It has become increasingly difficult to imagine a day without a laptop. With the advent of global digitalization, the use of computers, cell phones, and laptops in our lives has become indispensable. The domain of usage of these devices ranges right from a professional workplace to an individual’s personal work studio. We’ve grown so accustomed to scheduling and syncing our lives with our gadgets that we feel lost otherwise. However, there is one minor flip side to all of this. The relenting evolution of technology mandates along with it a constant upgrade of the gadgets at your disposal. Given how our devices basically project our virtual representations online, this can be a daunting task. A more suitable alternative lies in upgrading certain components of your device to make it withstand the test of time. An external graphics card for laptop serves this exact purpose for the user.
The average life span of a laptop is at most around 4-5 years. While this seems to be a lofty figure at the outset, it blinds us to certain essential facts. Every year that you spend in possession of your laptop, the innovation of a more advanced chipset announces itself. This basically means that the hardware and software configuration of your laptops become incrementally obsolete with every passing year.
With chipset innovation, the concomitant software are also rolled out in that particular light. Hence it is often noticed that the latest version of the software usually lags when executed in an older model. This situation poses to greatly disrupts and hamper your professional as well as personal workflow. The most appropriate solution to this predicament is to upgrade your laptop to align with it the software’s expectations. An external graphics card for laptop not only facilitates greater efficiency on visual inputs but also makes system result oriented.
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Graphics Card and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
Before you go about hunting for the best external graphics card for your laptop, you need to grasp the core. A thorough understanding of what a graphic card is what it does shall help you immensely in shaping your decisions. Now, there are two kinds of things that you can attach externally to your system. One is of course, the graphics card. Second, you can also go ahead with an external graphics processing unit (GPU). Depending on the merit of the task and the specifications of your system you can take a call accordingly. But before that, we need to delve deeper into the academic prospects of both these entities.
Broadly put, a graphics card is a piece of your system’s hardware that produces and processes the image displayed. On your laptop, the graphics card is majorly responsible for rendering all the visual information and inputs to your system. Under these circumstances, it goes without saying that the choice of your graphic card reflects directly on your professional efficiency. The better the quality of your graphic card, the smoother the visual information that it renders.
Graphics cards can be classified into an integrated or discrete card depending on the system that you have. High-end systems generally have an efficient inbuilt graphics card on them. This is what we refer to as the integrated architecture. On the other hand, a discrete graphics card is like an external component that you fit in your system additionally. While the graphics card is more or less a singular entity, a graphics processing unit is a specialized electronic circuit.
True to its name, its design caters to maneuvering and processing voluminous amounts of visual information. Video editors, sound engineers, and professional gamers usually have dedicated GPUs attached along with their personal computers. The primary objective of a GPU is to accelerate the formation of images in a specific frame buffer. Usually, this buffer is intended to generate output on a display device. GPUs generally find widespread usage in the scope of embedded systems. Smartphones, smart-watches, gaming consoles, and professional workstations are some constructs that make active use of a specialized GPU.
External graphics card for laptop
The idea of procuring an external graphics card or GPU for your laptop is one that is extremely tempting. As a matter of fact, this temptation is rather righteous as well. For the number of services and utilities that a laptop GPU upgrade kit can fetch you are absolutely mindboggling. However, it is also equally important to narrow down upon the best laptop graphics card. The quest for a cheap external GPU often leads to higher levels of dissatisfaction at the user’s end. It can also cause the corruption of your existing system configuration as well. Hence it is vital that we take a well-informed decision while deciding on the best external GPU for our systems. The following section resolves this exact predicament by walking you through the finest external graphics card for a laptop out there:
Asus ROG XG Station 2
The stylish and sizeable Asus ROG XG Station 2 is easily among the finest external graphics card for laptop. In the market, it is primarily known for the robust support that it provides to well-defined gaming battle stations. The exquisite design and the sublime look give it an aesthetic edge as well.
The Asus ROG XG Station 2 is Asus’s bold statement in the world of eGPUs. Easily among the most stylish external consoles out there, it packs a punch with its functionalities and utilities as well. At the outset, it comes equipped with an abundant number of ports that are designed to accommodate varying situations. These include as many as four USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.0 type-B port, and a Gigabit Ethernet port too. Additionally, the rear also possesses a port for Intel’s latest connectivity standard Thunderbolt 3. The rear also contains the power port that is mounted up there.
This impressive assemble makes it a suitable companion for supporting the most demanding Virtual Reality Headsets out there. Notable among these are the highly renowned Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Both of these headsets stand handsomely supported by the all-powerful Asus ROG XG Station 2. Besides VR headsets, this console is compatible with a horde of other devices as well. Lenovo’s business-ready the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 is one among such systems.
