How to Add an External Graphics Card to your Laptop

Are you tired of your laptop’s obsolete default graphics card and want to increase its gaming and editing performance without putting much burden on your pocket? Well, don’t fret because we have got your back!

Upgrade your Graphics: DIY External GPU Installation Procedure

Adding an external graphics card, often called eGPU, to your laptop is a big hassle, and you may need to do better if you are a newbie.

So, remember to read this article thoroughly as we will explain how to add an external graphics card to your laptop.

Consider The following critical factors before adding an external graphics card to your laptop.

  1. Types
  2. Compatibility
  3. Performance
  4. Budget
  5. Power Requirements
  6. Method
  7. Cooling

Types

The first and most essential factor you should consider is the type of external graphics card (eGPU) you are purchasing.

Subsequently, your laptop has two kinds of external graphics cards (eGPU), one with an enclosure and the other with an external docking system.

The external graphics card enclosures require your laptop to have a Thunderbolt port.

Likewise, eGPUs with a pre-built enclosure do not require any external graphics card docking system. You must connect the pen directly to your laptop through a thunderbolt cable and provide the section with the power demands.

Likewise, the external docking system is a shaped dock on which your graphics card is mounted. It has an adapter that directly connects to your laptop’s LAN port. You need to jump to the bios and do the specific configurations to get the display from your external graphics card (eGPU).

Compatibility

The second but most critical factor is the compatibility between your external graphics card (eGPU) and your laptop.

Make sure your laptop is still young, and it at least has a LAN port because this is where your external graphics card will be connected.

Moreover, if you purchase an external graphics card enclosure, ensure your laptop has a Thunderbolt port. Otherwise, your newly bought product may be of no use.

Likewise, some eGPUs come with a pre-built enclosure; hence, they do not require any external graphics card docking system. You must connect the section directly to your laptop through a Thunderbolt cable and provide the team with power demands.

Performance

Before purchasing an external graphics card for your laptop, ensure it meets your requirements. You can do so by going to different websites and checking the benchmarks of the desired graphics card.

However, attaching external graphics (eGPU) to your laptop may perform differently than what a specific graphics card would give you on the PC.

Additionally, some external graphics card enclosures may not provide you with the luxury of installing a graphics card of your choice, as they might come with a graphics card pre-installed.

Budget

Budget is another crucial factor you should consider before purchasing an external graphics card. As we have mentioned above, there are two kinds of external graphics cards for laptops: one with an enclosure and one which requires a docking system.

Further, the external graphics card enclosures are more expensive as they have a pre-installed graphics card with a pre-installed power supply. The choice depends on the extent of your spending.

Where should I get the eGPU or external graphics card dock from?

Several websites like Amazon and Best Buy sell eGPUs with inexpensive enclosures and external graphics card docks.

Power Supply

Fulfilling the power demands of your external graphics card (eGPU) is essential, and this is where you might need to follow the instructions correctly.

Likewise, some eGPU enclosures are pre-built, and some are customizable. Those pre-built do not require any graphics card as they already have one, and they also come equipped with a sufficient power supply. On the other hand, the customizable eGPU enclosures are just empty enclosures that require a graphics card and an adequate power supply to correspondingly the graphics card’s power demands.

Furthermore, plenty of eGPU enclosure models are readily available on the web; opt for the one that does not limit your laptop, suits it best, and fulfills all your needs.

Additionally, external graphics card docks have no enclosure or power supply. So, for this, you need to connect a compatible graphics card with an adequate power supply of a trustworthy brand.

Method To Add External Graphics Card to Laptop

How do I install a graphics card in an eGPU enclosure? 

To establish a graphics card in an eGPU enclosure, you primarily need to,

  • Unscrew or unlock and open the section.
  • After doing so, you must mount your graphics card on the desired PCIe port inside the chamber.

Thenceforth, you are required to,

  • Connect the required power cables to your newly mounted graphics card from the already installed power supply of the enclosure.
  • If your eGPU enclosure does not have any power supply, you need to install an efficient and sufficient power supply to fulfill the power needs of your graphics card.
  • Connect the thunderbolt cable of the enclosure with your laptop. That’s it. Now, you can enjoy the display of your newly installed graphics card.

In the case of an external graphics card docking system, you are required to, 

  • Mount the graphics card on the desired PCIe of the dock.
  • Connect the power supply cables with the graphics card.
  • Remove your laptop’s battery, open the lid of your computer by unscrewing the screws, and remove the LAN adapter.
  • Insert the adapter of the external graphics card docking system in place of the LAN adapter.
  • Do some settings in the BIOS to utilize your newly installed graphics card by simply jumping into your BIOS, going into the Boot option, and disabling the PXE Boot to LAN feature.

After finalizing everything and finally getting the display from your newly installed graphics card, do not forget to install the graphics card drivers from the official vendor’s website.

Cooling

Ultimately, the final factor you should keep in mind is the temperature of your newly installed eGPU. It should remain under average temps as it is intended to be kept external to the chassis. Most external graphics card enclosures have holes, and some even have a fan installed. This lets the air keep blowing, keeping the temps of the overall system in the normal range.

Are you tired of your laptop’s obsolete default graphics card and want to increase its gaming and editing performance without burdening your pocket? Well, don’t fret because we have got your back!


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Asad Malik
By Asad Malik

Asad Malik is a passionate gamer and PC enthusiast who has been writing reviews on computer and tech products since 2017. He is the founder of GPU Maniac, a platform dedicated to discussing the latest trends in graphics cards. Asad's expertise in this field has earned him a loyal following, as he offers valuable insights and recommendations to the PC gaming community.



GPU Maniac is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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