One of the problems with buying a notebook as a gaming machine is that most mobile PCs don't allow much in the way of upgrades. Once that GPU starts to spit and sputter on the latest titles, you might as well toss the whole thing in a river, or chuck it up on Craigslist if you can stomach the depreciation and inevitable lowball offers.
External graphics has long been a promising solution to this dilemma, particularly since most notebooks do allow for CPU and RAM upgrades. It sounds great on paper, anyway, but real world solutions have failed to gain much traction, and GPU makers haven't really taken the idea of external graphics very seriously. Could that be about to change?
Asus' XG Station, one of a handful of attempts at bringing external notebooks graphics into the mainstream.
"Fusion and Intel's Sandy Bridge solution will put a lot of weight on Nvidia but Mr. Hass, [General Manager of Nvidia's Notebook group] told Fudzilla that the company is working on its version of external graphics," news and rumor site Fudzilla reports. "He believes that AMD did a good job with Lasso, despite a few flaws that kept it from being success... it was a shot in the right direction."
There are some downsides to external graphics, such as portability, but for the gamer looking to lug his 17-inch desktop replacement to LAN parties, it'd just be an extra piece to toss into his laptop bag. Cost is another issue, but if games are willing to spend hundreds of dollars upgrading their desktop GPUs, is it such a stretch that they'd do the same for their gaming notebooks?
Do you like the idea of external notebook graphics, or does gaming hardware belong strictly on the desktop? Post your thoughts!
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