Can You Upgrade A Laptop GPU? A Complete Solution

As laptop manufacturers make thinner laptops, the space inside them gets limited. And when you want to upgrade, you usually need to buy a whole new laptop. A lot of people just don’t want to upgrade their laptops, so most people just keep their old, slow laptops. For them, an external GPU is the answer. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Upgrading Internal GPU in a laptop seems impossible after purchasing. But if you’re using a laptop with thunderbolt support. There is a chance to upgrade your laptop performance with an external portable GPU.

If you are a gaming and tech enthusiast then this article will help you with complete solutions. However, if you’re in a hurry to invest in an external laptop GPU. Then this best external laptop GPU fits your budget and performance.

What is GPU?

GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit. Graphics processing units (GPUs) are specialized electronic circuits designed to improve the speed of rendering images, primarily for video games and computer graphics.

Technically, GPUs are meant for 3D rendering and scientific visualizations, as well as dozens of other applications.

The graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized electronic circuit capable of generating graphic images from models created with a computer’s graphics software. The transition to the widespread use of GPUs in graphics-intensive programs originated from early charts generated by Tom Rebbe for Autodesk Media and Entertainment show.

Are Laptops GPU Upgradable?

A laptop’s GPU may be more power-efficient and quieter, but it is not as powerful as a desktop. While there is no longer a GPU upgrade option with the newest MacBook Pros, your best option is to buy an external GPU.

Laptops want to be more portable and quiet, so they may make a special trade-off by opting for a less powerful GPU or processor in order to reduce heat generation and noise from cooling fans.

The result of this trade-off is that laptops usually have lower frames per second on video games than their desktop counterparts, making it harder to play some new games on your laptop even though you might have the latest graphics card.

A low-priced solution is an external graphic card so you can hook it up to your laptop with a connection cable. If you’re a Macbook user then A MacBook Pro without a dGPU usually relies on Intel’s smart-chipset display technology for graphics acceleration with fancy names like Optimus or Switchable Graphics.

The problem is that these technologies are not as powerful as an actual discrete graphics card. Wrapping it up with nice words, the performance difference between what you get from laptop integrated display chipsets and what you get from an external GPU is substantial.

External GPUs are faster because they do less work in CPU + CPU memory space before passing it off to PCI Express bus => more efficient rendering!

Main Types Of GPU For A Laptop

GPU for a laptop is usually either integrated graphics or discrete graphics.

Integrated Graphics are found in most laptops to save power, but they are not powerful enough to play the latest games in their difficult settings. Discrete Graphics are CPUs that can be upgraded with a desktop card, delivering a higher resolution and frame rate than integrated cards.

But they require the added expense of an external graphics card so that games have sufficient room to breathe by moving data off the MacBook’s tightly bound internal drive stack refreshing cycles into its own copious RAM cache.

Upgrade Laptop GPU

Upgrading the GPU on your laptop doesn’t have a substantial effect on how much battery life you get.

Higher-end graphics cards generally suck up more power, so they’ll drain your battery faster. That said, graphics card performance is determined by CPU speed first and then GPU speed, so it’s very unlikely that an upgrade would have any affect at all due to the increase in power consumption!

However, lower-end GPUs are important for reducing CPU usage so you could see modest improvements there. But since the energy consumed by the CPU dwarfs that of the GPU anyway upgrading really doesn’t matter too much.

So if you want to save some money or time and not lose any points in the performance, don’t bother swapping. Before we dive into upgrading laptop GPU, first we have to know does your laptop support these four things.

  • Thunderbolt port support
  • HDMI port support
  • Driver support
  • Display frame rate

How To Know If I Can Upgrade My Laptop Graphics Card?

If you’re not sure how to determine if your laptop graphics card can be upgraded:

  • Open an MS Paint program.
  • Open a new document and draw a diagonal line across the screen.
  • Zoom in on either end of the line and notice that it’s pixelated due to small squares, as illustrated below:

If your screen looks like this, then your graphics card cannot be upgraded. In order for it to have been possible for your graphics card to have been upgraded, you would have needed a device with more than 640×480 pixels.

However, upgrading a desktop computer is much easier because they usually just need a larger internal hard drive or RAM memory- depending on the desired upgrade.

Why Do I Need To Upgrade My Laptop GPU?

Laptops are typically smaller than desktops, so they have limited space for a high-end graphics cards. A laptop GPU upgrade will allow your computer to take full advantage of the gaming software you are using.

Upgrading a Laptop’s Graphics Card is important because it allows your computer to perform at the same level with better performance when providing graphics input. It gives off more vibrant images and provides clearer lines in between colors too!

Many people also recommend upgrading the rest of the system by putting in enough RAM and putting in an SSD to allow for quickening things like loading screens, which can change drastically based on what hardware is on their rig already.

But no one will encourage you to buy a laptop with a good graphics card. Because they will only give you their own opinion about laptops. Just think you have purchased a laptop without a good internal graphic card. After some days you saw an ad on the internet about graphic design. Now you wanted to be a graphic designer. When you purchase adobe illustrator, your laptop will not handle all those powerful designs.

This is why I always told my friends and family that is before getting any new laptop, the best way to avoid any compatibility issues is by making sure your laptop meets all the necessary criteria for work.

How Do I Upgrade My Laptop Graphics Card?

Technically, you can not upgrade the internal GPU in your laptop. Because these days the GPU is soldered onto the mainboard. But you can buy an external GPU. Otherwise, you can buy a new laptop with a higher internal GPU option.

If you’re not a computer expert, don’t upgrade your graphics card. It’s best to get in contact with someone who knows what they’re doing if this is something that interests you and can be done properly.

