best egpu

The Best eGPUs in 2021

Are you looking for some new awesome graphics cards that’ll help you play newer video games even on your older laptop or PC?

External graphics cards made it easier for us nowadays, as you can just plug them in effortlessly and enjoy the best gaming experience.

In this guide, we will be talking about how to choose the best eGPU, and what are some of the best eGPUs you can find on the market. After all, this might be the best purchase you could make for gaming.

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How to Choose the Best eGPU

There are several things of high importance to consider when choosing eGPU:

Support

Let’s be clear, this technology is relatively new, and you’ll want to make sure that the eGPU that you are buying is compatible with your device. For example, Razer eGPU will offer nice performance on certain gaming laptops, but the best performance, will, of course, have on the Razer computers.

Simply, stick to the same manufacturer for optimum performance. Check for a model that can support your machine.

Cooling

As any other graphics card, the eGPU card is capable of creating an insane amount of heat. You’ll need a good cooling system. So, look for those that offer external cages filled with fans or other cooling technology. Especially if you are looking for a high-end graphics card. You don’t want to overcook your $500 investment.

Power

Every single eGPU has a power supply which helps run the internal GPU. At the same time, it charges your laptop. A vast majority of modern graphics cards will easily run with the list that we created below.

Size

There are graphics cards that can be as big as 11-12 inches in length. With this being said, you need to pick the right external chassis that’s capable of housing your GPU accordingly. Otherwise, you are in trouble, and you might need to find yourself a different eGPU.

Top-tier cards are naturally bulkier and bigger and might not fit within the recommended specs. So, be sure to double check this before purchasing.

Ports

Needless to say, eGPU comes with a bunch of ports. All these ports are extremely useful, as you can directly plug in Ethernet, monitors, and what not. By creating a docking station from an eGPU, this will make an eGPU a phenomenal companion for a laptop.

6 Best External GPUs

Razer Core X Chroma Aluminum External GPU Enclosure

The Best External GPU

razer core x chroma aluminum external gpu enclosure

If you want to boost your gaming experience and bring your lap’s performance to a whole new level, this Razer core is a core item to buy.

It boosts laptop’s performance enormously. Customizable RGB lighting ensures more than 16 million colors available. It’s capable of syncing with gameplay and other Razer peripherals through Synapse 3.

Now, as for Windows compatibility, it will require Thunderbolt 3 external graphics support with RS45 or later and compatible AMD or NVIDIA cards.

For MAC it also requires Thunderbolt 3 and High Sierra 10.13.4 or later with compatible graphics cards (for this one, NVIDIA cards are not supported).

GPU’s max power support goes up to blazing 500w; the charging goes through Thunderbolt 3. Simply plug it and play. It has an aluminum body and a bunch of open vents. This provides optimal thermal performance, which is, needless to say, highly important for any GPU.

Pros:
  • Great thermal performance
  • Versatile compatibility
  • Easy plug and play connection
  • Dual-chip design
Cons:
  • None so far

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ASUS XG-Station-PRO

Great External GPU for Laptops

asus xg-station-pro

This stylish and sleek dock will easily connect your Ultrabook or other Thunderbolt 3-equipped laptop to the only thing these machines need improved – desktop graphics card.

Asus managed to produce top-notch GPU at an affordable price. You can render videos, build deep-learning apps, or run scientific models with it- it has got it all.

Looks great on any desk, it’s not bulky and heavy, and most importantly – it has a magnificent cooling system which effectively reduces thermal inconveniences and improves performance.

With completely redesigned aluminum chassis, 330W internal power supply, it will deliver all the support your graphics card will ever need. Compatibility is simply astonishing. It can run with NVIDIA GTX 900 series, 10 series, RTX 2070, 2080, and AMD Radeon RX580, RX570, and Pro WX7100.

Besides, it is Mac OS certified with Radeon RX580/RX570 and pro WX7100.

Overall, a nice piece, not expensive at all for the quality it brings to the table.

Pros:
  • Wide compatibility with NVIDIA and Radeon graphics cards
  • Good cooling system
  • The stylish, sleek look
  • Great enhancement, suitable for rendering, running scientific models, and much more
Cons:
  • The lack of PCIe lanes

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Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1070 GV-N1070IXEB-8GD eGPU

Plug and Play External Graphics Card

gigabyte aorus gtx 1070 gv-n1070ixeb-8gd egpu

If you are just looking for something that’s simple to install, and gives amazing results, Gigabyte has something for you. This GPU is simple to carry around, and it provides not only a great graphics-intensive game experience but even better VR experience.

Furthermore, it has 3 USB ports for peripheral devices. Great compatibility coming from AORUS GRX is nothing less expected, as the company managed to fit almost everyone’s needs. RGB fusion is usually admirable with up to 16.8M customizable color lightings.

