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External graphics docks could be the best way of saving money on GPUs

By midian182 · 30 replies
Mar 4, 2018
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  1. We’re living in strange times when it comes to building your own PC. Excessive demand from cryptominers means video card prices have risen to such high levels that buying a pre-built computer is now often cheaper than building your own. But there could be a way around the problem: external graphics enclosures.

    Tom’s Hardware reports that these external docks—the kind that come with video cards pre-installed—won't get you a GPU close to its MSRP, but they still offer savings over current retail prices.

    Enclosures such as Razer’s Core V2 are primarily aimed at lower-end laptops and AIO PCs with integrated graphics. Thanks to Thunderbolt 3, these boxes can boost graphical performance while offering a range of extra connectivity options. Most of them come without an included GPU, but Gigabyte has one for sale that can get you a top Nvidia card for less than what you’d currently pay if bought individually.

    The publication found that Gigabyte's Aorus GeForce Box with either a GTX 1080 or 1070 are selling on Newegg for $700 and $600, respectively. While that might not be pre-mining craze levels, it’s certainly better than the cheapest 1070 card on the site, which is almost $700. A single GTX 1080 on Newegg, meanwhile, will set you back around $780, meaning you’ll still save about $80 when buying the enclosure.

    Both of Gigabyte’s external docks come with smaller versions of Nvidia’s GPUs pre-installed. It’s easy to remove these cards and put them to use inside your own desktop system, leaving you with an empty external graphics enclosure that can be sold on—assuming you’re able to find a buyer.

    According to Newegg, the Aorus GeForce Box is still in stock. And much like what Nvidia promised to do with its GPUs, the retail site is limiting sales—in this instance, it’s one per customer—to stop miners buying up all the stock in bulk.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 528   +255

    Or if you really want a card that bad, do your homework, setup alerts at nowinstock and have your pick of whatever card you like.

    Or scalp em and make $100+ per card
  3. Whoever comes up with a thunderbolt 3 hub station for mining is going to make a killing.
  4. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,983   +3,472

    Couple of problems with that.

    1) Retail prices have been raised across the board. Even if you do manage to find a card in stock it's basically going to be at prices much higher than MSRP

    2) Nowinstock has about a 5 minute delay. You'd better be lucky to beat the scores of miners.

    You'd better scalp them local if that's what you want to do. Otherwise some miner on eBay is going to buy your card, swap out the serial sticker with one of his broken burnt out cards and return it to you as "defective/not as described".
    Theinsanegamer and psycros like this.
  5. Boilerhog146

    Boilerhog146 TS Evangelist Posts: 620   +217

    Are miners really that unscrupulous , though I wouldn't be the least bit surprised , by some of the comments I have read here ,I would have a hidden marking on anything I would sell on ebay ,just to prevent such a thing from happening anyway,Not just miners that would try to pull a stunt like that .I quit Ebay just because a friend got burned ,buying junk,he bought a 4870X2 and a PSU, from a guy in the U.S.
    the PSU was fine ,the 4870X2 artifact when it got gaming for an extended period of time.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,983   +3,472

    Your friend should have escalated the case to eBay. The money back guarantee is 30 days from the delivery date. Even if the buyer states multiple times in their listing "sold as-is" or "no returns" they have to take returns for products that arrive defective no matter what. The only exception to this rule is if they listed it as parts, which in that case your friend knew what they were getting into. I actually had to use this not that long ago where I bought a 1700X that was crashing the computer (it was only the processor that I had swapped out). eBay forced him to take the return even though the listing explicitly stated "no returns".

    Long story short, contact eBay when something goes wrong. They will usually fix the issue. There hasn't been a time when I've had a problem when eBay didn't fix it, and I've been through some crazy scam attempts.
  7. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 528   +255

    Most prices have risen yes, but not all. I recently scored a 1070 for $429 from best buy and a zotac 1080ti for $797. I think thats pretty close to MSRP. I used now in stock and would argue the delay, I didnt notice one...

    And Ebay is garbage these days, fees are high and the buyers are children or crooks. I sell on Amazon frequently, mainly flipping low priced Craigslist finds.
    psycros likes this.
  8. Boilerhog146

    Boilerhog146 TS Evangelist Posts: 620   +217

    was unfortunate,but he was working at the time and never got a chance to fully test the card until later ,which was too late to do anything about it.he was able to lower the speeds and use the card for some time after ,until he upgraded.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  9. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 528   +255

    Did some research on that card, sounds like it was just poorly designed and they ALL started to fail after a period of time. Many people reported one of the dies would regularily sit at 100*c+, thats doomed to fail. Waterblock would have been the only way to keep that bad boy alive.
  10. TexasBrit1959

    TexasBrit1959 TS Rookie

    Good luck with hoping E Bay will resolve it in the buyer's favor! As both a seller AND a buyer on that platform, I can tell you that they refer 90% of such complaints to their subsidiary, PayPal, (who undertook the online financial transaction), & who 90% of the time, regardless of the evidence, finds in favor of the seller!
  11. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,983   +3,472

    Amazon is having the same issue, only they actually allow Chinese sellers to pose knockoff products as the real thing and even co-mingle prime inventory.

    The reason you used "scored" is because it's an achievement and not something common.

    This is just plain false. eBay handles it's own claims. I find it hard to believe your statement that you are a buyer or a seller if you didn't know that.

    FYI PayPal hasn't been a subsidiary of eBay's for a long long time. In fact eBay is even moving to a different payment system as it's main payment processor. If you were a seller, it was ages ago before eBay separated from paypal.

    Also, it's not "luck" I'm hoping on. What I said above is based on experience. Obviously, I used it just last week.
  12. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Addict Posts: 229   +99

    Here in the U.K. If you look around you can get a decent 1080ti at msrp. I just managed to get one. Only costs a little bit more than these boxes but you get a better GPU and you’ve don’t waste money on a useless box.
  13. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,493   +1,295

    I think that's because Electricity costs more here, you can still make money mining here but takes a lot longer for return on investment so it's not so wide spread as it is in other countries.

    I guess being ripped off constantly sorta helped for once? :p
  14. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +894

    #1 Go on Ebay and buy a GPU.

    #2 Use a credit card and pay it off over time...is anyone really buying this stuff cash anymore?

    I was in Microcenter the other day. They have GTX 1080 and 1080TI for less than $1000. They also have 1070 and 1060. In the $300 - $600 range.

    You gotta pay to play.

    either you can just sit out or you can bite the bullet.

    When I bought my Titan X and my Titan Xp, I just used a credit card, got the points, and paid it off.

    What's the big deal?
  15. Boilerhog146

    Boilerhog146 TS Evangelist Posts: 620   +217

    I actually have 2 of those 4870X2 of my own that were in crossfirex for a while ,a sapphire and a HIS both bought new ,both still work fine ,though they are shelved. very hot running cards, have to crank up the fan speeds with software,

    when our dollar is on par with the U.S. dollar buying a new card isn't so bad .but we are at under 80 cents per now.not a good time.
  16. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,547   +1,767

    So your suggestion is to rack up interest payments for a GPU to play games on?

    That is simply plain irresponsible, and a bigger waste of money, given that credit card interest rates can be ridiculously high.

    Much better idea: just wait it out. There are a massive number of games available that dont need the latest in hardware, and the new generation is coming out soon. Eventually, the market for alt-coins will drop out from underneath it, or supply will finally rise up enough to meet demand.
  17. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 528   +255

    I use a card but immediately pay it off via cash. No way im carrying a balance on anything but my mortgage or car loan.
    stewi0001 likes this.
  18. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +894

    Where in my statement did I say: "carry a balance"???

    If people can't afford it then they need to work harder and make more money.
  19. Boilerhog146

    Boilerhog146 TS Evangelist Posts: 620   +217

    So what is the difference in using a card then paying it off immediately with cash and paying cash ,other than getting the points or aeroplan miles etc.and the insurance on certain purchases.depending on the card. not every body has a credit card.or wants one.especially the budget minded people,I used to have a couple back when sitting in a leghold trap was convenient , I can now use my regular debit card as a visa.which is convenient enough ,no interest.and I have worked hard enough thanks.
    senketsu likes this.
  20. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,493   +1,295

    Wait, are you the guy who buys iPhone's and runs a YouTube channel off it? Then claims to make thousands out of it?
    senketsu and Boilerhog146 like this.
  21. McMurdeR

    McMurdeR TS Addict Posts: 144   +115

    You'll find yourself playing with the tumbleweeds. And then they'll price you out too ;)
    senketsu likes this.
  22. Wdnemesis

    Wdnemesis TS Rookie

    Ok so basically the bottleneck comes from the cable transfer speed? I think external Graphics for both PCs and Laptops could be a good idea. I know though that before reading this article I had a feeling of bottleneck issues that come from having an external device. I am curious how much of a performance reduction actually happens? Test it in a motherboard with the same card then test the external one and compare the two side by side.
  23. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +894

    I seriously doubt that this bottleneck would be a huge issue for all but those that demand bleeding-edge performance.

    If you actually don't have the money to get a proper setup, and this is the best you can do...you probably won't notice.
  24. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 528   +255

    2% cashback (citi) is the difference. And I wasnt the one who told you to work harder...
  25. Gahl1k

    Gahl1k TS Rookie Posts: 17   +13

    "Lowly times these are."

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