thunderbolt-based External Graphics for Ultrabooks

Ultrabooks, despite their formidable computing power compared to netbooks, inevitably trade some of it for lower thermal/power specifications. LucidLogix feels that Ultrabook users could gain graphics processing power on demand using external graphics cards, that work in tandem with its VirtuMVP GPU virtualization technology. At IDF, the company demonstrated an external graphics card that uses 10 Gb/s Thunderbolt interface to communicate with an Ultrabook.

Lucid's external graphics card is a Thunderbolt to PCI-Express enclosure, which runs an AMD Radeon HD 6700 series GPU. With the VirtuMVP layer running, the Ultrabook uses the graphics computing power of the external graphics card to render complex graphics onto its display, which is wired to the processor's integrated graphics core. Lucid's idea of on-demand graphics compute power allows Thunderbolt-equipped Ultrabooks of all shapes and sizes to lack a discrete GPU, which adds to the device's cost, and taps its limited power and thermal-control resources. At the moment, Lucid's external graphics cards are still in development, with no concrete release date in sight. The concept is solid.

Source: LaptopMag
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26 Comments on Lucid Demos Thunderbolt-based External Graphics for Ultrabooks

#2
Velvet Wafer
Do want! every crappy laptop with weak graphics transferred to a capable gaming machine?

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#3
NHKS
by: (FIH) The Don
wheres the ultrabook?
I guess the emphasis here is on the external GPU running using a T'bolt interface.. if it works with a desktop mb with t'bolt(evident in pic), shouldn't it work fine with a laptop mb sporting t'bolt too?.. also, this is just a demo (proof of concept if u will) and not a finished product

the video of the demo posted by the source should be useful
Posted on Reply
#4
ManofGod
by: NHKS
I guess the emphasis here is on the external GPU running using a T'bolt interface.. if it works with a desktop mb with t'bolt(evident in pic), shouldn't it work fine with a laptop mb sporting t'bolt too?.. also, this is just a demo (proof of concept if u will) and not a finished product

the video of the demo posted by the source should be useful
Thank you for the posting of the video. However, I tried watching that and it was so dark as to be completely unwatchable.:ohwell:
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#5
Velvet Wafer
in short...25fps in 3dmark06 before, 90fps after just plugging in the thunderbolt cable from the enclosure. :respect::respect::respect:
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#6
hardcore_gamer
Still can't match a desktop because of the crappy 17W Ultrabook CPUs.
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#7
Jizzler
Nice. Now chain four of them for quadfire!
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#8
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
wouldnt this be sort of pointless considering laptop processors are crippled? also, just how good is the gpu virtualization? and, you would still need to hook the gpu up to a power source like a psu.
Posted on Reply
#9
Fourstaff
by: hardcore_gamer
Still can't match a desktop because of the crappy 17W Ultrabook CPUs.
Do you even bother looking up what an ultrabook is used for? :slap:

Sony Vaio Z had this capability, but gimped by shit graphics and sky high prices. Intel needs to make this a standard.
Posted on Reply
#10
Tartaros
I want it now.

Asus had an external vga via express card, an 8600gt I guess.
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#11
Prima.Vera
Stupid Question:
So buying an adapter for the PC Card on the laptop will not work right?
Posted on Reply
#12
Mussels
Moderprator
yes! do want!


this will allow thin, lightweight laptops on the go, with gaming performance when docked.
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#13
Tartaros
by: Prima.Vera
Stupid Question:
So buying an adapter for the PC Card on the laptop will not work right?
No, express card max bandwithd is 2'5 Gb/s where thunderbolt can go 10 Gb/s. The card will be very crippled.

by: Mussels
yes! do want!


this will allow thin, lightweight laptops on the go, with gaming performance when docked.
A complete dock station with this card. Wet dream.
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#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: hardcore_gamer
Still can't match a desktop because of the crappy 17W Ultrabook CPUs.
They aren't trying to, that is why they didn't pair it with something like an HD7970. They matched the GPU with the CPU's capabilities, the i5/i7 in an ultrabook wouldn't have a problem keeping up with a HD6750 in most games, the few really CPU intensive games might pose a problem but most games will be fine.
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#15
Tartaros
This could be useful also for entry level laptops if thunderbolt were more expanded. You can find some sub 400 eur laptop with an i5 and intel igp, put this one on them and you got a respectable pc for some gaming.
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#16
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: Mussels
yes! do want!


