PCI Express-External GPUs-Custom Design
Circuit Board Pcb
Theoretically, external PCIe could give a notebook the graphics power of a desktop, by connecting a notebook with any PCIe desktop video card (enclosed in its own external housing, with strong power supply and cooling); possible with an ExpressCard interface or a Thunderbolt interface. The ExpressCard interface provides bit rates of 5 Gbit/s (0.5 GB/s throughput), whereas the Thunderbolt interface provides bit rates of up to 40 Gbit/s (5 GB/s throughput).
In 2010 external card hubs were introduced that can connect to a laptop or desktop through a PCI ExpressCard slot. These hubs can accept full-sized graphics cards. Examples include MSI GUS, Village Instrument's ViDock, the Asus XG Station, Bplus PE4H V3.2 adapter, as well as more improvised DIY devices. However such solutions are limited by the size (often only x1) and version of the available PCIe slot on a laptop.
In 2008, AMD announced the ATI XGP technology, based on a proprietary cabling system that is compatible with PCIe ×8 signal transmissions. This connector is available on the Fujitsu Amilo and the Acer Ferrari One notebooks. Fujitsu launched their AMILO GraphicBooster enclosure for XGP soon thereafter. Around 2010 Acer launched the Dynavivid graphics dock for XGP.
Intel Thunderbolt interface has given opportunity to new and faster products to connect with a PCIe card externally. Magma has released the ExpressBox 3T, which can hold up to three PCIe cards (two at ×8 and one at ×4).MSI also released the Thunderbolt GUS II, a PCIe chassis dedicated for video cards. Other products such as the Sonnet’s Echo Express and mLogic’s mLink are Thunderbolt PCIe chassis in a smaller form factor.However, all these products require a computer with a Thunderbolt port (i.e., Thunderbolt devices), such as, for example, Apple's Macbook Pro released in fall 2013.
For the professional market, Nvidia has developed the Quadro Plex external PCIe family of GPUs that can be used for advanced graphic applications. These video cards require a PCI Express ×8 or ×16 slot for the host-side card which connects to the Plex via a VHDCI carrying 8 PCIe lanes.