How to Install a Graphic Card in a Laptop Externally to Super Power your MAC or PC?

how to install a graphic card in a laptop

Are you a proud owner of a MAC machine? If you’re then you know the downside of having an expensive machine but not being able to extract enough juice out of it. Are you of the mind that you want to supercharge your MAC computer? In case, you’re then here’s how to build a graphics card externally for your MAC machine.

In this article, I am going to help you learn how you can superpower your MAC machine so it can give you the best performance. If you’re fed up with the slow processing speed of your internally installed GPU or you are tired of experiencing laggy gaming, then this article is for you. So without further ado, let’s build an external GPU setup for your gaming machine.

Step # 1: Back Up Everything Available on MAC OS X

First and foremost, backup all the information that is present on your MAC machine. After all, you don’t want to lose any of your precious data so make sure to back it all up.

Step # 2: Do Your Research 

As easy as it may sound, building a GPU can be a cumbersome task. So before you plan on making due investments, start with performing significant research. See if your hardware has compatible ports (Thunderbolt, USB and HDMI) and make sure there are no power restrictions to them. When you have all the necessary details and they are all compatible & supportive, next up is to do your searching on Google. Compound the key term eGPUs with your particular machine name and see if there are any compatible GPU units which support it.

Step # 3: Run the Apple’s Boot Camp Tool on Your MAC

Almost every MAC machine supports OS X whereas many eGPU setup drivers will require windows to run. Thanks to Apple’s Boot Camp tool, you can easily install Windows components on your MAC machine making it fully compatible with the latest version of the windows. So before you begin, get the latest Windows 10 installed on your MAC device and begin with the process.

Apple’s Boot Camp Tool on Your MAC

Step # 4: Go for eGPU Shopping 

If it’s your first time putting together an eGPU setup for your MAC device, there are plenty of options available in the online market. Just search up stock components on Amazon & NewEgg.

Buying a graphics card for your dual GPU setup

If you’re of the mind of working in a FHD environment and can easily settle with a mid range GPU, then GTX 1080 GPUs can deliver the perfect performance.

Buying a graphics card for your dual GPU setup


If you want to push your graphics card’s performance to a much higher level such as 4K results or more, then you can go for a more expensive option like the RTX series.

Buying an eGPU setup Enclosure

Buying an eGPU setup Enclosure

In order to make sure your graphics card unit is well protected, you may want to keep your GPU in a closed container. To do so, you may require a suitable case. When you opt in to make a purchase, make sure to check whether the case is compatible with your GPU or not.

Also, make sure that the case comes with slots for Thunderbolt 2/Thunderbolt 3 connector segments. The case provides the perfect enclosure for the card and ensures that it stays protected from all external damages whatsoever.

Purchase the Power Supply Unit (PSU) 

To make sure your external GPU gets the required power, you will also have to install a separate power supply unit. Check up with the graphics card power consumption requirement before investing your budget in purchasing a PSU. In case, if you’re using a low end card, then your GPU will consume less power and therefore, you will need a cheap PSU. For high end gaming cards, you will need PSUs which can provide you superior performance.

Purchase the Power Supply

If you’re not sure how much power your graphics card is going to consume, then you can always opt in to purchase a PSU with 500 watts power. This PSU will allow you to use just about any high end graphics card from AMD or Nvidia of your choice. While most graphics cards are good to go, some will require a PCIe powered flexible riser which you can easily purchase from anywhere online. It’s a budget peripheral which is easily available.

Time to Assemble your eGPU

Once you have purchased everything online and received them at home, it’s time to put together your build. With everything that you purchase will come a manual which will guide you on how to put everything together. Just go through the manual step by step and make your own build.

assemble your egpu

Install the Drivers 

The last thing you need to do after you assemble your eGPU build is to install the necessary drivers. Download the required graphic cards driver from the official website. In order to locate the required driver, all you have to do is visit the official websites and download the necessary files. Installing the drivers is essential because these files will ensure your graphics card unit functions at its optimal efficiency. Make sure to download the latest drivers, keep a check whenever there’s an update and update the drivers accordingly.

The Summary

In a nutshell, here are the simple steps to follow to build a GPU externally:

  • Backup all your data on the laptop to make sure it remains safe and sound.
  • Conduct throughout research regarding how to build a GPU externally as it can be a daunting task.
  • Run the Apple’s boot camp tool to make your laptop compatible with the GPU
  • Purchase the graphics card (be careful about the compatibility)
  • Now, purchase an eGPU enclosure
  • Once purchased the GPU and eGPU enclosure, it’s time to get a PSU
  • Assemble all the parts you’ve got (carefully)
  • Install the compatible drivers, and that’s it

With that said, we hope this detailed guide helped you determine the steps you need to take for building a GPU externally to pair up with your laptop. If it did, consider sharing it with your friends and family, and help them out as well. Until next time, cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Build a GPU Externally

Building a GPU externally is not an easy job. You can come by a lot of misconceptions along the way. Here are the answers to some common ones.

Can GPU be added externally?

Yes, you can pair up an eGPU or external GPU with your laptop to achieve a top-tier graphics performance. The downside of this concept is, however, the compatibility issues. For instance, most of the laptops don’t support this feature neither most of the GPUs are designed to be used as an eGPU. Not just that, if you want to pair up an eGPU with your laptop, know that it may require same the same manufacturer for the laptop and dock.

Can I build my own GPU?

Yes, you can build your own external GPU to pair up with your laptop and get the maximum graphics potential. However, know that the process can be challenging and there’s a dare need to pay complete attention to the compatibility of the laptop, the GPU, the GPU power supply, and the dock.

Is an external GPU worth it?

If you’re a creative professional or a gamer who desperately needs the top-tier graphics performance out of his laptop, an external GPU or eGPU is worth it for you. It will help you boost your productivity without having to get a dedicated PC for powerful graphics.

Can you game with an external GPU?

Gaming is among the major reasons the external GPUs were designed in the first place. Although the top-notch gaming laptops are powerful enough to run games smoothly with the current GPU they have, an external GPU will help you take the gaming experience to the next level and to enjoy high-resolution gaming without lags.

Is Thunderbolt 3 enough for eGPU?

Due to the transfer of lots of data, the external GPUs can only run on a power port. Thankfully, a thunderbolt 3 port is a perfect solution to connect an eGPU. Other than having a thunderbolt 3 on your laptop, it’s important to make sure your laptop is compatible with the eGPU or it won’t work.

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