Adding a high-end graphics card to a desktop PC isn’t usually all that hard. But things get trickier when you want to add desktop-class graphics to a laptop or mini-desktop (which may have no room for a discrete GPU).

Enter graphics docks, which allow you to use a desktop graphics card with any computer… as long as they have a Thunderbolt 3 port (or whatever proprietary port some docks use).

Some graphics docks are basically empty boxes that let you supply your own GPU. Others come with a graphics card pre-installed. The new Aorus RTX 2070 Gaming Box falls into the latter category.

It’s a new graphics dock from Gigabyte and, as the name suggests, it comes with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card.

The box has a 450 watt PSU and a 130mm fan to keep the GPU from overheating. It also features RGB lighting effects because apparently that’s a requirement for gaming hardware these days.

What’s interesting about this particular graphics dock is that it’s small enough that Gigabyte considers it portable — the Gaming Box measures 8.3″ x 6.4″ x 3.8″. In addition to coming with a power cord and a Thunderbolt 3 cable, the graphics dock comes with a carrying case.

It connects to a computer via Thunderbolt 3, and once connected it also gives your PC a few extra ports:

  • 1 HDMI
  • 3 DisplayPort
  • 1 USB-C
  • 3 USB 3.0 ports

The dock can also pass power to your laptop, so it can charge a notebook computer as long as it requires 100 watts or less. There’s also a Quick Charge 3.0 port for fast charging mobile devices or other accessories.

Gigabyte hasn’t announced the price or release date for the Auros RTX 2070 Gaming Box yet.

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10 replies on “Gigabyte’s new external graphics dock houses a GeForce RTX 2070 GPU”

  1. Thunderbolt 3 port means expensive laptop. Want to add another huge chunk of change to that laptop? Thing is most every laptop with Thunderbolt 3 has some type of discreet graphics onboard, making this device redundant. Can they make a laptop with integrated graphics (cheaper) with Thunderbolt 3 so this type of external GPU makes more sense? I like this idea, but does anyone want to throw big money into a card that’s dated within 6 months?

    1. I agree with your question about cost redundancy, but disagree about “dated within 6 months.” The existence of newer and better parts does not make the old ones “old,” it means that they are as capable as ever and now (after further development) there are better options.

      These laptops have fixed CPUs which touch more computing experience. A CPU or a GPU selected and specced correctly will probably give good service for a reasonable period of time.

      1. I agree with you. I tend to exaggerate and on that 6 month point, yes I’m a bit off on that. My main point is that this is a great concept and I’m all for it, but let’s make them usable for cheaper laptops. There is hope for this category but I recall the ZenBook option which was funny because it’s a $2,000 laptop already with reasonable graphics. Then to think of wanting or needing this? C’mon guys!

        1. What do you mean? There are plenty of laptops out there that aren’t that expensive and have Thunderbolt ports. They’re getting to be pretty common on the thin and light/ultrabooks. And you can find those running the whole gamut of pricing, depending on what you want.

          My ultrabook Lenovo Ideapad 720s has a TB3 port and a GeForce MX150 card. I paid $900 for it Christmas 2017. HP and Dell are putting TB3 in more of their available laptops (particularly thin ones). Intel’s 9th gen chips, Ice Lake, will have native TB3 support too, so the options will greatly expand when that’s released.

          You’re right that the docks don’t make a lot of sense for the newer laptops that already have powerful graphics – except for an upgrade down the road. The ones where that this matters much more to are the ultrabooks, IMO.

          In my case at least, I have a thick and bulky gaming laptop (old MSI GT60 upgraded with a GF 970M), and the ultrabook for most of my typical work tasks. So I really need 2 laptops at the moment. With a dock, I can dump the older laptop, stick with an ultrabook, and have the graphics power when I want it. When it comes time for a new laptop, i don’t have to pay big bucks for a gaming one.

          The docks and cards with them are coming down a good bit. What I would like to see is a cost analysis of a cloud service vs an eGPU dock to see what’s better over the long run.

          1. When you’re talking $900, that’s $1,200 in other markets like Canada. When you’re talking $1,000 for a laptop, then it makes sense to be buying a gaming laptop and not one of these docks. The only chance these have is for laptops that don’t come close to gaming laptop prices. So long as they do? These are going nowhere. I’m curious what the cheapest TB3 laptop there is right now.

    1. That would be nice… but that would also require better and more reliable internet connection on most parts of the world.

      1. Even with my Gig FiOS connection, playing Assassin’s Creed Black Flag on my ultrabook (i7-8550u, 16 GB RAM) over WiFi was still pretty laggy. I generally like the idea of cloud gaming as long as the performance is decent and the lag is minimal.

        Only thing I’m not sure about is adding mods to some games. I use mods in the RPGs I played (mostly old Dragon Age at this point). I can do that on my PC, but I’m doubting that’ll be available on streaming services.

        1. Have you tried streaming over ethernet within your house? I have excellent streaming from my rig to a raspberry pi 2 over 100Mbit ethernet. No lag. Steam reports the data rate to be 15Mbits. If Microsoft is able to co-locate its servers (similar to Netfix) at the ISP, I am thinking streaming won’t have any lag.

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