Sapphire has started sales of its external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure for video cards. The GearBox TB3 eGFX box can accommodate a high-end graphics card and also offers additional USB 3.0 Type-A and GbE ports. It is noteworthy that the box costs less than competing offerings and Sapphire also offers it with bundled graphics cards.

Sapphire is a bit late to the eGFX party as most of leading suppliers of graphics cards have already released their Thunderbolt 3 eGFX boxes. However by no means is Sapphire cutting corners here. Being equipped with a 500 W custom power supply, the GearBox Thunderbolt 3 eGFX expansion chassis can accommodate full-length double-wide graphics cards up to 266 mm long, and a max power consumption of 300 W. Technically it can support even NVIDIA’s latest TITAN RTX graphics card if needed, as it has two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.

The GearBox TB3 eGFX box can deliver up to 60 W of power to the host laptop over a TB3 interface, and provides a GbE connection as well as two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, which essentially means that the product can be used as an expansion dock for contemporary laptops.

The design of Sapphire’s GearBox somewhat resembles that of Apple’s Mac Pro desktops from 2000s, yet it is evident that the chassis is considerably smaller. Meanwhile, the box has a blue LED on the front to emphasize its own color. The enclosure has its own dual-fan cooling system, which assists cooling system of the graphics card.

Sapphire’s GearBox Thunderbolt 3 eGFX expansion chassis is now available from Amazon at $259, which is below its MSRP of $339. The box is also available with bundled Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 and Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 graphics cards for $538 – $578.

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Source: Sapphire

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  • PeachNCream - Thursday, December 06, 2018 - link

    Nice hardware, but physically large. I'd like to see Reply
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, December 06, 2018 - link

    ...grrr... Gonna change what I was going to say to "I'd like to see an edit function in the comments system!" Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, December 06, 2018 - link

    That's really borderline inescapable. To handle oversized coolers and the airflow for both blower and open air coolers you need a decent amount of space around the card on all sides except the back. From there, if you put the PSU behind the GPU you then end up with a large amount of dead space since a normal PSU is much shorter than a full size GPU. As it is, this PSU appears to only have a 40mm fan. That size is common in 1U servers; and because they need to have very high RPMs to move any significant amount of air they tend to be really loud. I'm hoping the PSU can passively cool itself at typical GPU loads and never need to spin the fan past idle.

    The non-space wasting layout would be to put the PSU in line with the GPU for a really long enclosure; something that AFAIK no one has done.

    Theoretically the dead space could be used to hold a few HDDs for a combination eGPU/DAS box; but roasting with the GPU wouldn't be good for the HDDs. And with eGPU's already showing a significant slowdown vs an internal 4x PCIe3 connection, burning a chunk of bandwidth for the HDD enclosure isn't that hot of an option either.
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, December 06, 2018 - link

    I see your point. If you want enough space for every high end GPU out there, it does require the internal volume. What I was getting at before my hand slipped and I poked the Submit Comment button before I was finished typing was that maybe it'd be nice for companies to offer compact versions that were designed for lower end GPUs. I remember seen a product in the AT news section a number of months ago that was basically a TB box stuffed with a mobile GPU. That was an interesting alternative. Reply
  • bkkcanuck - Thursday, December 06, 2018 - link

    Yes, Spinning rust has a physical impact on any box that it is installed in. The heat is bad for the hard drives. Spinning rust is always best put into it's own enclosure -- though for cost efficiency we have typically included them in the 'consumer' grade tower. A powerful GPU based graphics can have a higher TDP (thermal generation) than the motherboard/cpu it is married with. It is a computer in it's own right. Reply
  • Anchor777 - Friday, December 07, 2018 - link

    Look close. There are a couple 120's at the top. Reply
  • sorten - Thursday, December 06, 2018 - link

    I'm not sure about that light bar, but otherwise this looks almost perfect and the price is reasonable. Now I just need Microsoft to offer TB3 on the SP7 and I'll be all set with my next generation of hardware. Reply
  • PaoDeTech - Thursday, December 06, 2018 - link

    Would be possible to just buy a TB->PCIe MOBO and reuse an existing case / PSU? Maybe one with a mini ITX FF. Is there such a thing? Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, December 06, 2018 - link

    surprisingly inexpensive Reply
  • GreenReaper - Thursday, December 06, 2018 - link

    > However by no means is Sapphire cutting corners here.

    What are you talking about? The corners are very clearly cut - just look at the picture. Fake news!
    Reply

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