4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 29, 2018 3:26 PM by colesdav

    Thunderbolt AMD Alternative



      I am not sure if I am the first to think about this concept, but this seems to be the trend on mobile computers. Thunderbolt 3 seems to be Intel specific and is very easy to add more graphics power for high intensity tasks (e.g. gaming). Has AMD considered adopting the protocol OR creating a similar protocol with a different name for its processors. I really want to support AMD for its innovation, but they do not seem to meet all my requirements.


      I am a Linux user as well as someone who is a fan of docking protocols since I work in an enterprise that uses these machines. I also mostly use a laptop for my computing needs, but want to get a replacement device in the next few years.

        • Re: Thunderbolt AMD Alternative



          TBolt protocol is Intel propriety and building a new similar protocol would be loss of time.
          Since the USB protocol is doing fairly well and will reach TB3 speed in the next years.
          I mean Intel said not so long ago, it would release the TBolt architecture for free to allow wide spread along the user base.
          Still haven't heard anything about since, not sure it is the main focus at Intel headquarter at the moment.
          Simply if the TB3 remain so poorly used compared to USB, one day you would not even need TB3 since the USB is the same.
          So Intel, imo, need to make a choice, continue the TB development releasing it to the public or let it die slowly against the USB protocol.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Thunderbolt AMD Alternative




            Since there is no point in reinventing the wheel and USB 3.1 Class 2 is only at ~ speed of Thunderbolt 1.0 what we need is Thunderbolt 2.0 and / or Thunderbolt 3.0 Interface Cards and Thunderbolt Headers (unless Intel drop the requirement for the headers)  on AMD Motherboards.


            Current AMD Crimson ReLive / Adrenalin Drivers already work (but are not officially supported)  with Thunderbolt 2.0 eGPU connected to a PC on Windows 8.1 64bit, where it treats the connected AMD GPU as if it were connected to a PCIe 2.0x4 slot on the motherboard. In this case you can actually Crossfire the Cards with any other AMD GPU on your machine in a standard PCIe x 16 slot  on the motherboard. AMD Relive works. Unfortunately AMD dropped providing drivers for Windows 8.1 64bit ~ time Vega was launched... You can install latest Windows 7 drivers on Windows 8.1 64bit and the 'seem to work' but I wouldn't rely on it and you do so at your own risk. Last WHQL Driver for Windows 8.1 64bit is 17.4.4 does work with Thunderbolt anyhow though.


            I am writing this on such a machine with a Thunderbolt 2.0  eGPU containing an R9 Nano connected to this PC at the moment. The PC also has a secondary R9 Nano and a Primary GTX 780Ti connected today.


            In the case of Windows 10 64bit, AMD XConnect Technology kicks in. This stops ReLive running and prevents Crossfire from enabling on the PC. 
            However you can still connect the eGPU to the PC and use it as an additional card.
            I have already reported this to AMD in AMD Reporting form. It needs fixed for the case of using eGPU with PC.

            Just in case you do not believe me heree is a picture of the type of  eGPU I use here: Scarface


            So what do I use it for ....


            Well for a number of things.




            About to start to look into ROCm Compute situation - thunderbolt connected eGPU is experimenal / work in progress at the moment and they look for volunteers for testing and I may volunteer.


            Blender MultiGPU Rendering.


            Additional power for gaming on an ASUS G751JL Laptop.

            Portable eGPU to take with me and attach to thunderbolt enabled PC at customer site if needed to demo work.


            etc etc etc.


            Regarding Linux - Thunderbolt support is turning up in recent versions of Fedora and Ubuntu but I admit I have not tested it yet.

            I was just asking today about Threadripper Motherboards and Thunderbolt situation today.


            I will add more info about that next.



            • Re: Thunderbolt AMD Alternative



              You might find this interesting: The price of AMD’s 32-core Threadripper 2990X has leaked, putting pressure on Intel


              Some info about Thunderbolt header on Threadripper Motherboard.



              • Re: Thunderbolt AMD Alternative



                You might want to watch this Video.

                Where is Thunderbolt on Threadripper?! Here it is, but... - YouTube
                This is really interesting to me.