AMD is looking closely at external GPUs according to a Facebook post by its head of technical marketing, Robert Hallock. Beside a picture of the Razer Core chassis external GPU, Hallock says that AMD agrees that external GPUs are "the answer" to many people's computer hardware wishes. However it's difficult to decide whether the picture of the Razer Core is something that is close to AMD's answer, or an example of the 'problem' of proprietary external GPUs.
Hallock promises AMD will shortly share more information about "External GPUs with standardized connectors, cables, drivers, plug'n'play, OS support, etc." He says that many people are trapped between the desire for powerful gaming laptops and the appeal of sleek, light, long battery life ultrabook laptops. Thinking about the marketability of such computing devices Hallock reckons there's "a HUGE appetite for thin notebooks that can game" and many would give up their mITX LAN gaming rigs if external GPUs were to be standardised and take-off.
So AMD looks to be hoping that introducing a standard, like it did with FreeSync, could make external GPUs more commonplace and compatible with a wide range of new laptops. Previous big-name external GPU solutions such as those from MSI (Gaming Dock) or Alienware (Graphics Amplifier) were rather limited in appeal due to the requisite partner laptop model range limits.
It's interesting to see a senior PR specialist from Razer on the same FB thread commenting about the Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Type C connectors, as used by the Razer Core. "It's a new standard but definitely a standard," quips Razer's Andre Ruff, perhaps hinting at some AMD collaboration over its Core external GPU design, heading to availability in Q2.
Hopefully 'Hallock's "very soon" hint means we will see and learn more about AMD's proposed external GPU standard at GDC, which kicks off on 14th March.