[Donald Dock][Step 2.2] [SUMMARY/DISCUSSION] Potential product type

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#102

An to be honest also supplies the majority of what many people want - inc the VGA! And at a sensible price


#103

It surely looks cool !


#104

I am a form follows function type of guy, maybe that’s why I still fail to understand the positive benefits of middleweight docks. I can see that a heavyweight dock would also house an eGPU. But what exactly do you want to fit in the middleweight one that would not also fit in a feather/lightweight DOCK? If the answer is “nothing” (or - which amounts to the same thing - nothing that would not be best put elsewhere), then the extra size and weight serves no useful function. It just takes space and limits portability.

As I have already mentioned, I am not convinced that the dock is the best place to place speakers or storage, or batteries. If that is the case, then a big heavy dock is just a box to hide stuff like external discs or batteries, to keep your desk uncluttered and some cables invisible. Now, I am all in favour of that. But if what we really need is a box, let’s ask for a box, as a separate accessory, where we will fit our dock, hide the cables and so on.


#105

I realize its not a speaker amp, I was thinking headphone amp, which I think would be great for those of us who don’t buy the specialized products like you’ve mentioned.
I don’t generally go out of my way to buy specialized audio or video products, mostly because I don’t have the money for it - but if something good was included with a “combo product” that I was already considering, then it sure would be nice.


#106

For me the major differences between light weight and middle weights are three areas:

  • dual monitor support
  • possible power delivery
  • practicability on my desk

I like to add it again: When I go to the office I like to keep all cables of the peripherals in the dock and the dock should stay at the same place. I fear that with the light weight/port replicator solutions this is not easy to realise because same cables tend to drag at those port replicators. Or the other way, I hope that the middle weight becomes a part of my desk that stays there and is not dragged around as easily.
I know that this argument might be a weak one but for me that is comfort that I have not to fear that the dock/port replicator is found on the ground because cables have dragged it behind the desk over night.


#107

The V already has a good built-in headphone amp. I don’t know if the audio output from the dock would be able to use that same existing amp of if it would take an un-amplified digital signal from somewhere else, but it seems a bit redundant to have that same feature repeated in the dock.


#108

Yea, seems very redundant to me. If the amps/dac in the V itself is as good as they say it is, it should not have a problem driving your headphones.

It just makes very little sense, if you’re after quality - then you should look at products already on the market that focus on that. If you’re after price/convenience, I would argue the headphone amp in the V should suffice.


#109

I originally thought this too, but think about how the dock is going to be used:
One cable from the V to the dock. This one cable (USB-C) connects everything you need, so you could have a set of speakers plugged into the dock, along with all of your other peripherals. This would allow for simple docking/undocking, without the need to search for other cables.

The way the headphone amp is setup on the V, I don’t believe it would be possible to use it over USB-C, as i am pretty sure it is used simply through the headphone jack, for both hardware and driver reasons. (I have a small bit of background with electronics design, through college and an internship.)


#110

Probably correct. But here is the rub: a decent portable USB head-amp/dac would set you back anything between 80 USD and 200 USD (for a Dragonfly Red, which is actually the size of a USB memory stick, so as portable as it gets). The amp in the dock must be either much better or comparable but much cheaper than that to be worth it. In other words we are asking the eve team for a miracle, or a gift, or both. Which is why I don’t think it makes sense to increase the cost (or for that matter the size) of the dock by including an amp


#111

I don’t know the price, but they could go for a similar/the same amp as in the V. It doesn’t need to be better, but @gkmess 's argument makes sense. It’s easier to have the dock connected to your speakers, than to always connect dock and speakers to the V.


#112

Perfect for someone travelling and/or someone who needs a VGA port. It’s also adequately priced and well reviewed.

I see no need for Eve to create a featherweight or lightweight Donald. I think it’s clear that middle 1 or 2 is the way to go.


#113

I doubt they could include anything better than what is already in V, without making it way too expensive. Since they would need both a DAC and an amp, my guesstimate would be at least $50 for the audio parts alone to make them better than the internal ones.

Only if you connect it through the headphone jack of the tablet. That’s the only output of the amp. Also, the only output of the DAC goes straight into the amp. So you can’t use the DAC either. All you have is USB/Thunderbolt here, and with that you need a DAC and an amp to make it… a sound.


