By now I'll assume that we've all been good nerds and heard all about the Asus XG Station
. Long story short, it's the first commercial attempt to provide laptops with Holy Grail upgradable graphics capability. Plug your laptop into the XG station, plug the XG station into an external monitor, and voila! acceptable 3D gaming.
Now, from my point-of-view this is pretty nifty. I specifically chose a laptop with integrated video for a few reasons. It pretty much boiled down to the fact that most laptops with discrete graphics solutions had budget-card equivalents that wouldn't offer serious performance for gaming purposes anyway. I figured why buy something that doesn't work? Better to save some green and just accept the fact that gaming on the go wasn't going to happen.
Naturally, I wondered how long it'd take the collective engineering unconscious to build one of these things. But the big question now is, the XG station loads 16x PCI-e cards even though it communicates to the laptop via a 1x PCI-e expresscard interface. I may have (through no fault of my own, mind you) neglected to pick up a degree in electrical engineering last weekend, so I'm going to ask and hope people know better.
To what extent is the 1x PCI-e interface going to hold back practical performance on these video cards? Do modern video cards fully utilize the 16x PCI-e speeds when in a single (i.e., non-SLI/non-crossfire) configuration?