The notion of an external graphics card (eGPU) is now more of a widespread option as technology advances and customer expectations soar.
For sure, a fully-equipped desktop computer will provide you with the best options when it comes to customizing your experience, but you can now upgrade your laptop to have the capability of a full-tower system.
If you are using your laptop for gaming or work, you may find that you want a boost in performance that integrated graphics simply cannot deliver. That’s where an eGPU comes in handy.
What is an eGPU? Is eGPU worth it? Is it too early to invest in one now? Let’s take a look.
What is an eGPU?
An eGPU, which stands for external graphics processing unit, is an external graphics card that attaches to your device through a single wire. The power will then be transferred from your laptop’s internal GPU to the external graphics card.
A graphics processing unit (GPU) is the component of your device that creates the visuals on your screen. You may now have your graphics card reside outside of the casing and connect to the motherboard with a single wire, thanks to recent enhancements to device connectivity, such as the USB-C connection.
eGPUs works the best on systems that can’t take a traditional graphics card. Many low-cost PCs and laptops are sold without a graphics card.
How Do eGPUs Work?
In most circumstances, an external GPU will be connected via a dock. An external GPU port connects to your computer through a PCIe slot for the graphics card and commonly a Thunderbolt or USB-C cable.
Installing the card, drivers, restarting, and installing any custom software is all it takes to use a dock.
After you’ve set it up, your computer will send graphics requests to the external GPU rather than the one that came with your machine. Because laptops, on the whole, don’t have much graphical processing power, this technique should theoretically result in superior graphics performance.
Keep in mind that while you may utilize an external GPU on your desktop, laptops are far more prevalent. You gain more extraordinary graphics performance by using a larger, more powerful card. Perhaps even enough to play a few visually demanding games.
How eGPUs Look Today?
If you look at GPUs right now, you’ll see that they’re usually sold as enclosures. These are boxes that have a connection cable and dedicated power but don’t have a graphics card.
The product will display a list of compatible cards, allowing you to change them and select the one you wish to use. Some will even have several GPU compartments for even greater processing capacity.
As a result, selling an eGPU nowadays is more about selling a box for a graphics card than selling a graphics card in a box.
Is it Worth Buying an eGPU?
eGPUs are excellent at filling their niche. The issue is that the niche is far smaller than you may expect. If your laptop is having trouble playing the newest games, an eGPU might be able to help. A new PC, on the other hand, will do the same job as well.
As a result, anyone adopting an eGPU must weigh the benefits of doing so against the cost of purchasing new hardware.
There are, however, a few niches that meet the criteria. For example, suppose a buddy offers you their old GPU. In that case, you may use an eGPU case to connect it to a laptop without having to acquire all of the other components.
An eGPU is ideal if you want to utilize your laptop for graphically intense games. Instead of dragging around a heavy laptop designed exclusively for gaming, you may operate your machine as a portable device during the day. The eGPU will provide higher frame rates and smoother gameplay.
If you deal with special effects, editing, rendering, color grading, or animation, an eGPU is also a good choice. It can aid in the improvement of operations while also showing visuals of more excellent quality.
An eGPU can reduce the burden of updating technology by providing a significant power boost to laptops.
However, as previously stated, these are sporadic instances. It’s not about whether an eGPU performs a good job; it’s about if it’s the best match for the job. It’s worth investing in an eGPU if it’s the only option to reach your objectives. However, there is frequently a better and less expensive option that you may utilize instead.
External GPUs Are Only Going to Get Better
The Thunderbolt/USB-C bandwidth problem isn’t going away on its own. External GPU hardware and software will continue to develop, and external GPUs will almost certainly improve as well.
External GPUs have piqued the curiosity of many individuals. Hardware companies also want to get their GPUs into the hands of as many people as possible. As a result, they have a solid motivation to upgrade the technology continuously.
If you’re looking for an eGPU, the current lineup lets you mix and match graphics cards to customize your system. However, before you purchase one, think about if buying a new system would be a better option. After all, eGPUs are quite expensive.
If your computer already has a graphics card, and you want to figure out what’s slowing down its performance, you can do it by running a GPU stress test.
eGPU setups are a terrific option to enhance your outdated or lower-powered laptop with a GPU capable of rendering, gaming, and any other GPU-intensive activities you have in mind.
They are, nonetheless, exceptionally situational.
When you consider the entire expenditures of an eGPU system, it’s sometimes wiser to just save up and acquire a whole new laptop or desktop.
However, if you have the funds and a process that would benefit from it, an eGPU can boost your productivity significantly.