The Dell Concept Polaris is the external GPU of the future

Hey, it’s more portable than a desktop!

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The external GPU might be the most niche of niche PC gamer wants — the mini rig that can juice your laptop that would otherwise chug just trying to handle Fortnite. Are they a little bulky? Sure. Are they easier to travel with than your desktop? Absolutely. But, aside from the most dedicated gamers, there’s not always a ton of demand for a product that sometimes doesn’t work as well as we’d hope. That might change with the Dell Concept Polaris.

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One of the two gaming concepts Dell had for CES 2022 (alongside Concept Nyx), Concept Polaris is a little more traditional in its approach — it just seeks to improve on the eGPUs of the past.

Concept Nyx is an eGPU that can be connected to laptops to boost their capabilities, making it possible to play games that would otherwise send a laptop’s temperature into the lap burn zone. The sleek, rounded case has been meticulously designed to just fit full-size 16″ graphics cards, giving you real desktop power (you know, if you can actually track down a GPU for a semi-reasonable price).

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One reason it’s just big enough and no bigger is that Dell did away with the power supply unit. Instead, they’re toying with using either dual 330w AC adapters or dual 425w AC adapters. This means the case only needs to be big enough to hold the GPU, cables managed well enough, and the 240mm Cryo-Tech liquid cooling system used to manage GPU temps.

Of course, there’s one last eGPU problem to solve — how do you actually get that power over to the laptop? The Concept Polaris would have Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4, and USB-4 ports, ensuring you have all the best connectivity to make things work. Granted, that also means that more modest laptops won’t benefit much, but it’s probably safe to say that if you’re investing in an eGPU, the laptop you’re going to use it with doesn’t look half bad itself.

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There’s no indication that Concept Polaris itself will ever be sold to the public, but like with any good concept, there’s lots of reason to be optimistic that we’ll see these design ideas find their way into eGPUs of the future.

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