Last Updated on July 1, 2021 by paularo
An eGPU is an extension that sits outside your laptop and can be used to boost the performance of your laptop. But even at that what we want to know today is that does an eGPU works with any laptop. Most laptop power users are interested in buying this GPU to enhance how their laptops perform.
Can you use an eGPU with any laptop? No, you can only use an eGPU with your laptop if your laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 port then there is a very high chance that an eGPU will work with your laptop. Some laptops with Thunderbolt 2 or 1 will work with an eGPU but expect some performance loss.
However, the performance you will get with a laptop that has thunderbolt 3 is way ahead of the performance of a laptop with thunderbolt 1 or 2. In a nutshell, if your laptop doesn’t have any of the thunderbolt ports then you can’t use it with an eGPU.
The only downside to owning an eGPU for now is that it is not portable. You have to station it on a desk and each time you want to use it you have to take your laptop to the station. but does an eGPU really work with any laptop?
When buying an eGPU it is very important that you make extensive research before making the final purchase. Not all laptops will work with an eGPU and even the ones that are compatible will require certain types of configurations.
For example, MacBook laptops don’t work with AMD based GPU same applies to certain brands with another GPU. There are a number of forums like Reddit, and others, where you can ask around or even check to see if someone with your type of laptop, has built an eGPU. The eGPU technology is still new and it is getting better with time.
What is Thunderbolt and Why do I Need it to use an eGPU?
A thunderbolt port is a high-speed input and output from intel. With a thunderbolt port, you can use a single cable to access high speed and high-resolution media through one port with a cable that can access both Display Port and PCI Express.
Thunderbolt has a technology that allows PCI Express speed to come to life in a convenient way. This technology has made it possible for people to build eGPU and make them compatible with their laptops. It was formerly called Light Peak and the new Thunderbolt name was adopted when Apple and Intel worked together to improve it.
Connectivity with thunderbolt is very fast and can go up to 10 Gigabits per second worth of data throughput. Each port on thunderbolt has two channels and what makes the speed and connectivity even better is that it is bi-directional. It can transmit and receive data at the same time.
Thunderbolt supports audio, power, video, power, and data all through a single connection. The performance of thunderbolt is amazing and it outdid what other previous technologies like Firewire and 3Gbps wanted to do.
We have the first Gen which is the thunderbolt 1-second gen which is the thunderbolt 2 and finally, we have the fastest Generation to date which is Thunderbolt 3. Both the first generation and second generation of thunderbolt can work with an eGPU but the third-gen will give you a really fast connection.
The major reason why you need a thunderbolt port to enjoy using an eGPU is that it is capable of transferring all the data required to boost your laptops performance. As usual, the external GPU sits outside your laptop all you need is a USB type C to connect it with your laptop.
For now, thunderbolt 3 uses only works with USB C that is thunderbolt enabled and that is the only means of connection. it is also important to know that a micro USB port will not connect to an eGPU. Your native USB C would also not work if it’s not thunderbolt enabled.
How to use an eGPU with a Laptop
Laptops normally come with limited graphics processing powers and it can never match a Desktop when it comes to power. For people who always want more from their laptop an eGPU can be the only way to improve how their laptop perform.
Some gamers prefer gaming with laptops and they can heavily rely on an external graphics processing unit to give them that immersive gaming experience on their laptop. by combining a desktop-style power supply, a strong graphics card, and a PCIe your laptop will rely on the external dock for graphics rather than the internal one. This will reflect and improve your laptop especially from the display.
To connect your laptop to an eGPU all you need is a USB type C cable that will be inserted into your laptop from the Enclosure. most enclosure has various port and that include ethernet, extra USB ports, and HDMI.
You can even connect an eGPU to a monitor, keyboard, or even mice. With the thunderbolt 3 you can get up to 40Gbps connection and it will sync all the data transferred at once. The best eGPU enclosure is the Razer Core X Chroma.
using an eGPU can be great but it is important to know that there are certain limitations especially depending on the type of laptop you are using. For those using a MacBook intel based eGPU are what will work best for you. if you are using a windows laptop you can choose between NVIDIA and AMD there by giving you more options.
Related eGPU Questions
All laptops have USB can’t I use one for eGPU?
You can’t because a USB port doesn’t expose the PCI Express endpoint so a video card has nothing to connect to. All video cards have PCI Express as their proprietary connection method to their host machine. A thunderbolt 3 is what will be able to connect properly and give you maximum performance from the eGPU.
How Hard is it to get an eGPU working?
It’s as simple as connecting a keyboard to a laptop. all you need to do is to connect your USB Type C to your thunderbolt 3 port on your laptop. after that you connect the same cable to your enclosure and that’s all.