Zotac Introduces 2 eGPU Enclosures, the Amp Box and Amp Box Mini
Ever since the release of the Razer Core external GPU enclosures have been getting more and more popular, and for good reason. They’re a great solution to add a high end gaming GPU to a small machine like a NUC or a thin and light laptop with a USB C Thunderbolt supported port. Many people only game periodically and cannot justify spending money on a full dedicated machine for gaming, hence why eGPU setups have become popular. You can simply take your laptop that you likely would have anyway, and attach a desktop GPU to it. Of course there are limitations due to the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3, but in general low-end to mid-range GPUs are usable, and assuming you have the CPU to keep up in your laptop, then you can get near desktop level performance (again depending on the GPU).
The Zotac Amp Box is the first in the lineup, it’s capable of supporting up to 228mm GPUs and 450w of power (power supply included) although they recommend up to 250w GPUs with the dual 8 pin PCIe power connectors. Amp Box measures in at 271mm x 146mm x 257.3mm, a decent sized box but nothing too massive. It also includes 3 USB 3.0 ports for expansion and 1 QuickCharge 3.0 port for fast phone charging. The idea being to keep your peripherals connected and simply plug in one box to your laptop when you get home from work, and boom everything is ready to go for gaming. Keep in mind the USB 3.0 ports will eat into your bandwidth for the GPU, meaning you could actually lower your framerate depending on what is plugged in.
Amp Box Mini
Now for the second device in the lineup, the Zotac Amp Box Mini, a slightly smaller version of the Amp Box. Measuring in at 230mm x 99mm x 183mm it’s actually quite a lot smaller, but keep in mind this means support for smaller GPUs. The Amp Box Mini supports up to 200mm length GPUs and has a 180w power supply, meaning 150w is your limit in terms of GPU. It also has 4 USB 3.0 ports, but they’re all USB 3.0 so no QuickCharge 3.0 on this unit.
Another feature Zotac has been bragging about is support for PCIe NVMe SSDs, a nice feature but lets not forget all eGPU enclosures support PCIe SSDs. Still it is a cool feature to have, and as we know other devices will actually work in them too, although they are not guaranteed.
No word on pricing for these units yet, but I’d imagine around $200 for the Amp Box Mini, and $300-$350 for the Amp Box, not bad considering the Razer Core is $500, but again that’s just a guess. Overall it looks like Zotac has a good option for users who want an eGPU enclosure, an the inclusion of QC 3.0 on the Amp Box is a great plus! All it comes down to now is price.