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You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.

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Derek Andonian
You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jun 10, 2013 at 2:53:42 am

All these new rumors of the supposed upcoming Mac Pro that has little to no internal expansion and instead relies heavily on Thunderbolt has revived a misconception that's been swirling around for a while, and in case an update is announced tomorrow at WWDC, I want to nip this thing in the bud right now...

A lot of people are unfazed by the thought of everything having to be connected through a Thunderbolt cable, due to the high speed of the data transfers that TB is capable of, and they say things like, "Yeah, but you don't need internal slots anymore- With Thunderbolt, EVEN VIDEO CARDS can be connected externally!!"

The idea of an external GPU does sound pretty cool- but it is NOT POSSIBLE with the current version of Thunderbolt, or even the faster one that's coming next year. A current Thunderbolt connection is equivalent to a PCI-E 4X slot on a motherboard. A GPU NEEDS A PCI-E 16X SLOT!

When Thunderbolt 2.0 gets here, we'll have the equivalent of an 8X slot- which still only has HALF THE BANDWIDTH of the type of slot a modern GPU requires. When Thunderbolt gets to 40 Gigabits per second, THEN we'll be able to connect a GPU to it. Or, if there's a way to split the data from a single device between two cables, that would get us there too- once version 2 gets here.

But right now, with a single cable, it's JUST. NOT. POSSIBLE....

Greg Andonian, a.k.a. Derek

______________________________________________
Facebook.com/creativecloudboycott

adobe2014.tumblr.com

#adobe2014


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Charlie Austin
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jun 10, 2013 at 4:02:32 am

What's your point?

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Derek Andonian
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jun 10, 2013 at 5:56:38 am

[Charlie Austin] What's your point?

I guess I didn't need to post such a long-winded rant. Sorry about that...


It just frustrates me seeing the direction Apple is taking lately. I'm on the PC side right now, but I want to go cross-platform at some point, and when I do it would be nice to have the option of a powerful, expandable workstation available.

Right now I have an image in my mind of Apple releasing an enlarged Mac Mini with 12 Thunderbolt ports, and going on about how it's the greatest thing ever and PCI slots are obsolete because we don't need them anymore. And imagining that is a little depressing.

I wish Woz was still at Apple. From what I hear, he wanted Macs to be more user-upgradable, but the Jobs overruled him...

Greg Andonian, a.k.a. Derek

______________________________________________
Facebook.com/creativecloudboycott

adobe2014.tumblr.com

#adobe2014


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Gary Huff
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jun 10, 2013 at 11:29:17 am

[Derek Andonian] "I wish Woz was still at Apple. From what I hear, he wanted Macs to be more user-upgradable, but the Jobs overruled him..."

And whoever started this rumor is probably happy to see people knee-jerking to his work.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jun 10, 2013 at 11:51:05 am

Actually, it is possible. I'm not saying you'll like it, or that its practical, but it is possible.

http://mediapros.co.uk/portfolio-view/thunderbolterizer/

Someone who has it running:

http://www.coreyrobson.com/post/52451664259/thunderbolt-gpu-is-alive-and-mo...


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Bobby Mosca
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jun 10, 2013 at 4:01:19 pm

And don't forget this:







Although, Jeremy's links are encouraging! I hadn't looked at this in a while and assumed it still wasn't supported in OS X.

In spite of the lane limitations, the RED demonstration wasn't too shabby. I'd be curious to see some performance tests or demos on the Quadro.

Cheer up, Derek! It's not what we want, but not all is lost.


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Craig Seeman
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jun 10, 2013 at 3:25:09 pm

If the rumors are true, the new MacPro will support two GPUs, my guess either BTO or by default. Please keep in mind that, to date, all Thunderbolt computers have GPUs on the motherboard as Thunderbolt has access to them. I had hopped that there would be one GPU on the motherboard and another one or two 16x PCIe slots for GPU and other cards greater than 4x. One guess is that there may be two GPUs on the motherboard so that 4 Thunderbolt ports will have access.

So just as one might shout that Thunderbolt is 4x and can't handle an external GPU, one might shout the GPU MUST BE ON THE MOTHERBOARD for Thunderbolt to have access to it.



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Craig Seeman
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jun 10, 2013 at 6:44:47 pm

And it'll be two AMD Firepro GPUs and apparently no PCIe slots.
6 TB2 ports.



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Greg Rodrigues
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jun 11, 2013 at 7:16:15 pm

Greg/Derek, what you fail to understand is that while a GPU is connected via a x16 slot, video cards don't really require that much bandwidth.

PCI Express is also a modular system, so even those x16 cards can be connected with less than 16 lanes. Put some tape on the bottom of a card to make it a 4x card, and you may see a performance dip of 1-5%.

Unless you're connecting a $500+ video card, the Thunderbolt connection will easily provide enough bandwidth to boost the performance above and beyond the capabilities of integrated video.


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Levi Tomes
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jul 15, 2013 at 7:53:31 pm

The only fact I see in this post is about the equivalent bandwidth, which real world tests prove irrelevant (see below).

You can. They have, soon it will be affordable.

Thunderbolt GPU review and comparison to native performance: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-graphics-thunderbolt,3263.h...


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Killy Manjaro
Re: You. Can. NOT. Connect. a GPU. Through. THUNDERBOLT.
on Jul 21, 2013 at 1:19:22 pm

Yes you can.
Search about TH-05 from Bplus.
Intel wasn't to happy with this, so Bplus had to recall it.
The only reason to me this is happening is because they have a solution of there own undergoing.

Also I'm trying to connect a gpu to my mac mini.. on Thunderbolt.
On laptop forum, many people have done it. Its more than a proof of concept. It does work.
Its called ePGU.
http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/3062-13-mbp-gtx660ti-hd7870...

Of course some trouble remain with OSX. But that's where Thunderboltizer begin.


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