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Top 5 - Best External Graphic Cards

Calendar22.04.2020
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Have you thought about buying an external graphics card for your laptop? In this article, we will tell you what you need to know to decide. Although the GPUs of laptops are becoming more and more capable. Now the desktop GPUs are still taking the cat to the water. Now, can its performance be compared to internal GPUs? Is it worth spending the money that costs everything you need to have one? That is what we want to talk about. If you're already aware of how it works? It's worth putting certain aspects into perspective. We make it clear what can and cannot be expected from these components.

Working of external graphics cards

An eGPU is the set that makes up the graphics card and the container or dock. It has a PCIe slot inside it like that of a desktop PC, with its power supply. That machine is then connected to the laptop via USB-C by the Thunderbolt interface. Therefore, we must make sure that the USB-C port to which we connect the graphics is Thunderbolt compatible. Otherwise, it will not work. The installation process for the card and drivers is the same as on a desktop computer. When you configured the graphics requests, then you can go directly through the external graphics card. eGPU is more powerful than the GPU. Then you can get more out of a video game.

Products of External Graphic Cards

1. Alienware Graphics Amplifier (9R7XN)

Alienware Graphics Amplifier (9R7XN)

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Alienware Graphics Amplifier has fantastic graphics and its unique design. This product will only be compatible with the brand's laptops. Since, instead of having a Thunderbolt 3 port, we find a connector owned by the brand.

Hardware Connection

Well, this connector is not precisely worse than Thunderbolt 3. If we have an Alienware laptop, this eGPU dock will not be very convenient. This is because the interface uses a direct hardware connection using a cable with independent bandwidth and exclusively dedicated to this function.

4 PCIe Gen 3 lanes

It uses 4 PCIe Gen 3 lanes just like Thunderbolt. But in this case, it is a direct band that increases performance to give benefits almost the same as if it were a desktop computer.

Features

  • The power supply of this Alienware graphic amplifier is 460 Watt.
  • The visual performance can be increased with this amplifier.
  • It is designed for Alienware 13 R2, 15 R2, 15 R3, etc.
  • In the box, it has a single proprietary cable that is made up of Alienware R2 laptops.
  • It supports graphics cards up to 375 watts and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600.

Pros

  • Supports a wide variety of GPUs
  • Easy to upgrade
  • Four super-fast USB 3.0 ports
  • Pretty cheap for being an eGPU cabinet

Cons

  • Only compatible with select Alienware laptops
  • Not very portable

2. Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W (GPU-550W-TB3)

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W (GPU-550W-TB3)

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Connectivity

The connectivity is through the Thunderbolt 3 interface at 40 Gbps. It has a single connector for the laptop. In terms of extra connectivity, we only have our own graphics card, with 3 Display Port 1.4 ports and 1 HDMI 2.0b

Adapter

For the version that has the AMD Radeon RX 560 graphics card. We have a 160W adapter, and for the version with the AMD Radeon RX 570, we have an adapter with 220W power. In both cases, the laptop charging power is the same, which is 45W.

Playing a game in Full HD

Its use is mainly aimed at providing gaming capacity to laptops with Max-Q design with a capacity typical of the mid-range. Therefore, playing a game in Full HD will not be a problem.

Features

  • It has a thunderbolt three connection, USB 3C connection, and Thunderbolt 2 adapters.
  • The power supply of Sonnet easy FX is 550 Watt and can provide up to 87 Watt of power delivery.
  • It has a breakaway box 550, which has one Thunderbolt 3 port.
  • For a MacBook, it supports AMD RX 470, 480, 570, 580/Vega 56 on Thunderbolt, 3 Macs with macOS High Sierra.
  • For Windows it supports, NVIDIA GTX 1060, 1070, 1080, 1080ti, Titan X, Xp, V/Quadro P4000, P5000, P6000.

Pros

  • The base version is relatively affordable.
  • Clean and simple design.
  • Compatible with a wide range of GPUs.

Cons

  • Somewhat high price

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3. Gigabyte AORUS Gaming Box GTX 1070 Graphic Card GV-N1070IXEB-8GD eGPU

Gigabyte AORUS Gaming Box GTX 1070 Graphic Card GV-N1070IXEB-8GD eGPU

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Compact Size

Gigabyte has been on the market for a long time enough to have earned the respect of users. With this eGPU, the story will not be different. Its compact size makes it ideal for keeping close to the laptop without being too bothersome.

