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Portables Hardware

Toshiba Launches Laptop With Three GPUs 149

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the battery-killers dept.
arcticstoat writes to mention that Toshiba's latest line of high-powered laptops has three GPUs included. Both the Qosmio X305-Q706 and Q708 come with an integrated GeForce 9400M for day-to-day processing tasks but have a pair of GeForce 9800Ms in SLI that kick in when you need the extra horsepower. "The [Qosmio] X305-Q706 costs $1,999 US (£1,257) in the US, although we haven't seen any UK pricing on the laptops yet. The system comes with a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo P8400 and 4GB of RAM, while the costlier X305-Q708 comes with a quad-core 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9300 CPU."
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Toshiba Launches Laptop With Three GPUs

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  • by Brain_Recall (868040) <`brain_recall' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Friday November 07, 2008 @04:49PM (#25680721)
    Does it come with its own fire extinguisher?
    • by eclectro (227083) on Friday November 07, 2008 @04:52PM (#25680781)

      Does it come with its own fire extinguisher?

      Actually no. But you can get that at the Autozone when you go to pick up the car battery you'll need.

      • by the_womble (580291) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:10PM (#25681077) Homepage Journal
        The whole point of this is to improve battery life compared to laptops that only have the higher performance GPU: you use the more efficient GPU when you do not need the performance, and the better performance one only when you do.
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:04PM (#25681937) Homepage Journal

      A three GPU notebook is actually Toshiba's way of making triple damn sure that nerds don't reproduce.

    • it's a laptop.

      It's got too many GPUs to be a laptop!

      Oh wait...actually you're right. It can't be a laptop unless it comes with asbestos pants or its own carbonite chamber... sorry, my bad. Yea, it'd be completely ridiculous to build a 'laptop' like that.

  • Can it run Crysis?

  • Totally unacceptable, I wouldn't even recommend this for checking your email.
    • Sharp knees, too.

  • At first the idea sounded idiotic, but I might actually replace my outdated desktop with something like this. I've now used laptop computers pretty much exclusively for about two years now. I do have two desktops at home, but I rarely use them, and they're more for quests who stay long enough to need a computer they can use. I do everything on my laptop, and if I need more uumpf, I use VNC to connect to our bedroom-server-thing or use one of the desktops remotely. I notice that whenever I actually sit down on a desktop computer for more than a few minutes, at some point I feel the need to pick the thing up and move somewhere to do other things while continuing to work with the machine. While there have been more and more powerful laptops in recent years, I've still been waiting for a real powerhouse of a machine to actually toss out my old desktop instead of just replacing my latest laptop. Something like this might be it.
    • by Piata (927858) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:01PM (#25680931)
      As someone that is using a laptop as desktop replacement, I have to say it's great to be able to have so much portable power but it does have it's downsides:

      1. They tend to weigh a lot, making travel with it a bit of a pain and an annoyance for daily use in multiple locations.
      2. They tend to run extremely hot.
      3. They cost a lot more for the equivalent desktop hardware.
      4. Less upgradable.
      5. Nvidia doesn't update their mobile chipset drivers.

      My next computer will definitely be a desktop.
      • by shinmai (632532) *
        My plan was to have one desktop-laptop, and a whole other more portable laptop for daily carrying-around and to be used in my actual lap.
      • by Sancho (17056) *

        I like sitting on my couch and using my laptop. It's way more comfortable than sitting at a desk, and I can interact with other people in the room, watch TV, etc, so when I want to get a powerful computer, I always look at laptops first. To this end, things like weight, size, and battery life are less of a concern. You do tend to pay for the convenience, as you note, both in the fact that you can't upgrade cheaply and in a high up-front cost.

        • by TheLink (130905)
          How much would it cost to make a portable wireless low latency screen+keyboard+mouse?

          So most of the compute power is at a desktop...

          60fps * 1680 * 1050 * 24 bit is 300MByte/sec though, and it'll be tricky to keep the latency low.
          • by remmelt (837671)

            ... wait, is what you describe not called a laptop?

            Seriously, an eeePC or whatever they're called with decent resolution and VNC should be perfect for this.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by scandalon (1021347)
        I highly recommend checking out LaptopVideo2Go [laptopvideo2go.com]. You can install the desktop drivers on your laptop with a simple swap of an .inf file.
      • To be fair I use my laptop as my main computer with my desktop as a server. Yes it runs hotter when I do gaming and yes it's heavier than I'd like when I walk a mile to work every day but it's worth it.

