Even the best laptops are a bit limited. If you want to push your laptop in the field of high-end desktop gaming, you must purchase an external graphics processing unit or eGPU.
What is an eGPU?
Special graphics cards (also called) GPU & # 39; s ̵
Although desktop gamers can replace their graphics card every year or two, laptop gamers aren't happy. Clearly call me Captain Ob, but full-sized desktop GPUs are too large to fit in a laptop, and gaming laptops with built-in GPUs are impossible to upgrade.
But that's where eGPU & # 39; s come in. An eGPU is simply a desktop graphics card that is outside of your laptop (hence the name eGPU or "external" GPU). eGPUs have their own power supply and housing, and they are occasionally full of additional video, USB, and Ethernet ports for your monitors and accessories.
Most modern eGPUS are universal. They are sold as enclosures (without graphic card) and they work with most Thunderbolt 3 equipped laptops. However, old-fashioned eGPUS are patented, meaning they are built for to use specific laptops and non-standard cables. From now on, Alienware is the only manufacturer whose laptops work with proprietary eGPUs.
Some eGPU options work without a Thunderbolt 3 port or its own connector. However, these options are too complicated for most people and may invalidate your laptop's warranty, so instead we focus on Thunderbolt 3.
Getting an eGPU to work does not have to be harder than connecting a phone or keyboard to your laptop. But there is a chance that your laptop and eGPU do not enjoy playing together. Some Thunderbolt 3 ports are not built to Intel's eGFX standards, and as you would expect, proprietary GPUs only work with a handful of specially crafted laptops.
So before you buy an eGPU, first look at Google to see how well it works with your laptop. Make sure your laptop actually has a Thunderbolt 3 port (and not just a USB-C port), and confirm that all eGPUs are certified for your laptop.
There is also a chance that your eGPU housing will not work with whatever graphics card you purchase. If you have ever bought a GPU for a desktop, you already know the exercise. Make sure a GPU fits in your eGPU housing before you buy it (since length and power consumption are the limiting factors here) and check Google for compatibility issues between the two products.  MacBook users must also stay with AMD cards. NVIDIA graphics cards are not officially supported by macOS.
The best Thunderbolt 3 eGPU housings
It doesn't matter if you use a MacBook, a Dell XPS 13 or a cheap Acer Swift 3 – any laptop with a good Thunderbolt 3 port should work with a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU. This means that shopping for an eGPU housing is actually fairly easy. You only have to decide how many graphics cards you need.
The Razer Core X is one of the most popular, versatile and universal eGPU enclosures. It is not too expensive, it works with Windows laptops and MacBooks and it supports most full sized graphics cards, including enthusiastic cards with three slots. In addition, it supports 100-watt pass-through charging, so that your laptop never runs out while playing. (Razer also sells an RGB version of the Core X with built-in USB and Ethernet ports.)
Of course, the Razer Core X can be overkill for some gamers. If you are only looking for a small eGPU enclosure, then the Sonnet Breakaway or the Akitio Node may be a better option for you. These enclosures work with Mac and Windows laptops, they support pass-through charging and they work with most full sized graphics cards. (Again, check the compatibility before you buy.)