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PowerColor Devil Box Review

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Category: Video Cards
Price: $375
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PowerColor Devil Box Introduction:

Unless you spend big coin on a "gaming" laptop or complete gaming PC, your in-game graphics for AAA titles with even the best IGP solution is going to be a bit disappointing any way you look at it. PowerColor's Devil Box is one way to correct this situation for those devoted to their laptops, mini PCs, or even a standard workstation-style PC. By using a single 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 cable between the Devil Box and your PC, you can improve your gaming performance once you populate the Devil Box with a discrete GPU. At this point it looks like AMD models from the R9 285 on up through the RX 4XX series cards are supported. On the NVIDIA side, cards from the GTX 750 on up to the latest GTX 10 series cards are supported for use in the Devil Box.

Packed full of features and connectivity, the Devil Box can be used as an external storage device, a means to connect your peripherals, and even your LAN cable should you prefer to play wired. Priced at $375 without a GPU on board, the Devil Box is offered for sale at a significantly better price point than the Razer Core. Let's see how it does when loaded up with a discrete GPU.

PowerColor Devil Box Closer Look:

Let's start this off with a disclaimer that this sample of the Devil Box is a fully functional engineering sample, so the overall look may be slightly different from the production model. Taking a 360 degree view from all sides shows that the main enclosure is steel with decorative argent aluminum design elements to create the overall look of the chassis for a remote video card solution. The left side has an open mesh section to allow the installed PCIe 16x video card to breathe, while the right side has a solid side panel with the PowerColor logo in bright white. The front of the chassis has the PowerColor Devil Logo, as first seen on the Devil 13 HD 7990 GPU video card seen here on OCC. Since that time, PowerColor has been using the Devil series as the top end of its product stack, with some innovative designs using air cooling.

There is a small notch on the right side of the front beauty plate for a single USB 3.0 port. On the back end, you have the balance of the connectivity for this device. On the left is the power supply, followed by three type A USB 3.0 ports, and a single Type C USB 3.1 port. An RJ-45 port is supporting 10/100/1000MB connectivity is above the single Thunderbolt 3 input port that connects to the host PC via a 40Gbps cable. The Thunderbolt interface is capable of charging laptops that require a 60w or lower power brick.

 

 

 

Looking at the overall design, it's clear that airflow through the chassis is a priority for PowerColor. The top and front of the chassis are perforated almost the entire length, width, and height of the chassis to allow enough airflow into and out of the chassis. The left side of the chassis features a reinforced screen mesh that, again, is designed with airflow in mind. Measuring 400 x 172 x 242 mm, the Devil Box does not take up a significant amount of room on the desk. Each of the sides are held on with a quartet of thumb screws for ease of entry into the Devil Box to install your hardware.

 

 

Once inside the Devil Box, you get a look at how the connectivity, power, and storage drive are connected. A SeaSonic-built 500 watt power supply is hiding in the back of the chassis to support a video card of up to 375 watts TDP in the Devil Box. Cooling of the chassis is handled by a pair of quiet 120mm fans connected to the PCB; one in the front and one in the top. Around the perimeter are a couple of white LED strips that pulse while the Devil Box is up and running for an added effect. I think red LEDs would have been more appropriate in this case.

The main PCB has a 16X PCIe 3.0 slot that supports all the latest versions of both AMD's and NVIDIA's product stacks, including the RX 400 and GTX 10 series cards. The daughter board does not connect directly to the PCB and is the main interface to the host PC and any external connections. On the main PCB is a SATA III connection to support a 2.5-inch form factor mechanical or flash-based drive. To complete my video testing, I used PowerColor's own Red Devil RX 480 video card as my test mule to see just what kind of performance the Devil Box can deliver. The Red Devil RX 480 is just over 12 inches in length, so you still have some room to run a larger card in the Devil Box.

 

 

As a means of improving gaming performance for small form factor and mini PCs or laptops that are hampered by a lack of graphics firepower, and are equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 connection, an external graphics enclosure can open up a whole new world of gaming on these devices. Let's see how the Devil Box stacks up in this regard.

 

PowerColor Devil Box Specifications:

Specification
DEVIL BOX
Connection to Host PC
Thunderbolt™ 3 (40Gbps cable)
Expansion Graphics card             
TYPE: PCI-Express x 16 graphics cards
Max Dimensions: 310 x 140 x 50mm  2-slot bracket
Max GPU Power:  375 Watts
GPU Support
Qualified AMD Radeon™ graphics cards
AMD Radeon™ RX 400 Series
AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury
AMD Radeon™ R9 Nano
AMD Radeon™ R9 300 Series
AMD Radeon™ R9 290X
AMD Radeon™ R9 290
AMD Radeon™ R9 285
Supported NVIDIA® GeForce® graphics cards
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX Titan X
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980 Ti
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 950
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750 Ti
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750
I/O ports
Thunderbolt™ 3 x 1  (for connection to PC)
Ethernet 10/100/1000
SATA III x1  (internal for 2.5” HDD/SSD)
USB 3.0 x 4
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C x1
Internal Power Supply
500 Watts
Chassis Size
400 x 172 x 242 mm
System Requirements
Windows® 10 64-bit only



 

All information courtesy of Powercolor @ //www.powercolor.com/us/products_DevilBox_features.asp?id=1#Specification




  1. PowerColor Devil Box: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. PowerColor Devil Box: Testing & Conclusion
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