At SIGGRAPH 2017 in L.A, Nvidia made an announcement that was much awaited.It’s working with different vendors to bring a solution for notebooks and laptops to utilize external GPUs for personal and professional purposes.
They plan to launch eGPU boxes that will enable external cards like Titan XP and Quadro to work with laptops and notebooks. This eGPU will operate using a single Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port shared between the laptop and device.
The announcement was made to a large audience of 3D animators and people related to digital media and creativity. This plan came to life when Nvidia saw the increasing popularity of thin and mobile laptops and notebook devices, which didn’t have the graphical potential to handle intensive 3D applications.
Bob Pette, V.P., Professional Visualization, Nvidia explained that laptops and notebooks are becoming lighter, thinner; on the contrary demand for a powerful hardware is increasing for A.I workflows, Ultra High Definition Animations, stitching large scale textures & rendering UHD textures.
With eGPUs, the problem will be resolved as they will enable top tier GPUs to assist and enhance the productivity of the clients at a whole new level.
Unlike the external GPUs solution for Titan; Geforce Quadro faces a more arduous task to get certified from 3D animation software developers, who do not provide any technical support, for installation and troubleshooting of the software, without having a certified graphics hardware.
Involving Nvidia with such a tech will help the certification process. Specifically, CAD and engineering applications like PTC Creo and Siemens NX. As for the Quadro eGPU hardware, the specs are given to manufacturers like Bizon, Sonnet and OSS/Magma.
Nvidia promises that Quadro eGPU boxes will be available by September. Although they haven’t provided any technical details behind its eGPU implementations. But like AMD XConnect, to utilize the Thunderbolt 3, there will be a driver support system to make it work swiftly.
Let us not forget the fact that powering this beast called GTX Titan will require one 8-pin and one 6-pin connector with a constant supply of 250 Watts for the GPU. Although power draw from the 12v rails is debatable, let’s wait and find out when Nvidia details its effective utilization process.
Would you be willing to spend a hefty amount on Titan XP and Quadro?