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The best external GPUs for your laptop in 2023

Razer Core X Chroma
Razer Core X Chroma
The best eGPU enclosure overall
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Sonnect eGFX Breakaway Box 750
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box
A great budget eGPU enclosure
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GIGABYTE AORUS RTX 4090 Gaming Box
Gigabyte Aorus RTX 4090 Gaming Box
The fastest eGPU you can buy
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Using one of the best external GPUs can boost your laptop performance, regardless of if you're trying to gain some frames in Apex Legends or make your Premiere Pro renders a little faster. We've rounded up the top options on the market that can accommodate even the most powerful graphics cards, including the RTX 4090 and RX 7900 XTX.

A good GPU enclosure goes beyond being a box for your graphics card. Our picks come with enough power to feed hungry graphics cards without sacrificing efficiency, and they're cool and quiet, allowing you to game or create without distractions.

The Razer Core X Chroma external graphics card on a desk next a laptop and a monitor.
Razer

Razer Core X Chroma

The best eGPU enclosure overall

Pros
  • Fits almost any graphics card
  • Has a big enough PSU for any GPU
  • Has strong cooling
  • RGB model has fancy lighting effects
Cons
  • Can't fit RTX 4080 or 4090

The Razer Core X is the best external GPU enclosure on the market. At around $400, it's a little more expensive than some of the other options available (though cheaper than others), but still balances looks, thermals, and performance. The base model comes packed with an internal 650-watt power supply and can fit up to a three-slot GPU.

The more expensive Chroma model comes with a beautiful RGB underglow and boosts the power supply to 700W. It, too, can fit a three-slot GPU and comes with four USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet. Regardless of the model you choose, all you need is a single Thunderbolt 3 cable to hook up the enclosure.

You'll need to bring your own graphics card, but you can fit nearly anything inside the Razer Core X outside of the RTX 4080 and 4090. In addition to plenty of room, the power supply is more than enough to handle even the most power-hungry graphics cards. Plus, the unit comes stock with a 120mm fan, adding a little more cooling potential.

Razer Core X Chroma
Razer Core X Chroma
The best eGPU enclosure overall
Sonnect eGFX Breakaway Box with an Apple MacBook.
Sonnet

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box

A great budget eGPU enclosure

Pros
  • Has up to a 750W PSU
  • Can fit most dual-slot graphics cards
  • Has lots of USB ports for device charging
  • Gigabit Ethernet provides networking potential
Cons
  • Only supports Thunderbolt 3
  • Can't fit the biggest GPUs

If you're looking for a slightly cheaper enclosure, the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box is for you. The current version is the Breakaway Box 750, and Sonnet offers it in two different models -- 750 and 750ex. Both models come with a 750W power supply, but the 750ex also comes with four USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet for a $50 premium.

You can use the latest graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia in the enclosure, including Nvidia Quadro cards for professional workloads. Although it was designed around older, lower TDP GPUs, it still has enough power and cooling for all the latest RX 7000 and RTX 4000 models, outside of the ludicrously big RTX 4080 and 4090.

You can even chain multiple Breakaway Boxes together, connecting up to four boxes if you have enough Thunderbolt ports, allowing you to accelerate even the most demanding workloads in applications like DaVinci Resolve and Cinema 4D. It does only support Thunderbolt 3, but it has the maximum 40 Gbps bandwidth.

The only downside is that the Breakaway Box 750 only supports dual-width graphics cards. It has enough power for something like the RTX 3090, but many models are too large to fit inside.

Sonnect eGFX Breakaway Box 750
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box
A great budget eGPU enclosure
Gigabyte Aorus RTX 4090 gaming box.
Gigabyte

Gigabyte Aorus RTX 4090 Gaming Box

The fastest eGPU you can buy

Pros
  • Has an RTX 4090 in it!
  • It's a self-contained solution with no extras needed
  • Excellent cooling for quiet operation
  • Fancy RGB lighting looks great
Cons
  • Can't deliver anything close to the RTX 4090's full power
  • Lacks Thunderbolt 4 support

If you want the ultimate in external graphics power, then the Gigabyte Aorus RTX 4090 gaming box is the enclosure for you. It has the world's most powerful graphics card inside, the Nvidia RTX 4090, with all of its CUDA cores, RT cores, tensor cores, and high clock speeds, and it delivers the fastest gaming experience possible from an external GPU enclosure.

However, do note that the RTX 4090 is so powerful that it completely saturates the poor Thunderbolt 3 connection to your laptop, so it won't be able to make full use of the RTX 4090. In fact, performance might be close to half that of the full -speed 4090. That's still faster than almost any other gaming laptop in existence, and most gaming desktops too, but it's worth bearing in mind.

We'll need Thunderbolt 5 or USB4 to take full advantage of eGPU enclosures like this. Still, it's about as fast as you can realistically expect an eGPU enclosure to be today, which means it'll let you play any game at any setting with ease. It also looks good, has near-silent water cooling, and actually represents pretty great value at around $2,000, since you're getting a watercooled RTX 4090, which by itself would set you back around $2,000.

