In a Facebook post, AMD’s Robert Hallock posted a picture of an AMD GPU inside some form of enclosure. He then writes about how external GPUs are perfect for gamers that need the mobility of a ultrathin laptop. At the end, he states that we can expect to hear “more info very soon”.
The idea is that a laptop would contain a CPU with integrated graphics, and be built to be very portable. The external GPU would then connect via a port with high throughput, in order to power games when it is connected. Desktop GPUs offer much higher performance than notebook GPUs, as they have room for much larger heatsinks, can contain larger fans for cooling, and are able to draw more power since the battery is no longer a concern. In the picture, we can see that the external GPU takes power directly from the wall.
This type of technology is perfect for anyone that needs a laptop for mobility such as work or college, but wants to be able to sit down at home and play games with intensive graphics. Buying an ultrathin notebook with an i7 CPU and a high end external GPU would be much cheaper and more effective than buying a low-mid end notebook for work/school, and building/buying a high end gaming rig for games at home. The only downside to this technology is that notebook CPUs still have a weaker CPU, which can hurt performance in some games, and that it’s very impractical to game anywhere else but home.
We’ve already seen external GPU enclosures provided by other companies, but they tend to have proprietary connectors and lack standardization. Robert Hallock hinted towards “standardized connectors, cables, drivers, plug’n’play, OS support, etc.”
The public post can be viewed here