Portable computers can compete quite well against desktops in terms of performance, even at the high end, if you like your laptop heavy, but one area where they slip behind is graphics. Not any more, if ATI's Lasso can deliver what we think it can.
Fitting one, let alone two high end graphics cards into a laptop, and then powering them is, well... a bit of a bugger. What would be really cool is if the GPUs could be housed externally, interfacing with the laptop rather than residing within it. "But wait Steve, we've already seen such a solution" you shout, yes? Indeed the ASUS XG station strives to do that for lappies with ExpressCard slots. ATI's working on a little something of its own, however.
They're calling it Lasso and it'll go a bit further than having an external graphics card for a laptop. Lasso will be able to house multiple graphics boards providing what could frankly prove to be hilarious processing capabilities... and those of you keeping up with the GPGPU scene will know that it's not about games performance. Modern GPUs can do some serious general purpose wet-work, leaving the CPU cores to work on other things.
Details right now are scarce, but imagine having a pair of R600s plugged into your laptop, or indeed augmenting a small form factor PC, or a workstation...
"But Steve, we want pics!" OK then, folks, here's a look at some naked lasso currently in development: