Last Updated on June 18, 2021 by paularo
An external Graphics processing unit is a box built to allow you to install a desktop type graphics card and use it on your laptop or MacBook. You need to have a thunderbolt 3 port however before you will be able to use the eGPU.
Why are eGPU enclosures so expensive? Right now, the eGPU market is still a niche thing and overall production is low it’s not in mass production yet. You also have to consider those producers will pay for thunderbolt 3 licensing, PCle Slot, USB Ports, PSU and the case of what do you think will be the cost per unit. the power supply inside the case usually cost between 25 to 30 dollars. There’s a circuit board and a fan that keeps the eGPU okay. Finally, you have to depend on Intel for thunderbolt 3 verification.
The price of eGPUs are seen as too expensive and that is one of the major reasons why many people are staying away from buying them. the average starting price of an eGPU is around $300 and that may be too much if you consider that you have to buy a laptop separately.
Other people believe that enclosures are expensive right now because they are been advertised by apple. Anything that has to do apple normally makes you spend extra money. this is mostly because apple users are always willing to pay more to get some services.
The most important thing however is that they get the job done when it comes to powering a MacBook or laptop. if you consider that the eGPU comes in low volume then you might have to give it up for the price they are selling the enclosures. The target people that buy eGPUs sellers want to buy are already the ones buying the enclosures and external GPU.
The Best eGPU Enclosure
Straight up the best eGPU enclosure is the Razer Core X and it should not be mistaken with the Razer Core X Chroma. the cost of the Razer Core X is $300 while you have to pay an additional $100 if you want the Razer Core X Chroma. when it comes to compatibility the Core X is compatible with both MacBook and Chromebook.
It is a real value for money because it allows you to swap out some parts. You can switch the fan because the one built-in is a little bit noisy. The GPU can also be changed which can be an added advantage.
It has the latest thunderbolt 3 port and the 650 watts power supply amps up the PD to a maximum 100 watts. It is one of the few external GPUs that has the power to withstand the demands of the RX Vega 64 graphics card. the Core X also has the ability to house any GPU currently available in the market.
It is made of anodized aluminium and Razer did a good job with the build quality. It is sturdy and doesn’t have any creeks or space inside it. The eGPU is not portable but it is understandable that they cut out some things to make it as powerful as it is.
The Razer Core X is a proof that eGPUs will become cheaper with time because of the features it packs for the price it is selling for. Performance is great and the cooling mechanism of the Razer Core X is an upgrade coming from the previous Model.
When using windows 10 it gives you more graphic options but MacBook’s are only limited to use AMD based graphics card. the Razer software doesn’t work on MacBook’s as well. There is no doubt that the Core X comes with a price that matches performance.
The Cheapest Enclosure for GPU
The cheapest is the Highpoint Rockstar. There are definitely some options out there that are even below $250. One thing that makes us not talk about them is because of what they are bringing to the table in terms of value. You have to pay $200 for the base model of the Sonnet Breakaway and it comes empty you will be the one to shop for the internals.
It is a thunderbolt certified eGPU enclosure. The biggest takeaway from this enclosure includes the PSU and the cooling fan. We have a 350 watts SFX power unit and if you count you will know that not all GPUs can be powered with that. It has a 24Pin main power cable, one 6 pin PCle cable, and one 6pin plus 2 PCle cables.
We have the thunderbolt 3 main board at the heart of the enclosure. The construction of the enclosure is superb and standard even though it comes at a relatively fair price. We have metals frames here and they are well aligned while the front is made of plastic.
This enclosure is one of the lightest and the sonnet logo shows a light when connected through Thunderbolt 3. You will get a list of GPUs that are compatible with the Sonnet Breakaway enclosure at the point of purchase. The enclosure works well with the RX 580 and the R9 Fury Nitro.
The enclosure can be paired with both windows laptop and MacBook’s and performance across both will be solid. It is able to deliver consistent performance across both operating systems.
But it is important to know the GPU you will install inside the enclosure for you to achieve maximum performance. The enclosure is small and most of the time you won’t even notice it. It is not flashy but it gets the job done.
What is the most expensive external enclosure?
The most expensive enclosures will cost you between $800 to $1500 there are some made by Sonnet and we have the Blackmagic eGPU listed on apple website cost $699 and it comes with all the necessary ports for connecting to your MacBook. So far it is the only apple certified enclosure.
Is buying an enclosure worth it?
Yes, it is, especially if you are used to building PCs on your own. There is no difference between building an eGPU with building a PC.