6 Best Laptops for eGPU in 2021 [Expert Recommendations]

If you want to use an external graphics card in your laptop, then you need a laptop that supports it. These laptops can be used with an external GPU. This is good for people who do video editing, CAD, 3D modeling or game design. It's also good for working professionals.

However, an eGPU cannot be connected to any computer. You can also use a laptop with an external GPU. To use an eGPU, you need a laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 port.

It sounds like an exciting thing to do. We've made a list of the best devices for your work. If you want to avoid any problems, you should be aware of some things. When you travel or when you are not at home, it is important to connect your computer to an external GPU for the best performance.

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements

The bandwidth is what helps you use your port for an external graphics card. Thunderbolt 3 ports are faster than HDMI 2.0 with a bandwidth of up to 40 Gbps. The bandwidth on Thunderbolt is less than a third of what you get from a 16x PCIe lane on desktop. The bandwidth can drop to as low as 20 Gbps depending on how many lanes the Thunderbolt has.

Configure your screen to be not so bright. Turn off the computer when you're done using it to save energy. Plus, if you are buying a laptop and want to make sure it can do basic tasks, buy an eGPU.

6 Best Laptops for eGPU in 2021

These devices have CPUs that will never slow down any external GPUs, and will speed up every process. For workstation use, we have also shortlisted devices with good graphics chips. This way, the computer can switch between using a regular chip or an external one when needed. The laptop does not have the right hardware to do well. It will be slow and may have a lot of glitches. But you can use this laptop while it is made better by an upgrade.

1. Best Overall: Razer Blade Stealth 13

1. Best Overall: Razer Blade Stealth 13

This computer's CPU will be fast. It can work even better with a more powerful eGPU. The Razer Blade Stealth is a good computer. It can do work on its own without the need for an external GPU.

CPU and GPU

The Intel i7 Ice Lake CPU is 15W when its running in the Stealth. But it can get hotter because of the cooling. The laptop has a GTX 1650 Ti GPU that is perfect for gaming. You can play games like PUBG and Fortnite on it with 60-70 FPS.

An eGPU is when you use a computer to do something. Max-Q is a power-saving feature. It's for when you're playing a game on your phone and you don't have battery power. But games will do worse if the Max-Q is on.

RAM, Storage and OS

This is a computer that uses an operating system called Windows 10 Home. This 16GB RAM laptop has a LOT of storage, and it is fast. If you have a laptop that needs to be powerful, and you want it to be able to do 120 FPS gaming, then get a GPU like the NVIDIA 3060 or 3070. It will help with your laptop.

Display

This is a nice display to show when you are on the go. This laptop is good for playing games. It has a high resolution display. The 1080p, 120Hz screen is fast and accurate. It has 100% sRGB. You can't use the internal screen when you connect an eGPU. It will not work as good as before.

Keyboard and Touchpad

This keyboard is good looking and it's easy to use. Gamers can now change the color of their lights. The lights match the laptop. There are no numbers on this keyboard, but you can do the same thing by using a large glass trackpad.

Design and Ports

The design is simple. It is not hard to see. The laptop is made of plastic with a black casing. This package is only 3.1lb, which means it is very light. The sleek and streamlined design of this computer is inescapable. It looks just like a MacBook.

The computer has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and a headphone jack. The WiFi AX and IR-blasting webcam are great to have. They will help you use Zoom and Skype.

Battery

This is a perfect device for people who are always on the go. You get a lot of work done in 8 hours. Although you can take an eGPU out of a computer, it is not the most portable solution. The 13-inch computer and the power hungry CPU and GPU cause the battery to die quickly.

2. Best Runner Up: Dell XPS 15 7590

2. Best Runner Up: Dell XPS 15 7590

The XPS 15 is a good candidate for an eGPU because it has a powerful, 45W CPU. The rest of the specs are good enough for doing typical things like computer tasks. But if you want to do minimal bottlenecks and take full advantage of a powerful external graphics card, then you will need an XPS for what it offers.

CPU and GPU

The NVIDIA GTX 1650 is a powerful enough card for people who are into light video gaming or people who want to do basic video editing. The Intel Core i7-9750H is old, but it is still fast. You might find a laptop with a newer Intel chip that can do the same thing. This CPU is good for doing numbers. It has a 6-core design, so it can be crunching numbers fast.

