eGPUs have been around for a while yet haven’t really taken off yet. Are eGPU really worth buying in 2022? Here we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about eGPUs, eGPU brackets and eGPU boxes.
Let’s explore the state of eGPUs in 2022 and whether they’re worth your money or not.
What Is an eGPU?
An eGPU stands for an “external graphics processing unit.” You’ve probably heard of a GPU before: they’re the graphics cards that help render games and movies on our PC. An external GPU, therefore, works outside of the system to render media. To clarify: there is no difference between the actual hardware of a GPU and eGPU – you use a regular GPU as an EGPU if you mount it in an external enclosure like an eGPU box or eGPU bracket.
eGPUs shine most on systems that can’t accept a regular graphics card. Many low-end PCs and laptops sell without a graphics card inside of them. For a PC, you can purchase one to fit inside it. For a laptop, it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to mount a GPU on it. As such, you can grab an eGPU and plug that into the laptop instead.
What Are eGPUs Like in 2022?
If you take a look at GPUs currently, you’ll find that they typically sell as “enclosures.” These are boxes with a connector cable and a dedicated power but no graphics card.
The product will list a range of cards it’s compatible with, allowing you to swap out and choose which one you want to use. Some will even come with multiple bays for even more GPU power. As such, a modern-day eGPU is less about selling a graphics card in a box and more about selling a box for a graphics card.
How Much Is an eGPU?
If you take a look online for eGPUs, you’ll find examples like the Razer Core X. At $400, the price tag would be great for a gaming GPU, but remember that you’re not actually buying a graphics card! You’re buying the housing where you will slot in a regular GPU. In fact, products like the Razer Core will state that the graphics card is sold separately, presumably because people were getting upset that they purchased an empty box.
There are cheaper options than the Razer Core X. You can get a bracket stand like this one from Wikingoo in the region of $200. This obviously doesn’t come with the fans and full enclosure, but there have been some pretty positive reviews coming from users on this one.
As a compromise, you could look into one of the Sonnet Breakaway Box models, which range between $250 and $350.
If you do want a GPU inside of the enclosure when you buy it, things get a little pricier, especially as at the time of writing we’re still in the midst of a GPU supply crisis due to crypto miners and lack of parts.
We won’t specify GPUs and prices here because they’re constantly fluctuating at the moment, but the good news is that prices seem to be on a downward trajectory now so hopefully by the end of the year they’ll be at a sensible level (currently they’re still around 20-30% higher than their RRP 18 months ago!)
Is an eGPU Worth Buying in 2022?
Anyone considering getting an eGPU also has to balance the idea with the idea of simply buying a new computer. However, there are a few niches that fit the bill. For example, if a friend gives you their old GPU, you can hook it up to a laptop using an eGPU case without needing to buy all the other hardware.
You can also use an eGPU to protect your graphics card while you’re out and about. For example, you can unplug it when you take your laptop to the café to do your work. When you get back home to play games or other GPU-dependent activities, plug in the eGPU and you’re away. That way, if your laptop is lost or stolen, you don’t need to rebuy the beefy GPU.
The main issue right now is the global GPU shortage and subsequent expensive prices. At the time of writing, you should really wait a good several months if you don’t already own an actual GPU, as prices are expected to come down to reasonable levels soon.
If you already have a graphics card in your computer, you can make use of AIO cooling to improve its performance. We can also show you how to benchmark your Windows PC.
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