USB Ports

Gigabyte has a good selection of ports: USB and Thunderbolt is for data transmission. There are two DVI ports and two HDMI ports.

Ultimate graphic experience

It shows outstanding performance because of the fantastic graphics. This is the best graphic card for game lovers as they will have ultimate graphic expertise.

Features

  • It is easy to carry and has a portable size.
  • It is equipped with Thunderbolt 3 plug-and-play and a multi-view.
  • Gaming box GTX 1070 amazing Graphics for intensive gameplay, which we experience.
  • The charging of this external graphic card is efficient and the power delivery (PD 3.0).
  • It will give you a 90% efficiency equal to 80 plus gold PCLe 8 pin power.
  • The RGB fusion of this graphic card is 16.8 m for customizable color lighting.

Pros

  • Supports a wide variety of GPUs up to the latest RTX.
  • Great size and excellent connectivity.
  • Four high-speed USB 3.0 ports.
  • Optimized connection interface.

Cons

  • This graphic card is Big and heavy
  • It is also an Expensive one.

4. Akitio Node - Thunderbolt 3 eGPU for Windows

Akitio Node - Thunderbolt 3 eGPU for Windows

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Connectivity

In terms of design, this eGPU dock with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity is not exactly a wonder. It is simply a metal case built around an SECC steel chassis, in true PC chassis style. On the front, it has a mesh panel that allows air to pass inside to help cool both the power supply and the graphics card.

Supports all types of graphics cards

The measures of this eGPU are 428 mm long by 227 high and 145 wide. It supports all kinds of graphics cards up to a size of 320 mm. At least for its transport, it has a handle in its front area.

Power Supply

The power supply it installs has a power of 400W. It is enough for almost all graphics cards on the market today. The problem is that it only provides 15W of power for charging a laptop via the 5V / 3A Thunderbolt 3 interface. The power supply also has a fan with access to the outside to cool the system.

Features

  • Akitio node supports AMD on macOS High Sierra.
  • It has one PCIe x16 slot supporting full length and double-width cards.
  • There are multiple GPU cards for Windows.
  • There is a 400 Watt power supply so that it can provide extra power to the GPU.

Pros

  • You can accommodate GPUs of any size.
  • Carry handle helps with portability.

Cons

  • Big and heavy
  • Expensive

5. Razer Core X External Graphics Card Case with Thunderbolt 3 for Windows 10 Black

Razer Core X External Graphics Card Case with Thunderbolt 3 for Windows 10

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High-performance Graphic Card

Razer is also part of this select club of high-performance eGPU manufacturers. In this case, we have a dock of considerable size; we are talking about 168 mm wide by 374 mm long and 230 mm high. Its chassis, built-in aluminum with an integrated power supply, weighs no less than 6.48 Kg, so precisely portable.

Design

Speaking a little more about its design, we have a very clean-looking configuration and without extra connectivity. It also has abundant ventilation holes and the ability to install cards with liquid cooling of up to 120 mm or, where appropriate, a 120 mm fan in the lower area.

Power Supply

The power supply installed by this dock is no less than 650W, with capacity for cards up to 500W. It will also provide us with 100W in the Thunderbolt connection for charging compatible laptops from this interface.

Features

  • It is a versatile external graphic card with amazing graphics.
  • It is consistent with the Thunderbolt 3 system for Windows 10 and max running macOS High Sierra.
  • You can also upgrade this graphic card to get stick to the maximum performance while playing the game.
  • The size of this graphic card fits your setup.
  • It has open vents in the aluminum body, which is the additional cooling feature of this graphic card. So it shows optimized thermal performance.

Pros

  • Supports a wide range of GPUs
  • Can accommodate triple wide graphics cards
  • Clean and neutral exterior design
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Limited portability due to size and weight
  • No additional ports

Buying Guide

If you have ever researched to check the capacity of an internal graphics card when buying a computer, you have the criteria to be able to access the characteristics of an eGPU. But other factors are added and that you can not ignore. Since they are derived from the appearance of the dock.

Being a product with a considerable price, it never hurts all the data you can know to be entirely successful in the purchase. You should even assess whether you are going to use the external GPU with a laptop or a desktop.

Connections

All eGPUs you see in stores have the Thunderbolt 3 connection interface, provided by the famous Intel. There is no faster pc port, with a speed of 40 Gbps in a single connection. Even with DisplayPort for 5k screens with high-resolution images.