        I can run apache, tomcat, mysql, netbeans, Firefox, Windows media player amongst other things and it doesn't break a sweat. As far as the weight, it's probably making me healthier by lugging it around and the battery life lasts my bus journey so I can't really complain.
      • by mikael (484)

        #2 Seems to be caused by lint buildup in the heatsink fan enclosure. It's not just lint on the outside grill but right inside the cavity space as well. For my old laptop, cleaning that out make the fans quieter, reduced the highest temperature down to 65C and extended the battery life.

        The only things that cook my laptop now are 'npviewer.bin' and 'acroread', both of which seem to be sucking up virtual memory before eventually forcing the system into a permanently memory swapping state.

  • ewww (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Friday November 07, 2008 @04:51PM (#25680761)
    My, that's an ugly looking laptop. Here's hoping Toshiba (or someone else) makes something similar in a nicer looking body.
    • Re:ewww (Score:4, Funny)

      by ZenShadow (101870) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:18PM (#25681213) Homepage

      That's called the MacBook Pro.

      • Re:ewww (Score:4, Informative)

        by Draek (916851) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:50PM (#25681713)
        Yeah, except that a 9400+9600 hybrid SLI setup isn't the same thing as a twin 9800 SLI one, sorry.
      • No shit, why can't anybody but Apple design a good looking computer? It's not rocket science, it requires only some basic understanding of art/design history to avoid the monstrosities that PC makers put out. Only nice thing about it is that my PC laptop is so ugly that I don't care, I spray paint it, duct tape the broken piece on the bottom, whatever. Some of my MacBook friends have actually said that they envy my ability to paint it and not care what it looks like, haha.
      • Gaming on the MAC !

        Huh ?

        Good Luck with that...

        • by Ilgaz (86384)

          Well, boot camp is there for gaming. Sad but true, it would be wise to spare a 10-20 GB space for gamers as Windows XP (or Vista, if it is fixed).

          What lacks is the directx. A directx like thing. It already exists (SDL comes to mind) but it needs huge, corporate entity that game developers can call.

          Sad thing for Toshiba is, Snow Leopard could use that massive GPU power for doing tough non gaming things thanks to OpenCL which comes with Snow Leopard. Just imagine you can do insanely faster than realtime h264

    • Yes, Apple has already done it. Their new notebook, in stores now, has the integrated GPU with the bigger there if require too. Kind of the same thing but on a nicer aluminum uni-body and glass package.

      • And Sony did it before them, among others, but who's keeping track, right?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Molochi (555357)

        If by the same you mean much slower and not significant as a gaming pc, then sure.

        The 9600M GT is a pretty craptastic videocard for a $2500+ notebook.

    • People can slag off Apple all they want (because it's true their hardware is way over priced) but PC manufactuers come off retarded when it comes to hardware design. Apple is king and their design is so simple. I can't believe no one in the PC side of things has the balls to rip them off and instead try to make PC look like a shipping container or a whore.
    • by wjh31 (1372867)
      id much rather have 5 blades in a laptop than in a razor
    • by llamalicious (448215) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:41PM (#25681569) Journal

      The funny thing about that Onion piece, is the a couple years later Gillette really went and made a five-blade razor.

      Score one for the onion!

      • by Loibisch (964797)

        Score one for the onion!

        ...score 1712863 for the rest of the world.

      • by jandrese (485)
        The adage is: Life follows the Onion.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by vux984 (928602)

        The funny thing about that Onion piece, is the a couple years later Gillette really went and made a five-blade razor.

        Even funnier, they then went on to one-upped themselves and released one with SIX.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vux984 (928602)

      Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades

      Why stop there? The latest "Gillette Fusion Power Phenom" razor has SIX.

      5 blades plus a 'precision trimmer' on back side.
      Oh... and don't forget: it vibrates too!

      http://www.gillette.com/en-US/#/products/phenom/en-US/index.shtml/ [gillette.com]

      • by sohp (22984)

        Oddly, at least in the non-vibrating version, the cartridges are cheaper per unit than Gillette's older 3-blade Sensor.

        • by great om (18682)

          the nonvibrating cartridges work fine in the vibrating razor, as well, even with the vibration turned on

      • by macshit (157376)

        ... and an aloe strip!

