Technology has evolved such that you can find a new development almost every other day in the market. It could be something like a new wireless technology or a new Bluetooth connectivity, and so on.
In today’s how-to post, we will be reading about the best external GPU (eGPU) enclosures. The GPU, as you know, is the graphics processing unit used in laptops to enhance image quality. The better and more powerful the GPU, the higher the visuals provided and offered to you.
If you are somebody who deals with gaming or graphic designing, then owning an eGPU enclosure might be a good idea. This can help in the boosting of the performance of the laptop. Now, you can make use of it for rendering, designing, and of course, gaming.
However, you may be unable to upgrade your components as you do on the PC. There might be some expensive methods to do, but it is really not worth it. With the help of the eGPU enclosures, you can now enhance the graphics powers of your laptop device.
What is an eGPU enclosure?
The eGPU enclosure is an external desktop graphics card. It provides the power for working on the enclosure and lets you get horsepower. They are similar to a PC case designed to have a graphics card.
Moreover, you can also make use of the graphics capabilities of the unit when you are operating a light device. The eGPU component is popularly used among several users. You can find it on the quicker Thunderbolt USB-C found on the standard connection interface.
The external GPU models make use of the proprietary connectors. There are different types of eGPU. You can have a portable that can stand on a desk. They can also be used as laptop docks.
When your laptop begins to work, you can access everything you want. Besides, you can also attach a keyboard, an external monitor, speakers, and a mouse. You have the eGPU enclosure with an integrated design with docking features.
You can place it inside your laptop backpack when you are traveling.
Factors to consider before getting the eGPU enclosures
The first thing to note is whether the model comes with a Thunderbolt 3. The main problem when using the eGPU is that it can connect to the PC easily. However, when you want to do the same with the IO technology.
Like USB, then you might want to know that bandwidth will be required. It may not provide ample power for the GPU. That is why the GPU has to be connected to the GPU cards directly on the motherboard.
It is done with the help of a dense connector. You can now do so when you have a device that needs to be connected to the Thunderbolt 3. However, you will want to ensure that the PC works with the USB-C or the Thunderbolt 3 feature.
In most of the product cases, they are mentioned. However, when they are not, you will want to do online research to find out if they are compatible.
The performance of the model
So, what happens when there is a performance loss? Though this factor can vary from card to card, you will want to know that close to 10% of performance is lost with this process. When the Thunderbolt 3 is used on the motherboard, then you may experience a loss in performance.
We hope that this feature does not repeat in the future. With current technological developments, we feel that they might come up with some kind of a solution. But when you are experiencing a performance drop, the external GPU can be much quicker than the internal GPU.
The CPU of your laptop
When choosing a new eGPU enclosure, you might want to keep an eye on the graphical performance. The GPU is solely not responsible for the graphical performance of the device. It also has to do with the CPU.
Only when the CPU is excellent and powerful can you expect the GPU to work well and provide you with the performance you would expect. So, please ensure that the CPU gives you good performance and the GPU.
You would be amazed to know that the eGPU works elegantly with ultra-book notebooks. That is because the CPU is phenomenal and provides them with the perfect performance capabilities.
You might want to choose a mid-range GPU when you have a powerful laptop or a top-end model.
The display support
Most of the eGPU enclosures come with their own connections. But you can connect whatever external display you want to do so, provided the GPU supports it. Please note that there is no need to use the external display.
If you want, you can connect the graphics to the external GPU. This can be done in the design of the laptop. Of course, it would depend on the hardware of your laptop. The increase in the performance is significant to using the external display.
The power and cooling of the model
They provide cooling and power to the GPU. When you want to install them on your device, then you do so along with the integrated enclosure on them. That cannot be changed; please take note of that.
However, all eGPU enclosures do not come having the same design and dimensions. They come designed slightly differently from each other. That is because they can be used on several laptop models.
While some laptop models are huge, some are ultralight and small. Depending on the kind of power you require and the dimension of the laptop, you would want to make use of the unit. You will want to ensure that the GPU fits there and the enclosure offers adequate power for running it smoothly.
Modular vs integrated external GPUs
As we read above, you can find two main designs. You do not want to overload the power of your laptop. But they are not portable, and you may not want to make use of them if you are somebody constantly on the run.
This is when you may want to consider using the integrated eGPU, as they are portable. You can place it inside your backpack and use the main power. Some models are small enough, while others are large.
The proprietary connections
The eGPU enclosure works with Thunderbolt 3. However, you have some exceptions where they are not used according to their capability. If you own the Alienware graphics amplifier, then you would know that they can work only on Alienware laptops.
We are trying to point out the compatibility of the eGPU and the laptop. You might get them verified before using them with the external GPU technology.
The docking station features
What are the docking station features? Some eGPU enclosures provide you with several features that can be found on them. You can also use them as a docking station. This is where you can attach the speaker, monitor, keyboard, USB storage, and mouse.
