External GPUs are independent Video cards placed in a Dock with their power supply support. You can attach them to your existing laptop and boost up the Graphic capabilities of any mid-range or standard machine. But how does External GPU for Laptop Work? Are they expensive, or a good solution for the long run? In this article, you will learn about everything about External Graphic Cards.
What is an External GPU for Laptops?
External GPU or eGPU are portable docks that can hold up to three GPUs together. Users can use it via Thunderbolt 3 Connection, if your laptop does not have this port then you will face compatibility issues. An External GPU unit can be attached to any laptop via a Thunderbolt 3 port and draw out full graphic power over Nvidia or AMD’s GPUs. Razer Core X Chroma is one of the examples of an external GPU unit.
Razor Core X Chroma comes with a 700-watt internal ATX Power supply, it has 2x 8 Pin(6+2 Pin PCI-e) connectors. It will further draw 100watt via a Laptop USB-C Port. It has three card slots and is compatible with RTX GPUs, GTX GPUs, and the Radeon RX series.
How does External GPU work?
External GPUs operate through proprietary software and drivers. Without them, any standard laptop will not switch from integrated graphics to external graphics. After connecting through a Thunderbolt or USB-C cable the dock will act as a GPU for the laptop. Let’s say you are using RTX 4090 GPU, with an external dock you will get much enhanced graphic output.
The issue with External GPUs is that they rely on the Dock connectivity and its proprietary software or driver. Overall optimization and output rely on how well the dock is designed along with the software used to sync GPU capabilities with the Laptop. In short, the performance will not be exactly similar to an integrated RTX 4090 GPU. The second most important thing that limits External GPUs is Laptops’ capability to handle so much graphic rendering. If you do not have the matching processor, NVM, and enough RAM, the external GPU’s power is of no use.
Pros & Cons of External GPU for Laptop
The benefit of having an External GPU Dock is it gives you the power to use any full-size compatible graphic card with your existing laptop. Many such docks come with additional connectivity options like HDMI, Display Ports, etc. You can attach a bigger-sized gaming monitor and enjoy superior graphics.
The cons of using External GPUs for laptops is that you require a decent machine to get the max out of it. For example, you need at least a Core i7 laptop that might not have a dedicated GPU, but a high-end CPU, SSD/Nvm, and a decent amount of RAM to handle the game. Just attaching an External GPU will not give you 4K gaming. Also, not all laptops are capable of getting maximum performance out of these docks. They will get bottleneck at some point, so when you are buying a External GPU, check required system specification, GPU Compatibility List & its custom software/driver support.