Standard laptops that are budget-priced do not come with a separate GPU because they are only designed for simple processes like some office-based activities. But when if you have a laptop with a high-performance processor, then you might miss out on a graphics card. And you have an idea in your mind that you cannot install an external graphics card on your laptop.
But that’s not true. Graphics card manufacturers have considered this problem and have developed a system with which it is possible to connect an external graphics card to your laptop. But why do you need it? You might be a working person using only MS Office on your laptop or browsing the internet.
Can I use external graphics card in laptop? Yes, you can connect and install an external graphics card in your laptop. It is recommended you install external graphics card drivers, plug-in the card, adjust the settings, restart the laptop and test the new graphics card in the laptop.
People might only use their laptops for working purposes and use a desktop computer to fulfill their gaming needs. But how will you play any game if you are out or in your office and you want to play a game that you always play at your home? Yes, that is a problem. You cannot just carry your gaming desktop with you everywhere you go.
You can carry your laptop and some smaller stuff. You might not like hardcore gaming on your laptop, but you would love it if your traditional office laptop could be converted into a gaming rig. So that you can enjoy your time while playing your favorite games. So, to solve that problem, we are here with a simple procedure that will help you to use an external graphics card on your laptop.
Can I use external graphics card in laptop?
In this article, we have explained simple 7 steps methods to connect an external graphics card in a laptop. Before going into the details, let me explain the items required for this process.
- EXP GDC video card dock
- HDMI to Mini PCI cable
- Prey tool
- A laptop (Of course)
- Graphics Card
- Power connector
- Power Supply
Well, this is a step by step procedure, and you have to follow it as it is mentioned. Otherwise, you may not get it done correctly. So, let’s get into it.
Install the required graphics card driver
You cannot use any hardware on your laptop if your laptop does not contain the necessary drivers for it. The drivers include the algorithm and support for the device, which tells your computer to run the specific hardware properly. So, if you are going to install new hardware, then you must find the required drivers for it.
If you do not install the drivers for your graphics card, then your video card will not run on your laptop. You will know what brand or manufacturer’s graphic card you are using. After that, you will go to the official website of the specific brand and choose your graphic card from there.
When you are on the official page of your graphics card, find support for your graphics card on that page and download the latest driver for your graphics card. When the required driver is being downloaded, you will have to extract it and install it.
You might not be having the game for your graphics card, and if you do not have the specific game installed on your laptop, then you should install it. Because once all the procedure is done, you will eventually become impatient to wait for further installation and then test your game.
Some games do require more RAM in a system. So, make sure you have enough memory installed on your laptop. It does sometimes happen that people install a good graphics card but forget about the RAM, which is also a mandatory thing to install to meet the requirements for your game.
Uninstall the WiFi driver
You must be wondering why it is essential to uninstall the WiFi driver while it is required in your daily routine. Well, we want to give you some information about it. A laptop usually has one MINI PCI slot in which the WiFi card is inserted on the motherboard. But you must know some things about your laptop if you are going to proceed with this process.
Some laptops have only one PCI slot, which some laptops come with two PCI slots, which are used for DVD-ROM and WiFi card. So, if you have two, then you should get rid of your DVD-ROM and get one PCI slot vacant for your graphics card. If you do not have two, then you will have to get rid of your WiFi card. You will have to lose one of those to connect your graphics card.
So, if you do not have a DVD drive and you are willing to remove the WiFi card from your laptop, then you should follow up, otherwise, do not follow further. So, right-click on My Computer and click on Manage, it will open a window that will give options to manage your computer settings.
You will see a selection named Device Manager, click on it, and it will open the list of drivers that you can manage to change your system settings. Uninstall the WiFi driver from the Network adapter section, and you are good to go.
If you have a DVD-ROM connection, then do not uninstall the WiFi driver, just proceed to the next step.
Restart your laptop
As all the software requirements have been completed, it is time to shut down and open your laptop. Just shut down your laptop and make sure that your laptop is turned off properly and not using any power. Now, there is one more important thing to do. If you have an older series laptop, then you might have a removable battery installed in your laptop.
