External Graphic Card Buying Guide - Types, Features, Benefits, Working
Are you aware of the use of the graphics cards and how these can change the overall gaming experience of laptop or desktop? If yes, you must also know that the market offers a plethora of options to choose from and you must be careful while choosing one.
Notably, if your desktop or laptop does not support the internal accommodation of an advanced graphics card, switch to an external graphics card for laptop gaming and take your gaming experience to new heights. If you are all set to buy one for your laptop, here are some of the aspects that should be caring about. Always remember that without careful research, any purchase can be a bad investment. And, when you are opting for an essential peripheral like an external thunderbolt graphics card, make sure that you choose the right one from the several available in the market.
Before getting into the discussion of how to buy an external graphics card, let us first understand what an external graphics card is and how can it be useful in enhancing the overall gaming experience?
What is an External Graphic Card?
An external graphics card, also known as eGPU is a much new concept in the market. Earlier, most of the graphics cards remained internally integrated and worked in harmony with the motherboard of the Pc or the laptop. eGPU is an external peripheral device that can be attached to the PC through a USB plug and runs on electricity, much like a UPS.
The latest GPUs are slim and sleek, which makes each of them easy to be accommodated. Also, the light-weight external graphics cards can be carried easily from one place to another. Once installed, this helps boost the overall experience of gaming by image resolving and several other aspects related to gaming better.
How Does an External Graphics Card Work?
Though the word external graphics card offers a complicated impression, in reality, the card works in a simpler way. All you have to do to make your graphics card work is just plug into your computer or laptop. Since it is an external device, you do not have to integrate it internally to your laptop or PC, which makes installing easier.
As the name suggests, the external graphics cards for gaming help add new dimensions to the overall experience of gaming. Most of the new age games contain some of the applications which are best experienced when you install an equally advanced GPU to your laptop or PC. Hence, for all the gamers out there, this one is essential.
If you are looking for an external graphics card for desktop, make sure that it supports the version of the software you are using. Try to opt for a light-weight, easy-to-move external graphics card for PC.
Types Of External Graphics Card For Gaming Purpose
Top End With Heavy Graphics
For those who engage in regular gaming, heavy graphics are a must. This variety of graphics cards always come with a lot of space, advanced features, and abundant memory, which enhances the gaming experience on a laptop or desktop. Hence, choose this type of Intel graphics card or any other to make sure that you get the best gaming experience.
Mainstream Cards For Occasional Gaming
If gaming is not an integral part of your regular schedules and you take it as a part of occasional entertainment, you probably need to use external graphics cards on laptops of the regular variety. This type of external graphics card offers moderate memory and a reasonable pace. Though not as efficient as the top-end ones, this gigabyte aorus good choice for those who do not use graphics cards vehemently.
Also, based on the connectivity pattern, the external graphics cards vary from one to another. PCI, PCI Express, and AGP are the common varieties of graphics cards based on connectivity.
Key Features Of External Laptop Graphics Card
Before you select an external graphics card for your laptop or desktop, check the following features to be sure of a smart purchase.
GPU Lock Rate
If you are looking for the graphics card benchmarks that differentiate a good one from an average one, check the GPU lock rate of the external graphics card chosen by you. GPU lock rate is one of the primary determinants of the performance of the graphics card. The higher it is, the faster will be the performance of the card.
Fill rate refers to the capacity of the processor of drawing pixels. When coupled with a good Texel rate, the fill rate works optimally. While the fill rate depends on the ROP, the Texel rate relies on the texture fetch rate for optimal working. The best graphics card will always feature a harmonious combination of both to make your gaming experience better.
So far as graphics card comparison is concerned, this feature can contribute to your decision. Modern games primarily work on pixel shaders, which is why the number of these units is essential. If you are looking for the best graphics card for gaming, check the number of pixel shaders at first.
A vertex shader is a variety of graphics processing function that adds to the special effect metric of the game in the 3D environment. Mathematical operations form the basis of the object’s vertex data. Although it is not a mandatory unit for any external graphics card, the best Nvidia graphics card features vertex shaders, which add more accuracy to the card’s performance.
As the name suggests, unified shaders refer to the shader environment where all the shader stages in a rendering pipeline are equally capable. All of these shaders use the same set of instructions and can read buffers and textures. A unified shader is capable of processing either a variety of shaders-vertex or pixel. Hence, the best would be to settle for an external graphics card having a fair number of unified shaders.
Texture Mapping Unit (TMU)
TMUs are capable of resizing, rotating, and distorting the bitmap images in the graphics environment. After the alterations are done, the image can be placed on a given 3D model or an arbitrary plane as a texture. For a rich texture of the video, you need advanced TMU, which coordinates between the varieties of shaders and renders the best texture to the picture.
Raster Operations Pipeline(ROP)
Also known as the render output unit or raster operations pipeline, ROP is a hardware component of the modern GPUS. It contributes to the final layer rendering of the images in a 3D environment. The overall performance of the external graphics card depends on ROP as it directly impacts the performance of the fill rate.
Benefits of Using External Graphics Card
Plenty of advantages come along with an external graphics card. When you purchase an external graphics card for your laptop or desktop, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits.
Easy To Install: If you are bothered about how to install a graphics card, an external graphics card can be installed minus any hassle. You do not have to be a hardware expert to install one.
High Performance: Any good graphics card will offer you an enhanced performance as far as gaming is concerned. The quality you choose definitely impacts the performance.
Convenient Testing: The external laptop graphics card can be tested easily before installing it to check compatibility and functioning.
Cost Of External Graphics Card
Check the features carefully before buying an external graphics card to ensure that you purchase the best graphics card for the money. A little price comparison should be made before purchasing an external graphics card as the market has a wide variety available at different yet reasonable prices.
Things to Check Before Buying An External Graphics Card Online
Though plenty of considerations must be made before investing your money in buying an external graphics card for a laptop, here are some of the most important ones that will help you make the right decision.
Check the Version
Check the latest models and skip buying an older version. Older versions will surely not offer you the same advanced features as the latest ones. Hence, you will end up buying less for more. Also, there may be compatibility issues with the old versions of eGPUs as the devices get upgraded regularly.
Buy what You Need
Understand your requirements properly. The need for a regular gamer will be different from those who take gaming as an occasional fun. Therefore, the choice of eGPU must also vary from one gamer to another. Choose to buy what you need and nothing short of it.
Conclusion - Which External Graphics Card Should I Prefer?
The points highlighted above are all essential while purchasing an external graphics card for your laptop. However, the two most essential aspects that you must not forget are the features and the price. Make sure to purchase the latest ones and thoroughly compare the prices of the similar cards available in the market to make your choice for alienware graphics card.
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