PCs are great for playing games, but the reality is that the graphics card in your laptop is not cutting it. Laptops are not made to last long, and when you start dropping it on the ground, or bumping it against walls, or getting it wet, the GPU in the laptop will start to act up.

It’s been a while since I have been writing about eGPUs, but I have been thinking about them a lot lately. In the recent months, there have been a lot of articles on the topic, and some of them are great. However, some of them are very misleading, and some of them are just plain wrong. That’s why I decided to write an article about the best external graphics cards for laptops.

As your laptop becomes more powerful you’ll need to look into graphics cards to get the most out of it. Many applications can benefit from an eGPU upgrade, but if you want the best of the best you’ll need to pay more for the best of the best. Here are our top picks for the best eGPUs for laptop.

Both desktop and laptop computers may be used for gaming, however desktop computers have the edge over laptop computers in terms of future improvements. We can update our desktop computers with new CPUs and graphics cards over time, but this will not happen on laptops anytime soon.

Manufacturers produce laptops that can be upgraded in the future, although this is restricted to hard drives and memory modules. We can’t leave our computers at home since they’re portable and enable us to play games everywhere from our bed to college to a park bench. 

How can we update our laptop’s graphics card to play certain current games? This is a commonly requested topic. At the very least, some Esports games? The basic answer is that we can’t improve the graphics card that’s already installed, but we can add additional ones to get greater performance out of them. 

We’ve compiled a list of the finest external graphics cards for laptop computers that you should consider purchasing to improve your gaming experience. You may already be aware of the significance of a graphics card in any gaming system. When we look at the specs of laptops, we can observe that the newest generation high-end machines even include integrated graphics cards. 

Before we look into graphics card raisers, let’s have a look at what we should think about before purchasing an external graphics card box. 

Support for Computer Computer Computer Computer Computer Computer Computer Graphics Cards:

The support for various graphics cards is the first thing we need to think about in any external graphics card box. Some market models may not support Intel graphics cards, while others struggle with AMD GPUs. I’ve encountered several people ready to utilize these raisers with workstation graphics cards, but the lack of compatibility disappoints. Simply verify whether the raiser box supports Nvidia or AMD graphics cards.

Unit of Electricity:

Another important factor to consider is the power supply, since the graphics cards we’ll be installing will need connections such as 8-Pin or 6-Pin. There, we must ensure that the pre-installed power supply can handle our graphics card and that it has all of the necessary connections. Some versions come with 350 W power supplies, which is insufficient to operate high-end graphics cards, so keep that in mind. 

Portability:

Of course, if you possess a laptop, you don’t use it to play games by connecting it to an external monitor. The majority of customers choose laptops since they are portable and may be taken anyplace. Make sure your eGPU box is small if you need to carry your computer outdoors. There are also tiny, battery-operated boxes available for people who like to carry them in their luggage.

List of the Best Laptop External Graphics Cards

Here are a few recommended eGPU racks for giving your portable gaming devices a significant and dedicated graphics boost.

Graphics Amplifier by Alienware

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Alienware is renowned for producing real gaming laptops; although they don’t have the same performance and upgrade possibilities as desktops, they are comparable. Alienware laptops often provide above-average gaming performance, and when comparing the best gaming laptops of 2021, this brand ranks #1.

Alienware is renowned not just for gaming laptops, but also for other gear, and today we have an Alienware Graphics Amplifier, which lets you connect external graphics cards to any Alienware computer. It has a power supply as well as a PCIe x16 slot, allowing you to add any graphics card. 

The main purpose of this box is to provide more room for an external graphics card, which you may attach to your laptop to receive a substantial speed increase. It can be used on both desktop and laptop computers, and the installation procedure is very simple.

While reading several Amazon reviews, I noticed that many people are critical of the appearance of this eGPU box, which is understandable given that there are more appealing alternatives on the market. The design of this eGPU box resembles a bread toaster, having vents on the top and front sides. 

The nice thing about this eGPU box is that it’s a little older, but it still works with any modern graphics card and has no performance limitations. You may put any Nvidia or AMD graphics card on it, however the Rx 470 or GTX 1070 from Nvidia are the most popular. If you have more money to spend on graphics cards, Turing-based GPUs are an option. 

Four USB ports, a built-in 450 W PSU, RGB lights with considerable effects, and other features are included in one tiny box.

Specifications:

Model Graphics Amplifier by Alienware (9R7XN)
Electricity 450 W
Fans 2x
Graphics Card This item is not available.
Box Dimensions 7.7 kilos
Dimensions The dimensions are 16.1 x 7.3 x 6.8 inches.
Requirements Thunderbolt 3 is the third generation of Thunderbolt. is the third generation of Thunderbolt. is the third generation of Thunderbolt. is the third generation of Thunderbolt. is the third generation of Thunderbolt. is the third generation of Thunderbolt.

