Best Cheap External GPUs for 2017

Many people prefer gaming on their laptops because of the convenience of carrying them to any location. Desktop PCs may be inconvenient but they have more graphics than laptops. They have more powerful GPUs than notebooks. Hence, if you are used to gaming on your laptop, you are missing some graphic features. External graphics processing units or eGPUs enable you to enjoy more features when using your notebook or laptop for gaming and other functions.

What are external GPUs?

An external GPU is a desktop graphics card that is stored on a board or an enclosure. You can plug the card into your laptop or PC using a cable. The GPU on your PC or laptop is connected to the motherboard, which means that you cannot upgrade or modify it. If you have an old PC or laptop, you will not enjoy some graphics. When you connect an external GPU to your device, you can run its applications.

The latest virtual reality games require a high graphics processing power that is only available when using the latest models of desktop PCs. An external GPU boosts your laptop’s power to enable you to play all type of games including virtual reality games.

External GPUs Recommendations

Before purchasing any external graphics card, ensure that the model is compatible with your notebook. Otherwise, the applications and features on the card will not run on your laptop. External GPUs come in different models with varying features and capacities. Here are best eGPUs to buy this year:

Razer Core

The external GPU is among the latest models in the market. Razer Core uses Thunderbolt 3 technology and hence it is compatible with all laptops with a Thunderbolt 3 port. The eGPU enclosure has PCle slot on the right side that you can use to connect to your laptop. It also has its own powering system. Installing your preferred graphics on this enclosure is fast and easy.

One reason why many gamers prefer Razer Core to other external GPUs is that it supports the most powerful graphics cards in the market. The noise level when using such cards is acceptable. Another outstanding feature on the enclosure is its connectivity. It has an Ethernet port and four USB 3.0 ports. Razer Core can also support a high-performance desktop GPU with a length of up to 12 inches.

Razer Core has a good design and a high-quality aluminum frame. However, the model is expensive compared to other brands in the market. Another downside of the enclosure is the short connection cable.

Alienware Graphics Amplifier

This eGPU enclosure has a 460-watt power supply and in-built cooling fan. Its side vents enhance its cooling performance when supporting high-performance graphics cards. For this enclosure design, you have to lift the lid to access the PCle slot. It has four USB ports where you can connect other peripherals when gaming.

The enclosure is compatible with laptops that use Thunderbolt 3 technology. However, its compatibility with non-Alienware laptops is relatively poor. The enclosure is designed for Aleinware 13, 15, and 17 notebooks. The power supply is sufficient to support the most powerful cards such as the GeForce GTX 1080 card.

Alienware Graphics amplifier has an internal bandwidth that is dedicated to the amplifier. Most external GPUs have internal bandwidth that is shared among many device including hard drives and external monitors. The major downside of the Alienware Graphics amplifier is that it uses a proprietary connection. The technology limits its compatibility with other models of laptops and notebooks.

PowerColor Devil Box

PowerColor’s eGPU combines Thunderbolt 3 connectivity with AMD’S Xconnect technology. It has the same design as the Razer Core. The Devil Box has a 500-watt power supply and four USB ports for connectivity. It also has an Ethernet, SATA Controllers, and a PCle expansion. The Box comes with an additional Type C USB port.

One of the advantages of this external GPU is that it is not designed for any laptop model or brand. Hence, it is compatible with most models of gaming laptops in the market. In addition to supporting the external graphics card, the Devil Box can charge your laptop. You will not have multiple charging cables on your desk when using the eGPU on your laptop.


Before purchasing any of the recommended models, consider your laptop’s processor and RAM capacity. You may buy the best eGPU but if your laptop’s processor and RAM’s capacities are low, the overall performance will be low. Ensure that the external GPU is compatible with the model of your laptop or notebook. In addition, install or update all the drivers that the eGPU needs to function. Any of the three models of external GPUs is a good buy to enhance your laptop’s graphical power.

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