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Asus ROG announces XG Station 2 final spec and availability

by Mark Tyson on 16 December 2016, 10:01

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadcc4

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After dragging the XG Station 2 eGPU box around various trade shows for nearly a year Asus has now finalised its specifications and provided a release window for this device. HEXUS first reported on, and filmed the ROG XG Station 2 in action, back at CES 2016. Later in the year, at Computex, it was changed to sport a Thunderbolt 3 interface. Now, in its latest and final spec before shipping to end users it will employ both a Thunderbolt 3 interface plus an extra USB Type-B connection for increased bandwidth.

Regular readers will be aware of the growing number of eGPU chassis available. They provide a niche solution for folk who like to own an ultraportable laptop but want to use the same laptop PC as a gaming machine when they get home. These discrete GPU packing devices typically connect via Thunderbolt 3, and then to a nice large monitor to provide expansive modern gaming goodness. Graphics card choices are usually as diverse as what you might choose to fit in your PC desktop case.

This Asus ROG XG Station 2 includes its own 500W 80 Plus Gold certified PSU which is enough to power your GPU and send power back to your laptop for charging. Asus says it can be fitted with 2.5 slot-wide graphics cards such as "the current king of the hill - the ROG Strix GTX 1080, and also supports the latest offerings from AMD, such as the ROG Strix RX 480".

In its performance blurb Asus claims that due to the slight overhead, due to encoding and decoding when connecting only via Thunderbolt 3, its "XG Station 2 allows you to connect an additional USB Type-B cable to help compensate and push the performance further". With both connections employed you should get approx 90 per cent of the performance the card could muster installed inside a desktop PC, says Asus.

A typical modern ultraportable laptop often lacks expansion ports so the XG Station 2 also makes a nifty dock by providing four USB 3.0 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as lots of monitor connection options.

LED lighting is present in the form of an all new plasma tube at the centre front of the XG Station 2. Of course it is compatible with the ASUS Aura RGB lighting family and Aura Sync system, so it can glow and throb in harmony with the rest of your Asus components.

Compatible Asus laptop models include several of the firm's gaming laptops, the Transformer Book series and also some modern ZenBook models (TBC). The Asus ROG XG Station 2 becomes available worldwide early next year. Pricing for the device hasn't yet been indicated.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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All I'd like is a basic darn box to place a gpu. It doesn't have to be fancy, cost the earth, or do strange things.

STOP making things, that should be simple, far more complicated in an effort to justify raising the price to stupid levels.

A gpu ‘caddy’, which is all it pretty much is, should be no more than £199. You then have to buy the darn card so we're then heading towards £450 which is getting a bit silly really (As you also have to buy the machine to plug this into).
excalibur1814
All I'd like is a basic darn box to place a gpu. It doesn't have to be fancy, cost the earth, or do strange things.

STOP making things, that should be simple, far more complicated in an effort to justify raising the price to stupid levels.

A gpu ‘caddy’, which is all it pretty much is, should be no more than £199. You then have to buy the darn card so we're then heading towards £450 which is getting a bit silly really (As you also have to buy the machine to plug this into).

You make a good point, but don't forget about powering it! The PSU is still a fairly necessary part.
excalibur1814
A gpu ‘caddy’, which is all it pretty much is, should be no more than £199.
To be honest I feel they should be less than that, all it is is an adapter card, a psu and a case… Personally I think they shouldn't be more than about £100 but sadly the only ones I'm finding now are nearly £300… which is ludicrous.
Even if it was a reasonable price I wouldn't buy it on the count of the aesthetic. It comes across as desperate for attention; “look at me, look at me, I'm legit gaming hardware!”.

Just look at the Transformer Book Pro that's sat next to the box-of-ugly in the upper most image, it's neat, it looks nice, but pertinently doesn't have bits of red-backlit plastic hanging off it at strange angles; “Unlike me, this tablet is obviously useless for gaming, it doesn't even have go-faster bits of plastic”
Let's be painfully honest here - you could build a PC base that's about that size, and with careful component choices is about the same price. That'd have the benefit of not losing 10% of your GPU's performance for no good reason, and you'd have the choice of playing on your large screen connected to the gaming PC, or use a streaming service and play on your laptop without having to be tethered to the base station.

The thing is, the port replicator dock I use at work costs around £150 and it literally just routes some monitor and USB outputs from the laptop. ASUS' external graphics box does almost exactly the same, but also adds PCIe expansion. So it's not a graphics expansion, it's a power dock. Stick a proper docking connector on the laptop rather than messing around with two cables, and it starts looking like a good solution. Currently it just looks like a kludge ;)