External Graphics Card Dock

Best External Graphics Card Dock (eGPU) from AMD & Nvidia for Laptops

If you are into desktop building and stuff, or even if you are an average computer user, you know the difference between an external and Internal SSDs and HDDs. The same way there are External Graphics Cards. Yes, they are a thing, and there are many reasons or say advantages why you would want to use one. Most of the people use them because they make gaming on the laptop efficient. Following are main components of an external graphics card dock:

When you use these with a Laptop, it merely generates less heat while performing graphics intensive operations since graphics card is in a dedicated enclosure, thus, ultimately boosting the overall performance. Other than for laptops, many people also use it to spare more space for their airflow intake system, in their main cabinet. It all depends on what you are expecting from these docks.

External Graphics Card Dock: The List

To use an eGPU, you need an External Graphics Dock that supports the GPU you are willing to use. Most of these graphics card docks support all modern GPU (PCIe) based graphics card. However, to make your task easy, we have prepared a list of top graphics dock available out there in the market. Since we have covered all the essential technical aspects along with what GPUs they support, this post will help you to find the right product for yourself:

1. Asus ROG XG Docking Station 2:

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It is a fabulous docking station that can even handle a GTX 1060 FW2 level video card. Moreover, you can also connect your USB devices. If you own an Asus device, the setup will be even more straightforward. It is a hot-swap-able device. In other words, you can plug it in and out while Windows is running. It seems costlier compared to other similar models, but it provides a Type B USB cable, which is more future proof. Thunderbolt connection enables all USB connections. However, you can use a Type B cable to separate the bandwidth and improve performance. The guild shipped with the unit is pretty detailed and includes most of the standard FAQs.

Power Device

Typepower supply
Power Provided600 Watt

Miscellaneous

Cables Included1 x USB 3.0 to USB 3.0 type B cable
1 x Thunderbolt cable
Colormatte black

Interface Provided

TypeSuperSpeed USB 3.0, network
InterfaceEthernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T
Qty1, 4
Connector Type9 pin USB Type A, RJ-45

Networking

Data Link ProtocolEthernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet

Header

BrandASUS
Product LineASUS
ModelROG XG STATION 2
Packaged Quantity1
CompatibilityPC

System

Device Typethe docking station

Audio Output

Typenone

Dimensions & Weight

Width6.2 in
Depth18 in
Height10.9 in
Weight11.24 lbs

Expansion Slots

TypePCI Express x16
Total Qty1

Cable Details

TypeThunderbolt cable, USB 3.0 to USB 3.0 type B cable
Included Qty1

General

ManufacturerAsus

2. Alienware Graphics Amplifier – System Bus Extender:

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It is quite a powerful Graphics Enclosure that is capable of handling an EVGA GTX 1080 Founders Edition. It is specially designed for the longest possible graphics card. With this unit, you will have least cable management issues. It does not support hot swap, which means you need to plug it in before you run your machine and also start the unit and your laptop nearly at the same time. Once done, there are no issues while it’s running. However, the height of the graphics card should be within 5 inches to fit in this beast house. Here are some other technical aspects:

Power Device

Typevideo card power supply
Power Provided460 Watt

Miscellaneous

FeaturesAlienFX Lighting Zones
Colorstealth black

Interface Provided

TypeSuperSpeed USB 3.0
Qty4

Header

BrandAlienware
Product LineAlienware
ModelGraphics Amplifier
Packaged Quantity1
CompatibilityPC

System

Device Type:system bus extender

Audio Output

Typenone

Input Device

Typenone

Dimensions & Weight

Width7.3 in
Depth16.1 in
Height6.8 in
Weight7.72 lbs

Expansion Slots

TypePCI Express x16
Form Factorfull-length
Total Qty1
Free Qty1

General

ManufacturerDell, Inc.

