Thunderbolt Equipped Macs Getting External Graphics Card Dock

By Sam Cook

Village Instruments is harnessing Thunderbolt for their PCI Express Card enclosures.

For gamers, designers, and anyone else with serious computer graphics needs, choosing a laptop is a difficult decision. Do you pick a lightweight model with good battery life, accepting it as a mere compliment to your desktop machine? Or do you buy a powerhouse device, sacrificing portability and efficiency to have a laptop that does everything you need it to? Village Instruments would point out a third option, as well: their ViDock products. These PCI Express graphics card enclosures claim the best of both worlds, letting you buy that lightweight laptop, then plug in true visual power whenever you need it—a great idea, even if performance is limited by an ExpressCard connection. But considering how many new Mac owners now have access to a faster option, the Village Instruments CEO began wondering if they would like a Thunderbolt version.

Turns out, they WOULD.

ViDock CEO Hubert Chen posted a note on the company Facebook page asking for 50 comments in favor of a Thunderbolt ViDock. In one week, the note has accumulated 442 responses, many of which were an enthusiastic “yes.” By Monday Chen posted a follow up indicating that the product would soon be in development. Thunderbolt’s 10 Gb/sec bandwidth should help Mac users get a lot out of their external graphics cards, plus let Mac gamers upgrade their graphics cards more easily. Will you be picking one up when they come out? And does having the option make you more likely to pick up a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac?