PowerColor is launching a new version of its external graphics enclosure, one that sports a more conservative design compared to its aggressive looking Devil Box. Functionally, it’s not a vastly different product, though the changes do extend beneath the surface.
The new version is now called Gaming Station. It still features an 80 Plus Gold power supply, but can provide up to 550W, up from 500W in the Devil Box. That’s not exactly a major bump in wattage, though depending on the price, the added headroom for future high-performance graphics cards is nice to have.
PowerColor also swapped out the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port for another USB 3.0 Type-A port, so now there are five total. It also has a Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) port with power delivery for charging compatible laptops up to 87W, and a GbE LAN port.
There is wide range of graphics card that gamers can shove inside the Gaming Station, given the available power. That said, there is no mention of it supporting AMD’s newest Radeon RX Vega 56 and Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics cards. Officially, compatibility does not extend beyond the Radeon RX 500 series.
It also supports Nvidia’s graphics cards, up through the GeForce GTX 10 series. There is enough power here to run a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or Titan Xp, both of which are listed as being compatible on the Gaming Station’s product page.
The idea behind an external graphics enclosure is that you can add desktop-class gaming performance to a lower power system, such as an ultrabook with integrated graphics or a mini PC like the NUC. There is a performance penalty from tapping into a discrete GPU through Thunderbolt, but depending on the card, performance should still come out significantly higher than integrated graphics.
PowerColor did not say when its Gaming Station will be released or for how much. As a point of reference, the Devil Box is selling $300 on Newegg, with a $50 mail-in-rebate bringing the cost down to $250. Bear in mind that you have to provide your own graphics card.