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The ASUS XG Station is connected via a dongle to the notebook ExpressCard interface
ASUS introduces the world's first external graphics card for notebook users

ASUS today introduced a dedicated external graphics card for laptops -- the XG Station. The XG Station is an external graphics card that allows laptop users to enjoy high end graphics performance while plugged in. As the XG Station is an external graphics it can be unplugged when portability is needed.

The XG Station connects to any notebook’s ExpressCard slot and provides a PCI Express x16 slot for graphics cards. Since ASUS has opted to equip the XG Station with a standard PCI Express x16 slot, the station can be equipped with any PCI Express based graphics card: AMD, NVIDIA or even Matrox. ASUS launched the default XG Station with an NVIDIA 7900GS powered graphics card.

The XG Station is powered externally.  A separate power brick plugs directly into the adaptor.

An integrated LCD display and control also grace the XG Station. The display is customizable and can display information such as frame rate, fan speed, GPU temperature and more while the control knob can change various settings of the XG Station such as the core and memory clocks.

Expect ASUS to release the XG Station in Q2'07 this year. Pricing of the XG Station is unknown at the moment.

The XG Station adaptor only interfaces with ExpressCard interfaces at the moment, but will work with with PCIe ExpressCard interfaces installed in a desktop PC.


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RE: WOW
By dubldwn on 1/7/2007 5:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
I guess it's not that big of a deal to have to bring along a monitor with your notebook. Well, other than the fact that that would be completely retarded.


RE: WOW
By The Sword 88 on 1/7/2007 9:30:48 AM , Rating: 5
That is not the idea.

The idea ia I go to class with my laptop and it is nice a nd light with good RAM and a ggood processor then I get home and plug it into my external thing, my big hi res monitor, my mouse my full sized keboard,my speakers, and my graphics thingy and it is now a gaming rig.

Then I unplug that stuff the next morning for school or work or whatever


RE: WOW
By poohbear on 1/7/07, Rating: 0
RE: WOW
By iNGEN on 1/7/2007 1:07:49 PM , Rating: 4
No. It doesn't.


RE: WOW
By EglsFly on 1/7/2007 1:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
Either way, anytime someone comes up with an option to give you a choice or flexibility, thats always a good thing.


RE: WOW
By S3anister on 1/8/07, Rating: -1
RE: WOW
By MightyAA on 1/8/2007 11:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
No, exactly the opposite. You'd get this with a portable laptop. I have a desktop replacement with a 7950GTX thank you very much (5800+ 3DMark06). The problem with laptop users is that to get the good cards like I have, you are forced to a 17" screen: you lose portability and battery time.
But you can get good cpu's and ram with a 14"-15" laptop. Unfortunately, you'll probably only get onboard or a 7600GT gpu.. This solves that by allowing you to get a fast portable laptop for lugging around, and when you get home, plug it in and play the latest games on a real monitor with a real gpu.

My concern would be whether that express card bottlenecks the data, and whether the laptop would accept that box taking over as the primary gpu (I can't even get mine to default to an external monitor, nor can I get drivers from NVidia directly)..


RE: WOW
By FITCamaro on 1/7/2007 10:06:46 AM , Rating: 2
He's absolutely right. Many laptops today would be perfectly suited for games given the right graphics chip. They often throw a bunch of RAM and a great processor into one but skimp on the graphics. With this you can have your portable, light laptop thats great on battery life during the day and then when you get home, you plug it in (as many people do) to an external monitor along with keyboard and mouse + this new external GPU and enjoy gaming. At my office those with laptops don't have desktop PCs often times. They plug their laptop into a docking station thats connected to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Personally I think its an awesome idea. I do wish though that there was some way to make it work with the laptops LCD screen. Because if it could, it'd be a great way to be able to upgrade your laptops graphics. My laptop still has a pretty decent processor for gaming and a good amount of RAM, but its 128MB 9600 Pro is a bit dated.


RE: WOW
By borowki on 1/7/2007 11:34:51 AM , Rating: 3
That doesn't make sense at all. Just think about it. You are basically investing high-end technology into the laptop only to leave it crippled half the time. The high-capacity hard-drive that you pay dearly for will be filled largely with programs (i.e. games) that you can't use while on the road. The fast CPU will be idling most of the time. The high-end audio solution will be outputting to earplugs or tinny speakers.

Kokal is right: You get more bang for the buck by having a mid-range laptop and a high-end desktop. The price premium of a high-end laptop almost certainly would exceed the cost of a separate CPU, RAM, sound card, Windows license, and disc drive.


