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Nvidia: External Laptop GPUs Are "Big Opportunity"

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 46 comments

"Nvidia Outside"

Nvidia general manager said that external GPUs are a big opportunity for the graphics company, even though it doesn't offer a supporting line of products (yet).

"I think it is a big opportunity," said Rene Haas, general manager of the notebook GPU business at Nvidia, in a brief interview with X-bit labs. "We have two strategies at Nvidia: one is to put graphics everywhere, the other one is to [find more ways to] integrate discrete chips into the box. I think there is definitely a place for [external graphics cards for notebooks], no question. We continue to look at whether this is a GPU [docking stations] or external devices."

"I think, the issue that has to be solved for something like that is the right price-point that hits the right segment. There is definitely a lot of interest in it and [this is] something we are keeping our eye on to be able to offer something there," said Mr. Haas.

At the Taipei Game Show, Gigabyte showed off its M1405 with external GeForce GT220 (see pictures and video here). It won't be the last of its kind, if Nvidia has any say in it.

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  • 33 Hide
    icemunk , February 8, 2010 7:28 PM
    Is it just me or is Nvidia all talk, very little results these days
  • 30 Hide
    Shadow703793 , February 8, 2010 7:22 PM
    That's all good nVidia... WHERE IS ME Fermi!!????!?!?
  • 29 Hide
    apache_lives , February 8, 2010 7:36 PM
    icemunkIs it just me or is Nvidia all talk, very little results these days


    Sure they do? They bring quality cards like the 8800GT, 9800GTX, GTS250... wait there all the same cards... Good point!
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    astrodudepsu , February 8, 2010 7:20 PM
    Nothing says portability like another thing to haul around in a laptop case! Especially something that eats battery life. Go nvidia, way to blaze a trail.
  • 30 Hide
    Shadow703793 , February 8, 2010 7:22 PM
    That's all good nVidia... WHERE IS ME Fermi!!????!?!?
  • 33 Hide
    icemunk , February 8, 2010 7:28 PM
    Is it just me or is Nvidia all talk, very little results these days
  • 5 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , February 8, 2010 7:29 PM
    GEEZ! How many external devices do we really need? Computer desk are already cluttered with entirely too much stuff.
  • 13 Hide
    tgiguere , February 8, 2010 7:29 PM
    anyway there isn't really anything new with the idea, look at the fujutsu-siemens amilo graphicbooster, an external radeon hd3870 if i'm not mistaken
  • 12 Hide
    brett1042002 , February 8, 2010 7:34 PM
    Where is Fermi...
  • 3 Hide
    PieceMaker42 , February 8, 2010 7:34 PM
    It make sense for those with laptops that have setup at home where they can leave their external devices like monitors/speakers/hard drives/GPU and take the laptop on the go after unplugging the stuff. But I can see why it would be WAY cheaper in most cases to just own a netbook for internet access and quick little things and a desktop for entertainment and high power computing needs. I do not see people lugging an external GPU around with them to use.
  • 29 Hide
    apache_lives , February 8, 2010 7:36 PM
    icemunkIs it just me or is Nvidia all talk, very little results these days


    Sure they do? They bring quality cards like the 8800GT, 9800GTX, GTS250... wait there all the same cards... Good point!
  • 10 Hide
    doomtomb , February 8, 2010 7:39 PM
    mhughes81Don't forget the external LCD to go with it. I highly doubt the external GPU will hook into the laptop's LCD. They should stick to making mobile versions of their GPU's for laptops. Turning a laptop into a portable desktop is not the answer.

    Wow, so quick to disregard this as gimmicky? As a college student having both a desktop and a laptop, this product would really interest me.

    The external GPU isn't meant to be powered off your laptop's battery folks. The idea is to replace your desktop with a fairly portable laptop with an external GPU and LCD for you to dock with on your desk. When you are on the go, leave that stuff and save your battery life. But when you want to come back and play a few games, you can. I hate having my desktop at school, it takes up way too much room. Cosmos S, 26" LCD, G15 keyboard. I have no desk space.
  • -1 Hide
    micky_lund , February 8, 2010 7:50 PM
    bah...go read the article about gigabtye's new laptop...faster than nVidia's actions
  • 0 Hide
    mhughes81 , February 8, 2010 7:51 PM
    Why not just buy a laptop with a dedicated GPU? Less stuff to haul around that way. Grab your power adapter and your mouse and your good to go.
  • 8 Hide
    CptTripps , February 8, 2010 8:02 PM
    I see nothing wrong with this, for those of us who don't have a desktop we could have a docking station, external m/kb and play kickass games. When on the road we can be portable and play games "reasonably well".

    I could see this being a good thing for some people.
  • 2 Hide
    kingssman , February 8, 2010 8:02 PM
    in an era where our laptops are become our desktop replacements, an external gpu would be handy especially for those who work in a dual monitor workstation, but don't want the cheap effects of just a plain old DVI splitter. What we may see is a return of "docking stations" where you bring your laptop home, place on your cooling pad with hookups to your external 1tb hardrive, ext GPU and 27" display. Now question is, will this external GPU be USB3.0, firewire 800, or e-sata?
  • -1 Hide
    grillz9909 , February 8, 2010 8:07 PM
    Is NVIDIA acting like Blizzard or is Blizzard acting like NVIDIA?
  • 4 Hide
    necronic , February 8, 2010 8:12 PM
    It could be interesting if it was fully modular between a desktop and a laptop, meaning I could unhoook my GPU from my desktop and throw it onto my laptop. This would work especially well with the whole hybrid GPU stuff people have been talking about recently.

    But other than that, this idea is totally meh to me. I have never for the life of me understood people that game on laptops (unless they are loaded and also have a superior desktop at home.)

    If you are that into gaming but can't afford both, buy/build a gaming desktop and a low end laptop or netbook for portable computing. Total cost there is ~$1500 (+/- 250 or so).

    And that's about what it costs to get a good gaming laptop. Which at the end of the day has a bad keyboard mouse and monitor gaming solution, and becomes too heavy to really be that portable.

    I know this isn't a popular opinion amongst young techies, but gaming laptops are just stupid. They remind me of that gun in The Fifth Element. Flexibility lowers quality.
  • 9 Hide
    AMW1011 , February 8, 2010 8:15 PM
    Wow look at all the nVidia hate today.

    External GPUs are great. You get all the portability and mobile productivity you want, but then you can come home and hook up a GPU for gaming. For many people, that would be ideal.
  • 0 Hide
    El_Capitan , February 8, 2010 8:21 PM
    Externals are always overpriced. Just look at "external" HDD's... you can buy an internal HDD that's faster than the external HDD's and less expensive, all you need is to buy an external Hard Drive enclosure for it. Now, instead of an "external" GPU, they should just have an external Video Card enclosure that connects to a PCIe somehow.
  • 0 Hide
    astrodudepsu , February 8, 2010 8:35 PM
    With the prominence and capability of ultra-portables in the form of netbooks it just doesn't make sense to haul around a full fledged laptop anymore. Desktop for home, netbook for travel. This would be a very niche product for those 'tweeners. I don't see this as a 'Big Opportunity' like Jen-Hsun does.
  • 6 Hide
    grieve , February 8, 2010 8:38 PM
    I think external GPU's are a great idea.

    I spent $2300 on my present laptop so i can play games. Thing is i dont want to ALWAYS play games and now i have a power eater laptop.

    If I could buy a laptop with built in graphics for on the go and just plug it into my docking station for graphic juice it would be the perfect solution.

    Instead, I have a desktop with serious graphic power and a laptop with mid graphic power... I would love to say good-by to my PC and have only a laptop.
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