10 Cheapest Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosures

Cheapest Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosures

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The best round-up of the cheapest Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosures to enhance your laptop’s graphics card performance.

For a while now, graphic-intensive games and applications have been run on desktop platforms and workstations. This can be attributed to the fact that desktops have powerful GPUs that supports graphical performance, multi-displays, and ultra-clear images and videos compared to the sleek and super-light laptops.

Many laptops manufacturers are going for the sleek, lightweight, and thinner Ultrabooks at the expense of fundamental features such as ports and powerful graphic cards.

If you want to run CAD software or the most graphics-intensive games, such as Far Cry 5 and Battlefield 2, you will need a desktop set-up as laptops are being pushed to the side.

However, introducing external graphics processing units has made it possible to play high-end graphics games on a laptop. While mobile graphics cards still rally behind the desktop card in terms of performance, there is a new solution in the market: eGPU enclosures.

Thanks to eGPU enclosures, you can now play your favorite graphic intensive games, with crystal-clear graphics, on your ultraportable laptop.

Pretty cool, don’t you think?

Before we get into our guide and more in-depth reviews for each eGPU, here’s a quick view of the ones we’re covering.

At a Glance – Our Top Picks

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
Highpoint RocketStor 6661A on Amazon
Highpoint RocketStor 6661AThunderbolt 3 Ports: 2
USB-A Ports: No
Power Delivery: 15W
GPU Max Power: 25W
GPU: No
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PowerColor Gaming Station on Amazon
PowerColor Gaming StationThunderbolt 3 Ports: 1
USB-A Ports: 5x USB 3.0
Power Delivery: 87W
GPU Max Power: 375W
GPU: No
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Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750 on Amazon
Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 1
USB-A Ports: No
Power Delivery: 100W
GPU Max Power: 475W
GPU: No
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Mantiz Venus MZ-02 on Amazon
Mantiz Venus MZ-02Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 1
USB-A Ports: 5x USB 3.0
Power Delivery: 87W
GPU Max Power: 375W
GPU: No
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Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex on Amazon
Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750exThunderbolt 3 Ports: 1
USB-A Ports: 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1
Power Delivery: 85W
GPU Max Power: 475W
GPU: No
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Razer Core X on Amazon
Razer Core XThunderbolt 3 Ports: 1
USB-A Ports: No
Power Delivery: 100W
GPU Max Power: 500W
GPU: No
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VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX on Amazon
VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFXThunderbolt 3 Ports: 1
USB-A Ports: 2x USB 3.0
Power Delivery: 45W
GPU Max Power: 150W
GPU: No
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Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT on Amazon
Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XTThunderbolt 3 Ports: 2
USB-A Ports: 2x USB 3.2
Power Delivery: 60W
GPU Max Power: N/A
GPU: AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
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Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 on Amazon
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 1
USB-A Ports: 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1
Power Delivery: 60W
GPU Max Power: Not provided
GPU: No
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Razer Core X Chroma on Amazon
Razer Core X ChromaThunderbolt 3 Ports: 1
USB-A Ports: 4x USB 3.1
Power Delivery: 100W
GPU Max Power: 500W
GPU: No
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Let’s see what exactly are the external graphics card enclosures.

What are eGPU Enclosures?

External GPU (eGPU) enclosures are devices that let you hook up a desktop graphics card and provide power to it. They connect to your notebook to give it the power required to run demanding games.

All you need is a Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptop and a GPU to transform your laptop to a powerful desktop and play all of your powerful games and CAD software with ease.

While this technology is new to the market, tech companies have made major strides in developing the best Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosures. Before getting to that, here are the factors to consider when searching for the right enclosure for your notebook.

What to Look for in an eGPU Case

There are different types in the market, it’s worth looking at the features that define a good graphics expansion box.

Size

Select an enclosure that will be compatible with the size of your graphics card. Designated desktop GPUs are often larger than your typical laptop’s GPU, select an enclosure that will be sizable enough to house your GPU. Luckily, most are big enough to fit a standard GPU, but there are also smaller and portable options.

