MSI Tease External Graphics Via Thunderbolt

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅12.01.2012 18:37:28

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External graphics solutions aren't new, but they have been hampered by low levels of adoption and relatively poor performance compared to desktop and even integrated mobile solutions. With Intel's development of Thunderbolt - essentially a means of transmitting PCI Express signalling externally with high bandwidth and low latency - the obvious application was external high-performance graphics, especially as it bypasses many of the driver issues you'd see with other solutions.

MSI have taken up the challenge and developed a product they're calling GUS II. The device is essentially an external enclosure for a dual-slot PCI-Express card, combined with a power supply capable of delivering 150W to the card. That's enough for a standard GFX card with one 6-pin connector.

MSI were demoing the GUS II with a 5770, and obviously target CES 2012 because of the nearing release of Ivy Bridge which promises Thunderbolt on certain Ultrabooks. It's still a product with an unproven market, restricted by the cost of Thunderbolt, but it shows promise and will hopefully take off with a manufacturer as big as MSI behind it.

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