eGPU – Connecting an external video card to a notebook (DIY implementation)
Started as a low cost alternative to bring desktop gaming performance on laptops, the eGPUs projects saw a lot of success for the models based on Expresscards and mPCI Express connectors. Unfortunately, Haswell laptop generation basically completely removed the Expresscards configurations so people interested in eGPU solutions should look for laptops with accesible mPCIe slots or Thunderbolt.
As said before, Thunderbolt is not a cheap option, laptops with Thunderbolt on board are high end laptops selling with a premium tag, like Apple notebooks and Asus G series. However being able to see an ultra portable notebook like an Apple Macbook Air having almost desktop graphics performance and playing latest games without an issue will surelly add a big grin on your face.
As a last question, you might ask what is the penalty in performance saw by the video card when connecting it over Thunderbolt instead of a native PCI Express x16 slot? Well, this could be the subject for another article.
We hope that in the future this type of solutions will be supported by manufacturers and commercialy available. Until then, we hope you enjoyed our DYI adventure and we must add that any enterprise like this is done at your own risk. And of course, we would like to thank the DIY eGPU community for their support!