INQ: PCI Sig approves cable spec. for external video cards

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Judging by the size, power requirements, and heat issues of the best cards nowadays, it makes more sense than ever. Can't see this happening tomorrow though- you gotta figure that the card manufacturers aren't tooled to produce functional external units, only the cards themselves. However, it will probably lead to cool-looking custom boxes with neat blue LED lights!
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  1. I'm especially excited about the possiblities this might bring to laptop gaming.

    Who hasn't had a laptop where everything except the video card was up to snuff?
  2. Quote:
    I'm especially excited about the possiblities this might bring to laptop gaming.

    Who hasn't had a laptop where everything except the video card was up to snuff?



    OH yeaaaa.
    Id love to have a built in graphics card in my light laptop and come home to a monster gaming machine(think batman!).

    Still a bulky video card box with wires is a pain in the ass. Not everyone games sitting at a table, a couch is my fav 8)
  3. This is a very interesting theory, although I just don't see it taking off like a rocket ship. Tech is getting more and more ridiculous each generation and at some point consumers are going to cry fowl and say "Back the F up G, you best recognize!" I can see the appeal in the mid weight and feather weight laptop segments, but I don't ever see it becoming mainstream or even hitting heavy weight laptops. Heavy weights are just that, heavy weights. They have 19" screens, dual GPUs (some), 2 hard drives, and are just plain akward to carry places. Thus, adding on another external device to it seems unreasonable given what they would have already paid for the laptop in the first place.

    Now in the middle and light weight segment, this could prove lucrative. Think about it... buy a laptop for school or work that has moderate to decent performance but IGP for battery life, but when you get home you hook up your external GPU and in 5 min you are fraggin the crap outta n00bs. It may not be a huge segment, but it has the potential to combine the power of heavy weight notebooks with the portability and battery life of light weight notebooks. It has to be done right though and it has to work effortlessly. It has to be like plugging in an external hard drive and 1 reboot. There can't be any complicated switches, programs, or other little things that have to be done or it will negate all the convenience.

    Another thing to think about is the cooling requirements and the size of the boxes. They will need to be fairly quite (although not silent) and you will need an ac plug in because I don't see this thing being run off of a laptops PSU. Just isn't reasonable. I would suspect that the cards that will really hit home in these break out boxes will be the mid range cards (8800GTS, X1950Pro, etc...), the cards that provide good solid performance but don't put as much heat as the high end gpus (although that is debatable in some product lines).

    It is hopeful and a good idea.
  4. I like the idea they already are making PSU's dedicated for video cards so this would be the next step. This also allows more than just video it could include any card that is normally insice the computer. Might even get a good HD external video capture card, and a good external soundcard out of it. Also remember that PCIe is supposedly hot swappable so it would not be much different then using USB except much faster if it is done correctly.
  5. Quote:
    I like the idea they already are making PSU's dedicated for video cards so this would be the next step. This also allows more than just video it could include any card that is normally insice the computer. Might even get a good HD external video capture card, and a good external soundcard out of it. Also remember that PCIe is supposedly hot swappable so it would not be much different then using USB except much faster if it is done correctly.


    It really depends on how the cable is spec'd out. I agree, it is very possible for this to have more wide ranging implications than just video cards, however that appears to be its primary purpose.

    An external sound card might not be bad, but its been done before via USB 2.0. Yes, this should have more bandwidth, but I just wonder how much more useful it will be (and possibly more costly). However, this could be a good thing if this cable allows power to be drawn with it, akin to USB. If it can draw more power then it is feasible to have an entirely external sound card that is worth something lol.

    An external capture card isn't a bad idea. I think all these devices would benefit from the lower latency that this cable spec should provide as compared to USB. I have tried multiple capture cards in my time, but haven't found one I really like, little things go wrong with it and so I have largely given up on them. I can detect even minuscule delays in video and audio synchronization so I just stick to live TV. I will admit I haven't tried it lately, but meh.

    Good points. :)
  6. It would probably make more sense for an external GPU to have its own power supply, which of course would jack production costs way up, not to mention the cooling solution and case. The flagship cards from nV and ATi are now sucking well over 200W under full load. That's way more than what my whole computer consumes. For the manufacturer to produce an external GPU of that caliber would require a good quality power supply with a peak continuous AC power consumption of well over 300W. That is not so cheap to manufacture, and costs like that are frightening in such a competitive market. If you look at current demands, it would be way cheaper for the consumer to have one high-wattage internal power supply with an internal graphics card than to buy an external GPU. The idea is cool though.
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