#114

It is fairly certain indeed that the demand we can make for 2 different docks is not quite enough for the big players (those we need to partner with, with the necessary technical capabilities).

It would seem though that an additional potential solution would be that the lightweight is a modular component to the middle part, being that the lightweight could be detached from the middleweight to take it with you, but it would lack certain functionalities the bigger one has.

Thoughts, people?

Personally fully agreeing with this statement.

Meanwhile,
It would be interesting to know, What advantages you, and other people like you see in having an integrated eGPU dock over daisy chaining the dock to an eGPU.

My question comes from the POV that if you e.g. have middleweight dock and a separate eGPU, you can still take the middleweight with you. It seems the use case for taking a big heavyweight doesnt support taking it with you, at all.

While that is acceptable for majority of the time for people who want to have a workstation type of dock, would it not sometimes be beneficial to retain the option for mobility?

Currently it would also seem reasonable to suspect that a combined system vs. separate ones would not induce any extravagant cost savings either, but @Xinjie can surely provide a better evaluation of this.

So once again; why dock with eGPU over dock+eGPU?

Will come back to comment more later, now back to see the production!


#115

Kind of liking this idea.


#116

Agreed, this makes sense. Not least because you could have the small dock as a viable product in its own right.


#117

Overhead, Latency, Bandwidth.

Each HOP on the daisy chain adds a little latency, not relevant for most other use cases, but for eGPU it is. It makes the whole setup a lot more complex and could impact performance. Additionally an eGPU dock does not need DP/HDMI ports - they will be provided by the graphics card. On the other hand if the eGPU dock has USB, I can just add a USB hub for more ports.

That is an idea that really confuses me. Taking the dock with me means that I need to disconnect all the cables. What is the difference to connect the devices to the V directly? I prefer a separate lightweight port adapter for travel that I can keep in the bag at all times.


#118

Because some of us only want an eGPU and the dock aspect is purely “nice to have”.
If Eve provided an eGPU I wouldn’t be getting a dock, as the V already has the port selection I would need, and if I later needed a spesific port, such as VGA or HDMI, I would grab an adapter for that, as in that case I would need that spesific port, not the assortment a dock would provide.


#119

Agreeing with @Thomas_Weinert here. I would rephrase the question, just thinking that the eGPU should be the first device in the chain, and then you could attach a dock to it:

Why (eGPU+dock) over eGPU–>dock?

@Thomas_Weinert already made some valid points for integrated eGPU+dock, like duplicated ports. But that would turn Donald into an overpriced overkill for those not wanting an eGPU. As many people seem to be looking for “just” a well featured middleweight dock, I’m not sure this would be the right decision.

So… modularity? Assuming it is possible at all, we would need at least three parts:

  • eGPU module, first in the chain. The GPU itself would provide all video ports.
  • Port module 1, with common ports like USB, Ethernet, audio, etc.
  • Port module 2, with video ports like HDMI, DP, VGA.

This way you could buy/use eGPU+module1 or module1+module2.

But that’s probably too complicated/costly to produce, and it would be more reasonable to create separated eGPU–>full dock, or even an all-in-one (eGPU+dock) where the dock is just a base and the eGPU+casing can be added as an extra. But those two cases would mean having repeated ports for eGPU users.


#120

AMD makes a graphic - included chip.
Quote«The final piece of AMD’s return to high-performance computing is in laptops. While Ryzen, Threadripper, and EPYC have used the 8-core Zeppelin building block for their products, the laptop side of the equation will combine the new high-performance Zen core with the latest Vega graphics in a single piece of silicon. AMD is now set to release the results of their efforts: a single silicon chip offering four Zen cores, up to 10 Vega compute units, and a unified power delivery system all in under 15W, with AMD touting +200% CPU performance and +128% GPU performance over its previous generation of laptop processors. HP, Lenovo and Acer are releasing laptops based on the Ryzen Mobile hardware today (or soon), and we expect to see more OEMs at CES in January with their offerings.»Endquote

Does that diminish the future proof value of an e-GPU box ?
Wat are your thoughts on a Ryzen V future? :umbrella:


#121


a clean desk is important for a high number of users… I don’t want to have devices in 10 different shapes and colours connected with cables everywhere on my desk. So a middleweight dock with V footprint and V style as the first step would be awesome. Next step could be a eGPU that fits that footprint again (maybe connected with the dock per pogo-pin on top…)