Desk space is also another factor when determining the size of the eGPU enclosure. If you have limited space, consider going for smaller ones, otherwise, reevaluate your desk real estate.

Power Supply

Does the eGPU enclosure have the required power to run your GPU? If you select one will lower power wattage, you will not use the full performance of your graphics card.

Features

What features are supported by the eGPU enclosure? While all the enclosures enlisted here come with a Thunderbolt 3 port and generic features, there are contrasting features across different enclosures. Some enclosures double up as Thunderbolt 3 docking stations by providing extra ports for connectivity and storage options.

Ask yourself what’s the purpose of purchasing the eGPU enclosure and select the best choice to suit your needs. To make this process even easy for you, we’ve handpicked the cheapest Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosures that you can easily use with your laptop.

Cheapest Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosures

In this buying guide, we present you with the current budget-friendly eGPU enclosures you buy to power your laptop’s graphics performance. There are two types of Thunderbolt external GPU cases:

Embedded eGPUs. These come with a graphics card pre-installed. You need not buy an external GPU to use them.

Enclosure eGPUs. These enclosures require you to purchase a GPU to use them. They are versatile and let you choose the GPU you’d like to use on your system. You can also upgrade and change the GPU at any time.

Please note that the eGPUs enclosures in this post were sorted from the cheapest to the expensive ones by considering the total amount of budget it would require to set up a fully functional graphics processing unit for your laptop. We only took into account the price of the egpu case.

1. Highpoint RocketStor 6661A – Cheapest eGPU Enclosure

The Highpoint is a cheap yet powerful option that can be used to connect an external PCIe card to boost your laptop’s internal card.

Features

The cheapest egpu case in our list is the Highpoint RocketStor 6661A. With its budget-friendly price, the RocketStor enclosure lets you hook up any PCIe x4, x8, x16 card to your laptop.

The Highpoint eGPU enclosure is very compact and lightweight and easily fits on your workstation. It can be used with both Mac and Windows devices. Its compact design means you can pack it in a laptop and use it on the go to support full-sized PCIe 3.0 cards.

Design

The Highpoint RocketStor 6661A was specially designed to maintain optimum temperatures during heavy workloads. With dual ultra-quiet, and high-efficiency cooling fans, you won’t hear any sound even during playing your high-end graphic game. This affordable eGPU case was designed to accommodate performance intensive apps.

The all-aluminum chassis can be opened to connect any lengthy card and ATX power routed to drive it.
Installation and Configuration

The Highpoint RocketStor 6661A offers an easy plug and play installation. Through the single Thunderbolt 3 cable, you can connect this enclosure to any Thunderbolt 3 enabled Mac or PC platform.

What’s more interesting with the Highpoint RocketStor 6661A is that it supports daisy-chaining of up to 6 devices.

Ports

Onboard, you get two Thunderbolt 3 ports and one PCIe 3.0 x4 slot.

Tech Specs

  • Daisy Chain up to 6 devices
  • External 60W power supply
  • 2x Thunderbolt™ 3 Ports
  • Supports dual 4K displays or one 5K display
  • Plug and play installation
  • 7 inches tall, 3 inches wide
Our Take

If you are looking for an effective eGPU enclosure while under budget, the Highpoint RocketStor 6661A is the perfect fit for you.

With two Thunderbolt 3 ports, you can connect your laptop with any PCIe x4, 8, or x6 card to transform your laptop to a compact media workstation.

PROS
  • Budget-friendly and less expensive compared to other eGPU enclosures
  • Daisy chain up to 6 devices
  • Can accommodate performance intense games with highly efficient fans
CONS
  • Lower power wattage
  • Not specifically designed for GPUs

2. PowerColor Gaming Station – Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Enclosure for Mac

Add more graphics power and ports to your MacBook Pro using the PowerColor Gaming Station. This eGFX enclosure brings the best-in-class performance to turn your ultraportable laptop into a powerful gaming machine. The PowerColor Gaming Station comes with five USB-A ports to solve the port’s problem on your Mac, allowing you to connect legacy USB devices like an external keyboard, mouse, and storage drives.

