Random External graphics idea / question

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by dvsman, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. dvsman

    dvsman [H]ard|Gawd

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    Seeing how alot of new moboes and computers are coming with thunderbolt ports, would it be possible to use two separate external enclosures with a GPU in each, to do SLI / XFire (maybe XFire since there's no way to attach the SLI bridge)?

    I've been debating updating my intel box (was thinking of going to Ryzen plus or Ryzen 2).

    Just a random thought that I don't think I've seen answered anywhere before.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  2. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I've not seen an AMD system that supports Thunderbolt 3. We probably won't either as AMD would have to license it from Intel and buy Alpine Ridge controllers. As to the question about SLI, the answer is "maybe." You can chain devices via Thunderbolt but SLI would require communication over the PCIe / Thunderbolt interconnect, which high end cards do not do. That doesn't mean it isn't technically possible but it's not currently implemented that way.
     
  3. dvsman

    dvsman [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks for the info, Dan_D - I didn't know about the Thunderbolt licensing. That would explain the why not for sure. But if that's the case, could I do an intel CPU+mobo setup with AMD GPU cards? "Theoretically" since AMD doesn't normally need the physical physical SLI/Xfire interconnect?
     
  4. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Yes, if the cards don't require a SLI or Crossfire bridge, you could use them in Crossfire or SLI. I don't know that this has actually been tested and there could be all kinds of issues brought on by the use of an external enclosure for a graphics card. Again, it's not technically impossible but its not a normal configuration and therefore, I don't know if the drivers can handle that.
     
  5. Algrim

    Algrim [H]ard|Gawd

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    Apple is starting to support external GPU enclosures in their newer macOS versions. If there ever was a company that mated AMD/RTG GPUs to Intel CPUs, it's Apple.
     
  6. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Alienware and Razer both have had external enclosures for graphics cards earlier than Apple. They weren't NVIDIA specific. They couldn't do multi-GPU though.