Gigabyte is adding another external graphics enclosure to its lineup, and this newest variant, the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box, is its most powerful yet. It's also the first liquid cooled external graphics box.
As the name implies, this eGPU enclosure is rocking a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card inside. The specs mirror Nvidia's reference design, meaning it has a 1,545MHz GPU clock speed and 11GB of GDDR6 memory clocked at 14,000MHz, for 616GB/s of memory bandwidth.
It's a bit interesting Gigabyte chose to model this version after Nvidia's stock design, rather than the slightly overclocked Founders Edition model (1,635MHz). Granted, a compact graphics box might not offer the same airflow as even a mid-tower PC chassis, but since the card is liquid cooled, we would like to have seen a factory overclock here (even just a modest one).
Even without an overclock, the 2080 Ti is the best graphics card for gaming. Some of that performance will be lost in overhead, even though this utilizes a speedy Thunderbolt 3 interface. We have not tested this eGPU solution, though, so we can't say precisely what kind of performance penalty comes with it.
All that aside, eGPU boxes are one way to supercharge your laptop's graphics. The most obvious reason to buy one is to pair it with a thin and light notebook which is convenient when traveling, and then plugging in an eGPU solution for gaming at home. You could also use something like to this to upgrade the graphics in a gaming laptop, though pricing ultimately dictates if that makes sense (versus buying a new gaming laptop, particularly with Black Friday deals looming).
According to Gigabyte, the liquid cooling setup inside this box not only battles GPU temps, but also the memory and MOSFET "to ensure stable operation and longer life." It consists of a 240mm aluminum radiator and a pair of 120mm fans, and is supposedly quiet.
Gigabyte did not say when this new box will be available or how much it will cost. Bear in mind that a 2080 Ti alone costs $1,200, so this will undoubtedly run north of that figure. As another point of reference, Gigabyte's Aorus RTX 2070 Gaming Box (air cooled) runs $685 on Amazon.