PowerColor has introduced its first enclosure for external graphics cards, the Devil Box. The accessory enables gamers to connect desktop video cards to AIO, SFF or laptop PCs using the Thunderbolt 3 interface and comes with its own power supply. The Devil Box will be a limited edition product compatible with select graphics cards (due to driver and physical limitations) and, like other external GPU chassis we've seen thus far, is priced as a premium product. Nonetheless, for the time being, this box will be among a few TB3-based external enclosures capable of running desktop GPUs.

The PowerColor Devil Box supports both NVIDIA and AMD (XConnect) GPUs, and resembles Razer’s Core eGFX enclosure introduced earlier this year. The two boxes have slightly different dimensions, but both can accommodate a qualified double-wide PCIe x16 video card (which will operate in PCIe x4 mode) that is up to 12.2”/310 mm long. The design of the Devil Box (as well as the Core) allows operation of graphics adapters with different cooling systems (blower, open air), except hybrid (e.g., Radeon Fury X, Radeon R9 295X2) due to space constraints. To feed the GPUs, the Devil Box incorporates a 500 W PSU and the maximum GPU power draw is rated at 375 W (exactly the specs of the Core).

Next up is connectivity and this is where PowerColor’s Devil Box has an edge over Razer’s Core. Both enclosures support additional USB 3.0 receptacles to connect peripherals and a GbE port to enable high-speed wired Internet on ultra-thin laptops that do not feature GbE. However, the product from PowerColor can also host a 2.5” HDD or SSD (I suspect with the help of a USB-to-SATA bridge, to simplify the process), thus expanding storage capabilities of the host system.

PowerColor Devil Box Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Chassis Specifications
Max Video Card Size Double-Wide, 12.2" Long
(310 × 152 × 44 mm)
Max Video Card Power 375 W
Connectivity 1 × Thunderblot 3 (40 Gbps) port to connect to host PCs and charge them
4 × USB 3.0 Type-A
1 × USB 3.0 Type-C
1 × SATA 6 Gbps
1 × Gigabit Ethernet
Chassis Size 6.77 × 15.74 × 9.52 inches
(172 × 400 × 242 mm)
Internal PSU 500 W
System Requirements Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Certified PC
Thundebolt 3 w/Active Cable (included)
Windows 10
Shipping Date October 2016
Price $379, €419
Retailers 1st Wave U.S.: http://www.newegg.com
Germany: http://www.mindfactory.de/
U.K.: https://www.overclockers.co.uk/
China: https://www.jd.com/
2nd Wave Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/
 Singapore: http://www.banleong.com/

When it comes to compatibility, PowerColor lists the latest AMD Radeon RX 400-series as well as NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 10-series graphics adapters in addition to numerous previous-gen products. We cannot verify whether all of the GPUs listed by the manufacturer support plug’n’play properly, but they are guaranteed to work inside the Devil Box.

PowerColor Devil Box Video Card Compatibility List
AMD NVIDIA
Radeon RX 480 GeForce GTX 1080
Radeon RX 470 GeForce GTX 1070
Radeon RX 460 GeForce GTX 1060
Radeon R9 Fury GeForce GTX Titan X
Radeon R9 Nano GeForce GTX 980 Ti
Radeon R9 300 Series GeForce GTX 980
Radeon R9 290X GeForce GTX 970
Radeon R9 290 GeForce GTX 960
Radeon R9 285 GeForce GTX 950
  GeForce GTX 750/750 Ti

While the whole external GPU idea seems very plausible because all-in-one, small form-factor and mobile PCs are gaining popularity among gamers, eGFX chassis are still not mainstream. This is not exactly surprising given the fact that the eGFX hardware (Thunderbolt 3 with v16 or newer firmware) and software (Windows 10 with updates, drivers) were finalized only months ago and far not all PCs can properly support external graphics adapters. As a result, being aware of limited demand (because far not all TB3-enabled laptops are eGFX-certified), Power Color naturally does not want to produce a lot of Devil Boxes, which is why the enclosures will be available from select retailers and in select countries (see the table).

A good news is that PowerColor’s Devil Box will be more affordable than Razer’s Core and will sell for $379 or €419, depending on the market. The price of the enclosure is still rather high, but none the less a good improvement over where the Razer Core launched earlier this year.

Source: PowerColor

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  • Eletriarnation - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    If Apple comes out with a Macbook Pro that supports TB3 maybe. Right now they're all TB2, but we'll see what they show us tomorrow. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    "So this isn't a device to let you connect to the laptop and play on the laptop screen? You'd need to connect to an external monitor?"
    As far as I read about it when the Razer Core was introduced, it depends on the laptop implementation. The Core can connect to a Stealth and feed the image back to the internal laptop display, no need to attach external monitors.
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    Besides the previously discussed stupid looks and poor functional design decisions, it's too bad these things are still niche products. Some competition would do the pricing some good. After all, there's no reason some cheap, bent sheet metal, a controller board with TB hardware and a PCIe slot, and a 500W PSU should retail for $380. You can buy a much larger desktop PC case with essentially the same components, materials, design requirements, and whatnot with a power supply for $50. The only difference is that any given desktop case is forced to compete with a variety of alternative products from a large number of manufacturers in a cost-sensitive context. Reply
  • Ej24 - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    Glad to see power color moving the price down. I don't see how these are so expensive. Are they not just usb to pcie adapters in a box with a cheap psu? Is there even any complex compute or controllers housed in there? It seems a lot of what you're paying for is the Thunderbolt licensing and licensing of other IP like USB and hdmi etc Reply
  • rocky12345 - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    It looks ok but as others have stated the logo needs to go and while we are at it being able to select different colors would be nice as well unless I missed that in the above write somewhere. Reply
  • DanaGoyette - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    Another problem with these devices: no daisy-chaining output. What if I want to attach more devices after it? Reply
  • Toadster - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    can you hook up a Xeon Phi to do parallel compute experiments as well? Reply
  • negusp - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    I just want a frickin TB3 controller that interfaces a PCI-E port with a power connector and possibly a cheap-ass PSU for $150 at most. I don't care about a stupidly stylized grey box with a jacked up $380 price tag. A cardboard box would even work as an enclosure. Reply
  • lmcd - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    Razer should thank them for this. Just proves that Core is worth the price. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Monday, October 24, 2016 - link

    We can build a decent system without a graphics card at this price. I wonder if Thunderbolt 3 is possible if I am going to build one. Reply

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