Features

The PowerColor Gaming Station supports Radeon RX 580 & Vega 56 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 10 series GPUs, letting you accelerate the graphics power of your ultrabook. You can also charge your laptop, thanks to the whopping 87W Power Delivery. This Thunderbolt 3 eGFX uses an 80 Plus Gold certified 550W PSU, capable of delivering up to 375 Watts to your GPU.

Design

This eGFX enclosure comes with a clean, perforated design with a black finish and some red and white branding. It’s a big chassis, built to accommodate extra-long graphics cards of lengths up to 310mm. The perforated design and the internal 80mm fan allow for high-efficiency cooling and airflow. The PowerColor Gaming Station comes with an internal 550W PSU with a 40mm fan for cooling.

While there is a SATA data cable and a 4-pin molex power connector inside, the chassis doesn’t include a hard drive bay. It may be hard to use the SATA capabilities unless you can DIY a place to mount your drive.

Installation and Configuration

Installing and replacing GPUs is straightforward. The tool-less chassis lets you open the side panels without any tools. Make sure to tighten GPU’s shield screws to keep the GPU in place, especially if using a large GPU. The PowerColor Gaming Station is compatible with Mac and PCs, supporting Windows 10 and macOS 10.13.4 and later. However, macOS only supports AMD eGPUs.

Ports

Transform a single Thunderbolt 3 port on your Mac or PC into five USB-A 3.0 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet jack. This eGFX has only one Thunderbolt 3 port, so daisy chaining isn’t supported.

Tech Specs

  • 87W Power Delivery
  • 375W GPU max power
  • 5x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x RJ45
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • Compatible with Mac and PC
  • Internal 80 Plus Gold 550W PSU
Our Take

PowerColor Gaming Station is a great Thunderbolt 3 eGFX enclosure with all the features you need to accelerate your ultrabook’s graphics performance for high-end gaming or other graphics-intensive applications. The five USB ports is an excellent addition, considering today’s laptops are ditching the USB-A ports for Type-C connectivity. Overall, this a perfect eGPU enclosure capable of accommodating massive GPUs.

PROS
  • 87W power delivery
  • Five USB-A ports for peripherals
  • Reasonable price
  • Efficiently cooled
  • Supports larger GPUs
  • Tool-less design
CONS
  • Uses one Thunderbolt 3 controller for both GPU and peripherals

3. Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750 – Best Value eGPU

Sonnet is one of the best brands when it comes to eGPUs. Its range of eGPUs was the first to be recommended by Apple for Intel-based Macs.

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750 is a new and improved model of the discontinued Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W. It has a beefier power supply to support high-performance graphics cards and provide full-speed charging to most laptops. It’s the cheapest eGPU enclosure you can buy without compromising performance and features.

Features

The most standing-out feature of the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750 is the 750W built-in power supply that allows the enclosure to handle modern and high-performance GPUs. It delivers 375W of continuous power to the GPU and up to 475W in the most demanding tasks, allowing for extreme overclocking workflows.

This eGPU enclosure is fully compatible with both Mac and PCs and supports most of the latest AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. It supports laptop charging up to 100W, making it ideal for demanding laptops such as the 15-inch Dell XPS and MacBook Pro.

Design

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750 retains the same design language as its predecessor. It comes in black with the trademark blue back-lit inflated “S” at the front. The enclosure combines a temperature-controlled fan and its perforated design to help in cooling and airflow. The fan is incredibly quiet; you’ll only hear when running demanding tasks.

