What is the External Graphics Processing Unit (eGPU)

Today, the world’s technologies have rapidly evolved, and there are many kinds of gadgets, peripherals, devices, and, others which have been produced by the manufacturing company.

In the laptop world, many aspects can affect its prices, such as the processor, storage, memory/RAM, and many more. So, to balance your need and laptop price, you need to do some vital research first which related to your case.

Additionally, most of the internal and essential laptop parts cannot upgrade, and that’s why you need to choose carefully.

Concerning this issue, other than notebook they also had been producing its external components to solve the insufficient capacity problems.

Also, many of us are very familiar with the external storage, USB and HDMI extensions, and even hardware wallet (for cryptocurrencies).

So today, I want to share what is the eGPU (external Graphics Processing Unit).

 

eGPU (External Graphics Processing Unit/External Graphics Card)


For someone who loved gaming and video editing, they may be already familiar with this term, and maybe for some of us are the opposite.

So, what is eGPU then?

An eGPU (External Graphics Processing Unit) is a graphics processor just like the desktop computer use.

However, what makes it very special and unique is the eGPU not sit or resides inside your personal computer.

Instead, it is an external type device in which we can use it to increase our laptop graphics performance every time we want to.


Besides, the external GPU or eGPU can be used to laptop and desktop computer.

However, this machine is frequently used for the laptop since as the desktop PC is already had the PCI express or PCIe slot (desktop computer standard connector or expansions slot) for the graphics card.

 

Quick Explanations on How eGPU Perform


External Graphics Processing Unit is a case which it has integrated with a motherboard incorporates with open PCIe slot and general desktop graphics card.

So, it’s just like a power supply machine for extras graphics performance.

However, the question is how a portable computer like a laptop can connect to a PCI express slot?

Thanks to the development of today’s technology, the latest USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 technology connectors can get the job done.

So, you need a cable that featured by USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3. These cables and connectors are powerful enough to send data and information at the highest rate.

In addition to that, it’s also able to make those two devices (your laptop and eGPU) respond quickly in communication between them.

Besides, at the same time, you still depend on the motherboard for standard operation. So in other words, you need at least one of those two ports attached on your laptop if you want to connect your notebook to the external Graphics Processing Unit.

However, in term of performance, the Thunderbolt 3 will give user better experience on speed and graphics quality compared to the USB 3.0.

 

The Necessity of an eGPU


Just like we discussed above, before this, the desktop computer is the only dependable in this case more than the portable laptop computer.

Generally, if you someone only interested in desktop PC, there is no need for you to buy an eGPU (since we already know the desktop PC hardware is customizable).

However, it is entirely different from the notebook, because it is a portable computer which is convenient for mobility than desktop PC but only can use the limited capacity of the built-in graphics card (non-upgradable).

Luckily, today, with the external Graphics Processing Unit, we can increase our laptop graphics when gaming!

Not only it gives you the world of portability but also more decent graphics when you need it. Although, eGPU has notable high price (depend on the eGPU enclosure and the video card capacity).

 

Important Things to Consider Before Buying external GPU


If you already decide to have one before you get started, there are several things you have to look out first. Concerning this issue, the external graphics card setup has several requirements for hardware components:

  • External Graphics Processing Unit enclosure or adapter. An independent box or case which can contain and connect to a powerful computer video card (through PCIe slot) and also feature by several types of ports (e.g., Thunderbolt 3).
  • Graphics Card. A video card which often uses to a desktop computer.
  • Cable. Cable (supported to laptop connectivity ports) which can carry high speed with high rate latency and bandwidth. So, it is the Thunderbolt USB-C cable, USB 3.0 and 3.1.

In addition to that, doing proper hardware research can avoid any compatibility issues. Buying an eGPU is not like choosing an external hard drive, and there’re essential things you have to confirm.

Especially to your laptop, there are minimal amounts of notebook featured with supported hardware for the external Graphics Processing Unit.

For example, check if it’s already PnP (Plug-and-Play) or not. In short, one of the first thing you have to confirm is your laptop connectivity (e.g., USB ports).

Also, do RESEARCH about which graphics card are compatible with the external GPU.

Just like the built-in GPU, the external GPU should be supported by an operating system to make it function.

So, make sure your laptop operating system support for eGPU. It means that you must install drivers before you can use it.

 

Conclusion


The mentioned machine above is reliable when it comes to a graphics performance. Although to use it, there are several important aspects you must highlight. It also has a notable high price.

Fortunately, most of eGPU enclosure can support different GPU. You can upgrade those anytime. If there is something I missed and anything you want to add, leave your comment below.


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