GPD is crowdfunding a brand new compact exterior GPU docking station that may each increase the gaming capabilities of some laptops and handheld gaming PCs, and likewise assist anchor them to a desk for cell employees (by way of Liliputing).
The corporate is looking it the G1, and it contains an AMD Radeon RX 7600M XT chip with HDMI 2.1 plus two DisplayPort 1.4 video outputs, a USB 4 / Thunderbolt 4 connector to dock and cost, and one thing known as Oculink (extra on that in a bit).
GPD says it’s the “world’s smallest cell graphics card growth dock”, at simply over an inch thick (29.8mm), round 9 inches lengthy (225mm) and 4 and a 3rd (111mm) deep — all with an built-in energy provide.
GPD isn’t fairly the family title, however the Shenzhen, China-based firm has been making a little bit of a reputation for itself amongst PC players enamored by the current handheld gaming growth. At present, this market is held strongly by Valve’s Steam Deck, and there’s robust curiosity in Asus’ upcoming ROG Ally, however GPD’s been plugging away for years.
These within the know are being attentive to different PC gaming handhelds just like the Ayaneo 2S and GPD’s Win Max 2, and each corporations will promote variations of them that characteristic an Oculink connector. The Steam Deck is not designed to assist exterior graphics, so GPD is hoping the G1 graphics dock is usually a huge differentiator for its personal gadgets — although it says you need to use Thunderbolt 3, 4, or USB-4 in case you don’t thoughts having much less bandwidth.
The idea of a mixed docking station and exterior graphics card (or eGPU) isn’t new. Alienware helped pioneer the thought with its “Amplifier” exterior chassis that housed each a high-profile desktop graphics card and USB hub to easily your setup, and eGPU.io is house to a purchaser’s information of the gadgets that adopted. Most lately, Asus has pumped out painfully costly however compact ROG XG graphics docks with Nvidia RTX 3080 and 3090s that go for as much as $2,000.
Each the Alienware Amplifier and the ROG XGs have one thing in frequent: they eschew standardization by utilizing completely different proprietary connectors that solely work with their very own matching laptops. In the meantime, Framework is creating a brand new rear-slot ecosystem that helps add-in GPUs. So is GPD trying to undertake an actual normal as compared? Nicely, type of!
The G1 is uncommon in that it makes use of Oculink, which is a connector for PCI-Categorical that you’d extra usually see in enterprise server racks. In case your laptop computer has an additional inner M.2 port, it may be outfitted to make use of this connector and hook up the G1 — doubtlessly providing you with dependable and higher GPU efficiency (GPD claims as much as 63Gbps bandwidth) in comparison with the extra widely-supported USB4 and Thunderbolt-based (as much as 40Gbps) eGPUs. Weak desktop computer systems may additionally get in on the motion with an Oculink adapter card.
One downside with Oculink, in addition to not being obtainable in most laptops or handhelds, is that it doesn’t carry the facility and information you must totally dock and cost a PC. So that you’d seemingly not simply plug in Oculink but additionally a USB-C connector to offer your laptop computer or handheld as much as 60W of energy, and entry the three USB-A ports and SD card reader.
In fact, the G1’s GPU and dock will want its personal energy, however fortunately it doesn’t have an enormous energy adapter like another eGPU options. As an alternative, the G1 integrates a 240W GaN energy provide inside its personal chassis.
GPD quotes spectacular efficiency from its RX 7600M, claiming the cell chip can beat a desktop RTX 3070 GPU in most video games. GPD says it examined the 7600M paired with the identical Ryzen 7 7840U you’d discover within the latest gaming handhelds, versus the 3070 paired with a desktop Ryzen 5600X. That’s principally the identical desktop my editor Sean Hollister runs, and he was wowed to see it.
If true, it may make for a remarkably highly effective desktop you might match right into a tiny messenger bag — with one gaming handheld, one eGPU the scale of a gaming handheld, and three cables (Oculink, USB-C, and AC), plus your mouse and keyboard.
The G1 is on Indiegogo, however the marketing campaign has not but begun as of this writing. GPD is in search of $20,000HKD to fund the venture, however will get the cash even when the aim isn’t met. Nonetheless, contemplating GPD has efficiently funded virtually each product it’s shipped on this method, we anticipate the G1 to see the sunshine of day. Mum’s the phrase on what the G1 will value although.