External Graphics Dock

I’m pretty well versed in all things hardware, however the whole idea of an external graphics dock is new to me. I’ve always wanted to move to a laptop for mobility reasons. However I just can’t bring myself to lose out on what the same graphics card on a desktop brings in performance. Well enter this relatively new idea to the industry of the graphics dock.

I looked at Razer’s solution in depth, at the time I thought they were the only ones doing it. Which struck me as odd, because the interfaces are not proprietary and neither are the cards to go in. So they lead me to discovering that many of these things exist, however where I’ve come to an impasse is that I’m not sure which one to look into getting.

Razer’s products are very pricey, so I’m not paying $500 for something that I can get somewhere else for much cheaper.

Any info you guys might have on this would be nice, even if you tell me that the Core is the way to go. Even if something else requires some in depth setup and maintenance I don’t mind doing it.

I did see some of the interfaces for sale, but I don’t want to have to fabricate an enclosure if I don’t have to. While I’ve done it in the past (for desktops) I just don’t have the time anymore.

Last thing I promise, are there any windfalls that I might run into by buying a generic enclosure via the actual GPU linking with my laptop?

I’d say check out this video.
youtube.com/watch?v=SeGWwziCrpw

From what it looks like, going external won’t bring a large bump in performance. However there are gaming laptops that can compete with desktops well enough. I have a laptop and a desktop myself. I prefer to use my laptop for simple things and not gaming. I prefer to stick with desktops for gaming because I like the modular capabilities of them. Aside from RAM and sometimes graphics cards it can be difficult and pricey to upgrade laptops.

There are no such thing as a laptop that can compete with a desktop, not unless you’re talking a laptop that costs 2 or 3 times as much.

I most likely will maintain my desktop, because it’s a heck of a lot cheaper overtime to keep it modern. However the GPU is one of the most limiting factor for the performance difference between laptop and desktop. So I’ve got a very nice Dell laptop I use for work that has thunderbolt 3. Just looking for a way to have a pretty easy mobile solution for when I go out of town. A card and an enclosure is much cheaper than having to maintain an updated gaming laptop as they are so overpriced compared to a gaming desktop.

Is the laptop specifically able and accessible to use an external GPU? Thunderbolt 3 shares its data paths with everything else in the laptop, not the best solution compared to dedicated graphics. If your mobile enough to need a laptop to play games, It would be a heck of a lot easier to just have the laptop, than lugging around a laptop and an external hub. I couldn’t imagine lugging one of those through an airport, and I wouldnt trust it in a checked bag.

Check this video out for more info. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHwXOwTgYB0&t=536s

Checked out the video, I wouldn’t carry it with me through an airport haha. (that would indeed be terrible) I don’t travel too much, but for the times that I do it would be nice to have a cheaper solution (already have the laptop, and a spare GPU) that I could bring with. Any travel I do is on the ground and mostly to go visit family across the states.

The whole premise is I have a thunderbolt 3 laptop, I have a GPU to stick in it. So is there a dock I can get that let’s me couple those two together so when I do travel. (every couple of months) Can I find an inexpensive solution to play games during my down time?

My issue with getting a gaming laptop is that I’d only use it every couple of months when I’m gone, for usually only 4-5 days (I have a desktop at home). So, because of the quickly changing market in the hardware world I could spend $1000-1500 on a gaming laptop and it be obsolete within 4 years. That’s just too costly for my situation in my opinion.

It would be obsolete when you opened the box :wink:

The thunderbolt case is $500, so that you can build a much better performing mini-itx desktop build and carry it with you.

I bought an Alienware 51M (pre-Dell buyout). At the time it was one of the best gaming laptops. It ended up being nothing but a CPU for the peripherals needed.

Laptops certainly have their advantages especially if you travel a lot and want to game. But as a gaming system, they really are just a back-up. And for the cost of a good one, you can get a great desktop.