GPU are the main components that make the windows laptops the leader of the computing industry. The GPU is responsible for handling the graphic intensive activities in your computer like the display, Video games, VFX and 3D modeling.
But many of us want premium business laptops that do not come with a dedicated graphics card like the MAC from Apple and business laptops from major manufacturers. An External GPU is a great option as you can plug it in using a thunderbolt whenever you need to play games or work on graphic software just like you do with your external hard drive. There are various GPU in the market so we need to take a look at the best external GPU for laptops in 2018 to help you choose what you want.
Before Reading: What I really think of an external GPU
External GPU are a great option for those of you who want the graphical power in your MAC or business laptops and don’t want to buy a separate laptop for gaming or software. The external GPU does not provide the same level of performance as the card would provide inside the laptop due to power losses. These are plugged in USB type C or mostly Thunderbolt ports. The dock of the external graphics cards can be really expensive so you need to do a lot of research to get the best card in your budget.
Why you should buy an EGPU?
The EGPU is a good option if your laptop lacks the power to run latest games or you need to work on 3D software and your laptop can’t handle the load without external help. For those who own a professional office laptop but like to play games and cannot afford to buy a separate laptop this External GPU for laptop is a great option as you can just plug it in whenever needed and remove when you need the battery life.
The current cutting-edge technology
The external GPU are a great modern day powerhouses that can boost your frame rates or quality of graphics whenever you plug in the GPU dock to your computer. Usually a thunderbolt or USB type C cord is used to connect the dock to the computer. Installing this dock is as simple as installing a card, just install the drivers and reboot and you are ready to go. Once set up your computer will work on the power of the External GPU rather than the one your laptop has as a laptop GPU usually lacks the power.
Best external GPU for laptop
There are a variety of GPU available for laptops in the market. These external GPU come with docks and can be plugged in to a USB type C or thunderbolt 3 port. These GPU are of different power and are compatible with different devices. You will not like to buy a very costly GPU and then find out that it will not be able to work to its full potential on the device you won. So let us go through this guide that will tell you about the best external GPU for laptop in the market in 2018.
How we picked and tested
All the products listed in this guide have been tested under load and are of high quality offered by premium brands. The docks are tested for connections and how power consuming the GPU is.
These GPU were all benchmarked and compared to each other on a standard scale including low budget and high quality external GPU for laptops.
These external GPU were checked to be compatible with modern day laptops and the input port was usually found to be USB type C or the standard thunderbolt.
Why you should trust me
Being a professional game and tech tester I am well aware of what all are the basic requirements you need weather you are a professional or a casual gamer. With years of experience and working with these type of techs daily I am confident about my picks and can state that I am less to none when it comes to graphic cards.
Best External GPU for laptops 2018
This guide will tell you all you need to know about the top quality products available in the market keeping in mind what you need and for what you need it. These external GPUs will provide you the best experience and power as each of them is in this list for a reason.
Top 1: “Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 Bundle”
About Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 Bundle
This Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 Bundle includes a 8GB sapphire Pulse Radeon Rx 580 graphic card which is connected to your laptop or computer with the help of a thunderbolt 3 port. The 350W power supply gives an output of 60W to charge your laptop. This box comes with a 0.5M 40GB thunderbolt cable. This Breakaway Box supports MACs with thunderbolt support what have macOS high Sierra even with no boot camp supported. The MacOs can support up to 2 breakaway boxes. Most of the windows PC with windows 10 and thunderbolt 3 are supported by this breakaway box.
Pros and cons
- This breakaway box is supports in MACOS Sierra.
- This box comes with Radeon Rx 580 8 GB graphic card
- It works with thunderbolt 3 ports.
- If by mistake you unplug the enclosure while your Mac is running, your OS will crash so you have to be careful with that.
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 Bundle with 8GB of RX 580 is great gpu that costs around 500 dollars and is worth each penny. This is the ultimate choice for high level graphic designers or 3D modeling due to the 8GB graphic memory it provides by its thunderbolt 3 port.
Top 2: “Razer Core X”
About Razer Core X
This EGPU from razor works with windows 10 and Mac external GPU and is designed for laptops with thunderbolt 3 ports to provide a speed of 40GBps. For mac users Macos High Sierra 10.13.2 or later is required along with a compatible graphics card from AMD. Windows 10 systems need EPU support and RS1 with compatible GPU from NVIDIA or AMD. This box provides you a power supply of 650W and 100W for laptop charging. This Razer Core X can turn your laptop into a gaming desktop class machine with its power to add NVIDIA GeForce ,AMD graphics or even NVIDIA Quadro along with 650W power supply via USC type C to compatible laptops.
Pros and cons
- This Razer Core X can support any card you want.
- USB type C is also supported with thunderbolt 3
- This case has been tested with Mac Books.
- Thunderbolt 3 port is necessary to use this Razer Core X to its full potential.
The Razer Core X is a great and easy to set up device that lets you plug in your favourite GPU to your windows 10 or mac laptop with a power supply of 650W and minimum power losses. For those who want to game on their laptops this device from Razer is a great purchase.
