Tuesday, May 30th 2017

Sapphire to Launch External Graphics Enclosure - Powered by Thunderbolt 3

At its Computex 2017 showcase, Sapphire showcased (ahem) an upcoming e-GFX enclosure. The unit delivers its display signal through a Thunderbolt 3 port, which is being hailed as "The USB-C that does it all", with up to 40 Gb/s connections, dual 4K @ 60Hz support, charging capabilities, and support for the USB and DisplayPort interfaces.

The unit makes use of what appears to be a SFF PSU (it isn't clear whether or not a PSU comes bundled with the chassis), and space for a dual-slot high performance graphics card. The side of the enclosure presents an airflow-enabling grill, so that your graphics card can pull in fresh air from the exterior. There's also what seems to be an Ethernet port and 2x USB 3.0 ports, which means this enclosure can be used as a hub, or as an extra charger for your other pieces of tech. Aesthetics-wise, this unit uses the tried and true black and white contrast, with a black design language on the front and back, and a smooth white contour on the top and sides of the enclosure. I enjoy the understated design here, with no extremely hard and "gaming" screaming angles, and the neutral color scheme and LED design doesn't look half bad. It remains to be seen whether that blue LED lighting is too strong so as to be distracting, but if it's not, it stands as a good complement to the overall design. Expect this unit to be released sooner rather than later, though no details on pricing or specifications were at hand.
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18 Comments on Sapphire to Launch External Graphics Enclosure - Powered by Thunderbolt 3

#1
plåtburken
Sounds cool.
But what makes these thunderbolt eGPU boxes so expensive?
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#2
londiste
why in the world are these always equipped with extra small psu-s with 4cm fans?
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#3
jesdals
well if this means that Vega is going to have a DVI and at least to HDMI. I guess a real FanATIc can wait a little longer
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#4
AsRock
TPU addict
londiste, post: 3667549, member: 169790"
why in the world are these always equipped with extra small psu-s with 4cm fans?
So you have to buy a new one when the GPU demands to much.
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#5
R0H1T
plåtburken, post: 3667544, member: 171999"
Sounds cool.
But what makes these thunderbolt eGPU boxes so expensive?
Royalty, apparently Intel will end their licensing/ponzi scheme sometime next year to make it "more" accessible.
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#6
Hugh Mungus
This with vega/1080 ti plus a ryzen 8-core laptop/AIO would be pretty cool!
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#7
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Hugh Mungus, post: 3667830, member: 172152"
This with vega/1080 ti plus a ryzen 8-core laptop/AIO would be pretty cool!
It isn't really a laptop if the gpu isn't mobile.
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#8
Hugh Mungus
cdawall, post: 3667921, member: 28601"
It isn't really a laptop if the gpu isn't mobile.
And why couldn't a ryzen/vega or 1080 ti laptop have a mobile gpu? AMD has yet to release new mobile vega gpu's and with the lpwer tdp's of the max Q hpu's, a 1080 ti mobile could be possible.
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#9
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Hugh Mungus, post: 3668025, member: 172152"
And why couldn't a ryzen/vega or 1080 ti laptop have a mobile gpu? AMD has yet to release new mobile vega gpu's and with the lpwer tdp's of the max Q hpu's, a 1080 ti mobile could be possible.
If it goes in a box like the one shown above its not mobile. There is no mobility to a mini itx sized rig just to box the gpu.
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#10
Hugh Mungus
cdawall, post: 3668029, member: 28601"
If it goes in a box like the one shown above its not mobile. There is no mobility to a mini itx sized rig just to box the gpu.
But if they put it in a laptop, which, again, is possible, it is a proper laptop.

Besides, if a boxed gpu gives around the same or slightly better performance as/than a built-in mobile gpu, I migjt as aell get a rx580/gtx1060 laptop with a fast (ryzen) cpu and have a portable system for my living room or a 3440x1440p monster in my study, without having to wait for new mobile gpu's.
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#11
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
So couple of things. AMD would have to actually release ryzen mobile, the rx 580 consumes more power than a 1080 and the 1080ti is a 275w GPU. That's not really mobile either even in mxm form...
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#12
Hugh Mungus
cdawall, post: 3668041, member: 28601"
So couple of things. AMD would have to actually release ryzen mobile, the rx 580 consumes more power than a 1080 and the 1080ti is a 275w GPU. That's not really mobile either even in mxm form...
That ryzen laptop has a rx580, ryzen mobile is july-december, so not too far off, and a 1080 ti a) doesn't generally use anywhere close to 275W and with optimizations it could become a good mobile gpu that's quite close to a 1080 ti fe.
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#13
Caring1
I thought the premise behind this was to allow older laptops to have powerful graphics, but if it is restricted to newer models with Thunderbolt, why not just buy one with a decent GPU to begin with, after all lower powered laptops with basic graphics will bottle neck any decent card connected to it.
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#14
Hugh Mungus
Fast laptops are a) often more expensive than egpu+cheap laptop, b) not all small laptops can have an enthousiast graphivs card and c) high-end gaming laptops often have terrible battery life, so if you don't end much power on the go, an efficiënt laptop with good cpu and graphics amplifier at home could be a solution if you travel a lot.

For most cases a standard pc or mini-itx build will do, though.
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#15
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Hugh Mungus, post: 3668047, member: 172152"
That ryzen laptop has a rx580, ryzen mobile is july-december, so not too far off, and a 1080 ti a) doesn't generally use anywhere close to 275W and with optimizations it could become a good mobile gpu that's quite close to a 1080 ti fe.
They pull 275w at the wall.



Ask me how I know?

Also I will believe AMD released something when I see it. They can't even release Vega 6 months later and as of today we leave H1 which was the promise. How many Vega cards can you buy right now? Oh wait zero.
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#16
Prima.Vera
This thing would have been good 10-15 years ago. Now, you have mobile GPUs that are faster than any desktop card you put on this enclosure, due to very low bandwidth of the Thunderbolt 3 port.
40Gb/s (Tb3) vs 128Gb/s (Pci-E 3.0) is still too huge. Plus the 40Gb/s is only theoretical bandwidth, the overhead and splitting the port with USB and DP will even half the bandwidth...
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#17
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Prima.Vera, post: 3668424, member: 98685"
This thing would have been good 10-15 years ago. Now, you have mobile GPUs that are faster than any desktop card you put on this enclosure, due to very low bandwidth of the Thunderbolt 3 port.
40Gb/s (Tb3) vs 128Gb/s (Pci-E 3.0) is still too huge. Plus the 40Gb/s is only theoretical bandwidth, the overhead and splitting the port with USB and DP will even half the bandwidth...


It'll be fine. For most games we are talking a single digit drop in performance at best.
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#18
Prima.Vera
cdawall, post: 3668431, member: 28601"


It'll be fine. For most games we are talking a single digit drop in performance at best.
Ah, you're comparing with the PCI-E x4 3.0. Fair enough.
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