Why all the hype about External GPU's?
The GPU in notebooks is difficult to replace, and due to its form factor is often limited in performance too. Furthermore, these GPUs are physically soldered to the motherboard, meaning it is not possible to upgrade the graphics card when desired.
An external graphics card (also known as an eGPU or external GPU) enclosure allows you to house an desktop graphics card, such as the blisteringly fast GeForce GTX 1080, and connect it to your laptop and allow it to run applications or connect to an external monitor with the desktop graphics card.
Desktop GPUs are far more powerful than integrated mobile CPUs and offer up to 10x performance improvements when running a notebook on an external GPU
"Thunderbolt™ 3 – The Miracle Connector."
Introducing the AkiTiO Node
Akitio, the manufacturer of the popular Thunder 2 and Thunder 3 eGPU’s, announced in November 2016 their new model, called the ‘Akitio Node’. The Node eGPU is claimed to be the first affordable external graphics card enclosure designed for the masses, with thunderbolt 3 connectivity (40Gb/s of bandwidth speeds), simple interface and a more affordable price compared to similar eGPUs.
Akitio Node at a glance:
"TRUE DESKTOP-CLASS COMPUTING ON YOUR LAPTOP."
The Razer Core offers plenty of connectivity, packing 4 USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and importantly the capacity to house a full size, fan-cooled high performance desktop GPU of up to 12.20 inches in length. The design and built quality is not bad either, made of an aluminium frame and is very weighty in feel. The build quality is super solid.
The Core eGPU comes in at $499, a price that can be quite difficult to swallow, but we expect this to come down in future iterations of Razer’s eGPU. If you do not want to wait for the Razer Core to drop in price, we do recommend this external GPU as a great option for beefing up your notebooks performance with desktop-grade graphics.
Asus ROG XG Station 2
The ROG XG Station 2 offers the latest Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, offering lightning-quick bandwidth speeds of up to 40gb/s, as well as an ‘exclusive proprietary connector’ claimed to deliver an additional 15 percent improvement in graphics performance. Not bad.
This external GPU offers four USB 3.0 ports, as well as a gigabit LAN socket for extended connectivity. The XG Station 2 will not only provide the power of Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C to drive desktop-level graphics processing, it will also charge your laptop whilst you’re in the midst of gaming.
It is also reasonably priced, coming in at just $300, compared to the Razer Core which is currently retailed for $499.
BizonBOX (For MAC)
This eGPU is specifically designed for use with Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics cards, such as the GTX 1080 or even more powerful Titan X graphics card. Bizon have claimed this external GPU to be a true ‘plug-and-play’ eGPU, requiring very little setup time.
We are a fan of the aluminum-housed casing of the BizonBOX, as well as the 1-year warranty included with each purchase.
However, the BizonBOX comes in at a whopping $599 for the lowest-end model. a price that will scare most customers away.
So out of the 4, which is your favorite?