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MSI displays external PCIe box

GC 007 Radeon HD 2600 or 8600GT... can we get something decent?
Thu Aug 23 2007, 08:58
WHEN IT COMES to gaming, notebooks have quite a lot of challenges, but the biggest one is graphics.

Getting a decent integrated graphics subsystem can be quite a pain, and after a very short period of time, notebook graphics chips just fall into oblivion. When it comes to Oblivion, I have yet to see a laptop that will offer a playable frame rate in native resolution of the screen with high details.

Since laptops cannot offer higher thermal capabilities, there are two ways to solve the problem: get a bigger model with better graphics or go external. The PCI-SIG ratified PCIe external spec back in February, but we have yet to see a prototype of a notebook spotting PCIe External connector.

However, MSI showed up here in Leipzig with Notebook Station, case that spots a PCIe x16 slot and is capable of fitting dual-slot graphic card.

Case itself is a bit bigger than Asus VG Station, demoed all the way back at CES 007.

As you can see for yourself, this design is rather simplistic and does not come with all the shenanigans of some competing products. This is intended to host a discrete graphics card and to do the job.

ExpressCard offers baseline bandwidth, but should be able to do the job

Case itself is connected to laptop using ExpressCard slot and interesting cable, and company warrants that the bandwidth supplied should be enough for the card that will end up inside the Notebook Station. Only problem we have with this product are supported graphics cards: MSI currently recommends MSI Radeon HD 2600 or GeForce 8600 GT, both parts with dubious 3D performance. Luckily, this part should have no issues in supporting Nvidia's G98 and ATI's RV670, boards that will spot far more 3D horsepower while keeping the thermals at bay (and more importantly, power consumption).

We hope that this product will make it to the market. µ


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