Edit: Nuc6i5SYH doesnt have thunderbolt. sorry for the confusion.
There are external thunderbolt eGPU boxes that let you use a PCI Express Graphics card externally.
Google search "eGPU thunderbolt"
Is a mini-display port the same as Thunderbolt?
The Mini Display port is similar to an HDMI port, it just outputs video to a monitor.
However the Thunderbolt USB C port can also output video to an HDMI or Display Port monitor.
To have an external graphics card/box, you need PCI Express lanes, which Thunderbolt provides through the USB C port.
..actually the previous Thunderbolt 1 and 2 used a display Port connector, but the new Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C connector.
I believe you can buy an adapter to use Thunderbolt 1 and 2 devices in the Thunderbolt 3 port.
Ok, this discussion - and obtaining an answer for Glenn's original question - got a bit off track. There is no USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt support in the SY NUCs, so discussing them here is moot. Now, to the original question...
This may be possible. There are adapters that can be inserted into the M.2 connector (alas, only when NOT using a M.2 SSD) that will expose the four included PCIe lanes and allow a PCIe card to be connected. Here is a link to one such adapter: Amazon.com: CY PCIe x4 to NGFF M.2 M-Key Adapter. Now, in theory, you can plug a x1 or x4 graphics card directly into this beast and use it. The provisos on this possibility are as follows:
- Everything must fit. I do not know if the graphics card can actually be plugged into this adapter; the NUC case may get in the way. You might need either a version of this (kind of) adapter that cables out to the PCIe card connector or a PCIe extender cable of some sort that you can use with this one. Alternatively, you could remove the board from the NUC case and run it bare (but be aware that keeping both sides of the board cool becomes your responsibility!).
- Everything must be powered properly. You must have a separate power supply that will power this adapter and, if necessary, the graphics card (via its 2x6/2x8 connectors) itself.
- The BIOS must support this capability. The NUC BIOS does not implement white lists (like some of the Lenovo laptops), so the use of this graphics card won't be excluded. I do not know if there are any BIOS requirements for this that are missing from the NUC BIOS, however.
There are some other discussions of this capability around, both on the Intel Communities site and elsewhere on the web...
Hope this helps,
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation
Thank you for your inputs.
From our end we have not test this type of configuration and neither have documentation on how to proceed. At this stage, I would encourage the community to collaborate with previous experiences in regard to this matter.