For starters, you shouldn’t upgrade if you’re not familiar with computer hardware. This is not something you can do in your backyard. If you are thinking of upgrading your laptop graphics card, you’d better hire a qualified technician.

You should ask for the cost of the job before you hire anyone so that you can be prepared for the expenses. Also, check the reputation of the company and the experience of the technician who will work on your laptop.

If you follow the steps given below at your own risk, you can upgrade your laptop graphics card. But if you are not technical please don’t ever try it.

Method 1: Use Desktop GPU’s in Laptops

You can use desktop GPUs on your laptop. There is a GPU kit that comes with some cables and ports. But it is not portable if you like to travel a lot. But for home gaming setups this setup will boost your laptop performance.

Method 2: Buy an External GPU for Your Laptops

A way to boost the speed of your laptop is by using an external graphics card. This can be accomplished with a PCIe slot, HDMI output, or DisplayPort input on any PC that has one available – but not all laptops do!

A List Of Compitable Laptops With GPU Upgrading Options

Laptops are great because they’re portable, but if you want to play games or do any kind of graphics work then you’ll need a better GPU.

The problem is that laptop manufacturers usually only include the cheapest possible graphics card in their devices which means it’s not powerful enough for anything other than light web browsing and office applications. If you want to game on your laptop or do any sort of graphic design work then you’ll need to upgrade your computer with an external GPU (eGPU).

The easiest way to get started with eGPUs is by buying one of our recommended kits. We provide all the parts necessary for getting up and running including instructions so anybody can set this up even if they’ve never upgraded their own computer before!

Our recommended eGPU kits are compatible with most laptops under $1500.00 USD including Apple Macbooks, Dell XPS, HP Omen & more!

Specific Laptops That Support External GPU

  • Apple M1, M1 Pro, M1X Macbook Pro
  • Rezer Blade
  • HP Omen
  • ASUS ROG Flow X13

Internal GPU vs External GPU

An internal graphics card is mounted on the motherboard and comes with the system, whereas an external graphics card is connected to the system through a PCI-e slot.

So far, I have not seen any internal graphics card (IGP) which can match the performance of an external graphics card (eGPU). Similarly, the IGP of a high end laptop or desktop can match the performance of an eGPU.

It depends upon what you want to do with your computer and the games you want to play. If you want to do work and play games, then you need an external GPU. The reason you need this is that the power is not really there to actually play and get work done and it would be a waste if you did.

However, if you just play games and don’t want to miss out on anything, then an internal one is the way to go because you will get the power you need to play all of the games you want.

Advantages of External GPU

External GPU is like having an ultra fast graphics card in your laptop but without the bulk. The ultra-fast graphics card puts the graphics processing power in the hands of the gamer, rather than leaving it up to the laptop’s CPU. It also allows the laptop to use the integrated graphics while the external GPU is not in use.

An external graphics processing unit (eGPU) is a plug-and-play device that allows you to convert your portable computer to a gaming computer. It can be connected to any laptop or desktop with a Thunderbolt connector.

You can play games that use the eGPU’s graphics processor, which is typically more powerful than the integrated graphics processor in your computer and without sacrificing your computer’s main processor, memory, storage, or other functionality.

Your computer’s display is also unaffected by using an eGPU. Connecting an eGPU is easy. At minimum, you need to connect the eGPU to a Thunderbolt 3 port on your computer with a Thunderbolt 3 cable.

You can then use an HDMI or DisplayPort cable to connect the eGPU to a display. To use the eGPU’s graphics processor, ensure that you have an external display connected to the eGPU. Additional cabling is also required, depending on the eGPU model and the host computer.

Some eGPUs have four USB ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port, and the graphics card may need additional power, which is provided through a separate power adapter.

Disadvantages of External GPU

In this case, it’s not about cost, but about speed, because it’s not as fast as a built-in GPU. External GPU is not able to communicate with your laptop directly, so it requires a Thunderbolt 3 port and a PCI-e interface and longer than Thunderbolt 2.

But as far as I know, the main disadvantage of an external GPU is that it is expensive. Also, the portability is not so good. If you have a 17-inch laptop, it is not so big for you to carry it.

One more disadvantage is that external GPU is not available for all laptops. You can use external GPUs on a desktop computer. Laptops usually have very limited space inside, so the laptop manufacturer has to reduce the size of the graphics card.

External Graphics Processing Unit or EGPUs are computers that fit into a box that has an external GPU. They are designed to take the load of video rendering and offload it to the GPU.

The main advantage of using EGPUs is that you get to enjoy high-end graphics without buying a high-end computer or upgrading your current one. External Graphics Processing Unit or EGPUs are computers that fit into a box that has an external GPU.

They are designed to take the load of video rendering and offload it to the GPU. The main advantage of using EGPUs is that you get to enjoy high-end graphics without buying a high-end computer or upgrading your current one.

And the main disadvantage of using an external GPU is that although they are designed to fit into a small box, they are still fairly large, making it difficult to move them around. This will limit your ability to use your computer during events like parties.

Best External GPU For Laptops

There is a portable laptop that comes with a portable eGPU. The ASUS ROG Flow X13 has the power to play GTA 5 with a high frame rate. If you’re interested in the product, you can check it out on Amazon and their customer’s reviews.


It’s always a great feeling when you can improve something you already own. And when it comes to laptops, sometimes you can! Think about it, you can buy a laptop for a few hundred dollars or less, then upgrade it to perform like a thousand dollar laptop. There are three main components that are upgradeable in laptops, but in this article, we are going to be focusing on the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).

Al Shariar Apon

Al Shariar Apon is a Digital Marketing Specialist with over 4 years of Marketing & Design experience based out of Khulna, Bangladesh. But I'm very passionate about photography from my childhood. So I have participated and won some photography contests.

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