eGPU for Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS 15 isn’t a terrible gaming laptop. In fact, it comes with a dedicated GPU if you configure it from Dell, but that’s still not enough for more demanding PC games. This is when you’ll want to hook up an external GPU (eGPU) to the available Thunderbolt 3 port. We’d recommend the Razer Core X enclosure along with a GPU simply because it offers the best bang for your buck.
Rock-solid chassis with awesome GPU support
You can throw a powerful NVIDIA RTX GPU inside this enclosure, thanks to the internal 650W PSU. This amount of performance could totally transform the experience on the Dell XPS 15.
Who should buy this eGPU?
The NVIDIA GTX 1650 with its 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM is a decent dedicated mobile GPU. It’ll let you play some games and the like, but if you want to take your portable gaming experience to the next level, the Razer Core X with a desktop-class GPU is the right way to go.
Is it a good time to buy this eGPU?
The Razer Core X has been around for a whole so pricing looks good and there’s no imminent sign of a replacement model. There’s also a new Chroma-enabled version for $100 more, but you do get pretty flashing lights.
Reasons to buy
- Supports latest NVIDIA and AMD GPUs
- 650W PSU with 100W to charge the laptop
- Compact size
- Good value
- Durable chassis
Reasons not to buy
- No additional ports
- Limited color choice
Transforming the Dell XPS 15 into a gaming beast
The Razer Core X was first launched as a companion to the company’s Blade Stealth gaming notebook to complement the mediocre onboard GPU. What makes the Core X appealing to notebook owners is that it’s compatible with any Windows 10 laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 port.
The Core X was designed with gaming in mind.
Razer is a solid option for PC games, has provided the community with hardware for years — so we can expect that the teams know what they’re doing — and has a good record with eGPUs. The Razer Core X is a superb way to getting more out of your Dell XPS 15, allowing you to throw inside the enclosure any GPU of your choosing.
There is a drawback to the Core X, aside from the limited color choice. This enclosure doesn’t allow you to expand the connectivity of your laptop, but it does have a whopping 650W power supply, 100W of which is reserved to charge the XPS 15 while in use. It’s perhaps overkill, but it has enough overhead to support any modern graphics card at full load without breaking a sweat.
You will need a GPU to install inside the Razer Core X — as well as any other enclosure unless stated otherwise. We recommend either the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT or the vastly more expensive RTX 2080 Ti if you want the best possible GPU and have the money to spare.
Alternatives to the Razer Core X
We may believe the Razer Core X to be the best choice, but it’s not the only option available. Here are a few alternative recommendations for those on tighter budgets or wish to buy an enclosure with a GPU already pre-installed and ready to game on.
Ready Player One
An eGPU with an included RTX 2070
If you don’t have a spare graphics card to use, the AORUS Gaming Box is your all-in-one solution, with an NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB already pre-installed.
This is a better choice for those who aren’t comfortable with installing an expensive component into a box. This eGPU has everything you need already configured and ready to go. It may seem a little pricey, but the pre-installed RTX 2070 GPU alone is around $450, so it’s a good value overall.
For Tighter Budgets
A solid choice from a respected brand
Sapphire is better known for its third-party AMD GPUs, but this affordable box works with both AMD and NVIDIA cards. Just reemember to buy a GPU.
While this option may be more affordable on paper, Sapphire still provides you with a 500W PSU to keep both your chosen GPU and laptop powered (and charging) while you play. You also get a couple of regular USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet as a bonus.
The Gearbox is a tremendous value, but it’s a little smaller than some eGPUs, meaning longer graphics cards may not fit inside. It’s something to ensure you check before you buy against what you plan to use with it.
When considering an eGPU for your Dell XPS 15, you need to consider power delivery, styling, and price. The Razer Core X strikes a great balance between these factors, making it ideal for pairing up a capable desktop GPU to really provide some additional horsepower to your laptop.
If you do not already have a GPU ready to go and don’t fancy installing it into an enclosure yourself, the AORUS Gaming Box comes with a GPU already installed and ready to use. Simply plug it in, load up your favorite games and you’re set.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.
Richard Devine Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you’ll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming.
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