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Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 in hands-on test: Does an external GPU via Thunderbolt case make sense?

Teaser
Destop-level gaming performance is certainly what many gamers who have sworn off the clunky tower want. The Mastercase EG200 accommodates full-length desktop graphics cards, supplies them with power and connects them to the laptop via Thunderbolt 3. Besides that, there are interesting extras like an additional hard drive bay, more USB ports or an integrated laptop holder. We check how a dGPU in the case performs against full-fledged desktop PCs.
Christian Hintze, 👁 Allen Ngo, Brian Burriston (translated by DeepL / Ninh Duy), 🇩🇪 🇳🇱 ...
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Turning the lame office box into a gaming monster - that would be it! While desktop PCs can be upgraded to the latest GPU generation relatively easily, this is not possible with laptops due to their construction, especially since their internal GPUs do not reach the performance of their desktop counterparts from the start.

So, how about an external GPU case that takes full-fledged desktop graphics cards, powers them, and connects them to the laptop via a fast line to help it achieve unprecedented gaming performance? Raise the curtain on the MasterCase EG200 from Cooler Master.

OK, the idea is anything but new. External GPU enclosures have been around for a long time. In the past, lame USB ports limited the transferable performance of an external solution. However, with the latest Thunderbolt 3 (TB 3), the theoretical data throughput rate has increased to an extent that makes external solutions attractive again. Also, while not every office laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 port yet, at least they are becoming more common.

About four years ago, we reviewed the Razer Core and this year the Mini-eGPU ROG XG Mobile and the Aorus Gaming Box were added. Today we want to see if anything has improved since the Razer Core from four years ago and what the MasterCase EG200 does differently or not.

Aorus Gaming Box GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Aorus Gaming Box GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Razer Core
Razer Core
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200

Specifications

  • integrated 550 W V-Gold series power supply (60 W for USB-C + 10 W HDD + 3x 4.5 W USB-A = 83.5 W; over 450 W free for the GPU)
  • GPU connection via Thunderbolt 3, JHL7440 controller
  • Hot-swap hard drive dock for HDDs/SSDs in 3.5 or 2.5 inches
  • Mac and PC compatible, Mac only AMD cards
  • Full size cards up to 330 x 51 x 156 mm, 9.7 l
  • Dedicated USB ports (3x USB-A 3.2 Gen1; 1x USB Micro-B 3.2 Gen 1), USB hub separate from Thunderbolt 3: maximum Thunderbolt bandwidth for GPU
  • Laptop stand/holder
  • MSRP of 349.99 Euros/~$420

Processing & GPU installation

The integrated power supply unit
The integrated power supply unit

The rather high weight is immediately noticed when unpacking the case, which is probably due to the sturdy metal design and the 550 W power supply. My kitchen scale, which usually weighs every laptop without any problems, was overtaxed ("err") with the MasterCase including the built-in GPU. A less accurate luggage scale came to 6.25 kg (~13.8 pounds, with RTX 3070)! Without the GPU, the case still weighs 5.2 kg (~11.5 lb), so it is really more suitable for stationary use.

As a graphics card, we use an MSI Ventus 3x GeForce RTX 3070 with triple fan design, so it has quite a considerable length. Of course, it is not included in the scope of delivery.

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The MSI RTX 3070 Ventus 3X
The MSI RTX 3070 Ventus 3X
The GPU
The GPU
Triple Fan Design
Triple Fan Design

The assembly is not particularly difficult, but it does require some screwing, for which you need a Phillips screwdriver. First, the side panels and then the lid have to be removed; they are each secured with two screws. When removing the lid, you have to take care that there is a fan inside, whose cable is connected to the circuit board. Thus, the connector has to be disconnected from the PCB first to be able to remove the lid completely.

Disconnect fan cable before removing cover
Disconnect fan cable before removing cover
Inside is the accessory pack
Inside is the accessory pack
Simple cable ties along the housing
Simple cable ties along the housing
The accessories
The accessories
A bit less space to plug in the 2nd PCIe connector underneath the power supply unit
A bit less space to plug in the 2nd PCIe connector underneath the power supply unit

Inside is an accessories pack with a power, a MicroB and a USB-C cable as well as an adapter (USB-A to -C), cable ties and two screws for the GPU bezel.Free cables are secured along the casing with simple cable ties.

