Soon, external graphics may be the new hip way to go (the idea is currently being played around with, again). Need to level up that notebook you love so dearly so it can be gaming-ready? Now is the time to take advantage of actual commercial solutions to the idea. For a long time, anyone who wanted desktop power on a laptop had to figure out a way to get an external GPU to work with it. In fact, Alienware’s Graphics Card Amplifier (packed with Titan X) was the beginning of the trend. Then, we saw the first XG Station from Asus at the 2007 CES, a rig designed to connect to a laptop via ExpressCard slot. It required a separate monitor and its own power source, but could provide the user with GPU memory, clock speeds, fan speeds, temperature, master volume, and frames per second (fps). The device only made a partial release, and until recently, we never heard much about it again. Now, as part of Asus’ Republic of Gamers (ROG) series tenth anniversary, the company has unveiled its ROG XG Station 2, which “utilizes a custom interface that lets notebooks harness the power of desktop graphics cards to significantly boost gaming performance”.
The Asus ROG XG Station 2, although made specifically for Asus laptops and GPUs, works with other GPU brands as well. This is a nice refreshment to the company’s first iteration, which worked with Windows Vista and a GeForce 8600 GT, but only released in Australia. Taking cues from its ROG Gr8 small form factor desktops, the docking station simultaneously charges your laptop while providing gameplay thanks to its two USB Type-C ports (more specifically, it uses PCI-E x4 over a pair of PCI-E x4/USB Type-C). Besides these tidbits, not too much else is known about this particular station, yet we do expect it to use a “proprietary connector, similar to Alienware and MSI, to connect to Asus laptops” (PC World).
It looks like multiple well-known computer companies are jumping into the external graphics bandwagon. Options from Alienware, MSI, and even Microsoft are available right now, so it’s no wonder one of the leading notebook companies decided to take another stab at giving its ROG XG Station 2 an official release. Portable play will soon gain the strength and endurance of what a desktop allows. Pricing and availability will vary by region, and more details are expected to arise for this and other recent announcements made by Asus during this year’s CES. However, feel free to check the Asus ROG website if news and updates are what you’re waiting for.
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