Pros

  • Alienware computers have received a major update.
  • The enclosure has the appearance of a mini-desktop.
  • Connecting is simple and uncomplicated.
  • Installation of the GPU is not an issue at all.

Cons

  • A little more expensive than the competition.
  • Only Alienware 13, 15, and 17 machines are compatible.
  • The vents make it seem to be on the opposite side of the building.

eGFX Breakaway Box 650 from Sonnet

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Unlike the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, this one is not brand-specific, and it can be used with any laptop and any AMD or Nvidia graphics card. That’s a fantastic hardware component if you want better gaming performance on your laptop or are weary of lags and shuttering in games.

Gaming laptops are more costly than normal laptops, and most customers choose the lowest affordable option. In this scenario, the GPU boost is sufficient to play Esports and certain contemporary games without breaking the bank. It’s also lightweight, so you can carry it anywhere you want. 

The thermal design of this box is unquestionably outstanding for an eGPU box; nevertheless, because to the tiny shell, we need a lot of cooling. The Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box comes with several pre-installed fans and enough room to add AIO cooler radiators for improved graphics card cooling. 

Non-techies may find it difficult to replace the graphics cards in these boxes, but it is simple to do so simply removing the top cover. Because of its superior thermal design, those who want to overclock the graphics card in this box will find it to be a great option. 

Although the manufacturer promises a data transmission speed of 4GBPS, the performance of these raisers is somewhat lower than when utilizing graphics cards on desktop computers. This allows you to enjoy contemporary games without experiencing any latency or stuttering.

This eGPU box comes with several fans and a 350 W power supply, which you may customize to meet your specific power requirements. 

Specifications:

Model Thunderbolt 3 GPU 350W Sonnet eGPU Breakway Box
Electricity 350 W
Fans Supported by 1 AIO
Graphics Card This item is not available.
Box Dimensions 7.1 lbs
Dimensions 18.5 x 34.0 x 20.2 cm x 18.5 x 34.0 x 20.2 cm x 18.5
Requirements Thunderbolt 3

Pros

  • The eGPU box has a single fan radiator, which is a bonus.
  • It comes with a power supply already fitted.
  • The installation procedure is easy to follow.
  • Aesthetically pleasing.
  • There’s enough space inside for a GPU.

Cons

  • For insect graphics cards, the 350 W PSU is insufficient.
  • Some GPUs aren’t compatible with it.
  • The installation procedure for Mac devices is a little more difficult.

GA1 1000 HP OMEN Accelerator Shell

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We have another brand-specific graphics card raiser box, but this one is much superior than the last one, which was an older model. The HP OMEN Accelerator Shell GA1 is a portable accelerator shell that can help you get more performance out of your computer. This package is designed for gamers who don’t want to sacrifice graphics card performance. 

As you may be aware, this product is straight from HP, therefore we won’t have to worry about the build quality or performance of this box. Despite the fact that it is somewhat more costly than other raiser boxes on the market, I strongly advise you to get this one if you can afford it due to its outstanding functionality and appearance. 

This box works with any AMD and Nvidia graphics card, which makes it a better choice than others. However, certain cards may not function with it, so check the manufacturer’s website first for a list of compatible cards. This eGPU box, according to the manufacturer, supports more graphics cards than any other rival. 

The installation of a graphics card on this box is better and more convenient than on any other box since it has a door through which you can simply slide the GPU in and out. This box comes with a pre-installed HP power supply that can easily handle any graphics card you can think of. 

Another noteworthy feature of this box is a space for a 2.5-inch SATA drive, as well as the ability to add an SSD drive. There are a couple USB Type-A connections on this box as well, which are useful for connecting it to your laptop. 

Overall, it’s a great product from a well-known company, and we should consider purchasing one for our laptop to boost its performance. 

Specifications:

Model GA1 1000 HP OMEN Accelerator Shell
Electricity 500 W
Fans 2x
Graphics Card This item is currently unavailable.
Box Size Compact/portable
Dimensions 15.7 inches, 7.9 inches, 7.9 inches
Requirements Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1

Pros

  • It’s a plug-and-play drive that’s simple to set up.
  • Also supports three graphics cards with fans.
  • Allow for the installation of 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs.
  • Even when under heavy load, the pre-installed fans are very quiet.
  • It is well worth the money because of all of these features.

Cons

  • Workstation graphics cards should not be used.
  • It’s a little more costly than the competition.
  • Embedded graphics cards are not included.

