Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) introduced Xconnect today, a technology that lets users connect their laptops to a powerful desktop graphics card to deliver a superior gaming experience. The problem with laptop graphics is that they are much less powerful when compared to an equivalent PC.
Gaming laptops are heavier and have less battery life compared to standard laptops as well as ultrabooks. This is because of the GPU needing extra power and a bigger cooling system to handle the extra heat. Both these problems could be resolved by AMD’s XConnect. It permits users to connect to an extra graphics card for gaming purposes. Battery life is increased and weight is reduced when the user is mobile. Finally the user will able to harness the considerably more powerful desktop graphics cards.
The solution is an external GPU compartment that hosts externally compatible AMD graphics cards as well as giving extra USB along with video inputs. This permits users to leave behind gaming peripherals at home and plugging in just a single USB 3.1 Type-C connector helps run everything.
External graphics are theoretically not a bad idea, as the user can carry a laptop which is light and has long battery life. Whenever the user wants to play games, he has to simply plug in the GPU. However there are still problems in practice. Certain proprietary options are compatible with just one manufacturer’s systems. Frequently altering the configuration needs rebooting or playing around with drivers.
However with AMD XConnect plugging or removing an external graphics card is as simple as handling a USB flash drive. There are certain requirements to utilize XConnect. Just the R9 300 and Fury cards can be used over Thunderbolt 3. The cable should support 40Gbps. The system requires Radeon 16.2.2 or later. Also the former should have Windows 10. Incidentally, the Razer Blade Stealth meets all the requirements of the XConnect technology.
XConnect was developed by the combined efforts of Thunderbolt, Razer and Radeon over a period of months. It is hoped by the company that the technology will be widely adopted for a superior gaming experience.