Nvidia Sees Potential of External Notebook Graphics

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News Posted: Mon, Sep 20 2010 11:49 AM

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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sackyhack replied on Mon, Sep 20 2010 12:45 PM

I can definitely see this as a viable market. A lot of engineering programs require students to buy laptops, and many in that bunch who are gamers won't be able to afford a gaming desktop after the laptop purchase. This could be a good way to squeeze some extra juice out of an aging laptop

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I didn't know something like this was possible, but I definitely like the idea. I just don't know how this would be implemented. Would this be connected via dvi or some other display connection? This would also be cool because you wouldnt have to buy the most expensive gaming laptops, and this could be moved from laptop to laptop.

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Inspector replied on Mon, Sep 20 2010 2:50 PM

:), plus they can have some overclocking features on the panel for easy overclocking :), much easier then doing it plugged in :)

I would love to see this come to the market, in 2 years i think i will be needing a laptop for college so hope they have some good choices then or have them built in with top specs :)

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I remember them doing this 3 or 4 years back... it was never more than a proof of concept. Maybe this time it will stick around 

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realneil replied on Mon, Sep 20 2010 8:30 PM

Does this connect to any laptop?

May be a good idea for many of us with older graphics on our Lappy's.

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they did the last iteration i saw of them they used a pcie slot and a USB or two for extra power... 

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gibbersome replied on Tue, Sep 21 2010 12:59 AM

I'm all for it. It would be easier to keep cool, easier to upgrade and switch between different laptop graphics cards, and you could save battery life by simply unplugging it.

It would be funny having a bigger graphics card than the laptop itself. But how exactly would it work? Would you plug the card into a USB slot?

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MMundy replied on Tue, Sep 21 2010 2:59 AM

Is it too hard to ask for a DIY solution for laptops? I mean c'mon guys just do it!

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acarzt replied on Wed, Sep 22 2010 5:12 PM

Hmmm... they've tried to do this before... or what that Asus?

Eitherway... it didn't take off back then... and I see no reason for it to take off now.

If they have an easy to swap out internal solution I could really see that working.

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^I think it was asus but they were using a Nvidia card 

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I just wish that MXM turned out to be as exciting as I though it was going to be a few years back.

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