Additionally, the computer also makes its count among the very few systems that are compatible with the Razor Blade stealth as well. As a result, it is highly efficient in charging both the systems. Clocking at almost $550 the Asus ROG XG Station 2 is easily among the most expensive eGPUs in the competition. However, its sublime accessibility and wide array of functions as fostered by its compatibility make it highly sought-after as well. It doubles up as a long-term investment that reaps rich dividends for all intents and purposes.
Razer Core X
As an external GPU, the Razer Core X carves its stance as among the most reliable external graphics card for laptops. Already a known figure in the graphics domain, Razor has proved itself time and again with its high utility inventions. The Razer Core X is thus the latest addition in a long legacy of highly esteemed and extremely sophisticated eGPUs. With this latest model, Razer has strived to introduce a bulkier and a more affordable variant in the existent market.
The Razer Core X is substantially more streamlined than its predecessors as well. The bigger chassis makes for the perfect front for the installation of bulkier GPUs in the system. Notable among these ranks is the NVidia GeForce GTX Titan V. The voluntary omission of the Ethernet ports is made with a vision to enhance the console’s functionality. Additionally, the Razer Core X also makes its count among the first Razor eGPUs to be compatible with a Mac. As per the design, the Core X doesn’t leave much to the user’s desire.
The jet-black CNC aluminum coat largely accentuates the conspicuous tri-headed silver snake emblem emblazoned across the left of the body. The see-through grate on the right offers the user a generous view of the Graphics processing unit. Along with the power input, the Razer Core X flaunts another port for supporting Intel’s Thunderbolt 3.
The quartet of USB 3.0 ports that were consistent with Razer’s previous designs stands compromised with the Core X model. Keeping in line with its predecessors, the Core X is also compatible with dual and quad-lane Thunderbolt 3 notebooks. The Razer Core X is also the firm’s first step towards forging compatibility with the Mac. At $299 the Core X is by far Razer’s most pocket-friendly venture in the eGPU domain. The wide array of services that it promises at the specified price tag, makes Razer Core X an absolute steal. Besides the brand value of Razer is an additional assurance to the investor in the first place.
Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box
With a pre-installed GPU, the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming box establishes itself as a utilitarian external graphics card for laptop. In the longer run, this gaming box makes for a vastly budget-friendly option. The compact design of the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box, definitely makes it the cynosure of all eyes. Its dimensions of 6.4*8.4*3.8 inches make it among the most portable eGPUs out there. Its bulk of roughly 5 pounds further adds substance to its compact feature. The trademark silver chrome avian logo across the matte black aluminum envelope makes for a visually arresting sight.
The aesthetics are ably aided by some intelligent design features as well. Two sizeable grates on either side facilitate steady ventilation for the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box. Additionally, it also grants the user a satisfactory view of the pre-installed mini GPU on the inside. It also comes with a carrying case to cater to the user’s hankering of some on-the-go gaming and work devotion. The overall design of the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box by and large fosters one particular dynamic.
And that is the plug and play performance model. Starting from its hardware dimensions to its chip configuration, it truly is an ardent exponent of this particular philosophy. Despite its inconspicuous dimensions, the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box comes packed with multiple ports. Besides a Thunderbolt 3 and a power jack, the console boasts of a wide variety of other utility ports too. These include three USB 3.0 ports, an orange dash-charge USB 3.0 port, an HDMI, and a pair of DVI-2 ports.
The only downside to the Aorus GTX 1070 gaming box is probably the rigidity in terms of its pre-installed GPU. Since the box is sealed the user does not get the liberty of switching the GPU with a choice alternative. The Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming box finds itself to be conveniently compatible with the Lenovo ThinkPad T470. At $590 the Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box does in fact appear extreme at fast. However, prior knowledge of the fact that the tag also entails the pre-installed GPU is rather consoling. In that particular price range, this console offers an array of functionalities that most eGPUs generally don’t.
Choosing the most suitable external graphics card for laptop involves a number of decisive factors. Primary among those is analyzing the demand of your profession. Getting an external graphics card or a GPU for a job that mostly involves trivial documentation and tabulation is unnecessary. A high-end and multifunctional system mostly merits itself in the fields of graphic design and film-making.
Additionally, fields of competitive programming and machine learning make use of rather sophisticated systems as well. The voluminous datasets involved in these domains often generates the need for superior processing powers. Outside the professional atmosphere, the field of gaming is where these systems find the highest relevance. Modern games with their sophisticated design and generous visuals often merit an external graphics card or eGPU for smoother functioning. Given the lucrative world of online gaming, the demand for an external graphics card only seems to be trending upward.