RE: WOW
By iNGEN on 1/7/2007 1:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
You miss the point.


RE: WOW
By One43637 on 1/7/2007 4:33:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

by FITCamaro on January 7, 2007 at 10:06 AM

He's absolutely right. Many laptops today would be perfectly suited for games given the right graphics chip. They often throw a bunch of RAM and a great processor into one but skimp on the graphics. With this you can have your portable, light laptop thats great on battery life during the day and then when you get home, you plug it in (as many people do) to an external monitor along with keyboard and mouse + this new external GPU and enjoy gaming. At my office those with laptops don't have desktop PCs often times. They plug their laptop into a docking station thats connected to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Personally I think its an awesome idea. I do wish though that there was some way to make it work with the laptops LCD screen. Because if it could, it'd be a great way to be able to upgrade your laptops graphics. My laptop still has a pretty decent processor for gaming and a good amount of RAM, but its 128MB 9600 Pro is a bit dated.


my sentiments exactly. i was looking to build a new desktop because of the performance increase over my current DC Opteron system, but now that this is announced, buying a notebook with a decent CPU and RAM looks even more attractive. :)

i wonder though, if you can use an LCD TV with a DVI hookup as your monitor and attach a USB wireless keyboard and mouse so you can sit on the couch?


RE: WOW
By FITCamaro on 1/7/2007 4:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why not.


RE: WOW
By borowki on 1/8/2007 10:26:31 AM , Rating: 2
How about the fact that laptops have slower processor, smaller, slower hard-drive, less room for memory expansion, and crappy built-in sound?


RE: WOW
By dice1111 on 1/8/2007 12:23:10 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you get that from? Haven't you been Laptop shopping in a while? A lot of lappy's out now would kill a midrange PC in all those aspects.


RE: WOW
By borowki on 1/8/2007 1:14:10 PM , Rating: 3
And they set you off a couple grands. There is no question that mobile components are more expensive. A 100+ hard-drive is high-end in laptops, whereas it's under of the line where it comes to desktops.


RE: WOW
By dice1111 on 1/8/2007 4:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
The whole premiss and importace of this article; Power for portability.

I love the power and afforability of a Desktop, but some people can't put a price on portability, like myself. I could never concider a Desktop, and this gives me a graphics upgrade without having to get a new Lappy. Almost makes me feel like my original decision on investing in a laptop (more cpu and ram, less gpu)is more valuable because I have this new option.


RE: WOW
By borowki on 1/8/2007 6:07:16 PM , Rating: 3
If you want portability, then get a gaming laptop that's properly engineered to be used on the road. Or get a machine with MXM support and an MXM card. The XG Station doesn't offer much mobility. First of all, you need to carry around an external display--either a projector or an LCD screen. Second, you a keyboard and a mouse, since you probably want to keep the lid closed so it doesn't obscure the external display. Third, you need the station. Fourth, you need the power block that powers it. You don't see it in the photo, but it's likely to be sizable as video cards draw considerable power.


RE: WOW
By vdig on 1/8/2007 1:03:21 PM , Rating: 2
Core 2 Duo does exist in the laptop markets, so CPU is not a problem. Memory can reach desktop sizes of 2-4 GB as well. I have 2 GB myself. Sound card? There is Creative's portable line. Only big problems are the power and the video card. Don't expect gaming laptops to be powered for long on a battery. That is what the AC adapter is for.

Finally, this new device helps alleviate the dilemma of not having room in the laptop for a gaming grade video card solution. Heck, if you wanted a GeForce 8800 board for a laptop, this is the only way to go (for now). Portability will hurt a bit, but it is by far lighter than lugging a full blown desktop rig. Nice for playing at a hotel or at out of town locations.


RE: WOW
By borowki on 1/8/2007 1:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
Judging by the picture, I doubt you can use a dual slot card in the thing. Heat issues clearly will be worse in a small enclosure.

The claim of performance at "factor of nine over integrated solutions" give you an idea of what to expect. Nine times three, four frames a second is not a lot.


RE: WOW
By vdig on 1/8/2007 3:29:36 PM , Rating: 2
3x9 is 27 fps.
4x9 is 36 fps.
I would assume this is with the video card that comes with the kit. At any rate, the difference between 3, 4 fps to 27-36 fps is the difference between Oblivion screenshot slide shows and actually playing the game. I think people can survive with 25-30 frames. Further, we do not know the true power of the dark si... er, the XG Station. Could be better with different cards. I just hope it is capable of even better, or that there is an even better version coming for beefier cards. My brother, who can really benefit from this, is a real graphics nut.