After removing two metal rails, the case is exposed for inserting the GPU. Our MSI model is over 30 cm (~11.8 inches) long and still doesn't quite exhaust the case, but almost, maximum GPUs up to a length of 330 mm  (~13 in) fit inside. The GPU with its 2 slot bezels is carefully pressed into the PCI slot, snapped into place and the bezels are secured with screws. Then the PCIe connectors have to be connected. Although there are two 6+2 connectors on one cable, the manufacturer recommends using the second connector cable for cards with a TDP over 250 W, so that the consumption is divided among several rails on the power supply. Connecting the additional cable to the PSU is quite tricky, though, since the connectors for it are located underneath the PSU, but there is only minimal distance to the case bottom and thus little room for handling.

Another short rail...
Another short rail...
...and release a long rail
...and release a long rail
Connect PCIe connectors
Connect PCIe connectors
The GPU sits
The GPU sits

After inserting and connecting, the rails and the top and side parts are screwed back on. Here is a small warning: You should only tighten the screws with minimal force, preferably only hand-tight. It happened to me that a screw was screwed in too far. These have only a very short screw thread, followed by a metal pin without thread. The screw disappeared in the housing to the point that its thread was through and it sat in the hole only with the threadless metal pin. Stupidly, it could not be screwed back out. This happened because the metal spacer holes that promised stability quickly bent. So please tighten the screws only a little more than hand-tight.

Case with GPU from above
Case with GPU from above
The thin spacer plate becomes a problem when it bends and the screw can be screwed in further than it should be
The thin spacer plate becomes a problem when it bends and the screw can be screwed in further than it should be

Setup & test system

Thunderbolt cable too short
Thunderbolt cable too short

To keep the performance loss to a minimum, the GPU in the MasterCase is best connected directly to an external monitor. This was not a problem, but we subsequently had problems with the reactivated internal GPU not wanting to control our external monitor, which was the case in both test laptops. New Nvidia drivers or a temporary uninstallation of the iGPU in the device manager helped here.

The case is connected to the laptop via the included Thunderbolt cable. However, this is much too short! With a cable length of 50 cm (~20 in), the case has to be placed directly next to the laptop and can't be banished to the bottom of the desk, for example. You might have to buy a longer cable yourself, but the short cable should suffice for the first tests.

At first start, Windows sets up the Thunderbolt device again, and for security the internal dGPU can also be disabled, if one is available. The setup went smoothly and only a short time later the screen content was displayed correctly.

We had two test devices at the same time: One was an older and much used Dell Alienware 13 R3 with Core i5-6300HQ and GTX 1060 (which has of course been deactivated). The second test device is an Aorus 15G (2020) with Core i7-10875H and RTX 2070 Super Max-Q (also disabled for the test).

Alienware 13 R3
Alienware 13 R3
Aorus 15G
Aorus 15G

Benchmarks

3DMark benchmarks

In the synthetic tests, the older Alienware does less well in the CPU-focused areas as well as physics and overall scores, as expected. Strangely, these results are even lower with a MasterCase connected than under normal circumstances. It is all the more astonishing that the Alienware not only benefits the most from the MasterCase in the graphics scores, but also often trumps the much newer models, allegedly even the new Aorus with an internal RTX 3070. The only exception here is the Cloud Gate test.

