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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  • ionis - Monday, January 16, 2012 - link

    These external GPUs are pointless without HDMI in on the laptops. Who's going to bring their laptop, external GPU, AND monitor with them? It would be so great to be able to take a laptop and a gaming capable GPU with me to a friend's house or on a business trip.
  • mercutiouk - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    I really think the first company that comes up with a box shaped to fit a PCI-e dual slot (almost) full length card WITH relevant power and cooling. A dual USB 3 to thunderbolt adapter, single 7200RPM hard drive and enough lanes tied to it to achieve close to desktop performance all in a box you can hang off the back of a monitor is going to clean up.

    Have the laptop set to boot from thunderbolt first.

    Coming home with a laptop, pushing 1 plug in it and having it capable of near desktop performance with about £120 plus whatever you want to spend on a graphics card is going to quite compelling to a fair chunk of PC users.

    Even i'd probably make the switch for that (assuming I could throw a 2nd plug in to talk to the raid-5).

    Modular computing where you have a basic, "does general duties" core that's portable and once docked has available performance boosted significantly is almost certainly the future.

    I'd like to see the virtu tech being used with this to allow a brick to be plugged into a laptop and give performance boost to the built in screen as per the current desktop setup. I run with a pretty good performing laptop (5870, i5, 6GB) that's been shoe-horned into a 15.6" setup but something lighter and more modular would be awesome.
  • theunfrailhale - Sunday, June 10, 2012 - link

    I would like to see a new LCD display that includes a GPU port. You're running power to the monitor, you could incorporate the GPU into its power scheme and get all the wattage you need for a good card. Slap some USB ports on the side, and a TB cable to your ultrabook of choice and voila! plug in one cable and now your laptop is a rough equivalent of a desktop.

    ... ok... you probably want to charge your laptop too, so thats two cables to plug in. =/
  • ErroneousUsername - Monday, May 27, 2013 - link

    Maybe I'm being naïve but couldn't you dedicate a 500W desktop power supply to the graphics card via the 6/8 pin adapters and run dual thunderbolt to alleviate the bottleneck of the controller a little? the laptop should only have to power the cable itself I would think. Then you could run a fully powered HD 6950 or so on 4 lanes of pcie 2.0. I don't know if that would significantly out-perform the GTX 680m or not but I would imagine so. On a second thought though, I believe they now have laptops with SLI GTX 680m's or Crossfire HD 7970m's. I'm not sure where they benchmark compared to a PCIe 2.0 x4 desktop card but I think they'd be able to handle quite a bit. So maybe thunderbolt will be primarily for storage and peripherals and everyone will just have to buy a laptop with better dedicated graphics. I had high hopes for thunderbolt driven exterior graphics solutions but it appears that there may be too many roadblocks.
  • Jblagden - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    I recently emailed MSI about it and the sales representative said that MSI will not put the GUS II into production because it "Did not meet our production criteria to launch to market as a viable product.".

    It looks like MSI may have underestimated the amount of people that want to buy the GUS II.

    It looks like the only way to convince MSI to produce it is through this petition:
  • Jblagden - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    I just found out that the other reason why they haven't released it is because Apple hasn't tested it yet. That's a problem because the MSI GUS II mainly appeals to Mac users. The GUS II doesn't really appeal to too many PC users. This is partially because there are a lot of people who have a 13 inch MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air and would rather pay around $200 for an external graphics card instead of having to pay $2500 for a Mac Pro. Also, with IBM Clones, there are gaming laptops, while there aren't any Mac gaming laptops. So, we'll have to find out when Apple will be able to test the GUS II.
  • Thatguy97 - Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - link

    still cant do this...

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