Toshiba stuffs three GPUs into Qosmio X305

The latest update to the 17-inch laptop includes both integrated graphics for low-level computing and two discrete graphics cards for serious gaming.

We've seen laptops with dual SLI graphics, such as the Alienware Area-51 m17x. We've seen laptops with switchable discrete and integrated graphics, such as the new MacBook Pro. But on Thursday, Toshiba announced two new versions of its Qosmio X305 gaming laptop that incorporate three GPUs: two Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS cards in a scalable link interface and one integrated GeForce 9400M.

Qosmio X306-Q706

Nvidia is calling the new triple-card solution "Hybrid SLI." Like other laptops with hybrid graphics, the Qosmio X305 can switch from discrete to integrated graphics, with the former offering better gaming performance and the latter offering better power efficiency for lower-level Windows tasks.

The lower-end version of the laptop, the Qosmio X305-Q706, costs $1,999 for a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor; 4GB of DDR3 RAM; a 320GB, 7,200rpm hard drive; and of course the two 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS cards plus GeForce 9400M integrated graphics.

For those unaffected by the economic downturn, the $4,199 Qosmio X305-Q708 offers a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 quad-core processor; 4GB of DDR3 RAM; both a 128GB solid-state drive and a 320GB, 7,200rpm hard drive; and two 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS cards plus GeForce 9400M integrated graphics.

The new Qosmio X305 models feature the same red-flame design, 17-inch display, and stereo speakers with subwoofer found on their predecessor, and both are available immediately.

About the author

    Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.


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