If you happen to be an owner of an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 but you’re using it as an eGPU, you’ve probably noticed that the card’s performance in this configuration is somewhat lacking. Fret not, your card is not the issue here: it’s the enclosure that’s the problem.
The findings were apparently made based on user OmegaMalkior, on the forum, aptly named eGPU, and the testing of their personal RTX 4090 as an eGPU. As for the rest of the components, the laptop they used was an ASUS Zenbook 14X Space Edition, a laptop that we reviewed last year. In this case, their model of the laptop housed the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H, a CPU with 14-cores (six P-Cores, eight E-Cores), 20-threads, with the ability to turbo all the way to 5GHz. Other specifications of the laptop include 32GB LPDDR5-4800 RAM and a 1TB NVMe Gen4 SSD.
As for the eGPU enclosure used to house the RTX 4090 – we should have mentioned earlier that the card is a Founders Edition model – OmegaMalkior stuck the card inside a Razer Core X, meaning that the external machine uses Thunderbolt 3. It is coupled with a Corsair SF750 PSU. For output, the whole setup was connected to a Dell Alienware AW3423DW, which is an ultrawide 175Hz, QD-QLED WQHD gaming monitor.
At the resolution, and with that setup, OmegaMalkior found that the RTX 4090 in this configuration could lose as much as 20% of its overall performance when used as an eGPU. Adding on to that, they had also overclocked the GPU by approximately 250MHz, as well as bumped up its memory speeds by 1500MHz and its power limit by 133%.
One primary reason for the RTX 4090’s dip in performance is the eGPU itself. While lauded for its capabilities and speed in its time, Thunderbolt 3 and its capabilities are are now slow in comparison. Today, both Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 offer significantly higher bitrate and bandwidth speeds. However, as the situation stands, there currently are no eGPU enclosures that support either standard.
One other issue with the whole eGPU setup is just opulent it is. Stand alone, the RTX 4090 already costs anywhere between RM8000 and RM1000 on average. Factor in the Razer Core X’s US$400 (~RM1698) price tag, and you may as well start considering getting a high-end, powerhouse gaming laptop.
(Source: eGPU, Videocardz)
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