For now, I will say this:

Stay tuned to this channel (DailyTech) for further developments ;)


RE: WOW
By retrospooty on 1/7/2007 10:19:04 AM , Rating: 3
"The idea ia I go to class with my laptop and it is nice a nd light with good RAM and a ggood processor then I get home and plug it into my external thing, my big hi res monitor, my mouse my full sized keboard,my speakers, and my graphics thingy and it is now a gaming rig. "

Exactly... This eliminates the need for you to purchase a whole separate computer at home for gaming.


RE: WOW
By bigboxes on 1/7/2007 12:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's you not getting the point. Many college kids have a laptop for obvious reasons. You don't want to lug around a tower, find a place to plug it in, find the space to house it... well, you see how ridiculous it is. They get the laptop for classroom and small dorm rooms. Working on a laptop long term sucks so they get a docking station, full-sized monitor, keyboard and speakers for the room. Now, when they want to game they have the same option for their video card. There's an expansion slot that will allow them to do so. Yes, it doesn't make much sense for us older folks that are out of school and build our own PCs, but it's not geared toward you. Good idea.


RE: WOW
By MrPickins on 1/7/2007 12:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

This should be popular for the same reasons that docking stations are.


RE: WOW
By Exodus220 on 1/7/2007 12:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
I just graduated from college and I did not know any kids at school that had a docking station for their laptops. Either they had a laptop or desktop or both, but I never met a kid with a docking station. Perhaps I was at the wrong school to find these type of kids, but it seemed to me that if they wanted to game on their laptop then they invested in a laptop that would serve that purpose, and then used a separate mouse instead of the touch pad. But again, perhaps I was not at a school where it was popular to have a docking station.


RE: WOW
By dubldwn on 1/7/2007 1:16:22 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You don't want to lug around a tower, find a place to plug it in, find the space to house it... well, you see how ridiculous it is.

Uh, yea, that would be ridiculous.
quote:
but it's not geared toward you.

OK, so lets see here. The target audience is people who own a notebook with a good cpu and plenty of ram, and have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, a gaming quailty gpu, AND this unit, and are ok with plugging all that in, but are unable or unwilling to buy a tower. And do you think this enthusiast gaget is going to be inexpensive?
quote:
Good idea.

It would be a much better idea, no, a viable idea, if you could take it with you.


RE: WOW
By bigboxes on 1/7/2007 2:53:15 PM , Rating: 2
If you're into the LAN party scene then you are correct, it would be a pain to lug this all around and then set it up. You might as well get one of those cases with the handle and radiation stickers. But if you're and average college student who likes to game then this is a great idea. Part of the start up cost is the monitor, speakers, full-size mouse & keyboard, and docking station. When you go off to class (or library) you just un-dock the laptop and take it with you. When you get back to your room you just dock the laptop without having to re-hook up all the periphials. Makes sense to me. A laptop takes up a lot less space then a tower. I don't have a laptop, but if I was in college today I would get one. Like I said, it may not make sense to you (and it doesn't for me either), but it does for today's college student. And for a lot of them they spend time gaming and this device will integrate nicely with their laptop to allow them to do so. It hooks up to the bus without the need for a tower to house the device. I would call that a good idea for those that it's geared towards.


RE: WOW
By dubldwn on 1/7/2007 5:12:24 PM , Rating: 3
Well, we really need to get the final word on whether this really requires an external monitor. My claim is not that there is no audience for this. There is. My claim is that, if you really do need an external monitor and other peripherals, the utility goes down dramatically, and the target audience goes down exponentially. This is not what we have been waiting for. LAN party? I need an upgradeable notebook gpu solution for the airport gate, travel destinations, the coffee shop, the building lounge, ect. and I'm not alone. If I'm expected to use this product in my home, that, coincidentally, is the same place I keep my desktop. If I could use my otherwise perfectly acceptable notebook for gaming outside my home, that would be outstanding. By the way, regarding college students, we were broke when we were in college, and Microsoft and Sony had excellent solutions for gaming. We sure weren't buying gpu's and external multi-display gadgets. We were attending meetings to get the free pizza.


RE: WOW
By bfonnes on 1/9/2007 4:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
no, you're completely retarded...

"An integrated LCD display and control also grace the XG Station."

integrated, as in comes with the box, as in NOT separate, and thus NO EXTRA display required. Sheesh, can't you people read or at least re-read before posting?


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