Are you looking for some new awesome graphics cards that’ll help you play newer video games even on your older laptop or PC?
External graphics cards made it easier for us nowadays, as you can just plug them in effortlessly and enjoy the best gaming experience.
In this guide, we will be talking about how to choose the best eGPU, and what are some of the best eGPUs you can find on the market. After all, this might be the best purchase you could make for gaming.
How to Choose the Best eGPU
There are several things of high importance to consider when choosing eGPU:
Let’s be clear, this technology is relatively new, and you’ll want to make sure that the eGPU that you are buying is compatible with your device. For example, Razer eGPU will offer nice performance on certain gaming laptops, but the best performance, will, of course, have on the Razer computers.
As any other graphics card, the eGPU card is capable of creating an insane amount of heat. You’ll need a good cooling system. So, look for those that offer external cages filled with fans or other cooling technology. Especially if you are looking for a high-end graphics card. You don’t want to overcook your $500 investment.
Every single eGPU has a power supply which helps run the internal GPU. At the same time, it charges your laptop. A vast majority of modern graphics cards will easily run with the list that we created below.
There are graphics cards that can be as big as 11-12 inches in length. With this being said, you need to pick the right external chassis that’s capable of housing your GPU accordingly. Otherwise, you are in trouble, and you might need to find yourself a different eGPU.
Top-tier cards are naturally bulkier and bigger and might not fit within the recommended specs. So, be sure to double check this before purchasing.
Needless to say, eGPU comes with a bunch of ports. All these ports are extremely useful, as you can directly plug in Ethernet, monitors, and what not. By creating a docking station from an eGPU, this will make an eGPU a phenomenal companion for a laptop.
1. Mantiz Venus MZ-02
If you are trying to create a gaming PC out of your weaker laptop or PC, this enclosure might be of use. All you’ll need is a Thunderbolt 3 port on your laptop, so make sure you have it before purchasing.
It will easily connect 2.5 PCI-E Desktop power GPU to a PC with an Intel-certified Thunderbolt 3 port. With the power of 550W SFX PSU, it will support the cards with up to 375W (8+8 pin 12V). Besides, it will provide nice charging power to the laptop (87W power delivery).
Wide range of compatible devices makes it suitable for any newer cards, such as AMD RX470,up to 590/ Vega 56/Vega 64, but keep in mind that none of NVIDIA is compatible.
When it comes to PC / Laptop (Native Windows), it supports a lot more cards, such as Nvidia RTX/2060/70/80/80 TI/GTX 1050, 1050 ti, 1060, 1070, 1070ti, 1080, 1080 ti , Titan X, XP, V/Quadro P or AMD RX 570,580,590, Vega 56/64 on Intel Certified Thunderbolt 3 Laptop with Windows 10.
- Great power, 550W SFX
- Charging power delivery 87W
- Wide compatibility for both Mac and PC/Laptop WinOS
- Easy plug and play setup
- Affordable price
- Unlike the enclosure, the cable might feel “cheap.”
2. Gigabyte AORUS RTX 2070 Gaming Box
If you are looking for real-time ray tracing and a.I., then this one might be your primary choice. All it takes to have this beauty installed and running is a PC or Laptop with Thunderbolt 3 port, and support for external GPU.
It works with various cards and devices, but it offers the best performance when synchronized with other AORUS devices.
Moreover, it supports peripheral devices with 3 USB 3.0 ports, and power delivery of up to 100W (PD 3.0). It’s easy to carry it around as it’s quite small and compact. Being so small doesn’t take from the cooling performance.
On the contrary, it offers a huge fan, fully customized with 130mm large blades. Not only that, but AORUS provides a phenomenal cooling solution for all key components of the card. VRAM and MOSFET are fully protected, and a stable overclock operation is ensured.
Needless to say, this increases the reliability of the GPU, making this investment for you a one-time thing. The cooling system is quite as well, so your gaming experience remains flawless.
Core clock works at 1620 MHz, while the AC input is 100-240V.
- Amazing compatibility, easy to install
- Outstanding performance with other AORUS devices
- Highly durable
- Great cooling performance
- Protects VRAM and MOSFET as well
- Stable overclock operation ensured
- Using the USB ports on eGPU might invoke some frame drops
3. Akitio Node
If you are looking for the perfect and inexpensive chassis to house an external graphics card, this one might be of use. It connects to your laptop via Thunderbolt 3 and instantly boosts your laptop’s performance to a level that only high-end PC’s could achieve.
The time to rendering the footage will be drastically shortened. Even a PC that once couldn’t run VR is now not only ready to start it but provide amazing experience and quality of a VR image. Much higher frame rates are guaranteed.
With the blazing transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps, you’ll surely enjoy an unseen performance. It’s quite spacious, so that even larger and, of course, standard-sized graphics cards could easily fit in.
Furthermore, it has a built-in SFX power supply of 400W, which will provide additional power to the GPU.
There is enough power for both graphics cards and Akitio Node. If you see that there’s not enough power, you can use additional connectors (two pairs of 8-pin connectors) that are inside AKitio, which will provide phenomenal 390W of power.
