The invention of external graphics cards with PCI Express interface is an indisputable achievement of ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices. Unfortunately, the company has failed to promote the technology among notebook and add-in-board makers, as a result, there are virtually no external XGP graphics adapters and notebooks. Moreover, Acer Group, one of the largest PC makers, claims that currently XGP cannot provide real benefits.
"Acer is interested in this solution, but at the moment it does not offer the best user experience," an Acer spokesperson said, reports TechRadar web-site.
Acer introduced its Ferrari One netbook with AMD Athlon Neo X2 microprocessor and ATI eXternal Graphics Port (XGP) last September, however, since then the company has not offered any actual XGP graphics solution, which makes the port useless. The reasons for that are quite clear: although ATI has powerful Mobility Radeon HD 4000- and 5000-series graphics processing units (GPUs), Acer hardly has a lot of interest to introduce external graphics adapter designed only for one model from its broad product range. Apart from Acer Ferrari One, there is also a notebook from Fujitsu with XGP.
Perhaps, a good solution for ATI to popularize the XGP would be to partner with add-in-card makers for XGP adapters and with notebook makers for implementation of the external PCI Express port itself. However, it looks like AMD’s graphics unit prefers to leave adapters exclusively to PC vendors. Perhaps, this is why even AMD does not know, when an XGP adapter from Acer is set to become available.
"AMD has been working closely with Acer to bring XGP to market. The Acer Ferrari One, now available for purchase, does include the XGP port. AMD demonstrated a prototype solution with this notebook at International CES 2010 in Las Vegas at the beginning of this year. A shipping date for the XGP unit has not been announced,” a spokesperson for AMD is reported to have said.