Thunderbolt 3 Akitio Node

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When it comes to finding the cheapest eGPU box on the market, the Akitio Node Thunderbolt 3 may be the best choice. This external graphics card box is inexpensive, yet it doesn’t skimp on functionality, since it has everything you need. A 400 W power supply is pre-installed on the graphics card, providing constant power to the GPU.

This level of power is sufficient for any mid-range graphics card, but you won’t be able to put RTX-based graphics cards on it since they need 600W. The compatibility of this eGPU box is good, since it supports the majority of Nvidia and AMD graphics cards on the market. 

This box works with both Windows and Mac devices, however Mac users may notice a performance difference when compared to Windows users. This box’s performance is little impacted, and the graphics card installed on Windows performs similarly. You can only utilize AMD graphics cards with this box when it’s linked to Mac devices. 

Because EVGA graphics cards are large and need more than two slots on the rear, this box has an advantage in such situations because its side panel can be removed and 2.5 slot graphics cards installed. The mobility of this case is also great, since it includes a carrying handle on the top and can be carried anywhere. 

The performance of an eGPU box is the most important factor to consider, and this one uses Thunderbolt 3, which has a data transmission rate of 40GBPs. As a result, this eGPU box is the best on our list since it is a low-cost but high-quality choice with such characteristics. 

Specifications:

Model Thunderbolt 3 eGPU for Windows by Akitio Node
Electricity 400 W
Fans 2x
Graphics Card This item is currently unavailable.
Box Size Adaptable/portable
Dimensions 42.8 centimeters, 14.5 centimeters, and 22.7 centimeters
Requirements Thunderbolt 3

Pros

  • Consider this low-cost alternative.
  • The power supply is 400 watts.
  • Supports graphics cards with two slots.
  • A slew of fans and a side window.

Cons

  • The construction is of poor quality.
  • For certain GPUs, a 400 W power supply is insufficient.

AORUS Gaming Box GTX 1070 from Gigabyte

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Users that are brand loyal may choose the Gigabyte Graphics Card box, which has a beautiful design and excellent build quality. This external graphics card box outperforms anything else on the market. It comes with a GTX 1070 graphics card pre-installed, which is much superior than the integrated graphics card. 

You can obtain the greatest performance in every game and max out most games with 8 GB of dedicated RAM. For certain contemporary games, you may need to make some compromises on the in-game resolutions. Its performance gigabyte also works well with the graphics card’s size, and it’s small and portable.

This hardware’s tiny size does not detract from its performance, and you can expect the same level of performance as other eGPU devices. Users who are concerned about the box’s appearance may be dissatisfied with this one, since it seems to be quite plain. This package has a few orange-colored lights that provide great aesthetics. 

The display output ports have not been shut off by Gigabyte, and you will see all of the connectors present on the GTX 1070 graphics card’s founder edition. This box comes with the gigabyte engine software, which allows you to modify some of the box’s settings as well as the RGB lights. This box is beautiful on the inside and exterior, and there are no cables to deal with. 

The performance of this graphics card varies from system to system, so expect to see some variation. 

Specifications:

Model Aorus Gaming Box with GTX 1080 GPU from Gigabyte
Electricity 4‎50 W
Fans 2x
Graphics Card Embedded GTX 1070
Box Size Compact
Dimensions 2 mm, 96 mm, and 162 mm
Requirements Thunderbolt 3

Pros

  • With this performance, the pricing is reasonable.
  • The GTX 1070 is pre-installed.
  • It has a small footprint and is quite portable.
  • It’s compatible with Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Cons

  • There is a performance differential in May.
  • The difference in quality between a laptop display and an external monitor.

ROG XG Station 2 by ASUS

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The ASUS ROG XG Station 2, which comes with Thunderbolt 3 and data transfer speeds of up to 40 GBPS, is yet another impressive arrival from a well-known company. If you have a decent graphics card, this tiny box enables you to max out in-game settings at high resolutions, and it comes direct from ASUS, so you don’t have to worry about the hardware inside. 

We’ve seen eGPU boxes with intricate designs before, but the red and black color scheme, as well as certain cuts, make this one seem more appealing than the others. It features a lovely finish on the front and an RGB light, which adds to its attractiveness. Because of the color and intricacy, the design of this package evokes the ASUS Rog series of graphics cards. 

When you open the cover of this box, you’ll see that there’s enough room for two graphics cards and a 2.5-inch SSD drive. What more do you want from a raiser box? It comes with a 600W power supply that can support the newest RTX 2080 Ti graphics card, so what else do you want? 

