XConnect Puts AMD GPUs Into External Graphics Enclosures (Updated)

AMD announced a Radeon Software update that includes support for a new technology called XConnect, which allows AMD graphics cards to work in Thunderbolt 3-powered external graphics enclosures, such as the Razer Core.

We first saw the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook and its companion external graphics enclosure, the Razer Core, at CES. At the time, Razer was demoing the new product with an Nvidia GPU, but we were told that any GPU with driver support would work. AMD GPUs now have support for Thunderbolt 3 external graphics enclosures as well, albeit with a few caveats.

AMD revealed that R9 300-series, R9 290X, R9 290,  R9 285, R9 Fury and Nano GPUs are compatible with the new XConnect technology, leaving out the entirety of the company’s older and mid-tier GPU offerings (R9 280 and below, R7 300-series and below) and setting a strict performance entry level in order to enjoy the benefits of external graphics enclosures.

However, this is acceptable considering that most consumers purchasing these docks are likely looking for some serious GPU horsepower anyway. Fury X is not specifically listed as compatible, due to its 120 mm radiator.

AMD’s XConnect is available now as part of the Radeon Software Crimson Edition update 16.2.2 and higher.

Updated 3/10/16 4:40 PM CT: A change was made to reflect the graphics card compatibility.

Derek Forrest is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Derek Forrest on Twitter. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

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  • lightofhonor
    The Fury X can't fit inside the case due to the water cooling.
  • TechyInAZ
    It's a good idea and one that's been taking forever to be implemented. I can see this not only as being good for laptops but also for ultra thin desktops which can't fit a full blown graphics card.
  • Brian_R170
    Quote:
    It's a good idea and one that's been taking forever to be implemented. I can see this not only as being good for laptops but also for ultra thin desktops which can't fit a full blown graphics card.


    Exactly. Just in time for the NUC6i7KYK (aka "Skull Canyon"), or similarly powerful small desktops with Thunderbolt 3.