3. PowerColor DEVIL BOX Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Enclosure:

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Being a budget graphics card dock or enclosure, it has its pros and cons. First of all, unlike most of the other similar products, the initial installation and running for this one are pretty simple, and anyone can do it without much technical knowledge. Most of the screws used on the unit are thumb screws, which makes it pretty easy to assemble and disassemble. With some simple methods, you can implement a liquid cooling since it has pretty enough room for the purpose. A 500W 80Plus gold rated PSU is enough for it to work perfectly. There are some cons too, but they are quite considerable. It does not have screws for 2.5″ drive mount, there are no SATA cables, it is pretty bulky, and fans are quite noisy. Here is a look at technical aspect:

 Model

BrandPowerColor
Part NumberDEVIL BOX Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Enclosure

Details

Connection to Host PCThunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps cable)
FeaturesExternal Graphics for high-performance Gaming, Supports Radeon RX480 and Nvidia Geforce GTX 10 series ultra-fast 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 interface PCI Express x16 slot support high-performance graphics card (Max Gen3 x4 speed)
Diverse and extension I/O port
Thunderbolt 3 U5B-C port support USB Power Delivery (PD) for charging compatible laptops up to 60W
Expansion Graphics cardTYPE: PCI-Express x16 graphics cards
Max Dimensions: 310 x 140 x 50mm 2-slot bracket
Max GPU Power: 375 Watts
GPU SupportQualified PowerColor graphics cards
PowerColor RX 570
PowerColor RX 400 Series
PowerColor R9 Fury
PowerColor R9 Nano
AMD Radeon R9 300 Series
Supported NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards (finder edition)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 900 series
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 700 series
I/O portsThunderbolt 3 x 1 (for connection to PC)
Ethernet 10/100/1000
SATA III x 1 (internal for 2.5″ HDD/SSD)
USB 3.0 x 4
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C x 1
Internal Power Supply500 Watts
Chassis Size400 x 172 x 242mm
Operating System RequirementsWindows 10 64-bit only
Host SupportIntel NUC(NUC6I7KYK)
Razer Blade Stealth Not all computers with Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports support gfx PowerColor can only assure proper operation of our DEVIL BOX with systems in our compatible PC list
If your PC is not on the compatible PC list, please check with your PC manufacturer on support for external graphics

4. Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box:

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If you are on Windows 10, the installation is going to be a piece of cake for you, regardless of what product/brand you are using. Windows will automatically detect it and install drivers for the card you have put in the dock. The process may take some time, but once done, there will be no issues. Just reboot the system, and it will be up and running. The only con we would like to point out that the Graphics card slot it lose. We don’t mean that its too lose, but if you move it around while it’s turned on, it will possibly turn itself off due to graphics card break-off. It is not a major issue if you put it on a steady, dedicated place. Following are some technical aspects you should consider:

Power Device

Typepower adapter
Power Provided500 Watt
Nominal VoltageAC 110/240 V
Frequency Required50/60 Hz

Interface Provided

TypeThunderbolt 3
Qty1

System Requirements

OS RequiredApple macOS Sierra 10.12.6 or later, Windows 10 64-bit Edition

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature32 °F
Max Operating Temperature95 °F

Header

BrandSonnet
Product LineSonnet gfx
ModelBreakaway Box 350
Packaged Quantity1

System

Device Type:system bus extender

Audio Output

Typenone

Dimensions & Weight

Width7.3 in
Depth13.4 in
Height8 in
Weight7.05 lbs

Expansion Bays

Typenone

Expansion Slots

TypePCI Express 3.0 x16
Form Factorfull-length, full-height
Total Qty1
Free Qty1
Slot Commentsx4 mode

Slot Required

Typenone

Cable Details

TypeThunderbolt cable
Form Factorexternal
Included Qty1
Length1.6 ft

Service & Support

Type1-year warranty

Service & Support Details

Full Contract PeriodFull Contract Period

General

ManufacturerSonnet Technologies, Inc.

Conclusion:

Before purchasing any of these products, please ensure that you confirm that it supports the GPU you own or are going to purchase or use. Moreover, you should also keep in mind the GPU length that they support. The cooling system should be the least of your concerns. It only matters if you are going for massive high-end GPUs. If you have any question, query or suggestions, feel free to use the comment box below. We are happy to help you! Thanks for visiting!

Disclosure: We are a professional review website that sometimes receive compensation or free units from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

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