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Animaionic Maximus: An upcoming Thunderbolt 3 dock supporting triple graphics cards for Mac

The side rear view of the Animaionic Maximus showing three GPUs, three TB3, intake fan, and 1250 W PSU (Source: Animaionic)
The side rear view of the Animaionic Maximus showing three GPUs, three TB3, intake fan, and 1250 W PSU (Source: Animaionic)
The Animaionic Maximus is an external dock allowing up to three graphics cards or other expansion cards, designed to help close the gap between the Apple Mac Pro and their (slightly) more affordable options.

The new Apple Mac Pro is by far the most capable Apple product available and is also the most expensive. One of its most significant selling points is the eight PCI-E slots in a mix of single and dual slot spacing, allowing multiple GPUs and other expansion cards.

But what if you have one of Apple's less expandable products and need more than the single PCI-E slot offered in most docking solutions? This is the niche that the Animaionic Maximus hopes to fill. The Maximus has an unspecified modular 1250 W PSU and support for three dual-slot graphics cards, accompanied by an intake fan — blower-style cards would still be best in a cramped space like this. Another use case includes having a mix of PCI-E NVME storage and video cards in a single dock.

The Animaionic Maximus has three Thunderbolt 3 connectors on the rear to provide the bandwidth needed for the throughput of three graphics cards. However, there is likely to be some bottlenecking still since the cable-to-card ratio is no different from single eGPU setups. This means that while it will support the MacBook Pro, iMac Pro, and Mac Mini, users will want to ensure they have one free thunderbolt port for each GPU or storage device installed.

The Animaionic Maximus will soon be up on Kickstarter for pre-order but pricing isn't known at the time of publishing. We don't have any details on the company behind the Maximus, and while the product videos show a functional prototype, this doesn't stop it from becoming vapourware. We advise people to apply the same level of due diligence as you would to any Kickstarter project.

Animaionic image showing three TB3 cables in use. (Source: Animaionic)
Animaionic image showing three TB3 cables in use. (Source: Animaionic)
Benchmark results from Animaionic (Source: Animaionic)
Benchmark results from Animaionic (Source: Animaionic)

Source(s)

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YouTube

Kickstarter

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Animaionic Maximus: An upcoming Thunderbolt 3 dock supporting triple graphics cards for Mac
Craig Ward, 2020-02-16 (Update: 2020-02-16)
Craig Ward
Craig Ward - News Editor
I grew up in a family surrounded by technology, starting with my father loading up games for me on a Commodore 64, and later on a 486. In the late 90's and early 00's I started learning how to tinker with Windows, while also playing around with Linux distributions, both of which gave me an interest for learning how to make software do what you want it to do, and modifying settings that aren't normally user accessible. After this I started building my own computers, and tearing laptops apart, which gave me an insight into hardware and how it works in a complete system. Now keeping up with the latest in hardware and software news is a passion of mine.