The GPU (graphics processing unit) enclosure is an external graphics card holder, widely known as eGPU (external GPU). By plugging in an eGPU enclosure to your computer, you can use the externally connected graphics card.
A good gaming experience demands crisp graphics and video quality. Often, the computer/PC you own may not have a full-fledged in-built graphics card or maybe an older version. Here is where eGPU enclosures play an active role to cater to your effortless and up-to-par gaming requirements through an eGPU.
Things you need to know before you purchase an external GPU enclosure
Not all enclosures come with a GPU
It is important to remember that most GPU enclosures do not provide a graphics card. GPU enclosures are usually a box-like device with a power supply, a space to accommodate graphics cards, and multiple ports. So, you will have to purchase a graphics card individually after getting a GPU enclosure.
A replaceable power supply unit
Several eGPU enclosures come along with PSUs (power supply unit). In some types of eGPU enclosures, the PSUs are replaceable. When purchasing an eGPU, one clever tactic to apply if you are on a budget is to buy an eGPU with a substandard PSU unit. You can later replace them with a robust PSU unit.
The necessity of a Thunderbolt port
One pre-requisite to using an eGPU is the requirement of having a Thunderbolt port on the eGPU enclosure. A Thunderbolt 2 port is more familiar with the older models. However, since the thunderbolt two has a lower bandwidth, Thunderbolt 3 is the more common and preferable. The max power output of a Thunderbolt 3 is substantially low, and it can deliver a power of about 100W.
Check the compatibility
The last thing you would want to do is check if the eGPU you have in mind for purchase is compatible with your working devices. Some eGPU enclosures can only work and function with a single type of Operating System. In some cases, external GPU enclosures are compatible with just a few Mac, Linux, or Windows Operating Systems versions.
Here is our selection of the Top 5 best external GPU enclosures
Razer Core X – Best overall external GPU enclosure
The Razer Core X is noteworthy – with a replaceable power supply unit (PSU) of 650W. This eGPU enclosure has enough room to house a 330mm (lengthwise) graphics card.
The only slight snag in this product is the occupancy of only one thunderbolt port. Nevertheless, if this eGPU is solely for gaming purposes, this drawback is almost inapplicable. Its price range is at a reasonable range, thereby making it among the best external GPU enclosure.
Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 Gaming Box – Best GPU Enclosure with external GPU
The Gigabyte Aorus RTX 3080 comes with a built-in external graphics card (eGPU) inside its box, making it the best external GPU enclosure. Replacement of the external graphics card is not possible as it a built-in setup with water-cooling.
When you look at its design, it has a classy and minimalistic finish. Its PSU gives a good source of 550W while housing one Thunderbolt 3 port, an Ethernet port, an additional three USB, and five video ports.
Although its price range is on the premium side, it comes with the best functionality and design.
Razer Core X Chroma – Best RGB GPU enclosure
If you are a big fan of RGB Led lightings on your devices, this is something for you to add to your collection. The RGB gives vibrant lighting through the see-through panels on the sides and the enclosure’s front part.
The functionality of this eGPU is at the top level with a 700W PSU, along with one Thunderbolt 3 port, 1 gigabit Ethernet port, and four USB ports.
Pricing of this device is definitely among the most premium range.
Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro II – Best GPU enclosure with the most potent PSU
Matiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro II comes with a staggering PSU of 750W. Other excellent features include 5 USB ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, a full-size SD memory card reader, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.
Overall, it has an appealing minimalistic design with a body construct of anodized aluminum. The side-panels have a mesh-like design body for better airflow. The pricing is also a little towards the higher side.
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box – Best budget eGPU enclosure
The simplicity of the device makes it the best external GPU enclosure under a budget. It comes with a 550W PSU, a single Thunderbolt 3 port and it has ideal dimensions for an external GPU.
The best part of this eGPU enclosure is that it comes with a dual-slot of about 320mm in length for the external graphics card. Its body design is also simple, with mesh panels on the front and the sides for better airflow.