Friday, November 30th 2018

SAPPHIRE Technology Brings GearBox Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Enclosure to Market

SAPPHIRE Technology introduces GearBox Thunderbolt 3 eGFX - a new expansion chassis for Mac Pros, Ultrabooks and Small Form Factor Computers. Connect a powerful graphics card to a Thunderbolt 3 ready device and experience greatly improved performance in professional software and games.
About GearBox
SAPPHIRE GearBox Thunderbolt 3 allows users of light weight, portable laptops to turn their devices into powerful, high-performance gaming and professional systems. The stylish small form factor design of the chassis can accommodate up to a 300W full length PCI-Express x16 Graphics Cards from both AMD and Nvidia's consumer and professional GPU families.

When combined with one of SAPPHIRE's award winning NITRO+ or PULSE graphics cards, users will reap the benefits of Intelligent Cooling Solutions that deliver lower PCB temperatures, minimum noise and maximum stability. The GearBox is also a great choice for Mac users as an eGFX Expansion chassis officially recommended by Apple.
Capabilities
The versatile GearBox comes equipped with a maximum 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 port that can connect to laptops or small form factor computers, bringing full capability of a powerful graphics card. This provides a significant performance boost in bandwidth intensive applications - both professional software and the latest AAA games.

It features Power Delivery Charging, which fully charges a laptop of up to 60 Watts, as well as Gigabit Ethernet to enable high-speed internet via the LAN port, and dual USB ports that provide additional connections for USB data transfer devices or peripherals like keyboards and mice.
Availability and Price
The SAPPHIRE GearBox Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Expansion Chassis is available as a barebone system from selected SAPPHIRE e-tailers and retailers worldwide with an MSRP of $339.00 USD. It may also be purchased in a special price combo with one of the following SAPPHIRE Graphics cards:

SAPPHIRE GEARBOX W/ NITRO+ RADEON RX 580 4G - $538.00 USD
SAPPHIRE GEARBOX W/ NITRO+ RADEON RX 580 8G - $578.00 USD
SAPPHIRE GEARBOX W/ PULSE RADEON RX 580 8G - $558.00 USD

More details about the SAPPHIRE GearBox and SAPPHIRE's other Thunderbolt 3 products can be found here.
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15 Comments on SAPPHIRE Technology Brings GearBox Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Enclosure to Market

#1
Durvelle27
I wish we had these around $199 USD. I’d definitely buy one for my laptop
Posted on Reply
#2
Yukikaze
Durvelle27 said:
I wish we had these around $199 USD. I’d definitely buy one for my laptop
We do. Well, not exactly this one, but I mean eGPU enclosures in general.
Posted on Reply
#3
jaggerwild
Yukikaze said:
We do. Well, not exactly this one, but I mean eGPU enclosures in general.
I'd assume you could make one even cheaper then buying those.....
Posted on Reply
#4
Durvelle27
Yukikaze said:
We do. Well, not exactly this one, but I mean eGPU enclosures in general.
Sweet

I may buy this for myself for Christmas
Posted on Reply
#5
chimonow
These are such huge ripoffs! You can just get a PCIe adapter/board. An mPCIe, expresscard or Pci-e adapter. a PSU and GPU of your choice and then make an enclosure or don't. They're basically charging $300 more for just the enclosure..
Posted on Reply
#6
Mussels
Moderprator
I really REALLY love the concept of these enclosures, but the high pricing is a total effing turnoff
Posted on Reply
#7
Durvelle27
chimonow said:
These are such huge ripoffs! You can just get a PCIe adapter/board. An mPCIe, expresscard or Pci-e adapter. a PSU and GPU of your choice and then make an enclosure or don't. They're basically charging $300 more for just the enclosure..
It’s actually not that easy. Biggest issue will be driver support.
Posted on Reply
#8
king of swag187
chimonow said:
These are such huge ripoffs! You can just get a PCIe adapter/board. An mPCIe, expresscard or Pci-e adapter. a PSU and GPU of your choice and then make an enclosure or don't. They're basically charging $300 more for just the enclosure..
For what they are, they're generously priced because of how much Intel charges for liscensing and the controller. Also, this technicaly has much more bandwith than all of those options, assuming its a "x4" link, 8gbps vs 32gbps
Posted on Reply
#9
kastriot
Just another milking friendly gadget for MAC.
Posted on Reply
#10
ShurikN
Is it me or have these things never really taken of?
Posted on Reply
#11
Assimilator
ShurikN said:
Is it me or have these things never really taken of?
Probably because they're priced absolutely ridiculously. The freaking enclosure costs more than a graphics card to put inside it FFS!
Posted on Reply
#12
silentbogo
chimonow said:
These are such huge ripoffs! You can just get a PCIe adapter/board. An mPCIe, expresscard or Pci-e adapter. a PSU and GPU of your choice and then make an enclosure or don't. They're basically charging $300 more for just the enclosure..
I wouldn't say that. Most TB enclosures are so expensive only because parts cost money:
* First of all you have a chassis, which will cost around the same as a low-to-mid budget ITX case (speculatively $30)
* Next, we have a 250-400W 12V Power supply (another $20-30 depending on quality)
* Lastly, we have a controller board and all the supporting connectors. Just Intel TB3 controllers ICs are $6.45-9.10 alone (that's from Intel's pricing, so who knows how much it costs down the chain), and optimistically the board will run upwards of $50 when you include the cost of a multilayer PCB, additional connectors, other active and passive components.
At the end we get a very minimum of $100-110 just in parts, not including labor and marketing.

It's not your typical chinese "Do It Yourself and break your laptop in the process" kit with yet another variation on mining risers.
It's a plug-and-play solution which is universal for any device with TB3 port and in addition to eGPU gives you tons of other I/O cause it's designed as a docking solution. Plus you get 4xPCIe lanes instead of just one.

Assimilator said:
Probably because they're priced absolutely ridiculously. The freaking enclosure costs more than a graphics card to put inside it FFS!
There are 2 more reasons why the adoption rate is so low:
1) Manufacturers only stick TB3 on expensive laptops. No one wants to risk extra expenses by adding Thunderbolt onto a $400 laptop
2) No low-end or low-power eGPU models, due to [1].
Other than that, there are no technical barriers for making a $400 laptop with a TB3 port, or a relatively cheap bus-powered GT1030-GTX1050.
Posted on Reply
#13
azdesign
One of the most compact full-size gpu enclosure, after aorus gaming box.
Sure there are smaller, less powerful, mxm e-gpu enclosure out there; But this one can hold full-size card.
I hope sappire willing to sell us the barebone. Or we just simply waiting on ebay for someone who sells only the enclosure.
It kinda turns me off when the size of an enclosure is around the size of entire itx case. I'm talking about razer, rog, dell and the popular akitio.
Posted on Reply
#14
phanbuey
i wish they made it a bit wider and sold it as an itx case.
Posted on Reply
#15
Vayra86
ShurikN said:
Is it me or have these things never really taken of?
Its not you, and they never will.

Just like those backpack computers, VR, 3D, and RTRT. Every one of those innovations is a bag of compromises to elevate itself above the normal experience in some way. But it always means losing most of the aspects that made that normal experience 'the norm'. It needs to be simple, it needs to be cost effective, and it needs to be accessible. If it lacks one of those three qualities, it won't stick.
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