Best eGPU for Dell XPS 13 Windows Central 2020
The new Dell XPS 13 comes with Intel 10th Gen processors, but it's still lacking on the graphics front in no small part due to its compact size. Whether you're looking for more horsepower for professional applications or gaming, you'll need an eGPU to partner your XPS 13, and for that, you want to grab a Razer Core X, which is a great enclosure.
Great hardware and great value
Pairing the XPS 13 with the Core X is a smart choice. This little box packs a 650W power supply to handle anything you want to throw inside it, and it keeps your laptop battery topped up.
Who should buy this eGPU?
If you need more than the Intel UHD integrated graphics, be that for professional applications or gaming, then the Razer Core X is the answer.
Is it a good time to buy this eGPU?
Absolutely! Pricing has been stable for a while, and there's no imminent sign of a replacement model. If you want something with a little added RGB, there's now a Chroma-enabled version for $100 more, but for most people that one isn't really worth the extra money.
Reasons to buy
- Supports NVIDIA and AMD GPUs
- 650W power supply with 100W to charge the laptop
- Compact size
- Good value
Reasons not to buy
- No additional ports
- Not best value if you don't already have a graphics card
Make your XPS 13 scream
The Razer Core was first launched as a companion to Razer's own Blade Stealth, adding gaming chops to the company's first true Ultrabook. Since then there has been no shortage of laptops from other manufacturers that have Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and that are begging for a kick in the pants when it comes to graphics power.
One cable, a Core X and the right GPU and you've got a gaming rig.
What you can do with the Core X is install a full desktop graphics card, even an RTX 2080 Ti if you wish, and use it with your XPS 13. That single cable connection to your laptop is all you need, since the Core X has its own power supply to keep everything juiced up. Of its 650W on tap, 100W is left free to power the laptop connected to it, which is super convenient.
It also means plenty of overhead, so literally any modern graphics card will work without any issue. The Core X also supports both NVIDIA and AMD, so you really do have your pick.
Alternatives to the Razer Core X
The Razer Core X might be the best choice, but it's not the only one. Here are a couple of alternatives for more specific requirements, including a tighter budget and an eGPU that supplies its own graphics card.
An eGPU with an included RTX 2070
If you don't have a spare graphics card to use, the AORUS Gaming Box is your all-in-one solution, with an NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB embedded within.
This is an excellent choice if you're new to desktop graphics cards and need to not only get an eGPU but something to put inside it. The RTX 2070 alone is around $450, so it's excellent value.
You lose the freedom to upgrade it down the road, but the combination of performance and price here is hard to top. It's also a super compact little box, so it's perfect if your setup is tight on space.
A solid choice from a respected brand
Sapphire is known more for its line of AMD third-party graphics cards, but this affordable box works with both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.
Despite the price, you still get a 500W power supply to keep both your graphics and laptop powered up while you play. You also get a couple of regular USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet, which is extra nice.
The Gearbox is a tremendous value, but it's a little smaller than some eGPUs, meaning longer graphics cards may not fit inside. It's something to ensure you check before you buy against what you plan to use with it.
When shopping for an eGPU to pair with the Dell XPS 13, you need look no further than the Razer Core X. You have ample power to keep both your graphics card and your laptop powered and it's also big enough to fit even longer cards. Whatever you want to put in there, chances are you can.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Richard Devine Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming.
Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.
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