The enclosure measures 7.25 x 13.38 x 8 inches and can fit a full-length, full-height, and double-width graphics card. It also works with non-GPU PCIe cards such as sound cards, NVMe adapters, and more.

Installation and Configuration

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750 has a toolless design that makes it easy to install and replace your graphics card. There are three screws at the back that hold the top and side panels. You can easily loosen them without any tools.

Ports

The enclosure has one Thunderbolt 3 port for the host laptop or desktop and a full-size PCIe x16 internal slot for a GPU. There are no additional I/O with this model.

Tech Specs

  • 750W power supply
  • 375W continuous power to GPU (475W peak power)
  • 100W for charging laptop
  • Compatible with full-length and double-slot wide GPUs
  • AMD approved for air-cooled Radeon cards
  • Supports overclocked Nvidia cards
Our Take

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750 is a cheap Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with excellent performance and features. It’s designed to support power-hungry and high-performance graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD.

PROS
  • Incredible value
  • Enough power delivery for demanding cards
  • Charges your laptop at full speed
  • Quiet
CONS
  • Not compatible with 3-slot GPUs

4. Mantiz Venus MZ-02 – Best eGPU for Connectivity

The Mantiz Venus Mz-02 provides the best combination of connectivity and performance than all the other graphics card enclosures.

Features

If you are looking for an eGPU case with a wide selection of ports to connect your peripherals, then you shouldn’t look further than the Mantiz Venus. With a selection of over five ports, you can connect all your external peripherals to the Mantiz enclosure and minimize your desk usage space. Besides, you also get 85W power output to charge your laptop. The Venus box delivers up to W of power to the connected PCIe cards.

The Mantiz Venus supports most of the high cards of different sizes. You can hook up a full-length, full-height, or double-width graphics cards.

Design

The design of the Mantiz box is fairly straightforward. It comes in a stylish and simple design alluring to both gamers and professional users. The aluminum anodizing case supplements the overall sturdiness of the Mantiz Venus box.

Opening the casing is very simple with no locks or opening tools needed. Slide the side panel to access the inside parts of the case to install your cards.

Installation and Configuration

The Mantiz expansion box is a true plug and play device. Just connect it to your Thunderbolt 3 deice and watch as your laptop is being transformed into a power desktop-level machine. Depending on the GPU you choose, you have to install its specific drivers.

The Mantiz Venus box is Intel Thunderbolt, Windows 10, and macOS certified.

Ports

The Mantiz boasts of a wide array of ports compared to the other eGPU enclosures. Onboard you get five USB 3.0 ports, a single SATA slot, Gigabit Ethernet port, and one Thunderbolt 3 port.

Tech Specs

  • Supports graphics cards of all size
  • Plug and play install
  • Compatible with both mac and windows devices
  • 87W power delivery to laptop
  • 5x USB 3.0 ports
  • SATA slot to connect your HDD/SSD
Our Take

For a simply designed product that offers five USB ports for extra connectivity, besides the Thunderbolt 3 and LAN, the Mantiz Venus both will be a good choice for power gamers and professional use.

You can connect all of your peripherals to a single source and make your desk clean. Besides you also get charging power to your laptop and the amazing speeds of Thunderbolt 3. The Mantiz box is a good choice for serious laptop users.

PROS
  • The best selection of ports
  • Simple design with a sturdy construction
  • Easy to plug and play setup
  • Reliable charging power
  • Extra storage connectivity
CONS
  • Can be challenging when setting up with Mac

5. Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex – eGPU Enclosure with USB Ports

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex is another new Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure from Sonnet. Compared to the eGPU Breakaway Box 750, this one adds extra USB ports and an Ethernet port for connectivity. It’s a great choice if your laptop has USB-C ports only like the 13-inch MacBook Pro/Air and Dell XPS 13.

Features

The eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex also features a 750W power supply. It can handle graphics cards requiring up to 375W of continuous power and 475W of peak power. This includes high-performance GPUs like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT.

