Laptops are incredibly powerful, though even with dedicated GPUs inside the thin chassis, gaming performance still lags behind desktop counterparts. This is where an external GPU (eGPU) comes into play, allowing you to hook up a desktop-class GPU to your notebook using a Thunderbolt 3 port.
Gigabyte AORUS RTX 2070 Gaming Box (opens in new tab)
Buy And Play
If you don't want the hassle of buying the enclosure, GPU itself, and put everything together, Gigabyte has you covered with the AORUS RTX 2070 Gaming Box. The GPU is already pre-installed, allowing you to hook it up to your laptop and get in-game.
ASUS XG-Station-PRO (opens in new tab)
This enclosure is a sleek-looking chassis, thanks to the design partnership with In Win. Supporting GTX and RTX GPUs from NVIDIA, as well as AMD Radeon card, it'll handle even more enthusiast options with plenty of ventilation.
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. Still, it has it where it counts, including an aggressive "gamer" design, beefy 600W internal PSU, RGB lighting (incredibly important for performance), and VR support.
Akitio Node (opens in new tab)
Don't let the price fool you to think this enclosure won't be worth picking up for video editing with a capable GPU. It has all the basics, including a 400W PSU, support for full-sized cards, and a solid build.
Choosing the best eGPU for gaming
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A new desktop gaming PC can range anywhere from $300 and beyond with high-end rigs setting you back $2,000. If you have a capable modern notebook with a spare Thunderbolt 3 port, the Razer Core X (opens in new tab) is an excellent option that strikes a good balance between design, features, and affordability.
This enclosure from Razer not only comes rocking Chroma RGB lighting and reliable 700-watt power supply but allows you to install the latest NVIDIA RTX and AMD GPUs, enabling you to play the latest games with excellent results on your notebook. If you're looking for something a little more affordable, the Akitio Node (opens in new tab) will be able to house the latest GPUs and let you enjoy the same gaming experience.
If your enclosure does not come with a GPU pre-installed, you'll need to buy one to enjoy your favorite PC games. We rounded up some of the best GPUs available right now that will work just fine in all of these eGPU enclosures.
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.
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