In addition to 7-series motherboards, MSI had its GUS II external GPU solution on display. The external chassis features a Thunderbolt interface and an internal PCIe slot. Despite running on a MacBook Pro there is currently no OS X support for the solution, but it does work under Windows. Presumably if there's OS X support for the GPU inside the enclosure it would work under OS X as well.

The only limitation to the GUS II is the internal GPU has to be powered by PCIe alone (there are no aux PCIe power connectors inside the chassis). 

MSI gave us no timeframe for release or estimate on price, but the idea alone is super exciting. I expect to see more of this type of thing as Thunderbolt equipped Ivy Bridge notebooks show up this year.

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  • klagermkii - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    What kind of pathetic GPU can be powered by the 10W available over the Thunderbolt bus? This would be useful if it allowed a decent discrete card, but when a GTX580 is 250W+ what is this going to get us? Almost the TDP of a mid-range laptop graphics card.
  • cmanderson - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    PCIe can supply at least 75W, so if there is external power running into the chassis, it wouldn't need to draw exclusively from the Thunderbolt bus.
  • winie - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    If there is going to be an ac/dc converter why not add a 6-pin connector
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    Heat. 150W in means 150W out.
  • winie - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    that can be solved by more holes. the cards fan can surely move away its tdp without an enclosure
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    Yup. Just put a nice big hole right over where the fan intake is, and the card will exhaust the heat out the backplate. Cooling a card in an enclosure like this would be a breeze.
  • repoman27 - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    And form factor. Consider the size of a typical 300W power supply (if you wanted to use a high end GPU) plus a full-length dual-slot PCIe x16 card, plus cooling. This thing looks to be not much larger than the card itself, but I guess it's probably using an external power brick...
  • SlyNine - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    PowerSupplies take advantage of the size offered by ATX specs to lower costs, they don't have to be that big or else a 1200watt PSU would be 4 times as big as a 300 watt one.

    I'm not saying the economics of scale works exactly like that but the point is valid.
  • appliance5000 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Well some of that 150 watts is used by the card. What's not used is dissipated in the form of heat.
  • danielchatfield - Sunday, June 16, 2013 - link

    How do you suppose the graphics card 'uses' it - you can't destroy energy, all electricity used by the GPU will end up as heat.

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