However, the addition of extra IO means some power is also reserved for external bus-powered peripherals. The eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex supports laptop charging up to 85W, which is a shame. The Razer Core X Chroma, for instance, allows full 100W charging despite having four USB ports.

Design

The eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex comes with the same all-black finish and a perforated design. The main difference is the additional I/O at the back of the enclosure. Elsewhere, you’re getting the same design theme as the other Sonnet eGPU enclosures and a temperature-controlled fan for silent operations.

The enclosure can accommodate full-length and double-slot graphics cards and other PCIe add-in cards. Unfortunately, you still cannot install a 3-slot wide graphics card. The Razer Core X Chroma is an excellent alternative if you have a monstrous graphics card, able to accommodate 3-slot cards.

Installation and Configuration

eGPU enclosures have become much easier to use nowadays. You don’t need any tools or prior experience to access the internals of the eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex. It is compatible with both macOS and Windows.

Ports

The eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex has one Thunderbolt 3 for the host connection, four additional USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports for USB devices, and an Ethernet jack for wired networking. You don’t have to spend extra money on a docking station.

Tech Specs

  • 750W power supply
  • Up to 475W power delivery to GPU
  • 85W laptop charging power
  • 4x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and Ethernet jack
  • Compatible with Mac and PC
  • Supports up to double-slot wide GPUs
Our Take

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex is a high-end Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure from a reliable company. It can handle power-hungry GPUs and add extra connectivity options to your laptop.

PROS
  • Plenty of power for GPU
  • Can charge a laptop
  • Additional USB ports and Ethernet for peripherals
  • Toolless, easy to use design
CONS
  • Not compatible with 3-slot GPUs

6. Razer Core X – Best eGPU Overall

The Razer Core X is the best eGPU enclosure overall in terms of gaming, graphics design, and video editing; it delivers pure desktop-class performance.

Features

The Razer Core X delivers an all-round best performance to your laptop to unlock infinite possibilities that would otherwise have needed a high-end desktop. It’s bigger chassis means it can accommodate massive GPUs such as the GeForce GTX Titan V and the aggressive RX Vega 64. The Razer Core X box delivers up to 100W charging power to your laptop and 500W to the GPU. With this, you can forget about charging your laptop and concentrate your game.

Design

Are you looking for a supersize enclosure to house your latest external graphics card adapter? The Razer Core X is for you.

It comes in a 14.7 x 9.1 x 6.6 inches casing, which is big enough to fit a massive GeForce Titan V. You can almost all the latest PCIe desktop graphics cards with no hassle. The silver aluminum case completes the appealing and stylish design of the Razer Core X box.

Installation and Configuration

It offers a simple plug and plays installation. After installing the drivers of your chosen GPU, connect the enclosure via the Thunderbolt 3 port on your laptop.

The Razer Core X is eGFX certified and supports both Thunderbolt 3 mac and windows devices.

Ports

Razer Core X ditched the number of ports in favor of the price. The box comes with a single Thunderbolt 3 port and the power input.

Tech Specs

  • Windows 10 and macOS support
  • Internal power supply of up to 650W
  • 100W power delivery to laptop
  • Supports up to 3-slot wide, full-length cards
  • Compatible with the latest PCIe graphics cards
Our Take

There is nothing much to say about the Razer Core X PCIe expansion box. The box delivers value to your investment and turns your notebook to a pro desktop performer. It’s the top Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure that can be used with almost all the GPUs and Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptop.

PROS
  • Best all-rounder eGPU enclosure
  • Compatible with all latest PCIe desktop graphics cards
  • Enough power for powerful laptop charging
  • Supports large GPUs
  • Cross-platform compatibility
CONS
  • No RGB lighting from a premium enclosure
  • Expensive
  • A limited number of ports

7. VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX – Best Portable Thunderbolt 3 eGPU

The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX is a suitable Thunderbolt 3 eGPU for gaming enthusiasts and professional content creators who want powerful graphics performance on-the-go. Thunderbolt 3 has made it easier for makers to design even thinner and lighter laptops, perfect for portability. But the choice of ports available and graphics performance could be better.

