Gigabyte pairs GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure in $600 bundle

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Gigabyte has shown off an external graphics card enclosure at Computex that aims to offer better value to those who want to add a graphics card to their MacBook Pro over Thunderbolt 3, with the Aorus-branded GTX 1070 Gaming Box bundling the high-specification graphics card with the enclosure at a lower cost than current alternatives.




Connecting with Thunderbolt 3, the Gaming Box is a relatively compact enclosure with a mesh on one side providing extra cooling to the installed graphics card, supplied as part of the package. Inside is a GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, reports Guru3D, equipped with 8GB of memory, and a base clock speed of 1,531MHz that can be boosted to 1,721MHz.

Inside the casing is a 450-Watt power supply, though it is unclear if it will provide power to the connected notebook at this time. Aside from the HDMI, DisplayPort, and dual DVI connections on the graphics card, as well as Thunderbolt 3, the enclosure has a collection of four USB 3.0 ports for connecting extra peripherals.

The power supply somewhat contributes to the device's relatively hefty 2-kilogram (4.4 pounds) weight, making it less attractive to be transported along with a notebook, even with its supplied carrying case.

While it is unknown if Gigabyte will be selling the enclosure separately from the graphics card, the Aorus GTX1070 Gaming Box as a complete package may be attractive to some users, due to its price. Gigabyte plans to ship the bundle, consisting of the enclosure and the graphics card combined, for $600 starting in July.

The mini-ITX GTX 1070 can be acquired on its own for around $380 to $400, theoretically putting the cost of the enclosure itself at roughly $200, based on the $600 selling price. For comparison, other enclosures like the PowerColor Devil Box are priced closer to the $400 mark, pushing the equivalent bundle price up to around $800 including the cost of an equivalent GPU.

While acquiring an external graphics card enclosure may be an attractive proposition to provide extra graphical performance to a notebook, such as for playing games, it is worth noting that the market is still in its infancy. While it is relatively simple to connect and use on Windows, it is a slightly more involved procedure to get the extra hardware running on macOS.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 456member
    Not bad price. 

    But dang if if I let anyone see that thing out in the open. Hideous. 
    pkissel
  • Reply 2 of 9
    How about some dimensions... that thing looks huge.

    And 4.4 pounds.  Does it have lead shielding for EMPs/radiation protection?
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,192administrator
    How about some dimensions... that thing looks huge.

    And 4.4 pounds.  Does it have lead shielding for EMPs/radiation protection?
    The power supply is the most of that weight. We don't have dimensions, but it looks a bit smaller than the PowerColor Devil Box that I looked at earlier this year.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    Or you could get an entire Windows gaming laptop with a GTX 1070 for around $1300 on sale or refurbished. That gets you vastly better graphics performance and you can dual boot Hackintosh or run one in a VM. This is the route I took and it is working great thus far. There are even super slim gamer laptops coming out in a few months for those that prefer a sleeker form factor. I would have preferred a Mac but at some point you have to just give up waiting for Apple and just buy a high performance computer. It is nice to finally be able to use my Oculus Rift.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 5 of 9
    pkisselpkissel Posts: 24member
    grangerfx said:
    Or you could get an entire Windows gaming laptop with a GTX 1070 for around $1300 on sale or refurbished. That gets you vastly better graphics performance and you can dual boot Hackintosh or run one in a VM. This is the route I took and it is working great thus far. There are even super slim gamer laptops coming out in a few months for those that prefer a sleeker form factor. I would have preferred a Mac but at some point you have to just give up waiting for Apple and just buy a high performance computer. It is nice to finally be able to use my Oculus Rift.

    Its a whole lot easier/more stable to get a MacBook and run Windows in a VM (Fusion/Parallels) instead of going the Hackintosh route and doing the opposite.  But you're right, a MBP cost 3X+ the price of a Windows laptop, you get a whole lot less GPU, and lately even the Intel CPU has been behind the release curve.  Heck, there's a reason I'm still typing this note on a 2012 MBP 15" and not a 2016 MBP.  Just not worth $5000+ (MBP/LG5K) to upgrade over the speed of my 2012.  Maybe the MBP 15" Coffee Lake will make it worthwhile and by then Apple will be back to making its own 5K monitor again.  Still, its GPU will be underpowered out of the box.  Whether Apple will continue to allow these external GPU solutions to work is a question I have.  Right now the approach seems like a hack at best.  Hopefully, in the future Apple will bolster the MBP GPU by officially recognizing the niche in the OS support, or they will bring out their own external GPU box, or throw an external GPU into a monitor of their own.  Like you, I am getting pessimistic that they'll put the resources into really innovating the MBP line.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 6 of 9
    jdwjdw Posts: 680member
     The vast majority of us still have TB2 Macs. I for one want to know what kind of performance advantages that GPU has on the 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro via Thunderbolt 2 connection. Will it boost performance of Final Cut Pro X and Compressor and Adobe apps?   Also, how loud is it? 
  • Reply 7 of 9
    I've used a few external enclosures in Resolve and other video applications.  While there is an increase in performance you will always be limited.  eSata has more lanes than Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 and with full fledge graphic cards, you will be throttled. A boost in performance, just not the full boost you bought.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,192administrator
    jdw said:
     The vast majority of us still have TB2 Macs. I for one want to know what kind of performance advantages that GPU has on the 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro via Thunderbolt 2 connection. Will it boost performance of Final Cut Pro X and Compressor and Adobe apps?   Also, how loud is it? 
    If you want a boost on Adobe, do an eGPU with an Nvidia card. If you want more of an emphasis on FCPX, go AMD. It's just how the apps are coded. Volume depends greatly upon the enclosure's and the card's cooling fans.

    Regarding "A boost in performance" from the post just about this one. Practically, the PCI-E lane limitation is generally not a big deal, but your statement is essentially correct. It depends on the speed of the card. You can see a restriction on the Nvidia 1080. There's maybe a 2 percent hit on the 980ti.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 9 of 9
    jdw said:
     The vast majority of us still have TB2 Macs. I for one want to know what kind of performance advantages that GPU has on the 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro via Thunderbolt 2 connection. Will it boost performance of Final Cut Pro X and Compressor and Adobe apps?   Also, how loud is it? 
    If you want a boost on Adobe, do an eGPU with an Nvidia card. If you want more of an emphasis on FCPX, go AMD. It's just how the apps are coded. Volume depends greatly upon the enclosure's and the card's cooling fans.

    Regarding "A boost in performance" from the post just about this one. Practically, the PCI-E lane limitation is generally not a big deal, but your statement is essentially correct. It depends on the speed of the card. You can see a restriction on the Nvidia 1080. There's maybe a 2 percent hit on the 980ti.
    Thank you for clarifying.  I use 1080s and REDROCKET-Xs where the limitation is very noticeable.  But I have a Thunderbolt 2 expansion used with Bluefish444 SDI capture cards and it works like a charm so it depends on what you're doing.
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