It will not be a revelation to anyone that modern laptops successfully compete with desktop computers in all parameters of processor and RAM performance. Unfortunately, only in terms of video card performance does the unconditional leadership remain with stationary workstations. By and large, laptop manufacturers cannot fundamentally fix the situation, since it is impossible to fit a more or less powerful video card into a small case. Practice shows that any laptop that is positioned as a gaming machine will have a low level of mobility, impressive heat dissipation, huge dimensions, and also sky-high cost.
There is a fundamentally different opportunity to make a gaming laptop by upgrading an ordinary laptop by connecting a full-fledged video card from a desktop computer through a special adapter. Thus, we do not lose in mobility and get a real gaming laptop.
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We connect a full-fledged video card through a PCI Express adapter
The PCI Express adapter is a technically sophisticated device that connects the graphics card to the laptop’s motherboard and also provides power. The external power of the video card is provided through a full-fledged external switching power supply.
The validity of the upgrade
Many inexperienced users may be puzzled by the quite reasonable question of whether such a video card is needed at all. Firstly, these are modern games, and secondly, professional software. If we talk about business applications, then these can be programs for editing, modeling 3D graphics. For example, Cinema 4D Studio, Adobe After Effects, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere Pro and others. It’s no secret that modern laptops are equipped with weak integrated video cores, so they are not very suitable for professional video editing and ultra-modern 3-dimensional games.
If you do not want to buy a game system unit, but you need high performance, then an adapter comes to your aid that easily inserts a full-fledged external video card from a desktop computer. This is a kind of extreme upgrade laptop. Consider its pros and cons.
- an incredibly high increase in performance both in games and in demanding applications;
- modular design, which allows easy upgrade;
- good compatibility with new graphics cards.
- bulky appearance
- plenty of cables
- low tire speed
- the need to connect an external monitor or TV,
- if there are no two mini-PCIe interfaces, you will have to abandon the Wi-Fi card.
How to connect
To implement such an upgrade, only the most high-speed hardware interfaces are suitable, namely:
In a word, connecting an external video card to any laptop will not be difficult if the laptop has a Thunderbolt, mini-PCIe or ExpressCard interface.
Immediately make a reservation that using the ExpressCard hardware interface to connect an external video card to a laptop is a game that is not worth the candle. As a rule, the presence of such an interface is typical for a rather outdated laptop, in which a modern powerful video card will encounter a bottleneck in the form of a weak processor and a small amount of RAM. Therefore, there are only two options: for all laptops from Apple, the connection through the Thunderbolt bus is ideal, and the rest of the laptops will connect wonderfully via mini-PCIe. Of course, such a solution for Apple technology looks much more attractive than connecting via mini-PCIe. For those who deal with an ordinary windows-laptop, you definitely need to disassemble the laptop, donate a Wi-Fi card, unless, of course, the motherboard simply does not have a second mini-PCIe slot, and also connect an external monitor or TV.
Will the video card open?
One of the main fears that excites the mind of a potential buyer of such computer components is that they constantly think: on old laptops, such a sheepskin will not be worth the candle at all. Whether the potential of the video card is revealed or not is a question with a pick. The following factors play an important role here:
- specific model of the video card,
- hardware connection interface,
- the presence or absence in the laptop of a native discrete graphics card,
- quality and power of the additional power supply of the video card
- processor potential
- RAM size.
If we talk about the processor, it is necessary to recommend only i5 and i7 from Intel. Naturally, the Core i3 should also not be discounted, but this is a very entry-level for a gaming station. The amount of RAM needed is from 4 Gb. It is also important that in a laptop only the video core built into the processor, for example, Intel HD Graphics, was responsible for displaying a picture on the screen. The presence of any discrete graphics card is not welcome. The best interface for connecting such adapters will be Thunderbolt 2 or version 3, which is found in laptops from Apple. Connecting via mini-PCIe is a great alternative for windows laptops, but it doesn’t all look so elegant.