Radeon HD 5850 connected to Lenovo T410s laptop, great gaming ensues
Despite various mobile graphics solutions making laptops a little better at slinging pixels while maintaining great battery life (Ion, Optimus, etc.), sometimes you have ready access to an AC outlet and just want to get your game on. This is a situation that external graphics adapters are looking to manage, and while we've seen a variety of official options in the pipeline we just had to share this rather unofficial solution from HardForum member Cyclone. He took an $85 PCIe to ExpressCard adapter, slotted in a 2GB Radeon HD 5850, added a 550 watt power supply, and connected it all to his Lenovo T410s. The result? A "major pain in the ass" to configure, apparently, but it bumped his 3DMark06 score from a 1,720 on integrated graphics to a 12,765! That's a bit low compared to running that card in a dedicated gaming rig, as it's being forced to run at 1x over ExpressCard, but it is impressive regardless, and a possible option for anyone looking to turn their portable into a rather more grounded gaming machine.

[Thanks, Chris R.]