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external gpu for laptop

This article tells everything you need to know about external graphics card for laptop. Read them through and find the information you need. Or, you can visit MiniTool partition master website.

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An external graphics processing unit (eGPU) refers to a graphics card (also called a video card) that works outside of a machine such as a laptop.

Why External GPU for Laptop Is Necessary?

Nowadays, more and more tasks are done on computers. And, the tasks require increasing high computer performance.  Especially for the image or video editors and game players, their work needs the CPU, GPU, RAM, etc. of a computer to do a high-efficiency work. Also, people need to work everywhere they go today. Thus, a portable laptop of high efficiency is needed.

Unlike a desktop, there is little chance for an old laptop to update its GPU. On the one hand, unlike desktop GPU is installed on a motherboard that is put into a large host case, the laptop’s GPU is installed on a motherboard that is sealed into a thin case with the keyboard on the interface. So, it is difficult to open the thin case and replace the old GPU with a new one.

On the other hand, to save the space on the laptop motherboard, usually, the GPU is integrated with the CPU, which is popular in modern laptops and even desktops. Therefore, to upgrade the GPU, it means that you have to upgrade the CPU. Thus, the cost is expensive.

For more and more modern laptops, upgrade either GPU or CPU is impossible for the technical and careful operation can’t be done by common people. And, some laptops’ GPUs are specialized that you can’t get in the market. Even more, some laptops do not allow their users to replace the hard drive storage device let alone CPU or GPU.

Therefore, unless your current laptop equipment is advanced enough, or you don’t care about replacing CPU, you will find an external advanced GPU for a laptop is necessary.

Tip: You can also adopt an external GPU for your desktop though usually, people choose to upgrade desktop GPU than add an extra one to get a better visual experience.
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How to Connect External GPU For Laptop?

In general, the laptop external GPU is hooked up to an external GPU dock. That is, the external GPU dock has a PCIe port for connecting graphics card and a USB cable (USB-C or Thunderbolt) connecting the laptop.

It is simple to connect an external GPU to a laptop with a dock. First of all, install the graphics card into the PCIe port on the GPU dock. Then, connect the drive cables between the dock and the laptop. Finally, power on the computer and install related custom software.

Tip: For different GPU dock you use, the installation is a little different. Yet, the main steps are the same as described above.

How Does External Graphics Card for laptop Work?

When you finish the connection of the external GPU, your laptop motherboard will send the graphics requests collecting from input devices (e.g. mouse & keyboard) to the external GPU (instead of the default internal GPU) via a signal through the USB cables. Receiving the orders, the laptop external graphics card starts work and transfers the work result back to the motherboard and then to display on the monitor screen.

Generally, an advanced external GPU will increase the graphics performance of your laptop, which does not have much graphical processing power relying on its built-in graphics card. With better graphics performance, you can even play some graphically intense games.

How Much External Graphics Performance Can You Get from External GPU?

Usually, users will make use of a more advanced GPU as their external graphics card. Thus, their graphics performance will be improved greatly. Yet, you can’t expect to gain full graphics performance from your external GPU due to several reasons. It is said that about 10% - 15% of visual performance will get lost in the end.

On the one hand, during the transfer of the graphics data, the graphics performance will lose. Even for the latest Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.0 cable, they can meet the high data transfer rate.

On the other hand, if your laptop is equipped with an integrated GPU (GPU is integrated with the CPU as mentioned in the above), you are not allowed to use an external GPU. In other words, even if you connect an external graphics card to your laptop, it still cannot use it but only the inserted one.

Anyhow, if your GPU is not integrated and you connect a high-end external graphics card to your laptop, you will surely get a boosted graphics performance.

Best External GPU for laptop

What’s the best external GPU for your laptop? With the development of the external GPU, the answer is different. Yet, currently, the best external video card for laptops is below.

Gigabyte AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box

It is embedded with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and dual thunderbolt 3 plug & play connection as well as PCI-Express × 16 port. As the work’s first water-cooled external GPU, Gigabyte AORUS provides a quiet and silent water force AIO cooling system.

ASUS ROG-XG-Station-2 External Graphics Card Dock

It is equipped with five thunderbolt 3 USB 3.0 ports for peripheral connectivity and one full length, dual wide PCI-e × 16. The Asus external GPU dock provides 600W internal power supply delivers for graphics card and laptop/tablet, such as ASUS Transformer 3 Pro and UX series Zen Books.

Razer External GPU Enclosure Core X Chroma Aluminum

It is compatible with Windows and Mac Thunderbolt 3 laptops. The Razer Core eGPU enclosure supports Nvidia and AMD PCIe ports, 700W ATX PSU, four USB 3.1 ports, one Gbit Ethernet and RGB lighting.

Not a few people want to know the cheapest external GPU for laptops. They may want to get one for their laptop. Yet, it is not recommended for if you really want to increase your graphics performance, you’d better pick a high-end external card; it doesn’t have to be the most expensive but not the cheapest.

Tip: External GPU price fluctuates, today the cheapest one is A and it may become B tomorrow. So, don’t make the price as your only or decisive standard. 
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