Palit's new external GPU enclosure is packing a custom GTX 1060 and cooling solution
The arrival of Thunderbolt 3 and native Intel support for eGPUs propelled the idea of external graphics solutions from a niche product that was shoehorned in or relied on a proprietary connector, into a more mainstream product that brought a genuine benefit to thin-and-light ultrabooks and laptops.
The SNPR is just 165 x 157 x 73 mm (6.50 x 6.16 x 2.87 inches), making it similar to two 3.5-inch hard drive enclosures stacked on top of each other but a little bit squarer. To achieve this size, Palit had to use a custom PCB GTX 1060 with 6 GB VRAM 1531/1746 MHz (base/boost) and cooling setup explicitly designed for the SNPR. The 230 W power supply was also removed from inside the enclosure and is instead an external power brick.
The connections are somewhat barebones with just a single port for each connector: power in, Thunderbolt 3, DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b, and DisplayPort 1.4. Although that is enough to run two external 4K displays at 60 Hz and routing the signal back to the internal laptop display is also possible. The Galax product page says "up to 15 W system charging," and we aren't sure if this means it only provides 15 W over the thunderbolt connection, or if it is rated to keep notebooks with a 15 W processor fully charged. The GTX 1060 has a power draw of around 120 W, so even once we allow for efficiency there should be enough headroom in the 230 W power supply to keep an ultrabook charged.
The SNPR External Graphics Enclosure will retail from EU€499 including tax (US$595), but the MSRP for North America unknown at the time of writing.