PC gamers are sensitive, even though they may not acknowledge it. When it comes to acquiring a gaming PC, you as a player have a few alternatives. It is up to you whether you prefer a:
- Pre-assembled gaming desktop
- Assembling your own gaming PC
- Laptop for gaming
- External graphics processing unit
All of these are fantastic alternatives, but we’re curious if you, as a gamer, should build a PC or buy an eGPU.
An eGPU is an abbreviation for external graphics processing unit, and as the name suggests it resides outside the confines of the traditional desktop.
The external GPU (eGPU) is commonly used to supplement laptop computers with inadequate built-in graphics capacity. It is generally linked through a Thunderbolt or ExpressCard connector.
A self-built gaming PC is a computer created from readily accessible components, often commercial components, rather than acquired as a pre-built gaming computer.
Is It Worth It To Buy An External GPU?
External graphics cards are quite an interesting technology, whereby users have access to the power of a full-fat desktop graphics card.
The major question that most people have is, “How does this work?” Could a laptop handle the bandwidth demands of a full-fat GPU? How would it be powered, and how would it be fueled?
To summarize, an eGPU works by connecting to the laptop with installed drivers.
A problem with setting up a connection through a thunderbolt or ExpressCard is that it is difficult to determine the required bandwidth for a full-fat GPU.
If the GPU utilized is low-midrange, it is absolutely worth it because the bandwidth required is within the range of both Thunderbolt and ExpressCards, but high-end PCs would be challenging due to the greater requirements.
An External GPU does not rely on the laptop in order to be powered but instead comes with a power brick that is plugged into the mains.
An eGPU is not worth it because of how much it costs to purchase, and the performance loss due to inadequate bandwidth connection.
Can You Game On An eGPU?
An eGPU is mainly used to games, but if you are using it for other works such as 3D modeling and CAD type of loads, it would work without a hiccup.
Can You Use A Desktop As An eGPU?
You can do that, but you would have to remove all the other components within the desktop since an eGPU would not use those extra components anyway. The desktop should also have Thunderbolt ports.
The external GPU is a weird technology that struggles to find its footing in the gaming industry and even today its viability is still questioned, on account of the fact that gamers lose 10-20% performance.
Powerful graphics card paired with low-mid range performance would cause bottleneck further reducing performance.
Despite all the flaws of the external GPU, it is still considered innovative, and the lessons learnt from the eGPU have affected the future of graphics cards in a good way.