They also come with internal drive bays that are present on the hard drives. When your device and the enclosure are able to offer adequate support, then the Thunderbolt connection can provide ample power and charge your laptop.
You can make it possible using the single connection and getting ready to work on the PC setup.
The best eGPU enclosures
Below are some of the best eGPU enclosures that are sold in the market today, in 2022.
Benefits & Pitfalls of using eGPU enclosures
We will first read about some of the benefits of using the eGPU and then find out some of the disadvantages of using the eGPU. As we read in the earlier part of this post, the eGPU helps connect to laptops.
Moreover, it enables them to derive more power. The combination makes them more user-friendly than that a full-fledged PC. While a few of you might want a powerful laptop, some might prefer using the eGPU.
You can get more cooling using an enclosure on the gaming laptops. So, if you own gaming laptops, you know how to keep them cool now. The eGPU can also splendidly work on the MacBooks that do not come with the dedicated graphics card but come with Thunderbolt 3.
Disadvantages of using eGPU
The first thing that might affect you would be the price of the eGPU. They happen to be quite expensive. Besides, you may have to purchase the graphics card too. Moreover, the model works only with the Thunderbolt.
Please note that most laptop models do not come with Thunderbolt connectivity. When you are playing games containing lots of data, your card’s performance can go slow. You may need to use another monitor if possible.
Your laptop may consume more power if you have a graphics card plugged into the eGPU enclosure. When using the same processor and memory, you need to ensure that they are ideal for the games you are playing.
The above were some of the benefits & pitfalls of using the eGPU enclosures.
How can you DIY eGPU solutions?
Yes, installing your own eGPU enclosures on your laptop or device is possible. You do not have to be a professional at it. They are a plug-and-play solution that can help you to boost laptop graphics.
There is no need to spend a lot of money on getting one for yourself when you can design your own. You need to make use of a Thunderbolt card dock. It is nothing but a PCIe slot that comes having a stand for itself.
Then you should be able to provide the power for the card. Doing that offers you with several advantages. You are using a PSU and an old card for yourself. Of course, you will want to make sure that it works with your laptop.
We understand that designing your own components is not meant for everybody. But there is no harm in trying to do it at least once as a hobby.
Is it worth getting the eGPU enclosures?
Yes, it is worth getting the eGPU enclosures. When you own or plan to get a laptop that provides you with the capability of having the enclosure, then you might want to get it. The eGPU can offer you with a performance in the range of 40 – 75% on the desktop PC.
You will want to know that the percentage decreases when the GPU is powerful. This entirely depends on your budget capabilities. When you are keen to have a proper setup, then you will be spending close to $800 or more.
Does an eGPU increase FPS?
The eGPU can increase the FPS of the device. When your laptop comes with an integrated GPU, then you can note that the performance improves despite the challenges. When your device comes with a sublime model like the RTX 3060, to the point where the laptop GPU might do better than the eGPU.
Can the eGPU decrease the temperature?
Under ordinary circumstances, it can. When you are offloading the work from your laptop GPU, then it can be used on a cooled eGPU. This ensures that your device does not become hotter. However, it will work on the kind of apps that you are operating it with.
Your CPU is going to work just fine. It may heat things at times; when you feel that is the case, then you can stop using some applications on your laptop. But the temperature can be managed well when you make use of the internal components.
Why are the eGPU enclosures very expensive?
The main reason the eGPU enclosures are very expensive is that they do not have much demand. Producers have to design the enclosures using new technology. Besides, they don’t have massive production at the moment.
Being a niche model, many users do not purchase the eGPU enclosures. Considering these factors, it is not surprising that most models sold in the market are quite expensive. You can build or design your own enclosure if you feel you can.
Can you use USB-C with an eGPU enclosure?
No, you cannot use the USB-C with an eGPU enclosure. The main reason is that it can cause the GPU to decrease performance. You may not get the expected performance when you want to use the USB-C with the enclosure.
Of course, you can perform regular tasks. But when you want to do something with your device that requires more power, you may not be able to do so.
Can you use an eGPU with a PC?
We are not sure about that. That is because the motherboard comes with a Thunderbolt port, then there is some chance you can do so. However, you are going to only create bottlenecks for yourself in doing that.
Well, that wraps up our post. We hope that you liked reading our ideas on how to get the best external eGPU enclosures from the market. The future of eGPU technology is bright, fun, and exciting.
Though it is still in the development stage, you can expect new things in a few months’ time. You can share GPUs with several users, expand the PCs and working of your laptops, and enhance the performance limitations.
Getting the eGPU enclosure is a fantastic method to increase the graphics performance of your old device. Besides, you can make use of powerful motherboards too. The above information might give you an idea of what to do now.
As will everything in life, when you can afford the external GPU (eGPU), then you should go for it.
James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.