One of most frustrating aspects of owning a notebook is the fact that regardless of what beast you have inside, it will become woefully outdated within a year. While PCs are easy to upgrade, by adding memory, changing the processor or graphics, notebooks are locked in by vendors. Not anymore.
We know Eurocom Corporation as a company that develops high-end notebooks predominately for commercial users. As a part of building custom notebooks, the company is manufacturing their own graphics cards which use now ubiquitous MXM format, created by nVidia at the dawn of 21st century.
As of now, Eurocom is also entering the add-in-board market, offering products based on AMD and NVIDIA hardware. However, the company is not entering the crowded PCIe space, where both AMD and NVIDIA have well-established partners, but a market which to our great surprise – is completely empty with practically no competitors to speak of.
The company is offering nine graphics cards using the MXM 3.0b form factor. The MXM 3.0b is designed to support cards with higher power requirements and 256-bit memory controller but it is backwards compatible with earlier 3.0 and 3.0a standards.
There are seven products based on consumer and two products based on professional GPUs:
- AMD Radeon HD6970M; 40nm VLIW4, 960 Cores, 256-bit 2GB GDDR5
- AMD Mobility Radeon HD5870; 40nm VLIW5, 800 Cores, 128-bit 1GB GDDR5
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 485M; 40nm GF114, 384 cores, 256-bit 2GB GDDR5
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M; 40nm GF100, 352 cores, 256-bit 2GB GDDR5
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470M; 40nm GF104, 288 cores, 192-bit 1.5GB GDDR5
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M; 40nm GF106, 192 cores; 192-bit 1.5GB GDDR5
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285M; 55nm G92b, 128 cores, 128-bit 1GB GDDR3
- NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800M; 55nm G92b, 128 cores, 256-bit 1GB GDDR5
- NVIDIA Quadro FX 2800M; 55nm G96b, 96 cores, 128-bit 1GB GDDR3
As you can see yourself, this is quite diversified offer – those in need for ultimate performance will probably go for AMD Radeon Mobility HD6970M (based on Barts GPU) or GeForce GTX 485M (based on GF114, same as one in GeForce GTX 560 and 560 Ti on desktop).
Even though the graphics upgrade on a notebook isn’t a walk in a park, we’re quite certain there will be quite a lot of enthusiasts that will ring Eurocom up. However, Eurocom’s main focus are several vertical markets, where the company probably expects to see clients coming in with multiple notebooks from other manufacturers and buying performance upgrades en masse.
Eurocom has clients from aerospace, automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, military and transportation industries and there is no doubt that these clients will be lining up to upgrade their mobile workstations with more graphics power.