RAM, Storage and OS

The importance of RAM for eGPUs is important. It should be more than 8GB The 512GB SSD can hold the operating system, essential apps, and a few games. If you like to play games, then it is enough for a good experience. But if you use software such as video editing or AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and REVIT then it's recommended that you upgrade your computer.

Display

The screen is thin. The screen has a special coating that helps it not to be too bright. The 1,080p touch display is good for editing photos and designing graphics. The screen size is 15.6 inches.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Dell made their laptop have big speakers in the front. They did this because Apple also had it on their laptop. This is a keyboard. It has a trackpad that is in the middle. The keyboard does not have numbers on it, but you can still type words.

Design and Ports

Dell laptops are slim and have good performance. The XPS 15 is made from aluminum and carbon-fibre.

You also get a fingerprint scanner and 2 speakers for listening to music. Ports are on the computer. There is 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x Thunderbolt 3 with DP and PD support, and a USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port.

Battery

The XPS 15 has a battery that can last for 9 hours. The XPS 15 is a powerful computer. It will make it easier to work with the applications like Fusion 360, Cinema 4D or QuickBooks.

3. Best Workstation: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

3. Best Workstation: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

The GPU on this computer is slower than average. However, the CPU and Thunderbolt 3 ports make up for it. The first generation of the Thinkpad X1 Extreme is more powerful than any 15-inch laptop.

CPU and GPU

It has a powerful computer chip. This academic difference is not a big deal. It does not make any difference to your work. The Intel i7-8750H is just four hundredths of a gigahertz slower than the i7-9750H at full boost.

This PC will work better if you attach a good eGPU. The GTX 1050 Ti, which is an older GPU with Max-Q technology, was a little bit more powerful than NVIDIA's current low power GPU. This graphics card is good for light gaming, editing pictures, and even some 3D modeling work.

RAM, Storage and OS

Lenovo is using Windows 10 Pro for the operating system. Here is what we recommend as the minimum for heavy work or gaming. It is great to have a generous 16GB of RAM. I also like the 512GB of SSD storage.

Display

The X1s has a 15.6' screen and it is bright and has true colors. The display for a laptop will rely on the external monitor, so don't worry about the size of the display. The Spectre from HP is not fast enough for playing video games, but it can work well for photo and video editing.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Lenovo is a famous keyboard. It has island-style switches. The touchpad is also made of glass. It has a Lenovo signature TrackPoint device. The keyboard is lit and it won't spill. It is easy to type on. This keyboard does not have a numpad and the keys are well-spaced.

Design and Ports

This laptop is not what it seems. This computer is cool because it has a metal finish on the outside and it is thin. It weighs about 4.5 pounds and it's practical because of this. Some ports on this computer are for USBs. They are different types of USB-A and one is for a card reader.

Battery

Lenovo has a new laptop. It is a good choice that costs not much. The X1 Extreme has a power. It is good at showing things on the screen. It also has a CPU that is strong. The laptop will need to have an eGPU plugged in to do more heavy computing tasks though.

4. Best 17-inch: LG Gram 17

4. Best 17-inch: LG Gram 17

The Gram transforms when you attach a new eGPU. The LG Gram is designed to be a portable, high-quality device. This laptop is not meant to be fast or powerful. It is not trying to compete with laptops or workstations.

CPU and GPU

The chip is very fast, but it does not have enough cooling. LG used the Intel Core i7-1065G7 to power their new computer. The Intel Core i7-8702G is a 15W CPU with Iris Plus Graphics. It can run Windows and programs like Microsoft Excel without any slowness.

If you have a good GPU, you can get the same performance as from a gaming laptop or entry-level workstation.

RAM, Storage and OS

LG included Microsoft Windows 10 Home in the package. This laptop has 16GB of RAM which is the same as 16,000MB. It also has a 1TB SSD which is the same as 1024GB. It is best to use a GPU that is in the middle when you have this laptop because it has lots of space and memory, but there are some things that can get hot.

