eGPU enclosure with USB/ethernet or 2 separate docks (one eGPU and one for USB/ethernet)?

I’ve placed my order for a 12th gen DIY i7-1280P and was looking for an eGPU dock to get.

I don’t know what to pick between the Razer Core X and Razer Core Chroma. The main differences (ignoring RGB) is that the Core X only has the ports of the GPU, no USB/ethernet ports available, so I will need to either use other ports of my laptop for external hard drive, mouse & keyboard, or get an eGPU dock that has other ports as well.

The Chroma variant has a second thunderbolt controller inside used specifically for USB/ethernet. I’ve also read that when using an eGPU with only one controller for both the GPU and USB/ethernet, depending on the workload, you’ll get input lag.

Now my question is, does it really matter if the eGPU dock has 2 controllers inside if they’re both connected to one controller of the Framework laptop? I’ve read that the laptop has 2 controllers, one for each side. 2 ports on left have one controller, 2 ports on right have one controller.

Should I spend more money on an eGPU with 2 controllers so I hook everything up to the eGPU dock and leave 3 ports free on my laptop? Or should I get a cheaper eGPU dock with only GPU ports and get a separate Thunderbolt hub for mouse, keyboard, ethernet, external hard drive?

That’s more a personal preference really. I got myself an eGPU dock that does everything so I only have to ever plug 1 cable into my laptop when I dock it, the added bonus is that everything I attach is USB (including external speakers) so there is only 2 wall outlets used as well (1 for monitor and 1 for eGPU)… I am a huge fan of less wires. As for performance using only 1 controller, I have never noticed any kind of input lag or slow downs while playing high performance games at the same time as streaming LTT content on the laptop display :stuck_out_tongue: !

BTW, the eGPU I use is the Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Box 750ex … I prefer it because it never needs additional software installed on your computer and is just simple plug and play… plus I have had tons of bad luck with Razer products and so I avoid them like the plague.

I highly recommend the eg200, you don’t get a single cable experience but you do get full bandwidth for the GPU and you have ports for peripherals. I use a USB to ethernet adapter and have space for wireless keyboard and mouse. Bonus, it comes with space for a hard drive/ssd.

Get a seperate hub.

I have the Core X chroma and was sorely disappointed by the USB ports (and ethernet port).
Even after installing a specific driver version to get them halfway working, you CANNOT USE HUBS, and some devices will not work. Random stutters and disconnects are something you might have to get used to.
Sadly this applies to all eGPU enclosures with USB ports (yes, also with 2 TB3 controllers such as the Core X Chroma). The GPU TB3 controller has a bandwidth priority, and the second TB3 controller for the USB ports will “request” bandwidth whenever needed. And it just doesnt work that seamlessly.

That being said, the USB ports dont make the eGPU dock any worse if you dont use them.

Instead of a seperate TB3 dock, I’d suggest a standard USB 3 hub (preferably with USB C cable). You may find one with a built in ethernet controller but you can use a USB ethernet dongle on the hub too.
Unless youre planning to use a super fast external SSD, this is just as good as a second TB dock and a whole lot cheaper.

Oh and one thing about the Razer Core: When plugged into your Laptop, the PSU fan will always be on because it has to supply PD power and doesnt have a semi passive mode. Other enclosures have a PSU with the semi passive functionality. Its not loud but its audible and might bother you.

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Not the eg200, it uses a separate cable for the USB ports so no bandwidth sharing of any kind between the eGPU and USB. I will admit the ports are somewhat bandwidth constrained since the all ports (including the SSD/HDD bay) share a 5Gb/s connection but in practice I don’t think this makes much difference unless all ports require high throughput. Ethernet plus wireless mouse/keyboard shouldn’t break 5Gb/s.