Visiting the MSI booth today at Computex was rather exciting – they were showing off two rather interesting GPU fan technologies, alongside their portable Thunderbolt GPU device, GUS. 

The first is a new GPU fan design, for users who want either increased GPU cooling, or increased VRM cooling.  Initially being a small sized GPU, a user can add a second fan on top of the first, to increase the airflow blowing directly onto the main part of the cooler above the GPU:

This cooler can expand if a user has a long enough case, and the second fan can be moved to the edge of the cooler, providing more cooling along that side of the GPU.

This extra fan is limited to 40% RPM due to the controller being used.  MSI tell us that there are plans to make this fan fully adjustable.

Also of interest to us is the introduction of the ‘dust-free’ methods MSI are bring to their main user line of enthusiast SKUs.  At startup, the fans on the GPU will spin in the reverse direction for 30 seconds in an attempt to draw dust out of the GPU (but dump it into the case).  After 30 seconds, the fans will spin back the other way to produce the desired cooling effect.  MSI say this has come about due to the Asian market, where pollution can cause dust buildup in cases and coolers.

GUS is what part of the world has been waiting for - an external GPU housing.  Data transfer comes through a Thunderbolt cable to provide 10 Gbps bandwidth, and MSI state they should be selling this housing with a GPU up to 150W, so 7870, 7850 and 6850 models to begin with in Q3/Q4 if demand is high enough and Thunderbolt takes a hold in the market.

More photos in the gallery below.

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  • zanon - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    On the subject of an external discrete GPU, has anyone heard anything recent about Nvidia's PCIe link compression tech? I remember reading last year (starting with driver series 258 I think) that in certain restricted instances Nvidia had activated a compression algorithm for the PCIe data itself. My recollection is that it was only with intel IGP, optimus, and an x1 link, but it enabled surprisingly decent performance even over such a tight link. I think there was a thread on it related to "diy vidock" at notebook review.

    TB is more like x2.5 rather then x1, but it seems like it too could benefit from link compression to perform better. Somewhat surprisingly though it seems like Nvidia/AMD have been pretty quiet about eGPUs, despite it being potentially a pretty big deal for Nvidia in particular. Anyone know if there's been some word on that?
    Reply
  • MGSsancho - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    TB is Intel's baby. nVidia would need Intel's assistance to do so. Since Intel gave nVidia the chip-set boot I am not sure if there is still resentment. Who knows but ideally this would be cool. squeeze more usable bandwidth out of TB. Reply
  • zanon - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    TB is Intel's baby. nVidia would need Intel's assistance to do so.

    I'm nearly positive you are wrong on this. TB pipes standard PCIe links. That's why external PCIe cases can work with anything that has drivers, it's supposed to be entirely transparent to stuff higher up the stack (though special support may be required for hot plug). I don't see any reason why Nvidia couldn't pipe whatever they want over the link, same as anyone else.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    Give it a huge fan with dust filter and a GPU with a massive heat sink, e.g. something alöong the lines of Thermalright Shaman or Arctic Cooling Accelero S1. That could easily get rid of even more heat, while still being very silent. Reply
  • __-_-_-__ - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/e-gpu-external-gra...

    please sign the petition!
    https://www.change.org/petitions/msi-micro-star-in...
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    Well, at least the max power supported is improved. Last time we saw the GUS, I believe it supported only 75W, this unit supports 150W. That likely means they've either upped it from PCIe 1.0 or 2.0 (75W max) to 2.1 or 3.0 (150W max), or they're still 1.0 or 2.0 but with a single 6-pin power connector (which adds 75W).

    That's not going to get you stuff like the GTX670, but 150W will get you a much more powerful card than 75W would have.
    Reply
  • __-_-_-__ - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    who cares about the power? we can just add an external psu and have the most powerful gpu in the world to work. ofc it would be nice but who cares?
    just release the product already! it's still vaporware. no one can buy one. sign the petition!
    Reply
  • Sm0kes - Friday, June 08, 2012 - link

    Tough to get excited about the MSI's GUS until 1.) It actually has a firm release data / is released 2.) and at a _reasonable_ price point (read: not $799 like the Sonnet Echo Express Pro).

    This is basically vaporware and posturing by MSI trying to gauge Thunderbolt adoption, nothing more.
    Reply

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