MSI GUS II Provides External Graphics to Laptops via Thunderbolt

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Laptop users may no longer need a powerful dedicated graphics card to play demanding video games--at least, not once MSI releases its GUS II external GPU enclosure.

Introduced at CES, the GUS II is an external graphics card that connects to laptops via Thunderbolt and can mount any AMD or Nvidia graphics card that uses less than 150W of power. This means users can take their graphically-underpowered laptops and turn them into gaming rigs on demand. The Thunderbolt connection's high-speed transfer rate of up to 10 gigabits per second should eliminate any bottlenecks in data transfer.

Of course, in order to work with the GUS II, your laptop will need a Thunderbolt port. Newer MacBooks have them, as well as newer PCs, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid and S430. Acer and Asus will also reportedly be adding Thunderbolt ports to their machines.

Unfortunately for Apple users, there's a drivers obstacle: support from AMD, Nvidia, and Apple will be needed before the GUS II will work on laptops such as the MacBook Air, according to Notebook Italia. Windows users are in luck, however, since MSI already has it working and will be rolling out the enclosure in just a few months (second half of 2012 is the supposed drop date). There's no word on what the GUS II will cost, yet.

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