AMD's latest Radeon driver update includes a technology called AMD XConnect that will let you connect your laptop to an external GPU and enjoy the added gaming power.
AMD XConnect feature is debuting in today’s Radeon Software 16.2.2 (or later) graphics driver. Compatible with Windows 10, the software allows you to connect your laptop to an external GPU enclosure configured with select Radeon R9 GPUs over Thunderbolt 3. A PC configured with AMD XConnect technology and external Radeon graphics can be connected or disconnected at any time, similar to a USB flash drive.
The Razer Blade Stealth with Thunderbolt 3 is a new notebook that’s also the first to be compatible with AMD XConnect technology. The Razer Core, meanwhile, is an optional external graphics enclosure that connects to the Blade Stealth with Thunderbolt 3.
Keep in mind that XConnect has some other requirements beyond just the external GPU and Thunderbolt 3: Users must be running Windows 10 Build 10586 or later, and need a 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 cable. The laptop must also support BIOS ACPI extensions and the graphics card must be a Radeon R9 300 or Fury series.
The driver gives you the flexibility to choose between gaming on the Blade Stealth’s display, or standalone monitors of your choice.
AMD also plans to continue testing and adding Radeon GPUs to the AMD XConnect support list.
Future external GPU solutions from other companies may come in many shapes and sizes. Some may be very compact with integrated mobile Radeon GPUs. Other vendors might allow you to buy empty user-upgradeable enclosures that accept desktop Radeon GPUs of varying lengths.
Supported Radeon GPUs for AMD XConnect:
- Radeon R9 Fury
- Radeon R9 Nano
- All Radeon R9 300 Series
- Radeon R9 290X
- Radeon R9 290
- Radeon R9 285