It can be hard to cram a high-performance graphics card into a small computer. But ASRock’s new RX570TM-ITX/TBT is a graphics card designed to fit inside a mini ITX PC case.
The new 6.7″ x 6.7″ board features AMD Radeon RX 570 graphics with up to 8GB of GDDR5 memory. But what truly makes it unusual is the way you connect it to a PC: via a Thunderbolt 3 cable.
ASRock calls this “the world’s first Thunderbolt 3 graphics card,” which isn’t exactly true — PC makers have been offering Thunderbolt 3 graphics docks for the past few years, allowing you to plug an external GPU into a laptop or desktop via a Thunderbolt 3 cable.
What’s new is that you can use this compact card to build your own graphics dock — just buy a mini ITX chassis and power supply, install the graphics card, and plug it into a notebook or other computer via the 40 GB/s Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C port.
Alternately, ASRock says PC makers can use the RX570TM-ITX/TBT to build all-in-one PCs with high-power graphics and slim designs.
Theoretically you could also build a small form-factor desktop computer if you could find (or design) a mini ITX chassis that would support both a motherboard and this GPU.
In addition to a Thunderbolt 3 ports and integrated AMD Radeon GPU, the graphics card features HDMI 2.0, VGA, USB 3.2 Gen 1, and Ethernet ports. That allows you to use it to connect an external display or two, add a wired internet connection, and plug in peripherals for use or charging.
Update: The folks at Anandtech got a chance to see the new ASRock Thunderbolt 3 GPU board at Computex, and have a bunch of photos of potential applications including external GPU boxes and all-in-one PCs. Unsurprisingly, ASRock is targeting OEMs at launch, but it could also be an intriguing platform for the DIY set.