Thunderbolt 3 adds 100 W of power to the rest of the devices connected to this port. A feature that makes them ideal for devices that work with an electrical outlet. This interface is closely related to USB 3.1 Type-C ports.

The most striking thing is that the ports with Thunderbolt 3 are almost always intended for charging the laptop. So when you connect the GPU, you will also automatically charge the laptop when the graphics card is plugged into the electric current.

It is clear that without a port with Thunderbolt 3, you will not be able to use the external Nvidia graphics card. Even so, you can buy certain video graphics with other USB ports.

Power supply power

The dock where the external GeForce graphics is included contains a power supply. A fact that will mark what types of cheap graphics cards it can support. The potency you will be able to know quickly since all the manufacturers specify it in the description. In any case, it is information that you will not have to worry about excessively.

Almost all fairly powerful external video cards do not consume more than 400 W. Some do not reach 200 W at full performance with video games. If you have purchased a high-capacity gaming graphics card, a dock with a 500 W power supply will be more than enough.

Dock size

If, in your case, you have bought the dock and the external graphics card, you cannot forget to check if the GPU fits well inside. There are a large number of docks with very different capacities. So it will be easy for you to find a model where you can enter the external PC Components graphic well.

But comfort also depends on the size. External graphic components are usually used for portable stations. So when you decide to take your PC away from home, you have to remember that the graphic will also go with you. Maybe you even need a computer backpack and a separate one to store the laptop graphics. A great idea that manufacturers had is to offer an ITX version of certain large graphics. These models provide almost the same performance as their older sisters but in a smaller size.

For a laptop or desktop?

Although the use of eGPUs is more oriented towards laptops, they are also used for desktop computers. It is indeed better to exchange the one that the tower has for a new one. But in some instances, the motherboard may be incompatible. There is not enough space for the new one, or the power supply cannot give the power that the internal GPU needs.

If you want a complete game station, the best thing you can do is mount a desktop one with a dedicated internal graphic. Since the PCIe connection is more efficient than Thunderbolt 3. Hence the difference in performance that we talked about between the external ones and internal.

The external graphics notebooks are for a laptop or to combine the use of a desktop and a laptop to play, where you can change the USB external graphics card on both devices. For MACs, an eGPU is recommended. Since their graphics do not offer the necessary quality for expert players.

Is the same performance achieved as with an internal GPU?

Unfortunately, the performance you will get will not be the same as if you were using an internal GPU. Performance loss occurs due to data is transmitted between the eGPU and the PC. No matter how fast it is, it cannot be compared in speed to the PCI express port of a motherboard. But in those cases, the sacrifices that we will have to make are much greater due to the reduced bandwidth.

HP is proud to help you improve your gaming experience on a laptop without having to mortgage yourself thanks to this dock. Replacing or installing a graphics card on it is also relatively easy. The surprising thing about this unit is that its use is not limited only to graphics cards. It also has storage expansion ports. It allows you to mount 2.5-inch hard drives or SSDs. In terms of connectivity, it has HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI in addition to a Gigabit Ethernet port.

What do we know about the external graphics card?

Before talking about graphics, we have to explain the differences between the GPU and the eGPU. The GPU is the graphics card itself, and the eGPU is the union of the video graphics and a power supply that is responsible for running the external GPU that connects to a PCI-Express port. These parts are inserted into a dock, a kind of box that turns the set into a sort of mini desktop pc. The dock also has a motherboard part and the PCI-Express slot, in addition to all the parts to contact the laptop or desktop PC.

The interface connects to a port on the computer, and the dock has a power connection. But almost all eGPUs have multiple connections so that we do not get problems in operation, and the entire battery of the laptop does not drain in a short time. The Nvidia external graphics cards and other brands have shown a high performance.

Buy the best external graphics cards thanks to The Best 5

The reality is that the external graphics solve the problems you may have to reach the necessary power with which you can play comfortably. We are not going to let you go around dizzy looking. That's why we offer you the best external graphics cards on the network.

Conclusion

Now, we end our complete guide to the best external graphics cards and empty eGPU docks, under our experience and opinion. The truth is that most of them are quite large teams, and others like Asus have a spectacular design. If you have a MacBook or a Max-Q laptop without a dedicated graphics card, these products are a perfect option to configure a high-performance gaming device. Although not at precisely a low price. What model do you think is better than the ones you've seen? Would you put any other model that has caught your attention?

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