Best External Graphics Cards

Top 4 Best External Graphics Cards for Laptop

A laptop is a great tool for getting work done when you’re on the go, but what do you do when it can’t handle the task you need to complete? That’s where an external graphics card comes in. External graphics cards can give your laptop the boost it needs to run more powerful applications and games.

Graphics cards are necessary for gaming or using high intensive programs like photoshop. Many different graphics cards have different features and prices, making it hard to decide which one to buy.

When there are numerous choices, some are more expensive than others, and some have better performance in games or render video faster. Research is imperative before making a decision.

If you need help finding the best external graphic card for your laptop, check out this guide!

At a Glance:

Our Recommendations For Best External Graphics Cards for Laptop

DesignGraphics CardsRetailer
Best PickRazer Core X
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Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box
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Staff PickGigabyte Aorus GTX 1070
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Budget PickPowerColor Gaming Station
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Razer Core X

Best Pick
Razer Core X

Equip your Thunderbolt 3 laptop with desktop-grade performance and power with the Razer Core X. This external graphics card enclosure includes a built-in 650W ATX PSU and supports up to three PCIe desktop graphics cards, giving you screaming-fast gaming or creative processing power wherever you go.

This powerhouse gives you the boost you need to take your gaming and creative endeavors to the next level. With its built-in power supply, you can easily charge your laptop while you’re using it.

Plus, it’s compatible with both Windows and macOS, so you can enjoy great graphics performance no matter what platform you’re using. Transform your Thunderbolt 3 laptop into a total gaming powerhouse with the Razer Core X.

Razer Core X Specifications

  • Brand: Razer
  • Color: Classic Black
  • Motherboard Compatibility: ATX
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Item Weight: 14.29 Pounds
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 9.06 x 14.74 x 6.62 inches

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Transfer data at up to 40 Gbps
  • A large internal hard drive that you can use to store and back up your computer files

Cons

  • It is quite expensive
  • It does not have a built-in graphics card. You need to provide your own

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box

The Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box is the perfect solution for gamers and video editors who need desktop-class graphics performance. Simply add your compatible video card, connect to your Thunderbolt 3 computer, and you’re good to go! With performance that rivals dedicated graphics cards, this little box will let you power through your favorite games and videos with ease.

This handy device connects high-performance GPU cards (up to 312mm x 160mm) to your computer with a Thunderbolt 3 port and supports AVID HDX, Red Rocket-X, and other x16 full-length PCIe cards.

It features a blazing fast Thunderbolt 3 interface and compatibility with a wide range of PCIe cards; this system provides you with all the power you need to get the job done. The Breakaway Box delivers unbeatable performance, whether you’re using an AMD or NVIDIA card.

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box Specifications

  • Brand: Sonnet Technologies
  • Hardware Interface: USB
  • Item Weight: 2.6 Pounds
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 17.01 x 11.46 x 10.83 inches

Pros

  • Plenty of space for cards and cooling
  • Easy to setup
  • Worth the money

Cons

  • Too bulky
  • The provided cable is very cheap

Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1070

Staff Pick
Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1070

Turn your Ultrabook into a gaming powerhouse with Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box. This little black box is equipped with a GIGABYTE GTX 1070 to overclock edition graphics card for playing the latest games and experiencing immersive virtual reality experiences. Plus, with GIGABYTE’s thermal and overclock technologies, you can expect high performance with minimal noise.

This powerful little device features the WINDFORCE 3X cooling system, ensuring that your graphics card stays cool and performs at its best. Plus, G1 gaming graphics cards are crafted for perfection so that you can enjoy the ultimate gaming experience.

Furthermore, its LED fan indicator provides an instant display of the fan status, so you’ll always know what’s going on with your graphics card.

Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1070 Specifications

  • Brand: Gigabyte
  • Chipset Brand: NVIDIA
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • Graphics RAM Type: GDDR5
  • Graphics Ram Size: 8 GB

Pros

  • Amazing build quality
  • Excellent overclocking software
  • Good controls over fan and lights

Cons

  • It can get hot quickly if you’re not careful
  • The fans get a bit loud but not unbearable

PowerColor Gaming Station

Budget Pick
PowerColor Gaming Station

The Max Gen3 x4 speed is based on AMD XConnect Technology and excellent gaming support. This gaming station maintains a high level of performance that is ideal for gaming. Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port compatibility offers a perfect connecting option for your game console and Laptop. The PowerColor Gaming Station is intended for those who desire a more powerful graphics card in their Laptop to achieve desktop-class graphics performance.

