ADLink has created a unique graphics solution called the Pocket AI portable GPU. This GPU is effectively a GeForce RTX 3050 repackaged into a mobile device the size of your hand. The GPU utilizes Thunderbolt 3 connectivity to bring additional graphics performance to a supported laptop or desktop device.
The GPU inside is an enterprise-class RTX A500 GPU; however, the core specifications are nearly identical to an RTX 3050 laptop GPU. It features NVIDIA's GA107 GPU die with 2,048 CUDA cores, 64 Tensor DCores, 16 RT cores, 4GB of GDDR6 memory, a 64-bit-wide interface, and a 25W TGP. Unsurprisingly the RTX A500 in this configuration has a maximum performance rating of just 6.54 TFLOPs.
The GPU isn't exactly fast by current standards, but the portable GPU will unlock most of NVIDIA's features found in its latest GeForce RTX products, as well as some additional features reserved exclusively for its professional GPUs. For gamers and streamers, adding this pocket GPU to their portfolio can unlock voice-cancellation/video-enhancement features like RTX Broadcast, and high-quality video streaming thanks to the RTX A500's NVENC encoder.
Professional users can also use this GPU for accelerating tasks utilizing Nvidia's CUDA technology and AI-accelerated applications with the integration of Nvidia's Tensor cores. ADLink provided an example of a person walking down a street holding a Pocket RTX A500 GPU running Yolov4 AI object detection.
Of course, the pocket GPU can be used for gaming in a pinch for really underpowered devices. But don't expect great gaming performance from this GPU with its meager 25W TDP. However, it at least has DLSS technology to counter this issue somewhat.
The Pocket AI measures 106mm x 72mm x 25mm and weighs just 250 grams. To run the graphics device, you'll need a Thunderbolt 3.0 connection on your machine and an additional USB Type-C power source that supports USB Power Delivery 3.0+ (like a phone charger). Pricing is unknown, but the product will be available to pre-order in April 2023. Shipping starts in June 2023.
I hope nobody buys this with the intent of playing games when so many newer games readily fill 8GB of VRAM.
To me, this smells like a jump-start on April 1st.
Seems more like it's marketed toward owners of "thin & light" Ultrabooks which do not have a dGPU but may need the power of one at times for professional work, or to be paired with mini PC's like Intel's NUC line (the 4"x4" small ones; not the larger Extreme variants which can take desktop GPUs).
It doesn't seem to be intended for gaming, though it will still likely play some games at lower settings just fine.
Definitely a niche product, but a creative one nonetheless, as eGPU enclosures have generally not been small in the past. About the smallest you could get was to stuff a compact pro GPU into a Sonnet TB3 enclosure, and that's still significantly larger than this device. I could definitely find uses for this as I know some of my clients could as well.
Remember the shellacking the RTX6500 got for its often exceptionally poor performance at 3.0x4? I don't expect reviews to be any kinder to another 4GB GPU irremediably throttled by its own 40Gbps cord.
Again, none of that matters when you're using it for it's intended purpose, which is NOT gaming, but professional work.