The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX brings power and efficiency to your ultrabook, allowing you to be productive or play demanding games just about anywhere. With more USB-A ports and x4 lane Thunderbolt 3 port, get the very best performance from your GPU to run demanding games and 3D rendering applications on your ultrabook. With some laptops like MacBook Pro and Dell XPS lacking USB-A ports, the VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX comes to the rescue.

Features

One of the best features of the VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX is the dual Thunderbolt 3 controllers, a feature only available on premium models. Two Tb3 controllers provide dedicated lanes to your GPU and connected peripherals so you can get the best graphics performance even on heavy usage.

Elsewhere the eGFX delivers 45W power output to charge your laptop, and up to 150W to your GPU. 45W may not be enough for the demanding laptops like the MacBook Pro, but it’s sufficient for most ultrabooks. The PCIe slot only delivers 75W. Make sure to use the included 6+2 pin connector to drive 150W to your GPU.

Design

VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX is an incredibly small and compact eGPU. It measures 8.5 by 6 by 2.75 inches, so you can only use mini ITX graphics cards with this one. The limited 150W power isn’t enough for the advanced RTX cards anyway. The eGPU comes in a matte black finish with a lot of ventilation, including a fan inside, for improved airflow and cooling. It brings some business aesthetic with its clean and simple design, but the small design footprint is the best-selling point.

Installation and Configuration

The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX works with both Mac and PC, and it’s compatible with Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later. However, it is not compatible with USB-C. You need a Philips screwdriver to install or remove your card.

Ports

The eGFX comes with two additional USB-A 3.0 ports, excellent if you’re using a laptop with Thunderbolt ports only like the MacBook Pro. You also get a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired networking. VisionTek claims this mini eGPU can support up to six 4K60 displays. You can quickly transform your ultrabook into an epic multitasking setup or get more screen space for immersive gaming.

Tech Specs

  • 1x Thunderbolt 3, 2X USB 3.0 ports
  • RJ45 Gigabit port
  • 45W power delivery to host laptop
  • 150W GPU Max Power (240W adapter included)
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 controller
Our Take

The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX is small and compact enough for portability and mobile workplaces. The dual Thunderbolt 3 controllers ensure you get the best performance even when having multiple peripherals attached. While it’s suitable for mini ITX GPUs, this compact eGFX will turn your ultraportable laptop into a productivity or gaming beasts just about anywhere.

PROS
  • Compact for portability
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 controllers offer best performance on heavy usage.
  • 45W charging power
  • Includes USB-A ports for peripherals
CONS
  • Only for mini-ITX GPUs

8. Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT – Smallest eGPU Enclosure

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT is a portable all-in-one eGPU enclosure designed for Intel-based Macs. It’s one of the smallest eGPUs you can find in the market and comes installed with an AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card.

The Radeon RX 5500 XT offers a significant performance boost over the integrated graphics on Intel Macs. It can accelerate video editing and graphic-intensive applications on your Mac and reduce rendering times. You also get additional connectivity options, including two USB-A ports.

Features

The enclosure supports up to three 4K displays via DisplayPort, HDMI, and the second Thunderbolt 3 port, and you even add a fourth 4K display via a Thunderbolt 3 adapter if you need that much screen real estate. The Thunderbolt 3 port can also run high-end 5K and 6K displays, including Apple Pro Display XDR. It’s a perfect eGPU for those already invested in the Apple ecosystem.

Like most eGPU enclosures on this list, the eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT supports laptop charging, albeit at only 60W. It can still charge the 13-inch MacBook Pro and Air at full speed.

