Some of today's thin gaming laptops are able to cram most of a high-end gaming PC inside them, but companies like Gigabyte are still hard at work trying to improve on the concept of external graphics docks. To wit, Gigabyte is now stuffing all the power of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 into the Aorus GTX 1080 Gaming Box.
The chassis looks like the one used for the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box, which we are lucky enough to have in our lab. The box contains a GTX 1080 with its own power supply and a Thunderbolt 3 connector for attaching to a laptop without much in the way of graphics horsepower. The 80 Plus Gold-rated 450 W power supply provides juice to the graphics card, and it can charge the attached laptop through the Power Delivery 3.0 standard.
In gaming mode, the card boasts the same 1607 MHz base and 1733 MHz boost clocks as the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition, but OC mode cranks speeds up to 1631 MHz base and 1771 MHz boost. The 8 GB of GDDR5X memory runs at the same speed as the Founders Edition's 10 GT/s.
You can't spell Gigabyte Aorus without the letters R, G, and B, so the Gaming Box offers dazzling RGB LED illumination. One of the Box's two ventilation panels is lit up with a set of LEDs controlled through Gigabyte's RGB Fusion software. The back of the metal box isn't quite as flashy, but it does sport four USB 3.0 connectors and a Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C jack. One of the USB ports supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 standard for accelerated phone battery top-ups.
The card installed in this Gaming Box has three DisplayPorts, one HDMI connector, and a DVI jack for those who can't throw away the old LCD they spent hundreds of dollars on several years ago. Buyers will need to rely on their laptop for network connectivity, as Gigabyte's Gaming Box doesn't include a Gigabit Ethernet jack.
Gigabyte didn't provide any pricing or availability information, but we expect the Aorus GTX 1080 Gaming Box to come in above the $590 price the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box commands on Amazon and Newegg.