External ExpressCard graphics unveiled by ASUS

Discussion in 'Beyond3D News' started by Rys, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Aerows

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    I could swear that I read it had 2.5 Gbps of bandwidth. I've been to several different sites reading about it, though there is nothing to say that they all have correct information, either.

    In any case, if it needs an external LCD hooked up, it isn't useful to me even if it were 20X and supported SLI. Maybe later products will have the ability to display on the screen and a higher end card than a 7900GS. I'm interested to see if and how they overcome the hurdle of making it display on the notebook screen.
     
  2. Fox5

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    I'd say it's somewhat useful. You can practically have a desktop set up at home/dormroom, get a wireless USB hub or an all in one docking station and you're good to go. Then when you need to move your laptop to do some work somewhere, just unplug and go. Should be marginally cheaper than just having a desktop in addition to a laptop.
     
  3. Basic

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    caffeinated:
    There's a big difference between Gbps and GBps. One is bits, the other is bytes, and for PCIe there's a factor 10 between them. (Start bit, 8 data bits, and a stop bit.) It's rather common that when the speed of a serial channel is given in bps, it's bulk data bits, but when it's given in Bps, it's actual data rate.

    Sadly, there's a lot of people that are too lazy to use capital letters where they should be. (And I really dislike it.) That article included! PCIe x16 is 4 GBps

    PCIe x1 => 2.5 Gbps = 250 MBps
     
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  4. Aerows

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    Yes, that's why I did the /8 math based on the (mis)information listed, and became confused.

    Thank you for clearing up the 4G(B)ps on PCI-e. It makes no sense to provide such information if they aren't going to bother to get it right.
     
  5. Quitch

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    Only just run into this concept. Has it gone anywhere in the last year? This topic is still one of the top Google hits :)
     
  6. Zaphod

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    Some smaller companies are selling such products (at a price), but I don't think any of the (several) mainstream brand versions shown last year have made it to market.
     
  7. Davros

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    If only that sort of thing would be released in 16lane versions
    and not at those prices
     
  8. Zaphod

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    As far as the 16lane quarrel goes: What would be the target market? Sure, there are external PCI-Express cabling specifications, but the only way to utilize that at present would be to hook a "full length" external port up to an internal 16x PCIe slot. What would be the market for that?

    And for the price: Even if systems started to ship as 16x e-PCIe enabled, I fail to see how the market would be big enough to allow such devices to reach mainstream pricing.
     
  9. Dave Baumann

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  10. Zaphod

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    Asus seems to have reconsidered their non-release of the OP box too. Linky.
     
  11. infinity4

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    Even if the market is there, the price would be ridiculous that buying that + external monitor would be better spent on buying a new pc itself.

    I want this though :twisted: I do have external monitor, I am frustrated with my intel graphics.
     
  12. INKster

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    ExpressCard or proprietary external x16 connector ?
    I doubt the latter would be practical from OEM laptop manufacturers point of view since it would limit them to custom-built ATI systems (Vista driver model is the culprit by not allowing drivers from other vendors to run simultaneously), but the former also has severe limitations, namely, a single PCIe lane...
    On the other hand, is this upgradeable like the Asus XG Station concept, or is it just a closed box stuck with whichever graphics solution it has inside forever ?
     
  13. Geo

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    I don't know what they are doing there, but isn't there a third choice? Didn't the pcie standards body spec a standard external connector?
     
  14. INKster

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    I know there is one (and Nvidia's own Quadro Plex, anyone ?), but the official press-release stresses "exclusive technology" and "specially designed", exactly the opposite from "standard".
     
  15. Tchock

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    AMD's Puma is a "platform" after all. ;)
     
  16. Dave Baumann

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    Its up to the particular vendor how its implemented and what they put in it. Technically you can put half a PC in there - i.e. a Southbridge with all the audio and connectivity that brings. Additionally you can put a bridge in the external box and run Crossfire graphics in there - you can run a riser from a desktop PC with this connector and connect to another box that houses the graphics solution (modular PC).

    The reason its proprietry is the form factor of both the connector and the cable itself. One issue for notebook is the realestate they have for the connectors on the back of the notebooks - here we have got the connector down to a little wider, but a little narrower than a DVI port, which i something that the standard specs don't get to. Additionally the cabling is an issue - initial working samples we had were very inflexible ribbon cables that really weren't nice to use; these are now down to a managable cable, between the thickness of a USB and DVI cable.

    The concept doesn't need the cable though. Being PCIe based vendors can get creative how they implemented it - i.e. you could put two Crossfire graphics boards in the docking station and just route the PCIe over the docking port; the OS then switches to the graphics in the docking stating when the laptop is docked.
     
  17. AnarchX

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    Are you planing a XGP adapter for desktop PCs?

    It would be nice to have the possibility to use also on your PC(s), like HTPC and not just the expensive notebook.:wink:
     
  18. Dave Baumann

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    As I said, the concept is not limited to notebooks. There is a "jump card" that connects to a standard PCIe x16 slot that allows connection to external boxes with the proprietry connector. There isn't a plan for us to productize this, but it will be available to system builders and AiB's such that they can make their own external graphics configurations (and those exteral graphics boxes can have more than on GPU in them).
     
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