Design

At 6 x 5.1 x 2 inches, the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT is the smallest and most compact eGPU enclosure available today. It’s an excellent pick for those who need that extra graphical power on the go. However, you’ll need access to external power.

The enclosure comes in black and has Sonnet branding on the side and top surface. Almost all of the sides are perforated to allow for maximum airflow. It’s still incredible how you can get so much graphical power in a device that can fit on your laptop bag.

Installation and Configuration

The eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT comes ready to use out of the box. It has a pre-installed graphics card, so you don’t need to bring your own card. The downside is that the GPU is not replaceable, meaning you’ll need a new eGPU enclosure if you need more graphical power.

Ports

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT offers plenty of ports. There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and two 5Gbps USB Type-A ports.

Tech Specs

  • Pre-installed Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU
  • 60W laptop charging power
  • Support for up to four 4K displays
  • Supports Thunderbolt displays
Our Take

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT is a portable all-in-one eGPU enclosure for Mac. It brings additional graphical processing power, allowing you to run graphical-intensive tasks on Macs with integrated and low-power GPUs.

PROS
  • Small and portable
  • Included GPU
  • Charges your Mac
  • Several display ports for multiple displays
  • Extra USB-A ports
CONS
  • GPU not replaceable
  • Not certified for Windows PC

9. Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 – Thunderbolt 3 eGPU with Laptop Stand

The Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 is a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure with an integrated laptop stand. It’s a perfect eGPU for those tight of space, provided you have an external monitor.

The enclosure also packs some other impressive features to justify its relatively high price tag. It has additional connectivity options with dedicated circuitry, a hard drive dock, and a premium build quality. It’s made by Cooler Master, one of the big players in PSU and PC components, so you can trust the reliability and overall build quality of this eGPU enclosure.

Features

While other eGPU enclosures use the same Thunderbolt 3 controller and interface for both the GPU and additional IO, the MasterCase EG200 went for a different approach to guarantee the best possible performance from the external GPU. The USB ports and HDD interface connect to your laptop via a dedicated USB cable, so the Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth is fully reserved only for the GPU.

The enclosure uses a Gold SFX 550W power supply and can power most cards in the market. It supports laptop charging at up to 60W, which isn’t the best considering the price, but most ultrabooks charge at 45W or 60W, so it isn’t much of a dealbreaker.

Design

One of the standing-out features of the MasterCase EG200 is the built-in vertical laptop stand that allows you to mount your laptop on the eGPU to save desk space. It’s a convenient way to reclaim unused desk space if you have an external monitor.

The enclosure also features a built-in hard drive dock that can hold a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA HDD/SSD to add extra storage to your laptop. The MasterCase EG200 is the most complete eGPU enclosure you can find on the market. It does not occupy a lot of desk space despite supporting large 2.5-slot graphics cards.

Installation and Configuration

The MasterCase EG200 requires some tools to open and access the internals. But once you’ve opened the panels, installing a graphics card is pretty straightforward. The enclosure is fully compatible with Mac and PC.

Ports

The MasterCase EG200 offers three 5Gbps USB-A ports in addition to the Thunderbolt 3 port. There is also a USB Micro-B input for the USB and HDD interface with a cable included.

Tech Specs

  • Cooler Master V Gold SFX 550W
  • 60W laptop charging power
  • Dedicated IO ports
  • Hard drive dock
  • Built-in laptop stand
Our Take

The Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 is a complete eGPU enclosure with a built-in laptop stand, hard drive dock, extra ports, and powerful power supply. It’s a great option if you want to save some desk space and boost your laptop’s graphical power.

PROS
  • Capable power supply
  • Additional USB and HDD ports
  • Charges your laptop
  • Functional design
CONS
  • Requires tools to open

10. Razer Core X Chroma – The Ultimate Thunderbolt 3 eGPU

Razer took the already perfect Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure and made it even better. Razer Core X Chroma is the ultimate eGPU enclosure. It can pair with the best graphics cards in the market and supports almost all Thunderbolt 3 laptops.