The situation is different for the Aorus 15G with RTX 2070. Regardless of whether the MasterCase with RTX 3070 is connected or not, the scores are almost on par in all areas. The laptop has a lead of about 4 to 5 percent across all tests without the MasterCase. The exception is again the graphics score in the Time Spy test in WQHD resolution (2,560x1,440), where the Aorus with MasterCase scores significantly better than the "pure" Aorus. Thus, we can state that the MasterCase with RTX 3070 is on par with an RTX 2070 here. However, the results in the synthetic tests are not really consistent.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance
Aorus 15G XC
25839 Points ∼100% +62%
Aorus 15G XB
23892 Points ∼92% +49%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
22686 Points ∼88% +42%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
15985 Points ∼62%
Alienware 13 R3
12319 Points ∼48% -23%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
34102 Points ∼100%
Aorus 15G XC
32623 Points ∼96% -4%
Aorus 15G XB
27715 Points ∼81% -19%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
26812 Points ∼79% -21%
Alienware 13 R3
14275 Points ∼42% -58%
1280x720 Performance Physics
Aorus 15G XB
16423 Points ∼100% +173%
Aorus 15G XC
16122 Points ∼98% +168%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
15538 Points ∼95% +159%
Alienware 13 R3
8833 Points ∼54% +47%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
6007 Points ∼37%
1280x720 Performance Combined
Aorus 15G XC
15610 Points ∼100% +143%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
15498 Points ∼99% +142%
Alienware 13 R3
8582 Points ∼55% +34%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
6413 Points ∼41%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Score
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
10704 Points ∼100% +32%
Aorus 15G XC
9408 Points ∼88% +16%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
8113 Points ∼76%
Aorus 15G XB
7590 Points ∼71% -6%
Alienware 13 R3
3630 Points ∼34% -55%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
11996 Points ∼100%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
11043 Points ∼92% -8%
Aorus 15G XC
9448 Points ∼79% -21%
Aorus 15G XB
7343 Points ∼61% -39%
Alienware 13 R3
3574 Points ∼30% -70%
2560x1440 Time Spy CPU
Aorus 15G XB
9383 Points ∼100% +228%
Aorus 15G XC
9193 Points ∼98% +221%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
9120 Points ∼97% +219%
Alienware 13 R3
3988 Points ∼43% +39%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
2863 Points ∼31%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Aorus 15G XC
20447 Points ∼100% +45%
Aorus 15G XB
18883 Points ∼92% +34%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
18431 Points ∼90% +31%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
14069 Points ∼69%
Alienware 13 R3
9584 Points ∼47% -32%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
25560 Points ∼100%
Aorus 15G XC
24648 Points ∼96% -4%
Aorus 15G XB
21150 Points ∼83% -17%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
20357 Points ∼80% -20%
Alienware 13 R3
11323 Points ∼44% -56%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics
Aorus 15G XB
22401 Points ∼100% +265%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
21833 Points ∼97% +255%
Aorus 15G XC
20691 Points ∼92% +237%
Alienware 13 R3
10215 Points ∼46% +66%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
6143 Points ∼27%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score
Aorus 15G XC
50373 Points ∼100% +195%
Aorus 15G XB
49906 Points ∼99% +192%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
44150 Points ∼88% +158%
Alienware 13 R3
21924 Points ∼44% +28%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
17089 Points ∼34%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Aorus 15G XC
140896 Points ∼100% +30%
Aorus 15G XB
126747 Points ∼90% +17%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
108456 Points ∼77%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
89061 Points ∼63% -18%
Alienware 13 R3
54974 Points ∼39% -49%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics
Aorus 15G XB
15986 Points ∼100% +269%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
15968 Points ∼100% +269%
Aorus 15G XC
15506 Points ∼97% +258%
Alienware 13 R3
7063 Points ∼44% +63%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
4328 Points ∼27%

Legend

 
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3 Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
 
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G Intel Core i7-10875H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
 
Alienware 13 R3 Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
 
Aorus 15G XB Intel Core i7-10875H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
 
Aorus 15G XC Intel Core i7-10870H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, ESR512GTLCG-EAC-4

Gaming benchmarks

In the practical gaming tests, the results vary greatly depending on the game. While the internal RTX 2070 and RTX 3070 have clear advantages over the MasterCase variant with RTX 3070 in Witcher 3, the MasterCase can match the laptop RTX 3070 in Dota 2 Reborn, and the eGPU even overtakes the iGPU in X-Plane 11.11.

The old Alienware is clearly outperformed by the other models in the games even with MasterCase. In Doom and Witcher 3, the MasterCase Alienware is clearly ahead of the original Alienware, and the differences tend to increase in higher resolutions and details. In Dota 2 Reborn and X-Plane 11.11, the Alienware with iGPU is again ahead, the MasterCase is only behind it. The results in the gaming tests also differ depending on the game.

