CES 2016: ASUS Announces XG Station 2 External Graphics

Subject: Graphics Cards, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2016 - 04:47 PM |
Tagged: external graphics, CES 2016, CES, asus

While external graphics has been a thing for quite some time, it was rarely an available thing. Several companies, such as AMD, Lucid, and others, announced products that were never sold. ASUS had their XG Station for Windows Vista that allowed laptops to plug into a GeForce 8600 GT, which was only available in Australia. Only now are we beginning to see options from Alienware, MSI, and even Microsoft that are widely available.

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ASUS is jumping back in, too. Not much is known about the XG Station 2, except that it is “specially designed for ASUS laptops and graphics cards.” This sounds like it is using a proprietary connector, similar to Alienware and MSI, to connect to ASUS laptops. Also saying it's specifically for ASUS graphics cards is a bit confusing, though. If it is an open PCIe slot, I'm not sure why or how it would be limited to ASUS cards. If the graphics cards are pre-installed, then we don't know the list of potential GPUs.

Either way, ASUS states that the dock can be disconnected without shutting down the PC. I'm interested to see how the GPU is supposed to be unplugged, as Alienware's option can only be done when the system is off, and Microsoft's Surface Book has a software detach with a hardware latch. The connector will also charge the laptop, which is an interesting add-in.

Pricing and availability varies, like the other ASUS announcements, by region.

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Source: ASUS

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January 5, 2016 | 05:34 PM - Posted by jimecherry

Acer has also mentioned an external dock for one of its laptops, that's thunderbolt over usb type c. I have yet to find the actual product though.

January 5, 2016 | 07:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That would be TB3, which uses that USB Type-C plug so a little more bandwidth 40 Gbit/s (5 GB/s). Production of External GPU docks with TB3 is ramping up this year! TB3 also offers 10Gb Ethernet networking over TB3 for LANing up Computers over TB3.

January 5, 2016 | 05:47 PM - Posted by funandjam

"... specially designed..." for asus laptops and asus graphics cards could mean aesthetics. It makes sense if they did a propietary connector with a laptop, but makes no sense to make it proprietary and only connect with asus gfx cards. I mean, look at the gfx card in the box in the picture, it looks just like one of their highend cards that goes in a normal desktop pc case.

So I'd like to think that what they mean is that it will match aethetically with other asus products, like laptops, monitors, gfx cards, etc. Things you would have on your desktop and see all the time.

Here's hoping that they really do go with a standard connector.

January 5, 2016 | 07:18 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

That's a good point. Thanks.

January 6, 2016 | 01:46 AM - Posted by ShiroNeko (not verified)

"The PCI-E connection course via two USB ports C, for PCIe 3.0 x4 speed. The docking station can also operate via a single USB C connector, but is limited to PCIe 3.0 x2 speed."

Not Thunderbolt 3 :(


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