M.2 "Graphics Card"

el01

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jun 4, 2018
774
587
https://www.anandtech.com/show/13677/innodisk-launches-m2-graphics-card-with-4k-output

Innodisk now has a M.2-compatible "graphics card" (basically a video output device) available for potential consumer purchase.

It is based off of a Silicon Motion SM768 controller (with 256MB of video memory) and can display 1080p at 60Hz or 4K at 30Hz. There was not enough space to put dedicated HDMI or other video out ports, so (presumably) video outputs will connect via an extension wire.

While this device is mostly meant as a display adapter and not a "video card" in the gaming sense, consumer usage may include ultra-SFF PCs for streaming video or HTPC purposes that do not require such high power.
 

chx

Master of Cramming
Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
427
202
Yes, and for that role the hardware video decoding engine is a good fit. But how far down can you pare a PC before a dedicated and surely cheaper Android TV box bceomes better?
 

Flumper Dinkle

Trash Compacter
Feb 26, 2018
48
67
Super excited to see what this could mean going forward. Low-end gaming grade m.2 GPU? Maybe in a few generations we have something of 1070 power in m.2 form factor? (fingers crossed)
Could we be entering an era of fast, powerful, power efficient sub 2L gaming PCs that are as upgradable as full size desktops?

Baby steps no doubt but the first baby steps are the most exciting.
 

Windfall

SFF Guru
Nov 14, 2017
1,229
963
https://www.anandtech.com/show/13677/innodisk-launches-m2-graphics-card-with-4k-output

Innodisk now has a M.2-compatible "graphics card" (basically a video output device) available for potential consumer purchase.

It is based off of a Silicon Motion SM768 controller (with 256MB of video memory) and can display 1080p at 60Hz or 4K at 30Hz. There was not enough space to put dedicated HDMI or other video out ports, so (presumably) video outputs will connect via an extension wire.

While this device is mostly meant as a display adapter and not a "video card" in the gaming sense, consumer usage may include ultra-SFF PCs for streaming video or HTPC purposes that do not require such high power.
Hmmmm... STX LETS GO!
 

VELKASE Michael

Cable-Tie Ninja
VELKASE
Oct 7, 2018
218
196
M.2 is currently only designed for 7 watts of power. We would need a completely different connection on the motherboard to allow for more powerful processors of a similar form factor.

In what ways would M.2-like graphics cards be better than using MXM or chips with both a CPU and GPU?
 

Flumper Dinkle

Trash Compacter
Feb 26, 2018
48
67
M.2 is currently only designed for 7 watts of power. We would need a completely different connection on the motherboard to allow for more powerful processors of a similar form factor.

In what ways would M.2-like graphics cards be better than using MXM or chips with both a CPU and GPU?
Yes and pci-e gen 3 is only rated to something like 75W (I think? Please correct if wrong) but we can get around that with external power connectors.
And I think to ask why m.2 is better than MXM is the same as to ask why ITX is better than ATX. There will be sacrifice as with all SFF. It may well be a niche use case, especially with the power that APUs can provide right now, but my hope for this particular form factor going forward would be a super SFF PC that doesn't have the GPU tied to the CPU and both are completely upgradeable.
I believe with the inventive minds we have on this forum and elsewhere we may well start seeing custom form factors that used to be restricted to high production companies.

Or maybe I'm just overly hopeful. This is probably the same stuff people said about the first MXM cards.
 
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el01

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jun 4, 2018
774
587
I think this paves the way for more PCIe via M.2 dankness... Imagine video capture cards that fit into M.2...

@VELKASE Michael

It's not as good to use M.2. It's a cool implementation.
 

chx

Master of Cramming
Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
427
202
Video capture cards in M.2 is nothing new. Both Avermedia and Magewell has several.
 
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