Can any laptop use an eGPU? No, a laptop has to meet certain requirements before it can use an eGPU.
Furthermore, should you buy an eGPU? In this article, we outline the pros and cons of an eGPU and whether it’s worth getting an eGPU.
Does eGPU Work With Any Laptop?
No, an eGPU doesn’t work with any laptop. For a laptop to be compatible with an eGPU. It needs to have a Thunderbolt port.
What Ports Support eGPU?
USB-C ports with Thunderbolt interface support eGPUs. It’s important to know if a USB-C has a Thunderbolt interface.
Because all Thunderbolt interfaces are USB-C and not all USB-C ports have Thunderbolt interfaces.
Moreover, you will only find USB-C Thunderbolt interfaces on laptops that have Intel CPUs and Apple MacBook products.
Is eGPU Good for Laptops?
eGPUs are a great way to use powerful GPUs without buying a new laptop. If you want to game and your laptop doesn’t have a decent GPU or you might want a gaming laptop without the designs.
Then an eGPU is worth getting because you can take advantage of the GPU power.
Does eGPU Work with USB C?
eGPU works with USB-C Thunderbolt ports. A USB-C port without a Thunderbolt interface will not work with an eGPU.
eGPU Compatibility Checker
To know if your laptop is compatible with an eGPU. Simply check if it has a USB-C Thunderbolt interface. If it does, then it’s compatible with an eGPU.
Discrete vs eGPU
Comparing the same type of GPUs. A discrete GPU is going to be faster than an eGPU. Because a discrete GPU has a faster connection eGPU.
Transferring data over cables is going to be slower than discrete GPU that can be found on the motherboard.
Should You Buy An eGPU?
eGPUs have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them below:
- Easy To Upgrade
eGPUs make it easy to upgrade the graphics performance of your laptop. By simply replacing the GPU you can upgrade to new and faster cards.
Unlike a gaming laptop where you have to buy a new one completely.
- No Need To Buy or Build a Gaming Laptop or PC
eGPUs are plug-and-play devices. This ease of use makes eGPUs quite popular especially if you don’t have experience in building a gaming PC.
You also don’t need to buy a gaming laptop to play games.
- Best of Both Worlds: Gaming and Portability
An eGPU is what bridges the gap between gaming and portability. Because a thin and light laptop without a dedicated GPU can easily be turned into a gaming laptop with an eGPU.
This allows you to take advantage of portability and gaming performance. However, most gaming laptops are now thin and light slowly making the eGPU obsolete.
That unless you want to game on a MacBook or laptops that have integrated graphic cards.
eGPUs are expensive and costs about USD250-500 depending on the brand. In addition, you have to buy a graphics card which can cost USD500-3500 depending on what you get.
You need to have a budget of USD750 – 4000 depending on the graphics card of interest. This easily surpasses the cost of most laptops.
If you like to game a lot, a gaming laptop is a better option than an eGPU.
- USB-C Has To Support Thunderbolt
USB-C ports with Thunderbolt interfaces are the only type of ports that support eGPUs. Most laptops with Thunderbolt ports are quite expensive.
Add that to the cost of an eGPU and graphics card. You can easily spend above USD2000. And that’s enough budget to get a powerful gaming laptop.
Moreover, not all USB-C ports have Thunderbolt interfaces.
- Bottleneck Issues
Bottlenecks can happen if you don’t correctly pair the graphics card in an eGPU with your laptop. This can result in a 25-50% decrease in performance if the graphics card is too powerful.
Laptops with high-performance Intel Core i5 and i7 are recommended. And as you guessed correctly your budget goes up when buying such laptops.
Finally, an eGPU gaming set-up is less powerful than a gaming laptop and PC because of the transfer of data between the eGPU and laptop over cable.
Not all laptops can use an eGPU. A laptop needs to have a USB-C port with a Thunderbolt interface to be compatible with an eGPU.
Also, new gaming laptops are thinner, lighter, and more powerful than ever. Getting an eGPU might not be worth it.
You will spend more and have 5-15% less performance than a gaming laptop. The only advantage is being able to upgrade the GPU.