$2000 RTX 4090 external watercooled GPU dock has finally been tested — an 850W desktop video card that can run on almost any laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 port is what creatives should aspire to

The Gigabyte Aorus GV-N4090IXEB-24GD
(Image credit: Gigabyte)

Gigabyte’s latest plug-in Nvidia-powered GPU dock is a must-have for creative professionals who run high-intensity graphical workloads like video editing or AI-based jobs, but it’ll set you back a fair whack.

The Gigabyte Aorus GV-N4090IXEB-24GD, to give it its full name, is a GPU dock with a built-in Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU – one of the best graphics cards available today. It’s also supported with 24GB GDDR6X RAM. 

What’s surprising about this unit is how compact it is, despite weighting roughly 1.5kg and requiring an in-built 850W power supply, with dimensions of 189 x 302 x 172mm – making it a perfect desk companion.

Unboxing the Gigabyte Aorus GV-N4090IXEB-24GD

Beyond the gaming market, Gigabyte is pitching the $2,000 device squarely at creatives involved in video editing, 3D animation, photography, graphic design, and architectural visualization, as well as broadcasting. 

The GPU box includes a plethora of peripherals including Thunderbolt 3 support, meaning it’s certainly compatible with most of the best business laptops, and can give your device a serious graphical boost. 

Beyond the Thunderbolt USB-C port, the GPU box has another USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, alongside three DisplayPorts and one HDMI 2.1a port. This translates to an output of up to four displays concurrently, with a maximum 8K resolution

It also stays cool by taking advantage of the built-in cooling system, dubbed WATERFORCE, which the manufacturer describes as an all-round cooling system that looks after all the key components. Not only does it cool the GPU, but the VRAM and MOSFET are covered. This is to ensure a stable overclock and extended lifespan.

Testing by PC Watch, meanwhile, shows it’s a shade quicker than comparable GPUs at graphical workloads, but it’s clear users need to use a PCIe x 16 connection to take full advantage. The site tested a GPU box fitted with the RTX 4070 Ti and RTX 3090 GPUs. It found there’s barely a difference between these two, although the RTX 4090 trounces them both in a variety of measures. That said, at $2,000, it might be a shade more expensive than many are willing to pay. 

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Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Channel Editor (Technology), Live Science

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is the Technology Editor for Live Science. He has written for a variety of publications including ITPro, The Week Digital and ComputerActive. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, having previously held the role of features editor with ITPro. In his previous role, he oversaw the commissioning and publishing of long form in areas including AI, cyber security, cloud computing and digital transformation.