Most customers found it difficult to set up the graphics card in these external graphics card boxes, however with this one, you can open it from the top button and view everything inside. All you need to do now is plug the graphics card into the PCIe x16 slot and you’re done. 

The thermal design of this box was also well-done by Asus, as it has enough space and airflow to keep the newest graphics cards cool even under heavy loads. However, these raiser boxes are ineffective in reducing the noise generated by graphics card fans.

Specifications:

Model Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock ASUS ROG XG Station 2
Electricity Gold 600W 80 Plus
Fans 2x
Graphics Card This item is currently unavailable.
Box Size Portable
Dimensions 45.6 millimeters, 15.8 millimeters, and 27.8 millimeters
Requirements Thunderbolt 3

Pros

  • The dark hue combined with the RED lights creates a fantastic color combo.
  • It has a PSU that can handle large graphics cards.
  • This machine’s build quality is outstanding.
  • It is not prohibitively costly.

Cons

  • In certain areas, it is not available.
  • There’s nothing else.

The Gigabyte Aorus Gaming Box comes with a GTX 1080 graphics card.

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Another Gigabyte Aorus graphics card box, a pre-installed graphics card, and a power supply were the last items on our list. In this package, you’ll find a GTX 1080 graphics card, which is somewhat less expensive than Turing-based graphics cards but performs much better than their entry-level versions. 

Because it contains integrated graphics cards, it has access to all of the display output ports present on the founding edition of this graphics card. Other connections on this box include three USB ports for connecting external keyboards and mouse, a USB storage mic and headphones, and an Ethernet port, in addition to video output. 

Another wonderful advantage of this box is that it can operate without the need of power since it is equipped with batteries. Many users find charging to be a time-consuming and inconvenient procedure; however, this one does not operate with traditional charging ways, instead using a quick charging technique that makes the process simple. 

This external graphics card box is a plug-and-play gadget, so you won’t have to fiddle with cables or settings. The mobility of this box is excellent, and you can simply transport it around your institution or school. 

We don’t have to worry about the build quality of this box since Gigabyte is a fantastic brand. This box has a very simple appearance, and there is no RGB light with any major effects or an RGB fan in it. However, I’m certain that the GTX 1080 graphics card will surprise you in terms of performance. 

One feature that may disappoint some customers is the box’s compatibility for Apple laptops and desktop computers. 

Specifications:

Model Aorus Gaming Box with GTX 1080 GPU from Gigabyte
Power Supply 4‎50 W
Fans 2x
Graphics Card GTX 1080
Box Size Portable / Compact
Dimensions 2 mm, 96 mm, and 162 mm
Requirements Thunderbolt 3

Pros

  • It is much superior than having an integrated graphics card to use this method.
  • With only a single wire, it’s quite simple to attach.
  • It allows you to play games on tiny gaming devices.
  • It has a small footprint.

Cons

  • When the fan is operating at full speed, it makes a lot of noise.
  • Upgrades are difficult in this package.

Conclusion

Because of the high-end technology and external graphics card boxes available, gaming on a laptop is not a problem. We’ve looked at some of the finest external graphics cards for laptops that you can buy to replace your inbuilt graphics card. All you have to do now is get a decent graphics card and put it in this box to enjoy a better gaming experience. There are many models available, but the one we described is the finest in every way and provides you with more value than the others. 

Let’s start with the most affordable device on the list, which is the Akitio Node Thunderbolt 3 eGPU for Windows, but it does miss certain premium features due to its low price. An Alienware Graphics Amplifier is available for those who have an Alienware computer, however it is only compatible with the Alienware 13, 15, and r2 17 machines. We offer the HP OMEN Accelerator if you’re searching for anything from a well-known brand. The Gigabyte Aorus Gaming Box, which comes in a variety of models, including the GTX 1070, GTX 1080, RTX 2060, and more, is a good option for non-techies seeking for a plug-and-play gadget. 

FAQ

And while you’re shopping around for the best GPU for your laptop, there are some things to keep in mind. The first is that while eGPUs are becoming more popular, they’re still not very common, with only a handful of laptops currently available with eGPU support. And while that number is slowly growing, you’ll still have to be selective in your search.. Read more about egpu thunderbolt 4 and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What graphics cards are compatible with eGPU?

eGPU is a portmanteau of external graphics card. It is an external device that can be plugged into your computer to provide extra power for graphic intensive applications.

Which is the best external graphics card?

The best external graphics card is the one that you feel most comfortable with. There are many factors to consider, such as your budget and what games you want to play.

Is an external GPU for laptop worth it?

An external GPU for laptop is worth it if you want to play games that require a lot of graphics power.