AMD’s XConnect Promises Desktop Quality Performance For Laptops

That’s an excellent solution to a pretty major problem!

Posted By | On 10th, Mar. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

amd xconnect

The big problem with trying to play games on your laptop is performance- most laptops come with on board integrated GPUs that are not very good at running games at all. Some come with discrete chips as well, these are mobile variants that rarely deliver the kind of performance that is needed to run high end PC games.

However, AMD’s XConnect promises to solve this problem once and for all- it will be made available today in Radeon Software 16.2.2 or later, and will allow players to plug in external GPUs using simple/reversible Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cables and connectors. Thunderbolt 3 allows the external card to have up to 40Gbps of bandwidth- meaning the experience is no different than it would be with an on board chip. Moreover, you can seamlessly switch from the on board GPU to the external one.

The following cards are compatible with XConnect:

  • AMD Radeon R9 Fury
  • AMD Radeon R9 Nano
  • AMD Radeon R9 300 Series
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X
  • AMD Radeon R9 290
  • AMD Radeon R9 280
  • Mobile derivatives of these ASICs
  • PLANNED: Radeon dGPU products based on the Polaris architecture

You also need the following on your system:

  • Radeon Software 16.2.2 (or later)
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3 port
  • 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • Windows 10 build 10586 (or later)
  • System BIOS ACPI extensions for Thunderbolt eGFX (check with vendor)
  • Thunderbolt firmware (NVM) v.16 (or higher)
  • Pass Thunderbolt certification

This should make AMD attractive to a whole new subset of PC gamers.

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  • Mark

    I think I’m about to purchase a laptop with an icore 5, 8Gb of RAM and just buy a heavy hitting external GPU! Dam good news for me, I’m just gonna have to do some homework on this first..

    • lagann

      Check out the Razer Blade Stealth. Its super nice looking and really thin. You will be able to use an external gpu with their enclosure they will soon sell.

      I’m personally super interested in it as i might potentially have to travel overseas for work for a couple of months. The Blade Stealth is 1000 bucks and the gpu enclosure is still tba. I would just take off my GTX 970 currently on my desktop and use that…..then once im back home, i can just sell the enclosure.

    • Mark

      Dude I just looked it up and, yeah it looks dam good. I think I might be ready to jump in come year’s end….thx

  • lagann

    This is one of the most exciting things to happen to laptops in a while imo.


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