Let’s face it. Gaming Laptops are expensive. If you want to keep playing the latest games at the best possible quality you will need to lug around a heavy machine with top of the line specs that needs to be replaced every year with the newest model. I have pointed out a full-proof way to turn your laptop into a gaming machine. What most people don’t realize is that usually, the entire computer does not need to be replaced. All components do not become obsolete at once. Usually one component at a time is the one holding the computer back and that component is usually the Graphics Card.
The Graphics Card is a very important part of the gaming laptop. It is what converts all the game code into 1s and 0s to make your screen come to life with the game visuals. It is a heavy duty component requiring power and cooling along with high speed connection to the laptops motherboard. It’s the Graphics Card which does all the difficult processing for the game while the main processor does not need to work as hard. Essentially a good laptop with a decent hard drive, RAM, and processor can run games at high quality (frame rates and resolution) for an extended period of time given that the graphic card is updated regularly.
This might sound like a simple solution but upgrading parts on a laptop isn’t as simple as simply replacing the piece. The adjoining power module, cooling components, and even the arrangement within the laptop will change. This means that practically it is not possible to change a GPU in a laptop without completely ruining its portability.
Thankfully, a solution has been found. External GPUs. Essentially you can connect a powerful desktop GPU to your laptop. The only issues are that it will require an external power supply to your card and your laptop must have an express card slot to allow for connection with the GPU. The advantages from this system are manifold. It can be used on any system with an accessible express card OR mPCIe slot and will increase video performance by at least 10 times. It can turn your run of the mill laptop to a gaming behemoth capable of running 3 screens at once at extremely high resolution. Best of all, it will not make you lose out on portability as the laptop can simply be disconnected from the eGPU to let it run on its integrated graphics while traveling.
The availability of this technology is limited however, with many blaming Intel for locking access to the CPU with proprietary connection and driver. However, some companies offer over the counter hardware which can be connected to a compatible laptop running Windows 7 or XP allowing for it to be upgraded. The setting up of an eGPU requires some technical knowledge beforehand but once it’s done it is plug-and-play because it can be connected without needing a reboot.
Many guides exist online, explaining users how to build their own bare-bones rig for an eGPU and how to upgrade, troubleshoot their machines. Ideal combinations are also suggested to ensure maximum compatibility between all the hardware and software. The crux of the matter is that, there is no need to depend on a desktop system for gaming and neither is there a need to buy a new laptop each year as an eGPU gives you the best of both worlds.