Aorus GTX 1080 Gaming Box is one mighty external dock

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.

Comments closed
    • Air
    • 2 years ago

    $590 is a great price (Razer core is $400 with no GPU), but is it really necessary for an eGPU box to be this small? It greatly limits the upgrade options in the future.

    I would like a simple box with no GPU or PSU included, but compatible with standard length GPUs and standard SFX PSUs. Is it too much to ask for?

    • NTMBK
    • 2 years ago

    So inelegant.

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      It’s clearly not a light sabre.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]You can't spell Gigabyte Aorus without the letters R, G, and B,[/quote<] True. Calling it "iayte Aous" just doesn't have the same ring.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    Million-dollar question: is the card user-replaceable?

      • albundy
      • 2 years ago

      wondering the same. i am not sure if the card is soldered on or if it’s just a x16 pcie riser to thunderbolt converter.

    • UberGerbil
    • 2 years ago

    For the price they better throw in a nice custom-fit carrying case with spots for the cords etc. I mean, the whole point of this is that it gets paired with a laptop, and in theory the whole point of [i<]that[/i<] is that you're moving it from place to place occasionally, or you'd just have a (much cheaper for the same specs) desktop system.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      I dunno, man. The GTX 1070 version might be obscene at $580 but if you think about how the GTX 1070 inside is $430-ish of that, and the box itself seems like a decent deal.

      Not saying desktops aren’t cheaper, but it’s not as much as sticker shock might initially lead you to believe.

        • UberGerbil
        • 2 years ago

        Well, yeah, but you’re not pairing this with some 2C/4T laptop, are you? When you start getting into the range of processors that are worthy of driving a 1080 — really, anything more than two cores — you’re getting into some relatively esoteric laptop territory, which tends to cost a premium relative to the desktop alternative.

        Though I guess if you’re just looking for good average framerates at higher resolutions on otherwise undemanding games…

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Pretty soon a quad is going to fit a 15W envelope, though, so lots of 8th-gen systems became potential eGPU candidates.

          Right now the only system I’d pair it with is a NUC with a skull on it, though.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      I get the feeling that the market for these is people with lightweight laptops that they travel with, but when they get home they can plug into this eGPU and overwatch a game of Battlefield DotA on their i5 laptop with only HD530 graphics in it.

      Sure, it’s expensive at $590, but they already have a laptop they’re happy with and a dedicated gaming PC is going to run them $1500+ with the hassle of keeping two machines separate.

      For what it’s worth, you [b<]DO[/b<] get a nice custom-fit carrying case with a shoulder strap included for your $590 though.

        • UberGerbil
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, that scenario is definitely one that makes sense. But I think LAN parties (do kids still go to LAN parties?) is a potential scenario too. I know my friends would be willing to buy their kids a reasonably powerful laptop “for school,” but not a gaming laptop. However, if you’re said kid with said laptop, ponying up the incremental few hundred $ to turn it into a transportable gaming system certainly has some appeal, I would think.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 2 years ago

    I wonder…years down the road, when that 1080 card is too slow, can you take it out of this box and replace it? Or is it in there for good?

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    Unlike the 1070 box though, this one has a custom card in it. Look at the size of that fan. And no shroud.

      • kmm
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, totally. That fan is huge for a graphics card. On the other hand, the card plus fan still looks 2x slots, so the heatsink behind it is not that big. But I would guess that the cooling here is still pretty good, maybe better than their standard aftermarket designs for temps/noise.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    I’m still looking forward to see how much slower the [url=https://techreport.com/news/32131/aorus-gtx-1070-gaming-box-is-a-pre-packaged-powerhouse<]Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box[/url<] is than a laptop's internal GTX 1070 when TR do 99th percentile testing on it. FPS averages drop by 10-20% because of the reduced bandwidth over Thunderbolt, but we all know that average FPS figures hide the truth.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 2 years ago

      “You can’t handle the truth!”

    • TheRazorsEdge
    • 2 years ago

    At least they have 4x USB ports, so it can act as a consumer-grade docking station. That makes the value proposition slightly less obscene.

      • Shinare
      • 2 years ago

      If it had a gigE rj45 on the back…

        • cygnus1
        • 2 years ago

        USB 3 network adapters aren’t too terrible. I’d be interested to know if the other TB3 eGPU boxes that do have a NIC built in connect it internally via PCIe or USB.

        I’m sure adding anything besides a single PCIe device and USB stuff would require a PCIe switch chip, which is what drives the cost of these boxes up higher.

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      Considering those USB ports are sharing the Thunderbolt bandwidth with the GPU it would be interesting to see what sort of performance penalty you’d suffer by using them.

        • UberGerbil
        • 2 years ago

        But a lot of USB devices these days are just using the ports for charging.

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        Are they? I thought TB3 only uses the altmode pins of Type C. There would still be a dedicated USB 2.0 line running parallel with the altmode pins.

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