[Unboxing] Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosure
 
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[Unboxing] Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosure  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

A year ago, I received a prototype eGPU enclosure from Cooler Master [build link]. The production version finally launched today, MasterCase EG200. It's built on feedback from eGPU users such as dedicated connection for expansion USB ports, hard drive bay, and better cooling. What I didn't expect was a built-in laptop holder (fully adjustable). Another hidden feature I have not seen in any other eGPU enclosure is a socket for the Thunderbolt controller board. This means upgrading TB3 to TB4 might be possible.

The packaging took some beating but made it here from China safely. Foam paddings inside kept the enclosure fully intact. The all metal construction of the Mastercase EG200 gives a very hefty feel when handling it. This is one of the few eGPU enclosures that comes with a good quick start guide. 

Pulling the front cover from the top reveals the SATA connector. The hinges have a good amount of tension to keep the cover in place at most angles except for a few degrees near closing completely. 3x USB expansion ports on the rear are on a separate daughterboard, connecting to the host computer through a dedicated USB 3.0 connection.

There's one 92mm enclosure cooling fan (exhaust) mounted on the top lid. From what I could tell, the mounting holes can accommodate up to two fans. The mainboard has a second fan header as well. Accessories in the brown box are power cable, .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable, USB-A to USB-C adapter, USB-A 3.0 to USB Micro-B cable, and zip ties.

Placement of the SFX 550W PSU is another distinct attribute. Cooler Master mounted the power supply towards the front of the enclosure so that it doesn't sit right behind the hottest spot of the GPU, backside of the die. This requires an extension power cable which is nearly zip-tied along the top frame of the enclosure. I don't like having two rocker switches for the PSU. The one on the power supply itself is in an easy-to-miss spot. Make sure it's in the ON position before closing the top lid.

Earlier in the day I was able to trade my RX 5700 XT for an ASRock Challenger RX 6700 XT. This graphics card doesn't have the best build quality but in current market, being able to get a latest gen GPU is a privilege. I installed it in the Mastercase EG200 and connected to an ASUS ZenBook Duo [14" i7-1165G7].

It was plug-and-play on this laptop which runs Windows 10 20H2. I installed the latest version of Radeon drivers, Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.3.2. One thing I noticed right away is much better Superposition performance through Thunderbolt 3 eGPU. AMD might have fixed a long standing issue eGPU users have been experiencing. If you have an AMD eGPU setup in Windows, give this new drivers a try.

The Thunderbolt 3 board has a metal shield on it so I didn't see an identifiable number for the controller. In HWiNFO64, I saw an ID, 15EF which should be a JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 Titan Ridge controller.

My first impression is how quiet this enclosure is. During all states of operation, I could barely hear the PSU and enclosure fan. The graphics card's fans are loud during heavy load. I will test this enclosure more in Windows, macOS, and Linux. Hopefully we'll see RX 6000 series drivers in macOS soon. 

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Good looking case! Looks like a solid Razer Core competitor. Prob also worth notting the PSU looks much higher quality than other eGPUS and at least semi modular?

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

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LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@eightarmedpet, It's slightly larger than the Razer Core. The dimensions most closely match with the AKiTiO Node Pro/Titan. SFX is very good quality and fully modular. I ran it for a few hours last night. One of the most quiet enclosures I tested. OP is now updated with more photos from unboxing and early testing.

 

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external graphics card builds
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2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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nando4
(@nando4)
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@itsage, thank you for this unboxing. Just confirming, the I/O ports attach to your system via the supplied USB-A 3.0 to USB Micro-B cable? If do not attach it, and just use the TB3 cable, there are no I/O ports accessible?

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M.2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 // compares M.2 vs TB3 performance inc unoptimized H-CPU BIOS [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@nando4, Yes the expansion I/O is a completely separate connection. Unless the USB 3.0 Micro-B cable connects to the host computer, there's no access to the I/O ports and SATA drive. The only connection I see on the mainboard to the I/O daughterboard is a thin power cable.

This is different than the ASUS XG Station 2 which has a dedicated expansion I/O setup that can fallback to Thunderbolt 3 connection when there's no USB-B cable in use.

 

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external graphics card builds
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2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
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itsage
(@itsage)
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@eightarmedpet, As if $569.99 wasn't overpriced, the guy wanted $1,000. I offered a trade for my RX 5700 XT + $200.

 

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external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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@itsage, that’s not a horrific price to be fair, I’ve been trying to buy a new Gpu for months. 

 

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

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

I connected the MasterCase EG200 + RX 6700 XT to my 2020 13-in MacBook Pro for a quick check. Here are some screen captures in System Information.

The SATA bay drive works great in both macOS and Windows. Due to the completely separated USB 3.0 micro-B connection, the expansion ports on this MasterCase EG200 can work independently of the Thunderbolt connection/eGPU. This photo shows the hinge area of the SATA drive in more detail.

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external graphics card builds
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eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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I took the stock two-fan cooler from the ASRock RX 6700 XT Challenger to install a third party liquid cooler, IDCooling Frostflow 120. The build quality of the ASRock PCB is not the best so I was fearful of breaking the new GPU the first week owning it. I wanted to see how flexible the MasterCase EG200 in supporting different cooling customizations. I like the results so far. The top frame fits the footprint of 120mm fan/radiator perfectly. I didn't want to drill any holes so I used nanotape (two-sided adhesive) to keep the radiator in place and provide some vibration absorption.

RX 6700 XT still works but I had a scare when the pump and 92mm board fan didn't come on. The IDCooling connectors for pump and fan require a Molex adapter to draw constant 12V. The two fan headers on the EG200 mainboard are PWM and they don't work in this application. One option is to use a Molex power cable from the SFX modular PSU (not included). I saw an used SATA power female connector so I got a SATA to Molex adapter. Performance test with the liquid cooler will resume after I receive this part.

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram
 
external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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