Laptop gaming is all the rage these days what with NVIDIA’s Pascal GPUs now capable of being nearly as powerful as their desktop counterparts. But there are still advantages to having full-sized desktop graphics cards: lower price over laptop counterparts, better power delivery and cooling, and the ability to swap them whenever you get a new powerful version. And for ultrabooks and other laptops with weak or non-existend discrete graphics, being able to plug in an external graphics chip is a blessing, especially since there’s a generation of people who will always be on the move and don’t want to be tied down to a desktop.
Asus has once such solution and it will be out by the end of March called the ROG XG Station 2. It’s a USB C Thunderbolt 3 Expansion device that houses desktop GPUs inside it and powers it, while accepting all the necessary communication with the game and display on a Thunderbolt 3-equipped laptop. If you find it hard to understand, just think of it like a graphics upgrade for your laptop without needing to open / solder stuff inside.
Asus’ ROG XG Station 2 will support most recent GPU’s from AMD and NVIDIA with slot size of 2.5, and is powered by its own 600 Watt 80 Plus Gold power supply. Its completely plug-and-play without reboots needed and also supplies extra ports like USB Type A and Ethernet to connect to the laptop and provide extra connections like a dock normally would.
Currently a bunch of Asus laptops and 2-in-1’s are listed as compatible with the ROG XG Station 2 but its very likely most laptops with USB Type C Thunderbolt 3 should be able to support the external graphics by just installing the appropriate software and drivers.
However if you’re going to buy one, expect to be paying a little bit for the privilege. PHP 29,000 (US$570) is the SRP which could go a long way into buying a new laptop entirely. But for the functionality of gaming on a non-gaming laptop, upgrading an old laptop to better graphics, or even being able to switch to the newest desktop GPU whenever you wish, it could be worth it. Check it out at any ROG Concept Store and PC shops nationwide by the end of the month!
For more information on compatible products, extra features, and the like check out Asus’ Microsite for the ROG XG Station 2 here!
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