GIGABYTE AORUS RTX 4090 Gaming Box
Gigabyte Aorus RTX 4090 Gaming Box
The fastest eGPU you can buy

If you'd rather just buy a gaming laptop, here are some of the fastest gaming machines you can buy in 2023.

Editors' Recommendations

Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware

Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from graphics cards to processors to PC cases, Jacob also leads the ReSpec column and newsletter that covers the intersection of PC hardware and gaming. If it's something you can plug into a gaming PC, there's a good chance Jacob has used it.

Although Jacob is interested in just about anything in or around a PC, he's currently reporting on graphics cards, PC game optimization, and gaming monitors. At Digital Trends, he's dug deep on the untold origins of the Steam Deck, uncovered the truth behind poor PC port optimization, and broke the story on Microsoft's Bing Chat going off the rails.

Before joining Digital Trends, Jacob contributed to Business Insider, Forbes, and PC Invasion, among various other outlets. Jacob has been a guest on TWiT and NBC, and his work has been cited in Fox News, Futurism, and Business Insider.

As if tinkering with the latest PC hardware wasn't enough, Jacob spends most of his free time living the PC gamer life he writes about so frequently. That includes playing the latest games, but also poking around on his PC to see what he can break, just to see how it works. When he gets a moment to step outside and "touch grass," Jacob enjoys tabletop games, wandering the shops of St. Louis, and forcing his lazy Corgi onto walks.

The Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop with RTX 4070 is $1,000 cheaper today
Razer Blade 15 lifestyle image on desk

If you’re looking for great gaming laptop deals, check out what Razer has to offer. Right now you can buy the Razer Blade 15 with some great hardware, all for $1,800 instead of $2,800. The $1,000 discount is unlikely to stick around for very long, so we’re here to take a quick look at what it offers before you commit to the buy button below.

Why you should buy the Razer Blade 15
Razer is one of the best gaming laptop brands out there, sort of the MacBook of gaming laptops because of their stylish design and speedy hardware. Even the keyboard is great, and the Razer Blade 15 has a massive trackpad which is great for portable gaming. That means Razer laptops can be expensive, but that’s less of an issue when they’re on sale.

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Save $600 on this Alienware gaming laptop with RTX 4090
Screen on the Alienware x16.

Gaming laptops are a great option for prospective PC gamers who don't want to mess around with building their own PC. Take this Alienware x16 gaming laptop: It comes ready to play right out of the box, with some powerful components and a sweet deal. Right now, as part of Dell gaming laptop deals you can grab this configuration of the Alienware x16 for $3,000 after a $600 discount to its base price. Alienware deals come and go quickly, so jump on this one soon if you're interested. You can read more about the components in this machine below.

Why you should buy the Alienware x16 Gaming Laptop
The most important aspect of any gaming laptop is the components. This x16 configuration has the Intel Core Ultra 9 processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU. That's a beefy graphics card that tests the balance between overkill and price. It will have no problem running the newest AAA games for a few years. With 16GB of RAM in the graphics card and the additional 32GB in the full machine, you'll have snappy performance. There are 2TB of SSD storage We'd like to call that "more than enough," but if you're playing a lot of modern PC games, you know that they're getting bigger and bigger each year. It might be worth grabbing some external hard drive deals.

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Best refurbished laptop deals: How to find cheap used computers
microsoft surface laptop go 2020 on desk

Some of the best laptops you can get are ones that come relatively cheap and have a lot of power under the hood. While that can mean finding yourself a pretty excellent deal on a laptop, another option is to grab yourself a refurbished laptop. Not only are they much cheaper than their new counterparts, a lot of them don't even have a lot of significant issues with them and may just have cosmetic damage, with everything else working perfectly fine. Another great thing is that a lot of these refurbished laptops come with guarantees, so even if something does go wrong at the start, you can have them replaced or serviced.

To that end, there are really great refurbished laptop sales that you can check out as part of Best Buy laptop deals, Dell laptop deals, HP laptop deals and Lenovo laptop deals. Alternatively, if you're in the Apple ecosystem, take a look at these refurbished MacBook deals, or if you still want to go for something new, you could consider checking out these laptop deals instead.
Best Buy refurbished laptops -- starting at $113
Best Buy's refurbished laptops are -- you guessed it -- Geek Squad Certified and while they may not be free and clear of absolutely all cosmetic scuffs they are still exceptionally clean and always in working order. Some of them even come with additional software like virus tools, streaming access, like Apple TV+, and much more. Of course, the best part is that you can get a premium and fully upgraded model for less, often with more storage, more power, and more features than you would when buying a base model brand new. You've got some great options from Lenovo, Acer, HP, Dell, Gateway, and even Apple to choose from. The cheapest models start around $120 and increase from there. The best way to know what's available is to head over and browse for yourself.

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