Is an External Graphics Card Worth It in 2024? Insights on the Sparkle TBX-750FA-V2

In the quest for lighter, more portable laptops, one constant challenge remains: the inability to upgrade the graphics card. However, innovations such as Intel‘s Thunderbolt technology have paved the way for external graphics cards, revolutionizing gaming and content creation on the go.

A prime example of this advancement is the Sparkle TBX-750FA-V2, which supports graphics cards as powerful as the NVIDIA RTX 4090.


What is an External Graphics Card?

An external graphics card, or eGPU, is essentially a chassis that houses a standard desktop graphics card. It connects to a laptop via Thunderbolt, significantly boosting the laptop’s graphics processing capability. This setup is ideal for demanding tasks like high-end gaming or professional video editing.

The Evolution of eGPUs

Despite their potential, eGPUs have struggled to gain widespread popularity. Originally launched with much fanfare, these devices have been hindered by high costs. An eGPU setup not only requires the graphics card itself but also a specialized chassis with a robust power supply, making it an expensive investment.

Spotlight on Sparkle TBX-750FA-V2

Sparkle’s latest offering, the TBX-750FA-V2, is designed specifically for high-performance gaming. It includes a 750-watt power supply capable of delivering up to 500 watts directly to the graphics card. This chassis can accommodate graphics cards up to 346 mm in length, 170 mm in width, and 77 mm in thickness. For those who may not want to install a graphics card, it also supports PCIe SSDs.

Connectivity-wise, the eGPU links to laptops via Thunderbolt 3, ensuring fast data transfer rates essential for optimal performance. Additional features include two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a Gigabit LAN port, and a USB Power Delivery port capable of charging laptops up to 85 watts.

Price and Availability

Set to hit the shelves on April 19, the Sparkle TBX-750FA-V2 will be priced at $350, excluding the cost of the graphics card. While this may seem steep, it is a worthwhile investment for those seeking desktop-level performance in a portable setup.

Is an eGPU Worth It in 2024?

The utility of eGPUs today is debatable. When they first emerged around 2015, few laptops featured the necessary Thunderbolt support, and those that did were already equipped with decent graphics cards. The situation hasn’t changed much; eGPUs remain a niche product due to their high cost and the inconvenience of transporting a heavy, bulky unit.

For many, it might be more economical and practical to invest in a new laptop rather than an eGPU. However, for users who need maximum graphics performance without sacrificing portability, an eGPU like the Sparkle TBX-750FA-V2 offers a compelling, albeit niche, solution.