Gamers and enthusiasts can enjoy any game on the market with a qualifying graphics card installed in the PowerColor Gaming Station and connected with Thunderbolt 3 specifications without losing the mobility of a thin, light laptop. The Thunderbolt 3/ USB-C connector offers USB Power Delivery (PD), which can charge compatible laptops up to 87W.

PowerColor Gaming Station Specifications

  • Brand: PowerColor
  • Graphics Coprocessor: Radeon RX 480
  • Graphics RAM Type: DRAM
  • Graphics Card Interface: PCI-E

Pros

  • Ultra-fast 40Gbps Thunderbolt3 interface
  • Thunderbolt3 USB-C port supports USB Power
  • 87 W charging port for laptop supply

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Bulky design

Things to Look for in the Best External Graphics Cards for Laptop

Graphics cards are expensive equipment, and you are purchasing a new one. Certain factors must be considered:

Price

The first factor to consider is the cost. You must understand what you can afford and expect in this price range. Another important consideration is whether your Laptop has the processing power to support a powerful graphics card. If you’re stuck with a low-cost processor, there’s no point in investing in an expensive graphics card.

Cooling

Graphic cards are a heat-generating powerhouse. They usually generate a lot of heat. TDP is the unit of measurement for heat output. If a graphics card’s TDP is high, it will require more fans and coolant to distribute it, and more fans mean more power consumption. A good GPU must be capable of dissipating heat and should not overheat easily.

Power

Another factor to consider when purchasing a GPU is its power. It’s a good idea to double-check that the power supply has enough 8-pin or 6-pin connections for your graphics card. Choose a power supply rated at least 80 Plus Bronze to ensure this.

Memory

The GPU memory can range from 2 GB to 12 GB. Many people debate whether the memory of graphic cards matters or not. We considered video card memory essential because it supports anti-aliasing operations, eliminating rough edges on graphics, textures, and other features required to bring your graphics to life. Video memory is crucial in image quality because it lets you play games at higher resolutions.

The optimum memory of a graphics card should be at least half of laptop RAM; if the RAM of a laptop is 16GB, the memory of 8GB would be a decent choice.

Bandwidth

The amount of memory that the GPU can access at any given time is bandwidth. When a GPU has a higher bandwidth, data is delivered to the shader cores more quickly. As a result, games and video visuals run smoothly and clearly. To grasp bandwidth, you must first understand how it works. Bandwidth is calculated by combining memory speed and bus width.

Shader Cores

Shader cores breathe life into images by adding light and dark variations to 3D objects. When a graphics card has more shader cores, it can quickly and accurately render images. However, GPUs with fewer shader cores in some video games outperform GPUs with more shader cores.

Shader cores, bandwidth, memory, power, pricing, space, and cooling should all be considered before purchasing a graphics card. Similarly, it is always good to check online reviews and forms.

Summary For Best External Graphics Cards for Laptop

DesignGraphics CardsRetailer
Best PickRazer Core X
Check Price
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box
Check Price
Staff PickGigabyte Aorus GTX 1070
Check Price
Budget PickPowerColor Gaming Station
Check Price

Conclusion

eGPU configurations are a fantastic way to upgrade your old or underpowered Laptop with a GPU capable of rendering, gaming, and any other GPU-intensive activities you have in mind. Nonetheless, they are pretty situational.

When you evaluate the entire cost of an eGPU system, it’s occasionally better to save up and buy a new laptop or desktop.

However, if you have the cash and a process that can benefit from it, an eGPU may significantly increase your productivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Requirements For An eGpu?

A standard eGPU configuration necessitates the following five components: a laptop, a desktop graphics card, an external display, a PCIe adapter/board or enclosure for the card, and a separate power supply for the graphics card (through Thunderbolt 3 enclosures have built-in power supplies.