At SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles, Nvidia announced that it’s working with other vendors to bring Titan Xp and Quadro graphics cards to notebooks as external GPUs for creative professionals. Though external graphics chassis exist already, Nvidia wants to also have products that meet (and are certified for) accepted professional standards for operation and performance.
The rise in popularity of thin-and-light notebooks has resulted in devices that rely on integrated graphics or weak discrete graphics. Nvidia would like to give people who use those devices the chance to get the same GPU performance they’d get from a desktop.
Titan Xp: Business And Pleasure
Nvidia stressed that the Titan Xp in an eGPU configuration can be used for creative tasks like 3D modeling, video editing and color correction, and VR... as well as, of course, on-the-go gaming.
The company also announced that it is releasing a new performance driver for Titan Xp to enhance applications like Autodesk's Maya and Adobe Premier Pro.
Quadro: All Work, No Play
Unlike its gaming companion external GPU solutions, the Quadro eGPU faces a more difficult task: getting certified for professional applications. Having Nvidia involved with these projects should help them through the certification process. For this, we're primarily talking about CAD and engineering applications like PTC Creo and Siemens NX, where the vendor will literally not support your installation if it isn't running on a certified GPU. For the Quadro eGPU program specifically, Nvidia is working with established manufacturers like Sonnet, Magma, Akiti, and Bizon. The company says there are more to come.
We would presume that this would also mean there will be real driver-level support for eGPUs. Of course, these eGPUs are designed for machines equipped with Thunderbolt 3. Pricing and availability information are not yet available, but Nvidia said today the Titan Xp eGPUs are ready now, with Quadro eGPUs coming in 2-3 weeks.