Many computer, especially laptop devices fall short in terms of graphical processing power. External GPUs are often used to supplement the processing power – improving the experience by improving the frame rate, getting better shading and higher resolution. Finding the right external GPU can be a tough experience however. There are lots of products from different manufacturers and it will be very tough for individuals to make the necessary research. To make it easier for buyers, we research extensively to find the best options in the market. Here, we will look at some of the very best eGPUs in the market.
Table of Contents
- Best Value External GPU: Akito Node
- Best Performing eGPU: Alienware Graphic Amplifier
- Best for Mac Users: Mantiz Venus MZ-02 eGPU
- Best for Gaming Tablet Owners: Asus ROG XG Station – 2
- Best w/ Graphics Card Bundle: Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1070 GAMING Box
- Best w/ Hard Drive Port: HP Omen Accelerator
- Honorable Mention: Razer Core V2
- Cheapest GPU: Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box
Best Value: Akito Node – Thunderbolt3
This is one of the external GPUs that can let you play demanding VR games on your gaming laptop. The Akito Node can fit any of the GTX 70’s and 80’s. The Thunderbolt 3 eGPU has a large enclosure that can support any standard or large graphic card. Other features that make this card one of the best options in the market include a carry handle for easy handling, removable back panel for 2x width cards and an integrated 400W SFX power supply for extra power to the GPU. It is also a budget friendly external GPU.
- Compatible with Windows laptops and Macs
- Great for VR
- Best value – budget friendly.
- No regular USB ports to connect keyboard, mouse or other accessories
Best Performing eGPU: Alienware Graphic Amplifier
As far as performance goes, this is one of the best external GPUs you can find in the market. This graphic amplifier is compatible with any external display and delivers supercharged gaming experience consistently. It can also support full-length and dual-wide graphic cards. The Alienware graphic amplifier (9R7XN) also features a built-in 4-port USB 3.0 hub. In addition to all these amazing features, you will also enjoy 1-year return for repair with non-accidental damage as well as 1-4 year accidental damage service. The major downsides to this eGPU is the fact that it is only compatible with Alienware Alienware 13, 15 and 17 R2 laptops. It also only works with desktop graphic cards that are shorter than 10.5 inches.
- Crystal clear graphics for laptop gaming
- Great, reliable warranty
- Compatible with external displays
- Only works for Alienware laptops
- Need a graphics card smaller than 10.5 inches
- Doesn’t charge laptop
This powerful eGPU is more like a computer lacking some components than an external GPU. It will meaningfully improve any system you hook it up to. The device boasts of 600W PSU on board, 5x USB 3.0 ports, ethernet and an external thunderbolt connector. When you pair it with a decent graphic card, it will deliver excellent gaming experience. It will work with most laptops as well as gaming tablets. The only thing you may not find so interesting about this card is the gamer aesthetic. Another downside is that it is expensive compared to the other external GPUs we list on this ranking. Note: Some customers thought the ROG XG Station comes with a graphics card – it does not!. See what are the best graphics cards.
- Can hook up to laptop and gaming tablets
- Works with GTX 9 and 10 series
- Thunderbolt connection transfers data up to 8x faster than USB 3.0
- 5 USB ports for you mouse, keyboard and other accessories
- Works with all laptops
- Over $500
- We personally don’t like the look
Comes with a Graphics Card: Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1070 GAMING Box
This is a one-of-a-kind external graphic card that comes with a pre-installed NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card with 8GB of VRAM. It will provide two DVI ports, one HDMI port and one DisplayPort interface for external monitors. As you can deduce from the name, this card is specifically made for the gaming community and it lives up to the expectation in all ramifications. It can also be connected to a wide range of laptop and desktop PCs, thanks to the standard Thunderbolt 3 interface. It is also compact and more portable than most other eGPUs in the market.
- One of the few eGPUs that comes with a graphics card
- Great cooling
- Thunderbolt connection
- Works with all laptops
- Expensive (but does come with GTX 1070)
Comes with a HDD or SSD Port: HP Omen Accelerator
The biggest advantage the Omen Accelerator has over other models is that it can also house a HDD or SSD. Furthermore, it is an impressive option that offers excellent performance and also beats the competition in terms of price. It will add the needed juice that will improve your gaming experience. Another great thing about the HP Omen Accelerator is versatility. It is compatible with most graphic cards and storage devices. Thanks to the big easy-access door, you can access your graphic cards slots, replaceable power supply, and 2.5” drive without difficulties.