Display

It has a screen that is bright and accurate. The aspect ratio is perfect for work. The Gram is a great phone because it has a huge screen. The screen has a funny shape. It is a bit sad that you won't be able to use this display when using an eGPU.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The large display has buttons that are for typing. The keyboard and the number pad are big. In this passage, the writer says "Input" and "Grade." What is meant by these words? The keyboard offers a lot of space and big keys. The Numpad provides 4 columns instead of 3 that you would find on a 15-inch notebook.

Design and Ports

This laptop is very light and small. The laptop is also strong. The Gram is thin and light but can hold a 17-inch screen in a space usually for 15.6-inch screens.

There are fingerprint readers and infrared cameras on the keyboard. The ports on this computer are: HDMI, 3 USBs, and Thunderbolt. There is also a slot for a microSD card.

Battery

The battery on the Thinkpad X1 Tablet lasts for 17 hours. That is good because it can last for two days of work.

This is a good for games and simple 3D work. The LG Gram is not for people who work hard. It's good for people that need to do a lot of things on their laptop.

5. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro

5. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro

The Mac Pro was the first laptop to have Thunderbolt and it is compatible with external graphics cards. For example, eGPUs are supported by Apple laptops. Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro is best with an eGPU. The MacBook Pro is a computer that was made by Apple and released in 2006. It was the first computer to pave the way for eGPUs.

CPU and GPU

Apple designs its own processors to make their laptops work well. To sell your home in today's market, you need to make sure that it is priced competitively with other homes in the area. You should search for homes that are priced from $300K-$750K and list your house at a price that is within this range.

RAM, Storage and OS

The MBP13 runs macOS Big Sur. The 512GB of memory is quick and good. It is perfect for essential programs. Music production programs like Ableton Live, FL Studio and Pro Tools work best with a lot more RAM. 8GB of RAM is enough for basic tasks, but we recommend going up to 16 GB if you will use the device for professional software.

Display

The Retina Display on Apple computers is better than the Windows display. This display is good because it is brighter and more accurate with colors. And you can use an eGPU to power this display too, so that you can do more things on it.

This MacBook is an excellent laptop. It has a glass trackpad that I like better than any other laptop's trackpad. The keyboard on the TouchBar changes for each application.

Design and Ports

Most of the material is hard. The MacBook Pro is shaped more symmetrically than the MacBook Air. The laptop's body is strong. It can be rigid.

This laptop has only two ports to choose from. There are two Thunderbolt 4 and 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 ports.

Battery

This laptop lasts for 17 hours without being plugged in. It does not slow down while it is running on the battery.

Explanation: If you want power, but don't need it on the go, then get a laptop that has an eGPU. If you use applications such as FCP X, Apple Motion, or DaVinci Resolve often, a GPU will offer more power.

6. Best 2-in-1 Laptop: Lenovo Yoga 730

6. Best 2-in-1 Laptop: Lenovo Yoga 730

The laptop is made with an Intel CPU and it has a hinge that lets you turn the screen. It is very good to buy. Lenovo Yoga 730 is a good laptop for people who want something to go on trips with. It can do heavy work when you attach an external GPU.

CPU and GPU

The UHD 630 integrated graphics chip is now much slower than Xe and Iris Plus. The Intel i5-8250U chip can be clocked from 1.6GHz to 3.4GHz and is a 15W processor.

RAM, Storage and OS

The 8GB RAM and 256GB of SSD storage are not very good. But Windows 10 Home OS comes with apps that are essential. This system can be paired with an eGPU, but only for gaming at medium-high settings and some light video editing.

Display

Since an eGPU needs a display, the quality of your laptop's built-in display doesn't matter. The 13.3-inch screen is good because it has a lot of brightness and color accuracy. It may not be as good as newer models, but that is ok. This laptop has a touch screen and a 360 hinge. That means it can be used as a tablet or sketchpad.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keys are easy to type on. The trackpad is nice to use. This laptop does not have a number pad.

Design and Ports

The Yoga 730's 360-degree hinge means that the laptop can be used for work or play. This device can be used as a laptop, or in tent mode, or as a tablet. You can use it depending on what you want at the time.

With one USB Type-C port, two USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI port, there is room for all your needs when you want to charge something.

