Ever wished that you could upgrade your notebook graphics card as easily as your desktop? With nVidia's new MXM standard, your wish may just come true.
Being created by nVidia you might wonder why any notebook manufacturers would want to tie themselves into a proprietary format. However, nVidia has co-developed MXM with most of the major notebook manufacturers and made it an open standard. This means that any notebook vendor adopting MXM will not be stuck with nVidia chipsets, since ATI, Intel or anyone else can also make full use of the standard. This gives the notebook manufacturers greater flexibility than ever before to provide a wide range of graphics cards for the same model. It should also increase overall choice for the consumer.
So, finally the humble laptop should be able to keep up with its desktop counterpart in a way never seen before. But what is even more exciting for you and I is that nVidia is hoping that user upgradeable graphics modules for laptops will appear within the next year or so. This is not an entirely new concept as companies such as Alienware already offer this. However, the advantage with MXM is that as long as you know what size module your laptop takes, you should be able to slide the current one out and the new one in, making it even easier than upgrading the graphics card in your desktop PC.
Of course only time will tell if this dream becomes reality, but the idea of being able to buy a new graphics card for your notebook, just like you do for your desktop is pretty compelling.
Don’t expect to see MXM based laptops just yet though. As with all new technology, it will take a while for mass adoption to occur. We would expect to see early samples towards the third quarter this year as the shift over to PCI Express gains momentum.