Alienware Graphics Amplifier or Thunderbolt 3? eGPU Comparison
To find out which performs better in games for testing I'm going to be using the Alienware and 15 gaming laptop with AI 78758 CPU nvidia 1070 max q, graphics and 16 gig of memory running a dual channel as an Alienware laptop it's got a dedicated port on The back for the Alienware graphics amplifier, however, it's also got a Thunderbolt 3 port, meaning we've got two options here when it comes to external graphics, enclosures, aside from alien wears own graphics, amplifier for the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure I'm using the mantas Venus, which I've reviewed previously On the channel, let's briefly go over the differences between how these two work at the core they're, both the same in that you plug in a desktop PC, graphics card into the enclosure and connect a single cable from the enclosure to the laptop but that's. Basically, where the similarities end alien wears graphics, amplifier uses a proprietary cable, so it can only be used with an alien well up top a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure, on the other hand, uses a standard, USB type c, thunderbolt port, so it's compatible with a lot more laptops. As you may know, the Thunderbolt 3 is used for a lot of other things, including data transfer, displays signal and even as a power source, so it's a lot more versatile. As a result, Thunderbolt 3 can be used for more than just graphics. Take the mantas venus enclosure i've got here. For example, the enclosure itself has an Ethernet port, USB type, a ports and even space inside to mount a 2.
5 inch, SATA SSD or hard drive for extra storage, all of which becomes available by simply plugging your laptop in with a single cable. If your laptop charges over USB see like the Razer Blade stealth, for instance, then you don't even need to use the power brick. It will just get powered by the enclosure with the Thunderbolt 3 option. You'Ve also got the option of not using an external monitor and instead just using the laptop screen, but this comes at a performance cost and does not recommend it with the Alienware solution. You'D still have to plug your keyboard and mouse over USB Ethernet and power, brick in addition to their custom, cable, so over all Thunderbolt gives you more option. Using an external monitor with the amplifier is also the only option. As far as I'm aware, this flexibility comes at a cost, though the simplest way to think about it is that these additional features use up more bandwidth between the laptop and enclosure, meaning the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure won't perform quite as well in graphics, intensive tasks such as Gaming, when compared to the graphics amplifier, which is dedicated purely to graphics only additionally, some laptops only have two PCIe lanes have Thunderbolt available, while others have 4. So not only is the bandwidth shared with other things that can also vary between laptop, whereas the graphics, amplifier port has 4 dedicated lanes for PCIe 3, just for graphics. Only let's take a look at some gaming benchmarks to get an idea of what this difference actually looks.
Like I've tested a few games at all setting levels with different resolutions using my horas 20 ATT, I far cry 5 was tested with the built in benchmark and these are the results with the 1080p resolution. I'Ll explain the graph of it as there's. Quite a bit of data here the false setting levels tested are on the left, learn normal high and ultra at each setting level. I'Ve tested the Alienware m15 gaming laptop either by itself. So, with the 1070 max q, graphics shown in red with the mantas Venus, Thunderbolt, 3 enclosure and 2080 Ti shown in blue or the Alienware graphics, amplifier and 28 et is shown in green in this game. We can see that the graphics amplifier shown by the green bars is ahead of the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure in the blue bars at Ultra settings. The graphics amplifier is scoring 4.4 percent higher average frame rates, although both are a fair bit ahead of the laptops. 10. 70. Max Q, graphics with the mantas Venus getting 24 higher average fps and the graphics amplifier being 29 ahead. Unfortunately, at 1440p I haven't got results from the laptops: 10 70 max Q. So at this resolution, we'll just be looking at the differences purely between thunderbolt, 3 and graphics amplifier at Ultra settings. The amplifier is now getting 18 percent higher average frame rates compared to the Thunderbolt 3 solution and an 11 percent improvement to 1 ler next up I've tested fortnight using the replay feature at 1080p.
