MSI GUS II to revolutionize Notebook graphics
Ryan Martin+ / 3 years ago
Notebook graphics are notoriously underpowered, most budget and mid range laptop systems are certainly dragged down by poor graphics performance relative to the performance of the CPU, memory and hard drive. There are a few reasons for this; Space constraints ( graphics card are big) and Power consumption issues (they consume lots of power). But lets face it when we need lots of graphical performance it tends to be for gaming and that alone, therefore the demand for laptops seems to split itself between ‘Notebooks’ and ‘Gaming laptops’. However, MSI is pushing the boundaries of a relatively long-standing market, the external graphics market. In Effect it allows users to connect a desktop graphics card to a laptop externally and use the performance. However, in recent times we have been limited by the fact we do not possess an external interface with enough bandwidth to support a video card…until now.
With the impending arrival of Thunderbolt to the standard PC platform, i.e. Not Apple Macs, coming this year in Q2 it now becomes possible to provide 10GB/s of bandwidth via a external connection. And if we do the maths 10GB/s gives the same bandwidth as a PCI-E 1.0 8X slot, PCI-E 2.0 4X slot or PCI-E 3.0 2X slot. Meaning that medium range discrete video cards can be supported. Hence where the GUS II steps in. It is a Thunderbolt-interface based PCI-E 2.0 4X (16X Physical size) docking station which is powered externally. Therefore you can now in theory run a graphics card of medium range in one of these slots, something up to a GTX 460 in equivalent performance would probably being able to operate fully within those bandwidth restrictions.
MSI have revealed no other details on pricing, availability or the release date but it is certainly something to look forward to this year.
Source: Hardware Canucks