A lot of players have two laptops, the first for work and the second for games, or a laptop and desktop computer. Why? Because computers for players are big and heavy, so you can forgot about mobility. On the other hand, mobile laptops do not provide enough performance for games. Therefore AMD has decided to prepare universal docking station for external  graphics cards.

Of course, we had several similar solutions in the past, however AMD XConnect allows us to connect and disconnect the external GPU on the fly, i.e. without system reboot. How is it possible? In order to achieve this elusive goal, AMD cooperated with Razer and Intel. Intel has prepared the interface, i.e. Thunderbolt 3, which provides 40 Gbit/s speed. Razer manufactured the docking station and the demonstration laptop which are compatible with the standard. The AMD has developed drivers which allows us to connect and disconnect the external GPU whenever we want.

Of course, the idea is that it will be universal solution, so also other companies will manufacture compatible laptops and All In One computers. The first compatible devices are Razer Blade Stealth notebooks and Razer Core stations. However, the requirement list is very short:

  • ​Radeon™ Software 16.2.2 driver (or later)
  • 1x Thunderbolt™ 3 port
  • 40Gbps Thunderbolt™ 3 cable
  • Windows® 10 build 10586 (or later)
  • BIOS support for external graphics over Thunderbolt™ 3
  • Certified Thunderbolt™ 3 graphics enclosure configured with supported Radeon™ R9 Series GPU
  • Thunderbolt™ firmware (NVM) v.16

Currently this solution is supported by several AMD GPUs:

  • Radeon™ R9 Fury
  • Radeon™ R9 Nano
  • All Radeon™ R9 300 Series
  • Radeon™ R9 290X
  • Radeon™ R9 290
  • Radeon™ R9 285

I hope that this list will be longer in the near feature. In my opinion this is very good solution for players, because it allows you to upgrade your GPU. Here is the short demonstration of AMD XConnect solution: