VisionTek launches Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX enclosure -- add a desktop graphics card to your laptop
Thunderbolt 3 is great for many reasons -- it is fast, uses the USB-C connector, and allows you to expand the capability of your laptop. It used to be notebook owners were very limited for gaming, for instance, as you couldn't upgrade the graphics. Even if you opted for a quality mobile GPU from, say, AMD or NVIDIA, it still wouldn't compare to a high-end desktop graphics card. With Thunderbolt 3, however, you can easily add a top-tier desktop GPU to your laptop by leveraging an enclosure.
Today, VisionTek launches a new such enclosure, and it looks amazing. I tried -- and loved -- the company's previous model, but it was rather large. This new model, called "Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX," is smaller, and believe it or not, is less expensive too -- all while retaining the same functionality. Not only does it allow the user to add a desktop GPU to their laptop, but it introduces USB-A ports, Ethernet, and SATA 3. And yes, it will charge the laptop while connected too.
"The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure is ideal for creative professionals, IT/enterprise power users, professional users in healthcare, finance, scientific research labs, etc., and gaming enthusiasts seeking the ultimate GPU performance improvement to Thunderbolt 3 equipped laptops. Delivering up to 40Gbps of bandwidth, Thunderbolt 3 is the industry’s fastest interface that is rapidly becoming popular on new generation of laptops and mini PCs. VisionTek’s Mini eGFX combined with a graphics add-in card significantly boosts the GPU performance of a Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptop, via a plug and play connection to the enclosure," says VisionTek.
The company further explains, "The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure combines a sleek and portable design that easily fits discretely on a desk, or hidden away, to handle all your graphic intensive applications. VisionTek’s Mini eGFX Enclosure can be plugged into any Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptop or mini-PC to accelerate the most demanding 3D intensive software programs. Best of all, the Mini eGFX enclosure can be upgraded to perfectly match the application’s performance requirements. Consumers have the option of selecting from many mini ITX cards or standard compatible graphic card models for the Mini eGFX to optimize GPU processing requirements for each user’s specific needs."
VisionTek shares the following features.
- Compact Design -- Form & function collide to create one of the most compact and flexible enclosure designs in the industry to accommodate a variety of graphics cards (enclosure dimensions: 8.5" x 6" x 2.75")
- 3D Graphics Performance -- Whether you’re rendering complex 3D images or playing intense first-person shooters, the eGFX enclosure supports a wide range of mini ITX size graphics cards. Add in up to a Vega 56 8GB card for increased graphics computing performance
- Power -- 240W of dedicated power is provided with the VisionTek Mini eGFX Enclosure.
- Multiple Displays -- Supports up to six 4K displays @ 60fps from laptops & mini PC’s. Scalable to the needs of the user with the addition of a graphics card to fit the application’s needs.
- Maximum 3D Resolution Control -- Set limits using the GPU’s proprietary firmware controls to customize resolution settings, enhance 3D performance, and assign multi-monitor layouts.
- Additional High-Speed USB 3.0, Ethernet Connection, and SATA III Port -- The design uses a second Thunderbolt controller with PCIe-to-USB and PCIe-to-LAN controllers to provide Two (2) additional USB 3.0 ports that are conveniently accessible on the front panel of the eGFX enclosure and one (1) RJ45 Ethernet Gigabit LAN connection located on the back side of the enclosure.
- Dual Thunderbolt 3 Controller -- Ensures dedicated lanes for graphics and peripherals, providing greater stability of low-latency USB peripherals such as mouse and keyboard.
- Cool and quiet -- Perforated design and internal fans allow for ample cooling of the graphics card
- Intel Certified -- macOS and Windows, powered by Intel Thunderbolt 3 technology
- Use with latest OS -- Compatible with Windows 10 and macOS
- Thunderbolt 3 -- Utilizes the Thunderbolt 3 port on your laptop or desktop, not backward compatible with USB Type C
- US Tech Support -- Backed by free lifetime US-based support
- Includes -- 240W Power Supply adapter, quick install guide and .5M Thunderbolt 3 Cable
Michael Innes, President, VisionTek Products, LLC offers the following statement.
With the launch of the Mini eGFX external enclosure, users can turbocharge their Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptops with cutting edge discrete GPU add-in cards on the fly. VisionTek embraces technology innovations from Intel that enhance the way we utilize our GPU technology to increase the efficiency, performance, and resolution of 3D visual PC applications.
The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX enclosure can be had immediately from VisionTek here. It only costs $349, which is a hundred bucks less than the older model -- nice!