Top 3: “Node Pro”
About Node Pro
The Node Pro is a fully certified eGPU what works on thunderbolt 3 and provides lightning fast speed of 40 Gbps. This special eGPU comes with a dedicated display port to expand your output options for additional monitor. The 2nd port included supports the thunderbolt 3, the display port devices and even USB 3.1. Both the output ports provide a power output of 60W to all the compatible laptops. The PCIe slot supports all standard full length, double width and full height cards so you can plug in any of your favourite graphic card from AMD or NVIDIA and use it on your Mac or windows PC with minimum power loss. This product comes with a thunderbolt 3 cable included in the box.
Pros and cons
- The Node Pro comes with a dedicated display port to expand your output options.
- A thunderbolt 3 cable is included in the box.
- The PCIe slot supports all standard cards.
- Some Mac users get problems when using NVIDIA cards due to drivers.
The Node Pro is a great produce under price range of 450 dollar that comes with a PCIe slot for you GPU and an external output for your monitor. This product works great due to the fact that both the USWB and thunderbolt ports provide you same power output and this product has a great build quality.
Top 4: “Mantiz Venus MZ-02”
About Mantiz Venus MZ-02
The Mantiz Venus MZ-02 eGPU- Thunderbolt 3 eGPU connects the full powered GPU to your computer with the help of SATA interface. The input of this graphic box can go up to 375W and provides a 87W supply to charge you laptop. The MAC OS can support the AMD RX470,480, 570, 580 and Vega 56 with the thunderbolt 3 port on High Sierra. The windows 10 laptops can support all major GPU like the GTX 1050, 1060, 1050ti, 1060ti, 1080 or Titan series along with AMD GPU of RX series. The Mantiz Venus is one of the best graphic power solutions for pro gamers or Pro editors. The box is made of aluminum and supports all USB types and SATA type.
Pros and cons
- The Mantiz Venus MZ-02 eGPU supports all USB types and SATA type.
- This product is compatable with both Mac and windows 10.
- The thunderbolt cable provides speed of 40 GBPS
- For MAC users the Bootcamp is not yet officially compatible that is needed to be considered
The Mantiz Venus is one of the best graphic power solutions for pro gamers or Pro editors who want to boost up their laptops. This product provides you a SATA port to increase storage capacity and works on thunderbolt 3 that can provide speed of 40 Gbps.
Top 5: “Akitio Node”
About Akitio Node
The AKiTiO Node is one of the most affordable eGPU boxes in the market in 2018 at a price of 250 dollars. Currently this product only supports the AMD powered GPU for the MacOS High Sierra but multiple cards including the NVIDIA 10 series are supported over the windows 10 computers. This Node comes with a Built-in 400W SFX power supply that provides extra power to GPU . the x16 PCIe slot supports all the full length and full height cards so that you can plug in your favourite card from any manufacturer in this AKiTiO Node that works on thunderbolt 3 port.
Pros and cons
- Thunderbolt 3 provides lightning fast speeds up to 40 Gbps
- The PCIe slot supports all full-length and full-height cards
- The carry handle makes it easy to carry.
- The AKiTiO Node only supports the AMD GPU for the Mac OS.
The AKiTiO Node makes it possible to upgrade you laptop to a full workstation class device at a very affordable price. This product is very compact and made of great quality metal. The slot can support most of the graphic cards in market. This Node from Akitio is a great product for personal use.
Comparison: Top 5 picks, what I really think of
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 Bundle with 8GB of RX 580 is great gpu for those who want workstation level performance. For those who want to game on their laptops the Razer Core X is a great and easy to set up device that lets you plug in your favourite GPU to your windows 10 or mac laptop with a power supply of 650W and minimum power losses. The Node Pro under price range of 450 dollar comes with a PCIe slot for you GPU and an external output for your monitor to expand your output options. The Mantiz Venus is the best graphic power solutions for pro gamers or Pro editors. This product provides you a SATA port to increase storage and nearly every port can be connected. The AKiTiO Node is the most affordable option for you is you want a GPU for personal use and just want to play some games on it.
Short Buying Guide
If you are about to buy an external GPU for your Mac or laptop you might need to look for some knowledge before going for it. Some EGP comes with built in graphics card that provide great power at great cost. But if you have a graphic card and just need a dock then you have many options to look for.Most of the eGPU work on the thunderbolt 3 so that you can get a great speed of 40GBps needed to transfer the power.Most of the eGPU for the Mac work for the MacOS High Sierra.
Further Reading Time: Read Best gaming laptops under 500 dollars
If you need to purchase a laptop that can fulfill all your needs and cost fewer than 500 dollars then you need to check out our ultimate guide on Gaming laptops under 500 dollars. This guide will provide you detailed information on all the laptops in the market that are worth your money under the price.
So that was all about the eGPU in the market in 2018 . Each of these products were tested and observed and are fit to be in this list for a reason. It is just a matter of choice for what you might like from these top picks.