[Unboxing] ASUS ROG XG Mobile RTX 3080 eGPU Dock GC31S-004 (US$1,499 RRP)
Announced earlier this year, the ASUS ROG XG Mobile is on my list of eGPUs to review. Things didn't work out with ASUS contacts for a media sample so I kept checking online stores for availability. I was able to acquire the XG Mobile RTX 3080 and ROG Flow X13. They got delivered on Monday. It's a very expensive pairing of ultrabook + portable eGPU (more than $3,000 after taxes). Here are some unboxing photos and initial impression.
The bundle came in a large brown box that contains the ROG Flow X13 box, XG Mobile RTX 3080 box, and laptop + dock carrying cases. There's a shoulder strap as well as connecting hooks for the dock case to latch onto the laptop case. This is a fun idea for accessories.
Inside the two black ROG boxes are power cables, 100W USB-C power adapter, and manuals. All components were well protected. I laid everything out and quickly connected the XG Mobile to ROG Flow to make sure they worked. I also put XG Station 2 and XG Station Pro next to this combo for scale.
The XGm connector and cable are very beefy. It takes some getting used to because the cable is very short and the placement of port doesn't make the most sense. I would have preferred the opposite arrangement of power port and XGm cable.
The angled kickstand in the back of XG Mobile allows the unit to be placed vertically. However, due to the light weight and tiny plastic feet the XG Mobile would slide all over the place on a hard surface. On the other side of the kickstand is the intake vent cutout that spelled out ROG. Judging by the two tiny/short feet, this side is to be facedown when using the dock in horizontal mode.
I'm planning on connecting an RTX 3070 Ti FE through M.2 socket with ADT-Link R43SG adapter to compare performance. In order to do that, I have already clone the internal NVMe drive to a Samsung T7 USB-C drive. All benchmarks will be off the external USB-C drive to keep it consistent.
On the ROG Flow X13, the USB-C port next to XGm port can be used independently. I'm using the left USB-C port to connect power adapter/XG Mobile while the right USB-C connects to Samsung T7. Let me know if you have any questions on the ROG Flow X13 + XG Mobile RTX 3080.
Thats cheaper than a standalone 3080 in the UK right now...
@itsage did you see the new Sonnet enclosures announced recently?
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10
@eightarmedpet, This has an RTX 3080 Mobile/Laptop version so not the same performance as RTX 3080 Desktop but I hear you on pricing. Buying any graphics card at MSRP is a long journey. Somehow I lucked out this past month with RTX 3070 Ti FE [waiting 6 hours at Best Buy] and RX 6900 XT Reference [waited an hour at MicroCenter].
I heard about the DuoModo a couple years ago. It is more of a Thunderbolt expansion system rather than eGPU enclosure. I think it's late to market and there's very few people who would appreciate such a solution.
I've been using the ROG Flow X13 by itself in the past few days and it's a great ultrabook. Off the charger, the laptop runs in Silent mode automatically. It remains cool and quiet most of the time. Key travel is really nice compared to many newer 13-in ultrabooks. The casing texture feels nice to the touch, but gathers hand prints easily.
I'm not a fan of 2-in-1 laptops because the display portion tends to be heavier than it should. In the ROG Flow X13, the weight distribution and hinges are well-balanced so I don't mind it at all. I also got a portable 17-in monitor, ASUS XG17A to complete an on-the-go setup.
I got a C14 to C13 90-degree adapter for the power plug to make the XG Mobile connection cleaner. Another observation is that the ROG Flow X13 would only get 100W PD from the stock A20-100P1A AC adapter (as well as XG Mobile). When I tried with different USB-C charger I have, the laptop could only do 65W and there's a warning in Windows.
If you were wondering how this ASUS ROG Flow + XG Mobile RTX 3080 looks compared to other 13-in laptop + eGPU setups, here are Alienware 13 R3 + Alienware Graphics Amplifier + RTX 3070 Ti and 2020 13-in MacBook Pro + Razer Core V2 + Radeon Pro W5700.
Alienware 13 R3 is running Pop!_OS 21.04, ROG Flow X13 is running Windows 11, and Ice Lake MacBook Pro is running macOS 12. Notice how all three operating systems share a common bottom center dock.
The cables and connectors are very different between the three solutions. ASUS X Mobile combines the best of both USB-C and proprietary. Last but not least, all three enclosures got bright lights!
The weather was perfect in Minnesota today so I fitted the whole setup into the portable monitor carrying bag and climbed up the tree house. The only challenge was to run an extension cord out there (about 100 feet from the nearest outlet). One power cable was able to run the ROG XG Mobile + Flow X13 + X17A. 😀