this will allow thin, lightweight laptops on the go, with gaming performance when docked.
but why? you have a desktop at home, right?
Posted on Reply
#17
Soup
by: Easy Rhino
but why? you have a desktop at home, right?
Right now yes. Maybe in the future an ultrabook with a variable TDP CPU dependent on docked or not? Similar to Power State management now-a-days. Shuts off two cores when un-docked maybe? Sounds pretty rad to me.

Hell, even that "Graceful Shutdown" sounds great. I would like to be able to flip a switch to turn on my 7970's when I wanna game or turn them off and rely on IGP for web browsing/netflix/productivity.
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#18
Initialised
3DMark06 screen shot showing the CPU Test really shows off the grunt of an IvyBridge! :rolleyes:

On a serious note how about building GPUs into screens and using ThunderBolt to connect?
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#19
NC37
Stupid...Ultra should imply the laptop is the end all solution to everything. Best CPU, GPU, battery, size, etc.

How Ultra is this? Buy an overpriced thin machine with SSD + CPU only. Then have to buy tons of external drives, graphics, and storage just to be able to do things any regular laptop user can do. In the end, walk around with a suitcase full of accessories to an "Ultra" machine.

I say no. People deserve getting stuck with what they get if they buy into this craze. They'll never learn any other way.
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#20
sy5tem
actually , this is a needed product ... good workstation laptop are 2000$ , what do they more? simply a CAD capable card...

now if you can buy any good laptop sub 800$ and simply keep a good CAD card in the thunderbold box. you can swap laptop at will and keep that card ... i like it.
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#21
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: NC37
Stupid...Ultra should imply the laptop is the end all solution to everything. Best CPU, GPU, battery, size, etc.

How Ultra is this? Buy an overpriced thin machine with SSD + CPU only. Then have to buy tons of external drives, graphics, and storage just to be able to do things any regular laptop user can do. In the end, walk around with a suitcase full of accessories to an "Ultra" machine.

I say no. People deserve getting stuck with what they get if they buy into this craze. They'll never learn any other way.
Not overpriced imo. It depens on what you value I guess (this is a new concept to a lot of people here, but whatever). And Ultra is just marketing. Remember the Geforce FX 5700 Ultra? :p
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#22
3870x2
by: Easy Rhino
wouldnt this be sort of pointless considering laptop processors are crippled? also, just how good is the gpu virtualization? and, you would still need to hook the gpu up to a power source like a psu.
There seems to be a lot of talk about bottlenecking CPUs, which from my experience is not very accurate.

They seem to scale, but at such a rate that it is barely relevant. (obviously this becomes relevant if the CPU scales towards impotency)

A bottleneck would be something I consider to be capped out until a certain point, then thereafter there are no further gains, meaning the bottleneck has been surpassed.

In these cases though, the CPU scaling does not stop, and miniscule FPS gains can be seen from the bottom, all the way to the top.
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#23
eidairaman1
if im going to buy a laptop it will already have strong graphics in it.

Thunderbolt adds additional latency.
Posted on Reply
#24
Mussels
Moderprator
by: Easy Rhino
but why? you have a desktop at home, right?
i have a desktop, four laptops, iphone, android phone, nokia phones, and an android tablet.


ALWAYS. NEED. MORE.



even with a gaming grade laptop (AMD A6), its got GPU and CPU limitations. being able to OC the CPU and upgrade the GPU (via a dock) is a wet dream.


also, once GPGPU kicks off... well, any system you want can suddenly have upgraded performance just by docking it.
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#25
amschip
But you still need to take into account the fact that VirtuMVP is having problems with lots of games so untill they improve that there is not going to be a lot of interested in that.
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