An external gpu is an interesting alternative if you still want to be able to perform graphically intensive tasks on your thin and light laptop. The concept does not work flawlessly just yet. The performance level of a laptop with egpu is more unstable than that of a gaming machine which already has all of the hardware built into it. You not only need to have connected the box, but the performance of an egpu also depends on the laptop you connect it to, and even the monitor you use can show a different result. As we have seen, if you want to display images from the egpu on your laptop, it is better to buy a laptop with a decent built-in graphics card.
If you only expect maximum performance from a mobile device, you are ultimately be better off investing in a gaming laptop or workstation, as our comparison between a gaming laptop and a similarly priced combination of an office laptop and an external gpu shows. The HP Omen gaming system has about twenty percent higher frame rates than the XPS 13 with its separate egpu box.
The downside of the story is that the HP Omen laptop is even heavier than the XPS 13 and the box together. The dimensions of the 17 inch laptop are also incomparable, while the battery life of HP's system is not very attractive for mobile use either. With the help of the egpu the XPS 13 delivers playable frame rates in most of our gaming benchmarks, even when we significantly increase resolution and detail. A light and portable device, which you can comfortably for an entire working day, transforms into a device that allows you to play recent games fluently with the help of the egpu.
Once you have decided to purchase an egpu, Gigabyte offers two capable options with the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box and RX 580 Gaming Box. The small size and light weight of the enclosures make them easy to carry, although the noise levels of the built-in power supply are still an area for improvement. Looking at the recommended price of the separate Aorus GTX 1070 Mini-ITX, the price of the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box is reasonable: it costs around 134 dollars less than the box.
For Windows users, the RX 580 Gaming Box is not a very logical choice. The box offers less performance, but has a higher average price than the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box at the time of writing. With the RX 580 version, Gigabyte focuses primarily on Mac users. The box does indeed work with the Apple systems, although support for external gpus in MacOS is still quite limited. This means that in combination with certain applications the box is in fact useless. This is a shame. Hopefully, Apple will soon be able to resolve these issues with an update, so that external gpus will be a sensible option for Mac users as well.