That was just a 2.7 percent improvement to average FPS with epic settings. In use, but we can see that at the lowest setting levels, the Thunderball 3 option was actually ahead and is ahead in all tests. When it comes to 1 lows in general, we expect higher graphical settings to get better results with the graphics amplifier. The more we can saturate that link and utilize the graphics, the bigger the difference we should see fortnight seems to be an example where it doesn't really help. Much but again both are performing a fair bit better compared to the laptops 1070 max q, graphics again at Ultra settings. The Thunderbolt 3 enclosure is getting 85 percent, higher average frame rate than the laptops, graphics and a 90 percent higher average frame rate with the amplifier. At 1440p again, I don't have 1070 max q results. However, at this high resolution we're seeing a bigger difference between the two enclosures at epic settings, the amplifier is now scoring 14 higher average FPS compared to the Thunderbolt 3 option. But this gap narrows at lower settings again because lower settings tend to be more CPU bound. So there's less difference, shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested using the built in benchmark at 1080p. We can see a huge difference between our three options at the lowest setting levels. The Thunderbolt 3 enclosure isn't actually scoring much better compared to the laptops 1070 max q. Graphics but then this goes further apart at the highest setting levels, which start to become more graphically intensive with the highest settings in use.
The amplifier was scoring 23 higher average frame rates over the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure, while the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure was still 28 ahead of the 10 70 max gear. Stepping up to 1440p, the amplifier is still a fair bit ahead of the Thunderbolt 3 option at highest settings. It'S now almost reaching 18 higher in terms of average fps, and then this is about the same with lowest settings in use as well. Pub G was tested using the replay feature and in most cases the Thunderbolt 3 option was coming out ahead of the amplifier. In particular, a 1080p with Ultra settings and use the amplifier was 4 percent below the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure, but again like before. Both are a fair bit above what the laptops 10 70 max Q is providing. The amplifier was 24 ahead at Ultra settings of the 10 70 max gear, while the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure was 30 ahead at 1440p. The tables are turned with the amplifier now ahead in all test, as this game is likely becoming more graphically demanding. With the high resolution at Ultra settings, the amplifier is scoring 8 higher average frame rates compared to the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. With a similar 7 improvement to 1, lower csgo was tested with the Aletta chol benchmark and is a good example of a title that doesn't really make a difference, which we pick in fact with all settings maxed the amplifier was actually around 4 slower than Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure, both external graphics options are way ahead of the laptops 1070 max q.
There, the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure is getting 103 percent higher average FPS with all settings maxed out, while the amplifier is 95 percent ahead of the 1070 max Q at 1440p. There'S. A lot of difference between the two, however, interestingly, the amplifier is getting worse in this game. At this resolution, perhaps as it seems to be a more CPU demanding game with the settings of maximum, the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure was getting 16 higher average FPS compared to the amplifier. This graph shows how much better, on average, the amplifier was performing compared to the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. With the five games tested at maximum settings, it was a bit of a mixed bag, with the Thunderbolt 3 option coming out ahead in csgo and pub G, while the amplifier was ahead in the rest and way ahead in shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1440p. The difference is a much larger. This time the amplifier was winning in four of the five games tested with double digit percentage, differences being far more common. There, interestingly, even was performance in the csgo test. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to test more games and, looking back now, I regret not testing 4k, but I ran out of time before having to send the m15 back either way. I think this selection is enough to show that it really varies by game setting and resolution, but in general we can say that the amplifier is performing better in more GPU demanding tasks as expected, whether or not that extra performance is worth it compared to the other Benefits of Thunderbolt 3 is something for you to decide when picking an external graphics enclosure.
Personally, I liked the idea of a thunderbolt enclosure, as you've got the option of using it with future non Alienware laptops and can also use it for more than just graphics. But if I actually had an Alienware laptop and only cared about boosting my game performance, then the amplifier would make more sense for up to date, pricing check the links in the description, as will change over time at the time of recording the Alienware graphics. Amplifier goes for around 189 US dollars, while the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure I'm using the mantas penis is around 340, but there are other cheaper Thunderbolt, 3 enclosures available at different price points with different features. There you've also got to take into account the price of the graphics card, so the overall solution can get pretty expensive, making this a fairly niche solution when compared to just having a more powerful PC and cheaper laptop the travel. Let me know what you guys would pick if you had an Alienware laptop, the graphics, amplifier or some other Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. And why and if you're new here don't forget to subscribe for future tech.