Overall, all systems can run reasonably up-to-date games in Full HD and maximum details smoothly. However, not even the older Alienware with GTX 1060 clearly benefits from the MasterCase with RTX 3070 in all games. However, the MasterCase with RTX 3070 tends to outperform the internal GTX 1060 in high resolutions and details.

The Witcher 3
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (264 - 672, n=7)
364 fps ∼100% +136%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (154 - 548, n=6)
354 fps ∼97% +130%
Aorus 15G XB
323.7 fps ∼89% +110%
Aorus 15G XC
264.1 fps ∼73% +71%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
196.8 fps ∼54% +28%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile (130 - 207, n=17)
177 fps ∼49% +15%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
154 fps ∼42%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (128 - 449, n=6)
291 fps ∼100% +106%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (180 - 298, n=7)
245 fps ∼84% +74%
Aorus 15G XC
243 fps ∼84% +72%
Aorus 15G XB
232 fps ∼80% +64%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
141.2 fps ∼49%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
128.2 fps ∼44% -9%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile (91.7 - 139, n=16)
126 fps ∼43% -11%
1920x1080 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (180 - 197, n=3)
188 fps ∼100% +41%
Aorus 15G XC
187.3 fps ∼100% +41%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (112 - 290, n=3)
178 fps ∼95% +34%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
133.3 fps ∼71%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
112.1 fps ∼60% -16%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (100 - 244, n=7)
192 fps ∼100% +58%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (126 - 207, n=9)
164 fps ∼85% +35%
Aorus 15G XB
136.2 fps ∼71% +12%
Aorus 15G XC
133.5 fps ∼70% +10%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
121.4 fps ∼63%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
100 fps ∼52% -18%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile (52.6 - 80.6, n=49)
68 fps ∼35% -44%
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (52.8 - 123, n=6)
102 fps ∼100% +45%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (73.5 - 109, n=15)
93.3 fps ∼91% +33%
Aorus 15G XC
92.3 (74min) fps ∼90% +31%
Aorus 15G XB
75.5 (63min) fps ∼74% +7%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
70.4 fps ∼69%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
52.8 fps ∼52% -25%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile (24 - 42.3, n=60)
38.6 fps ∼38% -45%
Doom
1280x720 Low Preset
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
171 fps ∼100% +26%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (136 - 171, n=2)
153 fps ∼89% +13%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile (121 - 155, n=3)
136 fps ∼80% 0%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
135.5 fps ∼79%
1366x768 Medium Preset
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
160 fps ∼100% +19%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (135 - 160, n=2)
148 fps ∼93% +10%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
135 fps ∼84%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile (116 - 146, n=3)
129 fps ∼81% -4%
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
159 fps ∼100% +22%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (130 - 159, n=2)
145 fps ∼91% +12%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
130 fps ∼82%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile (72.3 - 110, n=3)
96.5 fps ∼61% -26%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
155 fps ∼100% +31%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (118 - 155, n=2)
137 fps ∼88% +16%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
118 fps ∼76%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile (68.6 - 102, n=6)
91.5 fps ∼59% -22%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
153 fps ∼100% +31%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (117 - 153, n=2)
135 fps ∼88% +15%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
117 fps ∼76%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile (66 - 103, n=17)
90.5 fps ∼59% -23%
Dota 2 Reborn
1280x720 min (0/3) fastest
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (108 - 171, n=5)
151 fps ∼100% +40%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
150.5 (130.2min) fps ∼100% +40%
Aorus 15G XC
150 (123.3min) fps ∼99% +39%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (127 - 156, n=10)
144 fps ∼95% +34%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
107.8 (93min) fps ∼71%
1366x768 med (1/3)
Aorus 15G XC
134 (114.5min) fps ∼100% +35%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (99.2 - 157, n=5)
133 fps ∼99% +34%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (116 - 142, n=10)
132 fps ∼99% +33%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
125.3 (100min) fps ∼94% +26%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
99.15 (86.5min) fps ∼74%
1920x1080 high (2/3)
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (96.1 - 154, n=5)
128 fps ∼100% +33%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (107 - 141, n=11)
124 fps ∼97% +29%
Aorus 15G XC
122 (104.6min) fps ∼95% +27%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
116.8 (95.9min) fps ∼91% +22%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
96.1 (83.9min) fps ∼75%
1920x1080 ultra (3/3) best looking
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (92.1 - 136, n=5)
119 fps ∼100% +29%
Aorus 15G XC
118 (100.8min) fps ∼99% +28%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
118 fps ∼99% +28%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (103 - 135, n=11)
118 fps ∼99% +28%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
107.1 (84.9min) fps ∼90% +16%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
92.1 (80.2min) fps ∼77%
X-Plane 11.11
1280x720 low (fps_test=1)
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
121 fps ∼100% +103%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (59.7 - 143, n=5)
118 fps ∼98% +98%
Aorus 15G XC
108 fps ∼89% +81%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (89.1 - 124, n=11)
107 fps ∼88% +79%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
96 fps ∼79% +61%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
59.7 fps ∼49%
1920x1080 med (fps_test=2)
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
106 fps ∼100% +91%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (55.4 - 123, n=5)
102 fps ∼96% +84%
Aorus 15G XC
94.7 fps ∼89% +71%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (73.4 - 111, n=11)
93.6 fps ∼88% +69%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
82.1 fps ∼77% +48%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
55.4 fps ∼52%
1920x1080 high (fps_test=3)
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G
88 fps ∼100% +64%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (53.7 - 95.4, n=5)
84.7 fps ∼96% +58%
Aorus 15G XC
79.3 fps ∼90% +48%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (63.3 - 91.4, n=11)
77.8 fps ∼88% +45%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
70.4 fps ∼80% +31%
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3
53.7 fps ∼61%

