egpu for games

Does eGPU work with USB C?

Last Updated on June 18, 2021 by paularo

In the gaming world and any field that requires high-end graphics performance, eGPU is not a strange term. An external graphics processing unit literally functions as the name implies; it increases the capacity of your laptop. USB Type-C is a newer model of the USB port.

Does eGPU work with USB C? No, it does not but this does not mean the USB type C is not required to connect your eGPU to a laptop. The eGPU works with a Thunderbolt 3 or 4, there are laptops design to accommodate this connection so you will not need to purchase an adapter. The port design is like the USB type-C, this is not your regular Type-C as this connects at 40Gbps. There is a thunderbolt sign on the port that differentiates it from the regular USB sign.

The eGPU needs a certain speed to function properly. The regular USB type-C (gen 3.1 and 3.2) cannot exceed 10Gbps, this speed is useless for your eGPU.

If you purchase this hardware without securing or ensuring the connection capacity of your laptop is compatible, that will be a waste because the eGPU might be many things but cheap is not one of them. For this hardware to function it needs a higher bandwidth hence the thunderbolt connection.

We have established a basic connection structure for an eGPU. There are other ways to connect this hardware to your laptop; Expresscard or mPCIe. The focus of this article is the connection between type-C and eGPU.

There are a number of eGPUs with USB C connection in the market, let us look at 5 that are considered the best.

Razer Core X:

This is an upgrade from the V2, with 3-slot wide GPUs. It is compatible with a lot of computing devices that support Thunderbolt 3. Swappable hardware, one HDMI port, no regular USB ports, compatible with both AMD and Nvidia.

It is a better option for cards like GTX 1080 Ti in comparison with the V2. The design is average, it does not have the Razer signature RGB lights, the overall look is just plain.

ASUS ROG-XG-STATION-2:

It is a great eGPU, it functions well with a ton of features. If you are looking for hardware with a sleek design, this is far from that as in addition to its size, the design is large and might look a bit weird.

This “Alienware” follows the regular styling of a gaming device; huge and unique over minimalist and sleek. What makes this enclosure stand out for me is its array of ports. The enclosure offers a wide range of connectors, not just three DisplayPorts, but also a multitude of USB ports, which makes it a near-perfect blend for users as most enclosures don’t have this feature.

The feature that hinders its perfection is the provision of just one HDMI, preventing the multiple monitor connections that a lot of gamers love.

This is a swappable eGPU, the hardware supports a lot of graphics cards, including high-end graphics cards; GTX 1070 and 1080 are not left out. This feature means compatibility issues between the card and enclosure will not present a problem. Even if you do not have a laptop, it is always going to look out compatibility issues, and also make sure everything is properly connected.

Gigabyte AORUS Gaming Box GTX 1070:

There are swappable eGPU i.e., you purchase the card, enclosure, cooling unit and other parts then build it. It could also be an enclosure with complete part that allows you to change the parts you wish. Then there are the non-swappable ones that come complete and there is no option of changing any part (easily).

The ROG-XG falls in the non-swappable category. The integrated graphics card is GTX 1070, and even though this eliminates a number of installation issues, it also brings back a number of drawbacks. This casing style ensures that the eGPU can only be used for activities or central processing units that are compatible with the Nvidia GTX 1070.

ROG-XG is a good eGPU but the non-swappable 1070 has other limitations. The 1070 is an impressive graphics card, yet it is not able to run 4K games at 60 frames per second, it does not come with a lot of useful features and barely does anything beyond being a regular easy to use hardware.

Purchasing this device means you play a limited range of games as the design of this device does not give room for the ever-evolving nature of gaming graphics.

For other features; there are adequate port selections on this hardware. This is a nice feature; it has 4 USB ports; one HDMI and one DisplayPort. Having only one of each port renders things more difficult for dual monitor users but should be sufficient for laptop users.

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box:

A fully swappable eGPU, it’s really just a box as a graphics card isn’t included. This means you get to, pick your preferred graphics card instead. This is a full DIY project as it does require some extra work, it will be worth it in the long run and make things more straightforward if you decide to upgrade later. It’s not exceptional but is adequate in its port selection.

This hardware is sleek and not difficult to set up, it has an about average level of functionality. It accommodates a lot of graphics card making it quite compatible with a lot of computing devices.

Razer V2:

The V2 only works with 2-slot wide graphics cards, 4 USB ports; a thunderbolt 3 for laptop users and can accommodate any graphics card in the market. It is practically a part factory-ready, part DIY hardware as it does not come with a cooling fan which is essential to the eGPU’s functionality. Its design is sleek and the signature Razer RGB lights are included.

Related questions

Do all eGPUs use a USB C connection? No, there are other connection options e.g., mPCIe and Expresscard.

Do all eGPUs support AMD and Nvidia? No, there are some that support both but most one or the other.

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