        I'm not really very knowledgeable about every-day shaving (I have a beard, and I'm ashamed to say I've only ever shaved with a single-blade razor...), but are these surreal straight-out-of-the-onion razors actually any good?

        [Gillette's onionesque razors are so damn ugly, that I kind of want to believe they're crap too ... but I suppose they may be onto something...]

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by vux984 (928602)

          ... and an aloe strip!

          That changes color over time so you know when its time to replace, with a microchip that modifies its performance based on the age of the blades... don't get me started.

          m not really very knowledgeable about every-day shaving (I have a beard, and I'm ashamed to say I've only ever shaved with a single-blade razor...), but are these surreal straight-out-of-the-onion razors actually any good?

          The single blade bic razors that come in a bag and cost 50 cents each or something are utter and

  • by shinmai (632532) * <(moc.liamg) (ta) (otsiraas.opaa)> on Friday November 07, 2008 @04:59PM (#25680889) Homepage
    ..but Toshiba often seems to launch new and previously unheard of things in their computers. Still they're not very popular (at least with anyone I know) when compared to the more "mundane" manufacturers.
    • Still they're not very popular (at least with anyone I know) when compared to the more "mundane" manufacturers.

      Ask the folks you know if their laptop price was far more important to them than a robust feature-set...

      Toshiba is the brand I usually recommend here at the shop if just FOR those "extras"...with Panasonic Toughbooks for hard-core field use as a second.

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      I use Mac for years but if I am forced to buy a x86/Windows laptop, it would be either Toshiba or Lenovo (if they didn't kill IBM way of doing it).

      Toshiba has something nobody else has. It does Laptop only and high quality laptops for personal purchase. IBM became Lenovo and if they didn't kill the culture, that would be my first choice for business laptop.

      For harsh environments, choice is clear too. Panasonic Toughbook. Of course don't expect gaming performance from it.

  • by aardwolf64 (160070) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:05PM (#25680993) Homepage

    Battery life is an amazing 2.4 seconds, but you can buy an extended battery and extend the life to 1 minute 15 seconds. Or, almost long enough for it to boot up.

  • Better hardware then the mac book pro at the same price. why can't apple have at least one 9800m in the mac book pro? at $2000 9600m is a poor gpu for the price.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      IMO... because you are paying for two things - the Apple name and the lack of competition for Apple, since they have closed OS X to only Mac hardware.
  • Pricing? (Score:5, Funny)

    by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:16PM (#25681165) Journal

    The [Qosmio] X305-Q706 costs $1,999 US (£1,257) in the US, although we haven't seen any UK pricing on the laptops yet.

    I think I saw UK pricing on that somewhere... oh yeah:

    The [Qosmio] X305-Q706 costs $1,999 US (£1,257) in the US, although we haven't seen any UK pricing on the laptops yet.

    • Re:Pricing? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:26PM (#25681329)

      That's not the UK price, it's the US price converted to GBP. It's entirely conceivable - and, in fact, likely - that the laptop will retail for a different, higher price in the UK.

      At least, that's the way it always goes.

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        That's not the UK price, it's the US price converted to GBP at the current exchange rate. It's entirely conceivable - and, in fact, likely - that the laptop will retail for an identical figure but with a pound sign instead of a dollar sign, because the US gets its tech really cheap.

        There, fixed that for you.

    • Re:Pricing? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by should_be_linear (779431) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:30PM (#25681399)
      Its more like:

      The [Qosmio] X305-Q706 costs $1,999 US (£1,257) in the US, although we haven't seen any UK pricing on the laptops yet.

  • by GIL_Dude (850471) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:16PM (#25681187) Homepage
    After having fought with the Lenovo T400 (with the ATI graphics and the built in Intel graphics) in "switchable" mode, I can only hope that Toshiba was able to implement theirs in a way that works well even across the edge cases of configuration and usage.

    For example on the T400, it switches (by default) to the Intel integrated when you go to battery. If you use the machine on a port replicator with dual monitors (like is common for us) you get the two screens identified as number 3 and 4 instead of 1 and 2. AND - when you redock, they switch back and forth (primary screen switches from one side to the other). It works so poorly in a docking scenario that we just disabled it in the BIOS (so it is always on the ATI or 'discrete' graphics).

    This is one of those ideas that sounds great, but if implemented poorly leaves me scratching my head and wondering why someone designed something so stupid.

