November 25, 2019 | 11:50
Gigabyte has launched a new Thunderbolt 3-based eGPU box: the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box, and it's proclaimed it the world's first water-cooling external graphics card.
As the name not so subtly suggests, the Gaming Box contains an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11G graphics card with a GPU boost clock of 1,545MHz (same as reference), and it's cooled by a closed-loop Waterforce liquid-cooling system that's supposedly as quiet as it is powerful. The Waterforce cooling system contains a 240mm aluminium radiator, 2 x 120mm fans, copper base plate, composite heat pipes and FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene) tubes. For now, no guaranteed figures have been provided in terms of what the overclocking potential actually is.
The thinking is it's ideal for those keen to do powerful things on their laptop while on the move. Sort of. Granted, the device weighs just under 4kg but we think this is more for those that have transformed their laptop into a desktop gaming system or that want the flexibility that comes with a laptop rather than for those actually on the move. It's basically the size of a mini-ITX PC, right down to its 450W PSU, so you'd have to be fairly determined to use it in a portable capacity, but Gigabyte does supply a special carry bag to go with it.
The Gaming Box has three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, one HDMI 2.0b port, and one VirtualLink (USB-C) output, so there's compatibility with mostly everything you could need. It also has a three port USB 3.0 hub and a Gigabit Ethernet connection just in case you need it. Oh, and predictably, there are RGB lights you can tweak to your heart's content.
The Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box is clearly designed for users that want the flexibility of a laptop some of the time, and the power of a decent dedicated graphics card when they're home, so it's a bit of a niche product. However, despite that, it's not badly priced for what it offers. While we haven't found a UK retailer stocking it just yet, the recommended retail price in the US is $1,499, which is probably what we'd expect given the graphics card involved and the liquid-cooling system. Just be aware of potential Thunderbolt 3 bottlenecks that may take the edge off this powerful graphics card's performance.
More details are available on the Aorus website.
February 27 2020 | 11:00