- Can house SSD or HDD
- Competitive price
- Works with any Windows laptop
- Only works with laptops with Thunderbolt connection
Best for Mac Users: Mantiz Venus MZ-02 eGPU
This is a beautifully designed external graphic card is the best eGPU for Mac users. The Mantiz Venus is the the perfect boost for a wide range of different applications that need large processing power – which on a Mac – may not always be games. It has an impressive thin design but is wide range of compatible products and expansion ports. There are no fewer than five USB 3.0 ports; two on the front for easier access and the rest on the back. The external GPU allows for up to 40Gbps, which means full 2,750 MB/s of PCIe of bandwidth. It is a great card for both gamers and professionals as it is equally ideal for such applications as AutoCAD and Photoshop.
- Great for Mac users via Thunderbolt connection
- Can be used for design intensive programs
- Competitive price
- Compatible with most graphics cards
- Need a Thunderbolt connection on laptop
Honorable Mention: Razer Core V2
Some of the most attractive things about Razer Core are the impressive design, the amount of power it delivers, and the ease of setting it up. It boast of a lustrous metallic design and customizable light settings. The only downside to this graphic card is that it may not be compatible with some gaming laptops but it is compatible with a wide range of desktop graphic cards.
- Compatible with many graphics cards
- Competitive price
- Not compatible with some laptops (check before purchasing)
Cheapest GPU: Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box
This is another great option with lots of impressive qualities. It is a well-built external GPU that supports a wide range of external graphic cards. Most people find the smooth design very attractive and the subtle blue LED on the front add a little bit of visual flair to the breakaway box. The product also comes with a Thunderbolt 3 cable that saves you the stress of looking for where to buy one. There is also a massive panel for ventilation to avoid overheating. Another impressive thing about this card is the fact that it supports Macs: this is something you can’t find with most eGPUs.
- $200 price tag is the cheapest
- Usable with Macs
- Doesn’t deliver as much power compared to other external GPUs
How to Buy the Best External GPU
External GPUs are always necessary when you want to boost the processing power of your laptop or PC for either improved gaming experience or for other professional reasons. Though the enclosures are simple gadgets that accepts graphic cards and plugs into a laptop or some desktop computers, there are still some notable differences in the variants available in the market. There are certain factors you need to consider seriously when you want to buy an eGPU as they are commonly called.
One thing you need to realize is eGPU market is relatively young and small, but you may still have to be careful when looking for these support products. Even though there may not be much difference in the way they work, you need to pay attention to certain features before you buy. Here, we are going to look at certain factors you must consider.
Different Types of Graphic Amplifier
The external graphic cards you will see in the market will come in a number of possible interfaces. We will briefly look at these options and what they offer.
- USB 3.0
This can be quite helpful but it offers 5gbps in terms of bandwidth for the GPU. This is the minimum benchmark for external GPUs and may not be too good for the graphic card in it. In any case, it will be a significant step-up from integrated graphics and improve the processing performance of your PC.
- USB Type-C
This type supports the SuperSpeed USB interface. It will offer either 5gbps or 10gbps of bandwidth for the GPU. The external GPU can significantly enhance the processing power of your PC but it can still be limited if the interface delivers only 5gbps.
- Thunderbolt 3
This is a type of interface that is often used by USB Type-C. It can offer as much as 40gbps in terms of bandwidth for the GPU. This is more than enough for modern GPUs and will meaningfully improve the experience users will get with their PCs.
Other Things to Consider About Buying eGPUs:
Before you buy an external GPU, it is important that you consider compatibility. Most of these products are made for certain PCs and will definitely not support all graphic cards too. It is important that you consider compatibility before buying. You should also consider the price of the eGPU before you buy. There are budget options that will offer great value so you need to weigh your options well.
How We Made Our Pick
In choosing the products featured in this roundup, we considered the factors briefly discussed above. We also checked online market places to for the availability of these products as well as considered the reviews from confirmed buyers. What you will get here are great external GPUs that are tested and trusted.