How to attach external graphics card in laptop

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2024 by

Are you tired of your laptop’s limited graphics capabilities? Do you want to play the latest games or run graphics-intensive programs without having to buy a new laptop? If so, then an external graphics card (eGPU) may be the solution for you.

In this article, we’ll discuss what an external graphics card is, why you might need one, and most importantly, how to attach one to your laptop.

What is an External Graphics Card?

An external graphics card, also known as an eGPU, is a device that allows you to connect a desktop graphics card to your laptop. This allows you to boost your laptop’s graphics performance, making it capable of handling more demanding tasks such as gaming, video editing, and 3D rendering.

Why Do You Need an External Graphics Card?

There are several reasons why you might need an external graphics card for your laptop. Here are a few of the most common scenarios:

  • Gaming: If you’re a gamer, you know that most laptops don’t have the same graphics capabilities as desktop computers. An external graphics card can give your laptop the power it needs to run the latest games smoothly.
  • Video Editing and 3D Rendering: These tasks require a lot of processing power, which most laptops don’t have. An external graphics card can help your laptop handle these tasks more efficiently.
  • Upgrading an Older Laptop: If you have an older laptop that can’t keep up with modern graphics demands, an external graphics card can give it a new lease on life.

How to Attach an External Graphics Card to Your Laptop

Now that you know what an external graphics card is and why you might need one, let’s discuss how to attach one to your laptop. The process may vary slightly depending on your laptop and eGPU, but the general steps are the same.

Step 1: Check Your Laptop’s Compatibility

Before you purchase an external graphics card, you need to make sure that your laptop is compatible with it. Most modern laptops have a Thunderbolt 3 port, which is required for connecting an eGPU. However, if your laptop doesn’t have a Thunderbolt 3 port, you may need to purchase an adapter or consider a different solution.

Step 2: Choose Your External Graphics Card

There are many external graphics cards available on the market, so it’s essential to do your research and choose one that meets your needs and budget. Some popular options include the Razer Core X, Akitio Node, and Gigabyte AORUS Gaming Box.

Step 3: Set Up Your eGPU

Once you have your external graphics card, you’ll need to set it up. This typically involves connecting the graphics card to the eGPU enclosure, which is then connected to your laptop via the Thunderbolt 3 port. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure proper setup.

Step 4: Install the Latest Drivers

Before you can start using your external graphics card, you’ll need to install the latest drivers. These drivers are specific to your graphics card and can usually be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.

Step 5: Connect Your Laptop to the eGPU

Now that your eGPU is set up and the drivers are installed, it’s time to connect your laptop to the eGPU. Make sure your laptop is powered off, then connect the Thunderbolt 3 cable from the eGPU to your laptop. Once connected, power on your laptop.

Step 6: Configure Your Laptop’s Settings

Once your laptop is powered on, you’ll need to configure your settings to use the external graphics card. The process may vary depending on your laptop, but here are the general steps:

  1. Open the Device Manager on your laptop.
  2. Expand the “Display Adapters” section.
  3. Right-click on your external graphics card and select “Update Driver.”
  4. Choose the option to search for drivers automatically.
  5. Once the drivers are installed, right-click on your external graphics card and select “Enable Device.”

Step 7: Test Your eGPU

Now that everything is set up and configured, it’s time to test your eGPU. You can do this by running a graphics-intensive program or game and monitoring the performance. If everything is working correctly, you should notice a significant improvement in graphics performance.

Tips for Using an External Graphics Card

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using an external graphics card with your laptop:

  • Keep Your Drivers Up to Date: Make sure to regularly check for driver updates for your external graphics card. These updates can improve performance and fix any bugs or issues.
  • Use a High-Quality Thunderbolt 3 Cable: The Thunderbolt 3 cable is what connects your laptop to the eGPU, so it’s essential to use a high-quality cable to ensure a stable connection.
  • Monitor Your Laptop’s Temperature: An external graphics card can generate a lot of heat, so it’s crucial to monitor your laptop’s temperature while using it. Consider using a laptop cooling pad to help dissipate the heat.
  • Disconnect Properly: When you’re finished using your eGPU, make sure to disconnect it properly. This typically involves shutting down your laptop and then disconnecting the Thunderbolt 3 cable.

Alternatives to External Graphics Cards

While an external graphics card is an excellent solution for boosting your laptop’s graphics performance, it’s not the only option. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • Internal Graphics Card: If you’re comfortable opening up your laptop, you may be able to install an internal graphics card. However, this option is not available for all laptops, and it can be a complicated process.
  • Gaming Laptop: If you’re primarily looking to improve your laptop’s gaming performance, you may want to consider purchasing a gaming laptop. These laptops are designed with high-performance graphics cards and are typically more powerful than standard laptops.
  • Cloud Gaming: Another option is to use a cloud gaming service such as Google Stadia or NVIDIA GeForce Now. These services allow you to stream games to your laptop, eliminating the need for a powerful graphics card.


An external graphics card can be a game-changer for your laptop, allowing you to run graphics-intensive programs and games with ease. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can attach an external graphics card to your laptop and enjoy improved graphics performance. Just remember to do your research, choose a high-quality eGPU, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setup and configuration.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.