GPD has been selling handheld gaming PCs since 2016. And in that time, the company has offered models in various shapes and sizes. But one thing they’ve all had in common? They ship with integrated graphics, because there’s just not enough room for a discrete GPU in a system that small.

Most recent models have supported external graphics docks thanks to 40 Gbps USB4 or Thunderbolt ports. But some of the company’s upcoming devices will also have Oculink ports for up to 63 Gbps data connections. And the company also plans to begin selling its first eGPU soon. The GPD G1 is a compact, portable graphics dock with is up for pre-order for $655 through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and it’s expected to begin shipping to backers in September.

While some external graphics docks are basically the size of small desktop computers, the GPD G1 is an eGPU that’s the size of a reasonably small handheld computer, like the GPD Win 4 handheld gaming PC.

The eGPU features an AMD Radeon RX 7600M XT discrete GPU. It’s 2.3 GHz GPU with 32 RDNA 3 compute units, 8GB of GDDR6 memory and 32MB of AMD Infinity Cache. AMD says it delivers up to 21.4 TFLOPS of “peak single precision compute performance” or up to 42.8 TFLOPS of “peak half precision compute performance.”

GPD’s dock features an Oculink port for high-speed connections with supported computers like the upcoming GPD Win Mini, GPD P4 Max and AYA Neo 2S Mini LED. But there’s also a USB4 port for 40 Gbps connections with any system with a Thunderbolt 3/4 or USB4 port that supports those speeds.

In fact, GPD says that if you do have a device with Oculink support, you’ll get best performance by using both the Oculink and USB4 ports at the same time, since they use separate PCIe channels. That allows the GPU and video output to work via an Oculink connection while the USB4 port can handle USB and SD card data transfers.

And if you want to add an Oculink connector to an existing PC that doesn’t already have it, GPD is also offering a $700 bundle that include a GPD G1 eGPU and an M.2 NVMe to Oculink interface adapter. The company notes there are also PCIe 3.0 x4 to Oculink adapters.

In addition to delivering more graphics performance to laptops and mini PCs, the graphics dock is also a hub that you can use to connect displays, keyboards, mice, controllers, and other peripherals, thanks to a generous set of ports on the back that includes:

  • 1 x HDMI 2.1
  • 2 x DisplayPort 1.4a
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Type-A
  • 1 x SD card reader

That’s in addition to the Oculink (SFF08612) and USB4 ports on the front of the device.

Measuring 225 x 111 x 30mm (8.9″ x 4.4″ x 1.2″), the G1 is one of the most compact external graphics solutions to date, which should make it pretty easy to pack in a bag along with your laptop or handheld PC. But it’s too power-hungry to run on a battery, so it’s really designed to be used while plugged in.

The GPU has a TGP range of 75 to 120 watts, and has a built-in 240W GaN power supply, since you also need a bit of extra power for the internal fan, USB hub and other components. The G1 can also send up to 60W of power to your connected PC, which means that you should only need a single cable to power both the GPD G1 and a computer like the GPD P2 Max or Win Mini.

There’s also a fan under the hood for active cooling.

One down side to the GPD G1 and its compact design? Some other external graphics docks feature a slot or set of slots that you can use to supply your own GPU, allowing you to pick your own performance level and/or upgrade to a more powerful graphics card in the future. But the GPD G1’s GPU isn’t configurable or upgradeable. It ships with a Radeon 7600M XT, and the only way it’s going to use anything else is if GPD decides to offer a different model with a different GPU in the future.

This article was first published June 2, 2023 and most recently updated July 16, 2023.

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  1. “Measuring 225 x 111 x 30mm the G1 is one of the most compact external graphics solutions to date” this needs a little detail. It is worth establishing the market to say “current gaming GPUs” or such so that we don’t need to waste a breath on debating whether the Lenovo Graphics Thunderbolt Dock based on a mobile 1050 has a smaller volume (marginally it has without power supply or with a GaN power supply it is roughly equal) or whether the Adlink Pocket AI based on an RTX A500 is smaller (yeah it is but it’s a 25W TGP GPU, you won’t game on that). Not to mention the downright ancient Acer dock based on a 960M — it never got a wide market release in the first place.

    So if we are talking about compact gaming eGPUs then there are only two on the current market, the GPD G1 and the Asus XG Mobile. We could fair exclude the latter since it is proprietary but it is 215 x 165 x 33 so it’s slightly shorter but much wider. (It has a beefier 330W PSU vs the GPD G1 240W.)

    So I would say the full statement is “the GDP G1 is the most compact gaming eGPU” and that is true.

  2. Finally, there are such solutions! There is usb4 (I don’t understand why there is no 80 Gbps).
    USB4 40Gbps (could be 80Gbps)
    HDMI 2.1
    3 x USB 3.2 Type-A
    1 x SD card reader
    PCIe 3.0 x4 (why not PCIe 4.0 x4?)
    2 x DisplayPort 1.4a (why not 1x DP 2.1 with ALT mode!!)
    None 2.5G LAN port

  3. Even though I have some major issues with GPD goods (warranty and quality problems), I might consider purchasing this if I had a portable that was compatible with it.

  4. So they’re marketing this for those who would carry it around instead of just getting a gaming laptop with a dGPU even though a GPD handheld + G1 + thick cables seem to be just as cumbersome to carry. Hopefully for GPD there’re enough people in that niche within a niche within a niche.

    Otherwise, just get an eGPU solution that you can install a GPU of your choice and not be limited to a mobile GPU like the one in the G1 that you can’t upgrade.

  5. A small percentage of handheld/notebook gamers would use an eGPU. A small percentage of those would want to carry it around with them.

    Maybe that net market is big enough for GPD. But for others, I feel an eGPU solution (even one with Oculink) that allows you to install any GPU instead of being limited to a non-upgradable mobile dGPU is a better option.

  6. Sucks that they’re getting rid of the USB-A port for Oculink in the Win 4 refresh and the upcoming Win Mini. Not that bad for the Win Max 2 though since it has a lot of ports.

    I’d rather have USB-A or another USB-C port than Oculink. I buy handhelds to not be tethered so that Oculink port will be gathering dust as another air vent.

  7. I’m usually pretty critical of GPD products (warranty and quality concerns), but this is something I would consider buying from them, if I owned a handheld that supported it.

    However, I think I’d want some more information on who their GPU manufacturing partner is. I doubt they’re making the hardware in the GPU themselves (the mainboard PCB itself).

    1. I agree, but where I draw the line is that the GPU inside the enclosure is soldered on. You are stuck with it, and so your money will be wasted in the future.

      You SHOULD be able to upgrade and replace the GPU in the future. And in such case, I would adopt. Basically want an eGPU solution that works well for laptops and handhelds. That is not available on the market, apart from custom-making something yourself.