An external GPU (eGPU) enclosure lets you hook up a desktop-class graphics card to your notebook. All you need is a free Thunderbolt 3 port and enough funds to cover the cost of both the GPU and enclosure. Here are some of the best enclosures out there.
Gigabyte AORUS RTX 2070 Gaming Box (opens in new tab)
Everything You Need
This eGPU has everything you need to get started. You won't have to buy a GPU to throw inside as Gigabyte already went the extra mile and installed an RTX 2070, which explains the rather high price. All you need is a free power outlet, Thunderbolt 3 on your notebook, and you're good to go.
Sapphire Gearbox (opens in new tab)
The Gearbox from Sapphire looks the part with an aluminum enclosure that'll make your portable setup look far more expensive. The only drawback to this enclosure is the lack of support for 32-bit Windows 10 or earlier versions of Windows, but you should be golden with a recent Windows laptop — it also works with macOS.
ASUS XG-Station-PRO (opens in new tab)
This XG-Station-PRO from ASUS is a great eGPU enclosure, supporting GTX 9 and 10 series NVIDIA GTX GPUs, NVIDIA RTX GPUs, and even some AMD Radeon cards. Designed in partnership with In Win, the sleek-looking aluminum enclosure will keep your expensive piece of kit safe and well ventilated. There's even some RGB lighting.
ASUS ROG XG Station 2 (opens in new tab)
For Laptop Gamers
The ASUS ROG XG Station 2 is a little on the pricey side for eGPU enclosures, but it has it where it counts, including an aggressive design (if that's more your thing), beefy 600W internal PSU, RGB lighting (incredibly important), and VR support.
Bring Your Own GPU
When you don't feel like shelling out up to a $1,000 (or more) for a new gaming desktop PC, an external GPU enclosure may be just what you need to enjoy all the latest games on your laptop, so long as you have a spare Thunderbolt 3 port and a spare graphics card. The Razer Core X (opens in new tab) is a great option that strikes a good balance between design, features, and affordability.
This enclosure from Razer not only comes rocking Chroma RGB lighting and a reliable 700-watt power supply, but it also has full support for the latest NVIDIA RTX and AMD GPUs, making it ideal for gamers and pros whether on PC or Mac. If you're looking for something a little more affordable, the Sapphire Gearbox (opens in new tab) will be able to house the best graphics card options and allow you to enjoy the same gaming experience.
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.