It supports up to 8k display at 60Hz; it has a unique blade fan design and 3x cooling system. What’s the 3x cooling system even means? Well, Gigabyte went one step further and put 3 pure copper fan blades that together deliver great thermal protection.

Moreover, there are LED indicators that will provide an instant display of fan status.

Pros:
  • Simple plug and play “installation.”
  • Lightweight
  • Nice compatibility
  • 3x cooling system
  • Led indicators for fan status
Cons:
  • None thus far

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Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box

The Best GPU for MacBook Pro

sonnet egfx breakaway box

Increasing the GPU power was never easier. Sonnet’ eGFX demonstrates how a simple “plug and play” opens the gates of innovative video processing to your Win PC or Thunderbolt 3 Mac instantly.

Amazingly fast 40Gbps interface makes sure that the full PCIe bandwidth is dedicated to your card.

The power supply is at 550W which supports up to the 375W card with up to 8 pin connectors, and it can charge your laptop with 87W power supply, which is pretty cool.

What comes in the box is 0.5m 40Gb Thunderbolt 3 cable, Thunderbolt 3 port, and it supports 120mm x1 water block coolers.

The compatibility is, simply said, great, as it supports a lot of AMDs, starting from RX 470, all the way to 580, including Vega 56 on Macs with MacOS high sierra.

As for windows, the compatibility might be even wider. It supports NVIDIA GTX 1060 and newer (up to 1080ti), Quadro p4000 to p6000, and a bunch of AMD Radeon cards, like RX 570 and newer, WX 5100,7100, etc.

The cooling system is quite cool (puns intended) and really quiet. Variety of cooling speeds make this system fully adjustable, and remarkably effective. Moreover, it supports liquid coolers, which (as you know) enable higher overclocking.

Pros:
  • Great for Mac, but for windows as well
  • Amazing compatibility
  • Nice power supply
  • Quite and coolest cooling system
Cons:
  • The grille on the side might be a bit shorter than it should

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Akitio Node

Low-cost Expansion Chassis

akitio node

If you are looking for the perfect and inexpensive chassis to house an external graphics card, this one might be of use. It connects to your laptop via Thunderbolt 3 and instantly boosts your laptop’s performance to a level that only high-end PC’s could achieve.

The time to rendering the footage will be drastically shortened. Even a PC that once couldn’t run VR is now not only ready to start it but provide amazing experience and quality of a VR image. Much higher frame rates are guaranteed.

With the blazing transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps, you’ll surely enjoy an unseen performance. It’s quite spacious, so that even larger and, of course, standard-sized graphics cards could easily fit in.

Furthermore, it has a built-in SFX power supply of 400W, which will provide additional power to the GPU.

There is enough power for both graphics cards and Akitio Node. If you see that there’s not enough power, you can use additional connectors (two pairs of 8-pin connectors) that are inside AKitio, which will provide phenomenal 390W of power.

You can even remove the back panel if you have double-width cards. 4 lane PCI express 3.0, and a carry handle (on top of it) to easily transport the device wherever you go.

As you can see, the manufacturer thought of everything, and all of it for the user’s best experience.

Pros:
  • Affordable price point category
  • Great transfer speed
  • Additional 8 pin connectors for better power supply
  • Supports standard and large- sized cards
  • Handle design for easier transport
Cons:
  • The fan might be a bit louder than usual

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PowerColor Mini Pro RX570 8GB eGPU Thunderbolt3

Perfect eGPU for Mac OS

powercolor mini pro rx570 8gb egpu thunderbolt3
This eGPU features external AMD Radeon RX570 GPU with 8GB, which is one of the best GPUs on the market.

As for the installation, it is fairly simple to set up this device, since you only need to plug it and wait until everything is set up on its own.

It is fully compatible with Mac, Mac Mini and MacBook’s that have Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.4 or higher versions, which makes this eGPU perfect choice for Mac users.

When it comes to connectivity, there are a lot of options to choose from. There are 2 USB-A 3.0 ports for faster and easier connections.

Apart from that, there is 1 Gigabit Ethernet LAN port, for additional connection to the other network, which might be important for some users.

This device can operate on a pretty good temperature range, which is between 0 and 45 degrees Celsius in total, which will allow you to perform quite demanding tasks.

Pros:
  • Includes excellent graphics
  • Easy to setup
  • Full Mac OS compatibility
  • Quite good connectivity options
  • Great working temperature
Cons:
  • It’s a bit too pricey

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Final Word

In the light of everything aforementioned, we definitely hold our ground when stated that purchasing eGPU might be the best investment in your gaming experience, or “video texture” experience of any kind.

Therefore, we’ve shortlisted some of the best eGPUs there are currently on the market, with a short guide on what you should look for. These things are not that cheap investment, so make sure you pick the right one before you blow around $500 into the useless enclosure.

Hopefully, you are now a step closer to finding the best external graphics card for your potentially reborn machine.

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