Remove your battery by using its locks. When you have removed its locks, you will open the lid of your laptop and long-press the power button. If you do so, it will drain that amount of power that remains within the circuit. After that, you are suitable to open the case of your laptop.
Then, you will first have to open the keyboard of your laptop because some laptops have additional screws behind the keyboard, which are to be removed when you are going to remove the case of your computer. So, remove the keyboard with a prey tool and open any available screw behind it.
Now, get a screwdriver and open the screws which are used to fix the case of your laptop. If you have removed all the screws and still cannot open the laptop case, then you must see other screws in the location of the battery. It usually has 2 to 4 screws there too.
After removing all the screws, get a prey tool, and use it to open the case of your laptop. When the case is opened and the motherboard, hardware, and wires are exposed, then move to the next step. This is important to prevent your laptop from only printing in black and white.
Replace the WiFi card with Mini PCI cable
Well, it is the essential step of this process, which is needed to be done with too much care. But there is an alternative thing to do if you are not going just to remove your WiFi card from your laptop. We mentioned about two PCI slots of the computer before.
So, let us explain how you will be able to create a vacant PCI slot for your Mini PCI cable. If you have two slots that are being used for WiFi cards and DVD-ROM, then you should get rid of your DVD-ROM instead of the WiFi card.
To remove the DVD-ROM of the laptop, first, see if DVD-ROM is mounted with the help of a screw. Remove that screw with the help of a screwdriver and then carefully remove the DVD-ROM of your laptop. When you remove the DVD-ROM of your laptop, you will see that there is a lot of space on your laptop now.
You can use that big hole that is made by removing the DVD-ROM to pass your wire. If you do not have that slot, then you must get the WiFi card slot free from the card. So, you will have to remove the WiFi card from your laptop gently, and this slot will be used for the graphics card slot. To remove the WiFi card, you will have to open the screws of the card, and it will be free.
You should also keep in mind that you will still have to remove your DVD-ROM because you need to get your PCI cable through somewhere into the laptop when you close it up. So, you will have to remove the DVD-ROM.
We mentioned using the DVD-ROM slot because some laptops come with DVD-ROMs that are connected via the Mini PCI slot, but if that case is not valid for your laptop, then you will go for removing your WiFi card.
Plugin and close up
After getting a slot ready for Mini PCI cable, you will have to get the wire from the space of DVD-ROM. It will an easy step because it will require you only to pass the cord and plug it in the Mini PCI slot. Keep the HDMI side outside of the laptop as it will be connected to the graphics card connector.
After inserting the Mini PCI cable, put back the screws that were used to connect the WiFi card to the laptop. This will keep the connection intact, and you will not have to worry about it. So, as the required wire is connected, you will have to close the case of your laptop to get the laptop running with the graphics card.
Put back the case and close it up by putting back all the required screws of your laptop. When the case is installed on your laptop, make sure that you put back the screw that you found behind the keyboard of your computer.
If you do not put the screw in that part, then your laptop will become loose, and you will always feel like something is not right. After putting back all the screws, put back the keyboard, and connect your graphics card.
Connect external graphics card
As all the necessary and technical steps are done, it is time to finish up the process to enjoy your gaming. Now, connect the graphics card to your EXP GDC video card dock, because that dock contains the PCI slot for desktop cards. When it is put on the dock, connect your power supply with the relative pins of your dock.
When you connect your power supply to your dock, it will provide power to the graphics card. When you have attached all the things that are required to make everything run, there is still something in the setup. You should always use the best graphics card for your laptop.
You will have to connect the battery of the laptop too. After joining the battery, you will be able to power on your laptop. This is a must to use the external graphics card on the laptop.
Test the game on an external graphics card
As the hardware requirements are fulfilled now, it is time too turn the laptop on and let the graphics driver recognize the graphics card which is connected to the laptop. You already installed the graphics card driver so that you do not have any trouble with the graphics card.
When the laptop turns on and gets the desktop ready for you, it will detect the newly installed hardware, which is your graphics card and will make it available for you to use. When the graphics adapter is ready, configure the driver to run with your games.
After that, turn on the game and give it a test run. As it was not able to run before, it will run smoothly on your laptop, depending on the performance of the graphics card you installed with it.