Yet another EGPU released for the mobile computing space. Gigabyte has already launched several gaming boxes with RTX 2070, GTX 1080, and GTX 1070, etc. So what’s new in this Gigabyte Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Gaming box? HHmmmmm faster performance, better connectivity, good aesthetic? Aorus has stuffed the beast Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti. May you wonder, “Huh? Just that! It’s similar to the older Gaming Box, just had a graphics card upgrade.” I thought the same while scrolling down the product page until my eyes caught something odd. “Water-Cooled RTX 2080Ti” but still nothing is going to change, or will it?
What is an EGPU?
EGPU stands for External Graphics Processing Unit (you might have already known about that). EGPU is used to add graphical performance to your laptops. Laptops aren’t usually upgradeable, and most of their parts are soldered into the motherboard. Unless you own the newest Alienware Area-51M (Rich Kids nowadays ugh!!!), so if you don’t want to upgrade your laptop and squeeze more performance out of it before you shell out money on a new laptop, Then this might be just for you.
(PCIE EGPU setup)
EGPU needs a proprietary Thunderbolt 3 port on the laptop. If your laptop has USB TYPE – C doesn’t mean that it will support the EGPU. You will need to have a Thunderbolt 3 to use the GPU enclosure. There are tons of other EGPU which use PCIe or Mini PCIe slot (wifi slot), but most of them don’t work that well, and some even prompt you to use customized BIOS which isn’t the best way to use an EGPU.
Gigabyte has released their new Aorus RTX 2080Ti Gaming Box but hasn’t arrived in the market. Looking at the specs, it seems to be very similar to the Gaming Box Gigabyte have been selling. Taking about the enclosure, it has a dimension of 300 x 140 x 173 (mm) and weight at 3.7Kg. It seems it has got a lot of heft to it. Since the product hasn’t been launched in the market, the internals setup hasn’t been fully disclosed. Comparing with the EGPU enclosure from its older version and other EGPU, it should have a full 4 lane PCIe Slot and a closed water cooling contraption with a single fan pushing the air in the enclosure.
Other than that, it boasts a 450w power supply to power the GPU (8+8 pin power) and the RGB on the case. I/O port selection is relatively good. Talking about the I/O selection, the enclosure has 3xUSB 3.0 ports (2 at the back and 1 at the front), Video output ( HDMI x1, DPx3, USB- C(VirtualLink™)x1 ), Ethernet Cable and 1xThunderbolt 3. It comes with a carry bag to store all the accessories. It’s much easier to travel to your LAN party or office. The main thing is, how did Gigabyte cram all those components and are there more secrets? After the products get to the market, we will get to know in-depth about it.
So the main eye-catching point, this enclosure nestles a water-cooled RTX 2080Ti. Everything on the graphics card looks normal, Clock speed of 1400 Mhz, and Memory Bandwidth of 616MB/s. Nothing seems that eye-appealing, and just the fact that it has a water-cooled 2080Ti isn’t going to change anyone’s opinion on it (I don’t know about your thoughts).
GPU enclosures aren’t the best thing in terms of the upgrade but can be appealing as they can provide a bit of headroom with the aging laptop or new laptops. It eliminates the need to upgrade your laptop, but to what extent? Thunderbolt 3 can only use 4 PCIe Lanes of your CPU, and most of the CPU cannot directly communicate with it. The sad part is that Thunderbolt 3 cannot utilize the full speed of the graphics card due to low PCIe lanes and communication through the motherboard chipset. There will always be a bottleneck while using the laptop display. Since there is only one single Thunderbolt 3 used, the CPU and GPU’s data all need to be transferred from the same cable, so there will always be traffic, meaning a bottleneck in performance.
All the data comes in a congested network, so to fully utilize the speed of the enclosure, an external monitor is needed. Plus, to use the EGPU, there needs to be the availability of Thunderbolt 3 port. Most laptops don’t even ship with the Thunderbolt 3 port, so that is already a bummer. EGPU can’t be the solution to the average user, but people who dearly need to upgrade and or are on a low budget this can be viable (unless you have the bank balance to throw all your money on a new EGPU).
Spending on this enclosure seems like a waste of hard-earned money unless you have a disposable income. You may think that “Oh! But I can get extra juice. It’s better than a PC and will make my setup lighter. You’re wrong. ” Yes. I am wrong, but not 100%. Since laptops weigh in an average of 2Kgs, and if you add 4Kgs, you will have a total of 6Kgs to carry. We at PCMR (PC Master Race) Community have tons of ways to make a powerful pc portable. There are tons of projects done on a slim and light case. Don’t believe me, then check out this video. Yeah, they freaking work.
So the Water-Cooled Gigabyte Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Gaming box seems innovated to the EGPU series. I don’t think that it seems like a good idea to hook that up with your laptop. Yes, it looks and sounds like a luxury item, but I won’t advise you to buy this product.
Pricing hasn’t been disclosed. But it is speculated that the pricing will also be huge, like a 2000$ margin. You can’t even think what Gigabyte may charge you (yeah, the simple fact is that we don’t know it at the time of writing this article). So yeah, EGPU might not be for everyone; definitely, not for me. However, some people might need that extra juice on their system, which might help them for a more extended time.