Features

The Razer Core X Chroma is in many ways similar to the Razer Core X, but it brings significant improvements and upgrades. It has a beefier 700W PSU compared to 650W on the Core X and RGB lighting. Onboard you get two RGB lighting zones, on the side and at the front, which can be controlled individually or synced with other Razer Chroma accessories. It’s one of the Core X Chroma’s best selling points, especially if you want that gamer aesthetic on your setup.

Another excellent addition in the Core X Chroma is the Expansion I/O with four USB-A 3.1 ports. You can use this eGPU enclosure as a docking station and connect more peripherals like keyboards and mice using only one Thunderbolt 3 cable to your laptop. To prevent mouse/keyboard lag issues on heavy load, Razer introduces a second Thunderbolt 3 controller. This ensures the best eGPU performance and less input lag from your peripherals even when all ports are populated.

Elsewhere, you get 100W Power Delivery for laptop charging and a whopping 500 watts maximum power to the GPU.

Design

Razer Core X Chroma has a larger chassis capable of supporting up to 3-slot wide, full-length PCIe x16 graphics cards. There is a 120mm cooling fan onboard and a 60mm fan for the PSU. The design has accommodation for additional cooling. You can remove the front panel and mount a 140mm fan for improved cooling efficiency, which allows you to overclock your GPUs without any thermal issues. The perforated aluminum body provides excellent airflow and the strength to withstand the wear and tear of daily use.

Installation and Configuration

Razer Core X Chroma works with almost all Thunderbolt 3 laptops and AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards. Depending on your laptop, you may have to use Razer’s GPU switcher app to make the eGPU the primary one.

Ports

Onboard you get a single Thunderbolt 3 port for the host, four USB-A 3.1 ports, and a LAN port. Razer Core X doesn’t have USB ports. It’s worth paying extra for the Chroma.

Tech Specs

  • 2x Thunderbolt 3 controllers
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • 4x USB 3.1 Type-A ports
  • 100W Power Delivery
  • 500W GPU Max Power
  • 700W internal PSU
  • Compatible with AMD and NVIDIA GPUs
Our Take

Razer Core X Chroma is the pinnacle of Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosures. Sure, it’s not “cheap,” but you get a set of premium features worth paying extra. This is the best eGPU to bring desktop-class performance to your light, portable laptop. The combination of dual Thunderbolt 3 features, four USB ports, 700W PSU, and RGB lighting is a feature you won’t find on most eGPUs enclosures.

PROS
  • Chroma RGB lighting show
  • Additional USB ports for peripherals
  • Two Thunderbolt 3contolers for the best performance
  • Whopping 500W power to GPU
  • Can charge any Tb3 laptop with 100W
  • Supports extra-long cards
CONS
  • Razer Core X is powerful enough for most users and affordable too

Cheapest Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosures Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you use an external GPU with MacBook Pro?

Yes, you can use an eGPU enclosure with MacBook Pro, but with AMD graphics cards only. macOS doesn’t support NVIDIA cards.

Do external graphics cards perform the same as desktop GPU?

There is some performance drop with eGPUs because of bandwidth limitation, especially when using the laptop display. Hooking an external display to the eGPU enclosure can help minimize performance drop.

Can an eGPU enclosure charge my laptop?

Yes, all Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosures that support Power Delivery can charge the host laptop. High-end ones provide up to 100W charging power.

Conclusion

Power gaming and graphic-intensive applications are not designated for desktops only. With the help of eGPU enclosures, you can turn your sleek and light notebook to a workstation with almost a desktop-class performance. The external graphics card enclosures let you use a desktop PCIe GPU with your laptop to boost its overall graphics performance. There are different options in the market and choosing the right one for you depends on your budget and purpose. While most of the powerful enclosures come with a huge price tag, we have compiled a list of 10 Cheapest Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosures to bring your search of an eGPU enclosure to an end.

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