Legend

 
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Alienware 13 R3 Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
 
Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 RTX 3070 Aorus 15G Intel Core i7-10875H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
 
Alienware 13 R3 Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
 
Aorus 15G XB Intel Core i7-10875H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
 
Aorus 15G XC Intel Core i7-10870H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, ESR512GTLCG-EAC-4

Verdict

The MasterCase EG200, provided by Cooler Master.
The MasterCase EG200, provided by Cooler Master.

We compared two designated gaming laptops with the MasterCase, which is perhaps not entirely fair. On the positive side, we were able to play reasonably up-to-date games in Full HD with maximum details on both laptops with the eGPU. Office machines with a Thunderbolt port should thus benefit greatly from the MasterCase, depending on the GPU used. Owners of laptops with outdated GPUs can also retrain their non-gaming systems to become gamers with the MasterCase.

Of course, the performance of the RTX 3070 in the MasterCase EG200 cannot be compared to the performance in a desktop PC via Thunderbolt. Overall, comparisons are extremely difficult; each game and application obviously reacts differently to the eGPU connected via Thunderbolt. In some cases, the RTX 3070 used in this way cannot even beat a GTX 1060 Mobile, in other cases it even reaches the performance of a desktop RTX 3070 (X-Plane). However, office laptops or notebooks with older GPUs below the GTX 1000 series should clearly benefit from the MasterCase, depending on the installed GPU.

Last but not least, the undertaking is not quite inexpensive. You pay about 350 Euros (~$420) for the MasterCase EG200, plus the price for a decent GPU. In our case, the RTX 3070 used costs 529 Euros (~$635, RRP). However, you do not get the constant performance of an RTX 3070 for around 880 Euros (~$1057) depending on the application, but a very fluctuating performance.

The MasterCase EG200 is practical for making 3D-weak laptops gaming-capable. However, the project is very expensive in view of the large performance fluctuations, and the price-performance ratio is rather insufficient. The MasterCase tries to mitigate this with extra features like hot-swap HDD/SSD and more.

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Christian Hintze
Editor of the original article: Christian Hintze - Managing Editor - 1617 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
A C64 marked my entry into the world of PCs. I spent my student internship in the repair department of a computer shop and at the end of the day I was allowed to assemble my own 486 PC from “workshop remnants”. As a result of this, I later studied computer science at the Humboldt University in Berlin, with psychology also being added to my studies. After my first job as a research assistant at the university, I went to London for a year and worked for Sega in computer game translation quality assurance. This included working on games such as Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and Company of Heroes. I have been writing for Notebookcheck since 2017.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 in hands-on test: Does an external GPU via Thunderbolt case make sense?
Christian Hintze, 2021-05- 5 (Update: 2021-05- 5)