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Is An External Video Card For A Laptop Worth It?

Many laptop Current intermediaries already have interesting configurations for their level, such as a good processor and an amount of RAM that won’t bring big headaches, among other factors.

However, virtually all models in this price range do not have a dedicated GPU, so the device does not have enough firepower to run heavier games and programs. To solve this problem, many people use an external laptop video card, which is what we will explain here. Is it worth it, or is it just a short-term solution? Keep reading to find out.

Notebooks that cost less than 3,000 realis usually have video memory integrated into the processor or the motherboard, which is why it is called an “integrated video card”. For its operation, the operating system uses part of the computer’s RAM for graphics processing, which, together with the fact that the integrated GPUs are only a small part mixed with other components, makes video cards of this type have very limited performance. And that’s where the external graphics card, also called eGPU, comes in as an option. 

Does An External Video Card Work On Any Laptop? 

To use the external video card most simply and practically, the notebook must have a Thunderbolt 3 or 4-type USB-C port, which will communicate with the necessary bus on the motherboard. An old way of installing an external video card in a notebook that does not have a USB-C port of this type was replacing the laptop’s WIFI card with a PCI express adapter, but it was a job that took much more time and care, instead of simply plugging into an external port. 

It is also possible to use external video cards on MacBook, but only on models with Intel processors. Models with M1 or M2 do not allow this connectivity.

How To Install An External Video Card For A Laptop?

The necessary structure for using the external video card is very simple. It is easily found on international sites like Aliexpress, having a metallic structure. This interface adapts the PCI connectors to Thunderbolt and has the necessary space to place the video and the source that will feed it.

There are also more complete and robust cases that resemble a small cabinet, but these cases are much more expensive and must be purchased with attention to the power supply that comes with it to be used with the chosen GPU.

With everything mounted and positioned, connect the eGPU to the notebook via the Thunderbolt cable, turn on the power supply, and the computer will recognize the part that needs to go to the device manager menu to install the necessary drivers for the card to work. It is important to know the version of the operating system, whether it is 32 or 64 bits since virtually all card drivers and current games require a 64-bit system.

Is An External Video Card For A Laptop Worth It?

Deciding whether an external laptop video card is worth it depends on your needs and ways of using it. Considering that the Thunderbolt cable has a small bandwidth, causing the communication to leave the notebook to go to the card and then return to its display on the computer, it is natural that some performance drops occur.

Therefore, the GPU will not be able to reach your maximum potential. However, this is minimized by using an external monitor, allowing a gain of 15 or more fps in games. 

For those with an ultra-thin notebook or intermediate model, the external video card can make up for it, as it allows you to use it in everyday life in a common way, and when gaming, you need to connect the card to the computer and enjoy it.

But it can also be a hindrance since many people use a notebook instead of a desktop because it has limited space, and the adapter with board and the power supply require more space. For those with more basic or older notebooks, which do not have a Thunderbolt port, the installation will be much more laborious and complex. And depending on how old it is, an upgrade in graphics processing won’t make that much of a difference.

Also Read: Is A Lenovo Laptop Good? Discover The Brand’s Models

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