GPD is crowdfunding an eGPU docking station for the cool new gaming handhelds

GPD is crowdfunding a brand new compact exterior GPU docking station that may each enhance the gaming capabilities of some laptops and handheld gaming PCs, and likewise assist anchor them to a desk for cellular employees (by way of Liliputing).

The corporate is asking 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 cellular 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 identify, 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 increase. Presently, this market is held strongly by Valve’s Steam Deck, and there’s sturdy curiosity in Asus’ upcoming ROG Ally, however GPD’s been plugging away for years.

These within the know are listening to different PC gaming handhelds just like the Ayaneo 2S and GPD’s Win Max 2, and each firms 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 could be a large differentiator for its personal units — although it says you need to use Thunderbolt 3, 4, or USB-4 when 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 concept with its “Amplifier” exterior chassis that housed each a high-profile desktop graphics card and USB hub to easily your setup, and is residence to a purchaser’s information of the units that adopted. Most not too long ago, 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.

GPD shares what playing cards you’d doubtlessly have to take full benefit of the G1 dock on laptops or desktops.
Picture: GPD

Each the Alienware Amplifier and the ROG XGs have one thing in frequent: they eschew standardization through the use of 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 seeking to undertake an actual normal as compared? Properly, form of!

The G1 is uncommon in that it makes use of Oculink, which is a connector for PCI-Specific that you’d extra usually see in enterprise server racks. In case your laptop computer has an additional inside M.2 port, it may be outfitted to make use of this connector and hook up the G1 — doubtlessly supplying 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.

The G1’s acquired vents and a fan to maintain that GPU cool.
Picture: GPD

One drawback with Oculink, in addition to not being accessible in most laptops or handhelds, is that it doesn’t carry the facility and information you could totally dock and cost a PC. So that you’d possible not simply plug in Oculink but in addition 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.

After all, 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 cellular 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 looking for $20,000HKD to fund the challenge, however will get the cash even when the aim isn’t met. Nonetheless, contemplating GPD has efficiently funded nearly each product it’s shipped on this method, we count on the G1 to see the sunshine of day. Mum’s the phrase on what the G1 will price although.

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