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Author Topic: Thunderbolt to PCIe?  (Read 3821 times)
tonto
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January 04, 2012, 09:09:25 PM
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Now, I'm new to Thunderbolt.  My MacBook Pro has a Thunderbolt port, and I'm currently able to mine a little bit with the built-in Radeon HD 6750M.
 
But my question is, with this adapter/chassis, would it be able to slap on some better video cards inside this?
 
Also is Thunderbolt used in this way daisy-chainable? 
 
http://www.thunderbolt-peripherals.com/t-bolt-pcie-expansion

And most important, if it did work, is current mining software able to see those video cards? Smiley

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January 04, 2012, 11:27:46 PM
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....permits connection to special purpose PCIe 2.0 adapters like 8Gb Fibre Channel adapters, 10Gb Ethernet cards, RAID control, and video capturing devices.

There are specific reasons that a video card needs to be on the system bus; it has a BIOS, I/O ranges, and a DMA memory aperture that need to be directly mapped to system memory. In addition, they like to have system interrupts. I don't know much about Thunderbolt, but I suspect it doesn't allow peripherals to directly map big memory ranges transparently.

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January 05, 2012, 12:01:54 AM
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There are specific reasons that a video card needs to be on the system bus; it has a BIOS, I/O ranges, and a DMA memory aperture that need to be directly mapped to system memory. In addition, they like to have system interrupts. I don't know much about Thunderbird, but I suspect it doesn't allow peripherals to directly map big memory ranges transparently.
Yes, it does, because there is PCIe support over Thunderbolt, so it's technically possible to use any PCIe board just like it's inserted directly in the MB.
Also you can connect any PCIe board via ExpressCard slot if you have it.

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January 05, 2012, 08:01:03 AM
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I think this is what is being sought: http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock, it plugs into the expresscard slot. It has a 16x PCIe card slot, but is electrically only 1x. It also looks like a mining card would cook inside the enclosure.





The Vdock 4 plus is $279+$25 shipping; it would be cheaper to build a mining computer to plug your video card into. Additionally, there are compatiblity issues:

"However, only MacBook Pro generations 1, 2, and 4 support graphics cards on the PCIe bus provided in its ExpressCard slot. Other generations of MacBook Pro impose limitations on the memory resources allowed to be assigned to PCIe devices in the ExpressCard slot. PCIe graphics cards used in ViDock require more memory resources than are allowed. Latest MacBook Pro, called Unibody, is generation 5 and unfortunately it is not supported."

The company is looking into a Thunderbold adapter for video cards but has this post on facebook:
"We are still waiting for the Tunderbolt team at intel to release the Thunderbolt developer information / Kit to us. Until they can release it we can not do Thunderbolt development. At IDF they suggested it will become available in Q1 2012. Meanwhile we focus our effort to develop the USB 3 interface for ViDock G4, as such developer information / Kits are available to us. This will in a sense also be beneficial to shorten development of the Thunderbolt version of ViDock G4. We expect the first ViDock G4 to ship in G2 2012. If Thunderbolt will be supported by us at that time completely depends on when intel is releasing Thunderbolt development kit to us and is out of our control."

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March 31, 2012, 10:09:01 AM
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I could just grab a MBA (Macbook air) with its thunderbolt port and mine on a gpu externally as that has TB and is cheaper than mbp.

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