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ASUS expects to launch its XG Station next month to OEM and channel partners -- no retail availability expected

Notebook users rejoice: ASUS is set to produce its XG Station external graphics card for notebooks. ASUS previously pulled the wraps off the XG Station at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The XG Station will not have retail availability, however, ASUS plans to ship the XG Station to OEMs and channel partners.

ASUS will not sell the XG Station as a barebones external graphics card enclosure. Instead, ASUS will bundle the XG Station with ASUS PCIe graphics cards. Pricing on XG Stations will vary depending on the bundled graphics card.

ASUS’ XG Station takes advantage of a notebook’s ExpressCard slot to provide a PCIe x16 slot for additional graphical processing capabilities. ASUS demonstrated the XG Station with an EN7900GS graphics card at CES 2007.

In addition to the enhanced video capabilities, the XG Station features audio output capabilities. There is a single headphone output jack on the XG Station – sorry folks, there is no 5.1 output support. However, the XG Station supports Dolby Headphone technology for simulated six-channel surround sound audio.

Audio and video capabilities aside, ASUS equips the XG Station with a large LED display to monitor vital system information. The LED display shows the following information:
  • System master volume
  • GPU clock speed
  • Current GPU temperature
  • Dolby® Headphone feature status
  • Current actual Frames Per Second (FPS) information
  • GPU fan speed Indicator
A control knob allows users easy overclocking controls too. Overclocking functionality of the control knob is limited to GPU core clock though.

Expect the ASUS to release the XG Station to eligible customers next month. Pricing information on XG Station-based graphics cards is unknown now. Expect XG Station bundles to cost slightly more than an ASUS graphics card itself.

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RE: It's already obsolete
By Chillin1248 on 3/4/2007 5:05:20 PM , Rating: 3
Actually we do know the interface.

If you can kindly google:
PCI-E External Cabling 1.0 Specification

You would see a picture that shows the connectors. In fact the connectors shown in the Hexus picture are two external PCI-E 4X cables, why they use two instead of one PCI-E 8X or 16X is unknown to me.

The internal interface of which the GPU connects to the board is PCI-E 16X. Also you can clearly see the (Molex?) power connector cable and the GPU has its own power connector.

ATI is also working on a Crossfire version.


RE: It's already obsolete
By Hyperlite on 3/4/2007 8:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
ok cool, i'll buy that. sorry for my nearsightedness. So would it be safe to assume they are powering it from a psu while they develop a power-brick type solution? As far as the interface goes, why all the hubub about using such a high bandwidth connection (effectively 8x it looks like) if the expresscard bus will only take 1x? or do you think there will be a variant that interfaces with a 16x PCI-E (external) port on a laptop, if such a thing were to come into existance? i'm a bit confused, but then again i have a pretty limited knowledge of ePCI-E.

RE: It's already obsolete
By DokGonzo on 3/5/2007 6:22:57 AM , Rating: 2
If this type of peripheral takes off it could prompt the manufaturers to upgrade the expresscard specifications sooner. I think 8x or 16x expresscard slot (compatible with 1x components) specification in a year or two isn't far fetched...

RE: It's already obsolete
By ADDAvenger on 3/5/2007 12:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Shoot, even a 4x expresscard slot would be a sweet upgrade for powerusers

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