You can even remove the back panel if you have double-width cards. 4 lane PCI express 3.0, and a carry handle (on top of it) to easily transport the device wherever you go.
As you can see, the manufacturer thought of everything, and all of it for the user’s best experience.
- Affordable price point category
- Great transfer speed
- Additional 8 pin connectors for better power supply
- Supports standard and large- sized cards
- Handle design for easier transport
- The fan might be a bit louder than usual
4. Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box
Increasing the GPU power was never easier. Sonnet’ eGFX demonstrates how a simple “plug and play” opens the gates of innovative video processing to your Win PC or Thunderbolt 3 Mac instantly.
Amazingly fast 40Gbps interface makes sure that the full PCIe bandwidth is dedicated to your card.
The power supply is at 550W which supports up to the 375W card with up to 8 pin connectors, and it can charge your laptop with 87W power supply, which is pretty cool.
What comes in the box is 0.5m 40Gb Thunderbolt 3 cable, Thunderbolt 3 port, and it supports 120mm x1 water block coolers.
The compatibility is, simply said, great, as it supports a lot of AMDs, starting from RX 470, all the way to 580, including Vega 56 on Macs with MacOS high sierra.
As for windows, the compatibility might be even wider. It supports NVIDIA GTX 1060 and newer (up to 1080ti), Quadro p4000 to p6000, and a bunch of AMD Radeon cards, like RX 570 and newer, WX 5100,7100, etc.
The cooling system is quite cool (puns intended) and really quiet. Variety of cooling speeds make this system fully adjustable, and remarkably effective. Moreover, it supports liquid coolers, which (as you know) enable higher overclocking.
- Great for Mac, but for windows as well
- Amazing compatibility
- Nice power supply
- Quite and coolest cooling system
- The grille on the side might be a bit shorter than it should
5. Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1070 GV-N1070IXEB-8GD eGPU
If you are just looking for something that’s simple to install, and gives amazing results, Gigabyte has something for you. This GPU is simple to carry around, and it provides not only a great graphics-intensive game experience but even better VR experience.
Furthermore, it has 3 USB ports for peripheral devices. Great compatibility coming from AORUS GRX is nothing less expected, as the company managed to fit almost everyone’s needs. RGB fusion is usually admirable with up to 16.8M customizable color lightings.
It supports up to 8k display at 60Hz; it has a unique blade fan design and 3x cooling system. What’s the 3x cooling system even means? Well, Gigabyte went one step further and put 3 pure copper fan blades that together deliver great thermal protection.
Moreover, there are LED indicators that will provide an instant display of fan status.
- Simple plug and play “installation.”
- Nice compatibility
- 3x cooling system
- Led indicators for fan status
- None thus far
6. ASUS XG-Station-PRO
This stylish and sleek dock will easily connect your Ultrabook or other Thunderbolt 3-equipped laptop to the only thing these machines need improved – desktop graphics card.
Asus managed to produce top-notch GPU at an affordable price. You can render videos, build deep-learning apps, or run scientific models with it- it has got it all.
Looks great on any desk, it’s not bulky and heavy, and most importantly – it has a magnificent cooling system which effectively reduces thermal inconveniences and improves performance.
With completely redesigned aluminum chassis, 330W internal power supply, it will deliver all the support your graphics card will ever need. Compatibility is simply astonishing. It can run with NVIDIA GTX 900 series, 10 series, RTX 2070, 2080, and AMD Radeon RX580, RX570, and Pro WX7100.
Besides, it is Mac OS certified with Radeon RX580/RX570 and pro WX7100.
Overall, a nice piece, not expensive at all for the quality it brings to the table.
- Wide compatibility with NVIDIA and Radeon graphics cards
- Good cooling system
- The stylish, sleek look
- Great enhancement, suitable for rendering, running scientific models, and much more
- The lack of PCIe lanes
7. Razer Core X Chroma Aluminum External GPU Enclosure
If you want to boost your gaming experience and bring your lap’s performance to a whole new level, this Razer core is a core item to buy.
It boosts laptop’s performance enormously. Customizable RGB lighting ensures more than 16 million colors available. It’s capable of syncing with gameplay and other Razer peripherals through Synapse 3.
Now, as for Windows compatibility, it will require Thunderbolt 3 external graphics support with RS45 or later and compatible AMD or NVIDIA cards.
For MAC it also requires Thunderbolt 3 and High Sierra 10.13.4 or later with compatible graphics cards (for this one, NVIDIA cards are not supported).
GPU’s max power support goes up to blazing 500w; the charging goes through Thunderbolt 3. Simply plug it and play. It has an aluminum body and a bunch of open vents. This provides optimal thermal performance, which is, needless to say, highly important for any GPU.
- Great thermal performance
- Versatile compatibility
- Easy plug and play connection
- Dual-chip design
- None so far
In the light of everything aforementioned, we definitely hold our ground when stated that purchasing eGPU might be the best investment in your gaming experience, or “video texture” experience of any kind.
Therefore, we’ve shortlisted some of the best eGPUs there are currently on the market, with a short guide on what you should look for. These things are not that cheap investment, so make sure you pick the right one before you blow around $500 into the useless enclosure.
Hopefully, you are now a step closer to finding the best external graphics card for your potentially reborn machine.