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External Graphics Cards for Laptops

An external graphics card or an external GPU box is one of the ways to move your laptop's performance up a few levels. This allows you to play the latest games or work with more demanding graphics applications. What is actually happening, and what are the advantages and disadvantages? We will explain.

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External Graphics Card vs. External GPU Box

The first solution is to buy an external graphics card - an eGPU. This is a box with an integrated graphics card. Alternatively, there is also an external box with a slot for a classic video card that you buy and put in the box. You then have more freedom in choosing a graphics card.

External Graphics Card Key Features

  • Increase graphic performance without directly changing something in your laptop.
  • Thanks to its low weight and compact size, it is also suitable for travelling, so you can play at a hotel that you're staying at for the weekend.
  • Easy connection to your laptop via the Thunderbolt 3 interface.
  • Compatible with both Windows and MacOS.

How do I connect an external graphics card to my laptop?

Connecting one to your laptop is mediated through the Thunderbolt 3 interface. The use of an external video card is demanding in terms of data volume, and without Thunderbolt 3, you cannot connect to the eGPU. The connection itself is easy. The computer recognises the card, installs the drivers, and you can play the latest games or start working.

Which connectors are on an external GPU?

HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI connectors are used to connect the monitor. Often, there are plenty of other connectors like USB, so you can charge a smartphone too. External boxes often have their own fans for cooling the graphics card.

External Graphics Cards Disadvantages

The disadvantage of an external graphics card is that they cost more than an integrated model. Boxes require their own power supply, which can be complicated when travelling.

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If your laptop has a weaker processor, the performance of eGPU may be limited. That's why external GPUs are better for Intel Core i5 and i7 ultrabooks.

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