Battery

That means that the 730 is cheaper and it will be better if I add an eGPU. The Yoga 730 has a laptop and tablet form. It also lasts 10.5 hours so it is perfect for taking out of the house, or staying at home with its long battery life. In order to play the games now, you need a computer with a powerful graphics card. You will need editing software for video or 3D modeling

All things considered, the 730 is a great choice. It is good value.

How to Choose the Best eGPU Compatible Laptop?

Intel's Thunderbolt technology was new when it was introduced. It is now integrated with USB 4. This allows the computer to communicate with other things super fast. It helped people who want a laptop that can support an eGPU.

Thunderbolt-connected eGPUs are fast. But they are not as fast as when connected through a PCIe lane. Thunderbolt is a powerful and effective technology, but it has some quirks. You need to have the right hardware or software and follow all of the specifications.

Here are some tips to help you identify the right computer for use with an external graphics card. It might be confusing, but we're going to try and ease it. Most software is not designed to use an eGPU. Sometimes if you use the wrong hardware, the performance will be slower.

Port Selection

I am looking for a Thunderbolt 3 cable. Thunderbolt 3 ports are shaped like USB-C, but they can have different amounts of lanes. Thunderbolt 3 has three ratings: 10Gbps, 20Gbps, and 40Gbps. Only the higher two versions allow you to use your eGPU. It is important to know which ports you will need on your new computer.

When you connect more than one device to a single port, the bandwidth and performance for each device will decrease. Thunderbolt ports that are next to each other usually share a single controller, but ports on either side of your laptop might use two. Decide if you want a controller that has all of the ports on one side or if you want controllers for each port.

CPU

Thunderbolt 3 is only supported by Intel CPUs. Thunderbolt 3 will only work on new 8th Gen Core Intel processors. To work with an external graphics card, we recommend using one of the 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs. This is available as Comet Lake or Ice Lake.

If you need to use a computer graphics card, consider an external one. Parents are worried about their performance when they go to a new place. They might not be able to do very well if they are used to being in their home country. Core U series CPUs are better for entry-level or mid-level work. If you do not have a lot of money, you can buy these. Core H and K series CPUs are better for 4K streaming, heavy virtualization or workstation tasks.

eGPU

You should make a good decision. Apple does not list NVIDIA as a maker of video cards. If you have an Apple device, buy AMD. When choosing between a CPU and GPU, you need to think about how compatible they are with each other. If you buy an RTX 3070, you may be spending your money on something that is not good. The RTX's power can't be shown if the computer has an entry-level 8250U (processor).

Displays and Performance

If you have a lot of Thunderbolt ports and lanes on your laptop, an external GPU can power the display. But it will work less well than if the GPU was inside the computer. Internal displays are controlled by the machine's own internal hardware. External displays depend on a separate graphics card, typically housed in an enclosured outside of the device.

Macs are computers. They don't need a screen to be powerful, but you need screens if you want to see what they do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pair my internal GPU with an eGPU for even more performance?

For the majority of games and apps, only one GPU will work. Final Cut Pro X can use two GPUs on a Mac. There are apps that make it possible for people to have two screens at the same time. The same is true for 3D apps like Blender.

What eGPU should I get? AMD or NVIDIA?

For 3D work or video rendering, you will need to be more careful. For gaming on a computer, you need the best graphics. You can find this out by looking at your budget. One difference between NVIDIA and AMD cards is that NVIDIA has much more GPU memory. The most important thing to do when selling your home is to set an asking price that is competitive with other homes in the area. You should also make sure that you have a list of comparable properties handy so you can show people what they are getting for their money.

Will eGPUs work over USB-C?

Many devices use USB-C, but not all of them work with the same specifications. It is important to know if your USB-C port supports Thunderbolt 3 or just regular USB-C.

I have an AMD CPU, can I use an eGPU?

The USB 4 spec will let future processors from AMD support eGPUs. No. Thunderbolt was designed to be used with the Apple iPhone. It is not made for other operating systems.

Verdict

At an open house, people will come and ask questions. The best days are when people do not have work. Then they can come to the open house. Thunderbolt can help your old laptop. It will work better. And it can also make newer laptops work better, too! If you have a laptop with Thunderbolt and need to do more on it, an eGPU is worth investing in.

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