    Here's hoping that Lenovo works this out and that this implementation from Toshiba works right out of the gate.
    • I think one of the problems with the early versions like yours is that they used Intel and ATI, with two nVidia the driver should be able to handle it much more neatly since it's a universal driver. I haven't used one of these systems myself but I hear it's a lot better with the newer versions. I think ATI is doing something similar but they might not have actually gotten products to market yet. I would love to have something like this in my desktop too, although now that I run folding@home GPU on mine it w
    • by brucmack (572780)

      I've had this problem on several previous Lenovo laptops as well, where I've ultimately had to install hacked drivers directly from the graphics card manufacturer and play around with different version of the Presentation Director to get it to work properly.

      Ultimately, I think the problem is that Lenovo doesn't do proper QA on dual-monitor setups. It probably doesn't help that they seem to switch between different combinations of Intel, ATI, and nVidia technologies every generation.

  • I think there's quite a market for these types of laptops. While the the disadvantages are that they are huge, weight a ton and toast your lap, they pack quite a bit of portable power. But the battery life should be pretty good when you're running with just the integrated graphics.
    First they would be ideal for people who go to LAN parties.
    Second, if you are a serious designer working in 3D animation this may be the only PC you need.
    Thirdly, NVIDIA CUDA has shown a lot of promise so far, with time we will ha

    • The dell precision line might be better for making 3D animation since they come with the quadro line of video cards. I am hoping this makes dell drop the price on their orange or M6400 one since when spec'd out it cost like $5000. For an all around kick butt portable desktop either of those look good on paper. I'd like to see how they hold up after 3-9 months of use. The dell interested me with the quad core cpu, up to 16GB of RAM, and the 1GB video card. It is not an extreme gamer machine, but it should do

  • by Wiarumas (919682) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:23PM (#25681293)
    Who needs battery life when you can play Fallout3 on the crapper!
  • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@yahoEEEo.com minus threevowels> on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:42PM (#25681583)

    Every Toshiba I have looked at, after finding out mine had this issue, has hvm disabled. Not "they use a bios that is not "Intel Virtualization Technology-enabled". Flat out disabled with no way of turning it on. Add to this the fact that every bios update for my laptop has made it more and more difficult to get Linux running properly. No sound? hack bios rebuild kernel and init. No fan for GPU? hack bios - rebuild kernel and init... I'm waiting for the bios that looks to see if I have nothing vista'ish on the drive and disables me turning it on.

    • I thought that Linux didn't use bios, hence why coreboot shaves 3 seconds off your bootup time. I suppose for laptops the acpi features are used (which generally arnt supported in linux very well) but no sound?

      *note all this "knowedge" comes from tring to figure out how to do a bios update without windows and getting distracted for several hours

  • What's funny is (Score:2, Interesting)

    by areusche (1297613)

    I never see people actually use the batteries in their laptops. They're always tethered to some wall outlet. That's half the reason I own a laptop! I never carry my magsafe adapter and run all around town with my macbook pro and still can get home with enough charge to plop down on my sofa!

    • I never carry my magsafe adapter

      I think about that, since unless I'm working somewhere I can plop the laptop down on the cable to hold it in place it invariably gets unplugged when a flea sneezes near the adapter and I end up running the battery down anyway.

      They should call it "worksafe", because it keeps you safe from having to actually work.

  • Because that's who you're gonna look like after carrying this thing around for a couple of weeks.

  • This would make a great Macbook Pro!

  • by RudeIota (1131331) on Friday November 07, 2008 @07:39PM (#25683253) Homepage
    A battery-conscious, 10 pound laptop that is over 2" thick.

    Dimensions: 16.2" x 12.0" x 1.7-2.5"
    Weight: Starting at 9.04 lbs.
    Additional specs [newegg.com]

  • I don't care if it draws more polygons per second! I'd rather have 4 cpus I can independantly switch on and off at will when needed, as BeOS could!
    This would help with battery probably more than speedstep.
    I've been dreaming about this for a decade. (Why didn't I patent this btw ?)
    • The chip will still be powered up unless you have 4 seperate chips, and the powersavings marginal.

    • by jsoderba (105512)
      The upcoming Intel Core i7 automatically powers down unneeded cores. i7 laptop processors will become available next year. I believe AMD has a similar feature in their upcoming CPUs as well.

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