In this article we are taking an overview of What Is An eGPU?

Many gamers wish to play games on laptops that are not capable of rendering the latest titles in a playable way. This could be due to the laptops not supporting their configuration or speed. You would have had to save up to buy a better-performing laptop. What if we had a second option? How about an external graphics card that you can connect to your laptop to improve its gaming performance.

As technology has advanced, GPUs have become extremely powerful. Even playing a 4K game at more than 60 FPS has become a piece of cake on the latest NVIDA RTX 3080 and Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPUs. But, did you know that there is another category of GPU called eGPU?

So, What is An eGPU/ external graphics card?

The term eGPU refers to an external graphics card that connects to your laptop or PC in case your laptop’s integrated GPU isn’t cutting it. 

In layman’s terms, an eGPU is a combination of an enclosure that holds a graphic card. The graphic card inside an eGPU is no different than the discrete card inside your PC.

In most gaming laptops it is easy to play games like League of Legends or DOTA 2 on medium settings without losing a frame. It is hard to play games like Tomb Raider or Batman: Arkham Knight on ultra 4K. The cooling fans start to strain and might even lead to the crashing of graphic cards.

How much does eGPU/ external graphics card cost?

Razer’s most affordable eGPU is the Core X. It is priced at $300. You can install a full desktop graphics card or even an RTX 2080 Ti with Core X. This can be connected to your laptop via Thunderbolt 3.

Discrete Graphics Vs eGPU: Which One Performs Better?

Since the GPU is directly connected to the motherboard, it will be the discrete graphics that will perform better than eGPU. There won’t be a huge difference where you can tell if you’re using an eGPU, but it will be noticeable.

Because of their connection types, M.2 NVMe slots and Thunderbolt 3 ports might significantly be a complication. So much so that if something goes wrong, you might get a blue screen of death.

Which Is the Best Choice? Is it better to buy a gaming laptop or an eGPU?

It is determined by your requirements. If you want a long battery life while still being able to play games, then an eGPU appears to be the best option. It enables you to easily take advantage of ultrabooks’ lightness and battery life. Gaming laptops, on the other hand, have come a long way. They are no longer as heavy and bulky as they once were.

They are now thinner and lighter. And a few of them have long battery life. The battery life isn’t spectacular, but it’s adequate. In addition, when it comes to costs, the cost of a Thunderbolt 3 laptop and an eGPU are on the higher end. So you might want to give it some serious thought. Because a decent gaming laptop can be had for a comparable price.

Pros and Cons of eGPU:

Pros Of External GPUs (external graphics card):

Easily Upgradeable

The greatest advantage of external GPUs is their upgradeability. Is your GPU old and no longer capable of delivering the FPS you require? Simply replace it with a newer, more powerful GPU.

That is why eGPUs are so popular. As previously stated, laptops are not upgradeable in terms of CPU and GPU.

You Don’t Need To Buy A Gaming Laptop Or Desktop To Game

You don’t need to own a gaming laptop or build a gaming desktop to use external GPUs. It’s more of a plug-and-play accessory. You can buy an ultrabook and use an external GPU to play games on it.

This allows you to have the best of both worlds. Battery life is long, and gaming performance is excellent. 

Cons Of External GPUs (external graphics card)

Quite Expensive

An external GPU is far less expensive than a gaming laptop. Yet expenses start to mount. Most laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports cost more than USD1000 on average. Add in the cost of an external GPU, which is $300. You’ll quickly realize that buying a gaming laptop is a better option. 

For the same money, you could get a good gaming laptop that will last you 3-5 years. 

Loss In Performance

Gaming performance will suffer since the eGPU is not built into the motherboard. However, the decrease in gaming performance is not that noticeable. If you don’t pair the GPU with the appropriate processor it might ruin your gaming experience. 

For Intel, an i7 or higher processor is highly recommended. More information on Intel processors can be found here. Ryzen 7 is highly recommended for AMD. Click here to learn more about AMD Ryzen processors.

A powerful GPU requires a powerful CPU. Please ensure that the CPU can match up to the GPU while purchasing a graphic card.

Not Portable

External graphics processing units (GPUs) are large and heavy. The Razer Core X is 14 pounds in weight. It is heavier than any other gaming laptop on the market. It is hard to game on the go because of its weight.

You Need A Thunderbolt Port

This is the first requirement that a laptop must meet before receiving an external graphics card. The external GPU processes the graphics and sends them back to the laptop. That is a large amount of data. There will be issues if the data transfer is not fast enough. That is why Thunderbolt ports are required if you want to use an external graphics card.

Thunderbolt ports can transfer large amounts of data in a split second. This is extremely important.

So, is it worth investing in an eGPU?

As we have an idea of What Is An eGPU? I do not believe you should purchase an external graphics card. They can be too costly for something that provides decent performance. It is also important to understand the difference between “a great graphics card” and “an expensive graphics card”. Its normally incredible performance is solely on the connection between the external GPU and my laptop.