External Graphics Card For Laptop - With ExpressCard Adapter?

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danie2727

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GOAL: I am looking for a graphics card I can use externally with a USB to ExpressCard adapter since I do not have an ExpressCard slot in my laptop. There is no way to update a graphics card in my laptop however; an external graphics card is definitely an option.

REASON: I want to be able to run Guild Wars 2 on my computer. I have gotten into the game and it works fine but then it crashes. I am also not going need this graphics card for any other game so minimum requirements that will still make the game work and keep the cost low are very welcome!

BUDGET: Around $250, but I would rather spend around $100.

MY COMPUTER: I have a Toshiba Satellite C655-S5128.

Computer System Specifics:

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601)

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU M 380 @ 2.53GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.5 GHz

Memory: 4096MB RAM

Chip Type: Intel(R) Graphics (Core i3)

***I used the Can You Run It? site and found the issue:

My Video card only has 64 MB of Dedicated Video RAM and I need at least 256 MB.
I also need a Pixel Shader version of 3.0 or better and Vertex Shader version of 3.0 or better.

QUESTIONS: Can you recommend a graphics card that will fulfill my minimum requirements and is compatible with my computer?
Does anyone know if the converter will make a difference with compatibility and/or preformance? I have also heard of a ViDock but can't I just stick the new external graphics card into the ExpressCard Slot in the adapter?


NOTE: I do not have the money or time to build or buy a gaming desktop. I need my laptop for work purposes so I cannot sell this. I know I cannot upgrade the actual graphics.

 

blazorthon

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External graphics solutions are often hard to get, expensive, and not very well performing. Also, i3s only have two cores, not four. They have two virtual threads, but those are not actual cores.

I'd recommend saving up for a decent $500 or so desktop rather than trying this mess.
 

Maxx_Power

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What you are asking for is rare, the only possibility I know of is this:

http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/graphics-cards/how-to-make-an-external-laptop-graphics-adaptor-915616

A PCI-E 16 to 1x (expresscard) adapter and you supply your own video card, PSU.
 

Maxx_Power

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I agree. At least until Intel enables PCI-E 3.0 over Thunderbolt and someone actually starts making external enclosures for GPUs.
 

danie2727

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Why would the i3's make any difference to the preformance of an external graphics card? Also I am not looking for spectacular preformance, I just want my game to work on a laptop that can't seem to handle it.
 

k1114

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USB 2.0 = 30MB/s, PCIE x16 = 8GB/s bidirectional. You don't want to use usb. However, most laptops use their mpcie for the wireless card which happens to be pcie x1 speed which is manageable. You can usually access it from the bottom of your laptop. Most people do not go with an external solution because of cost. For the price, others would sell their laptop and get one with a better gpu to keep mobility and save the hassle. But I see this is not an option for you. Here's the links to what I usually recommend.
http://www.hwtools.net/Adapter/PE4H.html PE4H-PM3N is the mpcie version and you'll probably notice there is no usb version.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371033
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814162094

The cpu matters because it affects fps especially mmos like guild wars. If a cpu is too weak it'll hold back the gpu so even a $1000 gpu will not have a performance difference vs integrated. But your i3 is fine.
 

blazorthon

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I didn't say that your i3 is too weak (although it is kinda weak). I simply corrected the core count number that you had for it. I'd be more worried about the PCIe bandwidth being high enough and causing performance problems if it isn't than I am about the CPU. Going down to eight or even four PCIe lanes usually doesn't hurt too much, but one or two? That hurts performance significantly. You'd have to be sure that you can get all four PCIe connections on that device that k1114 suggested just to get semi-proper performance out of the graphics card.
 

Maxx_Power

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That's the same device I suggested, so it is only 1x PCI-E at the laptop end. The performance is going to suffer a lot, there is no choice...
 

Maxx_Power

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I might want to summarize for the OP:

Currently, the ability for you to add a GPU (high bandwidth device) is limited by the existence of a high bandwidth external interface on the laptop. The closest thing that is possible today is Thunderbolt, which carries the equivalent of PCI-E 4x 2.0 bandwidth, with a possible upgrade in a few years to PCI-E 4x 3.0 = PCI-E 8x 2.0 bandwidth. The next closest thing is ExpressCard or mPCI-E, both of which carries maximally PCI-E 1x (not necessarily 2.0) bandwidth. Anything on USB/Firewire/etc is way too slow to do gaming, although there is usually enough bandwidth on USB/Firewire/etc to do just an extended desktop for work.

I don't mean to give OP bad news, but just the way things are currently.
 

k1114

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Even with the bottleneck, it'll allow the play of even higher end games like bf3 on otherwise unplayable laptops. And not just on low settings, check benchmarks and people are playing on ultra.
 

Maxx_Power

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Of course! Even a 50% penalty in performance is better than not playable. Just wanted to point out that a significant penalty exists.
 

Maxx_Power

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I think you are confused. That specification is 5 Giga-bits per second. NOT 5 Giga-bytes per second. The abbreviation you used is incomplete. "Gig" is not a quantity of data, it merely signifies 10^9, or Giga. You need an additional abbreviation for what the denominations are. So, a "Giga" of WHAT ? Giga of bytes or bits or what is it ?

For reference:

5 Gigabits/second = 0.625 Gigabytes/second

That is a trifle compared to what modern GPUs are used to. 1 lane of PCI-E 3.0 yields 1 GB/s (Giga-byte per second).
 

ujai

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Hello friends,

I need to use adobe premier pro/ avid movie editor on my laptop. Please advise if there is any external video card available.

The laptop is dell with:
Base Inspiron 15R (7520) BTX Base
Operating System Windows 8 Single Language, English (64bit)
Memory 8GB 2 DIMM (4GB x2) DDR3 1600Mhz
Keyboard
Dell™ Backlight Chiclet Keyboard with Multi-touch
Touchpad (English)
Video Card AMD Radeon™ HD 7730M DDR3 2GB - ICC
Driver Intel® 2230 Driver
Hard Drive 1.0TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Processor
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM processor
(6M Cache, up to 3.2 GHz)


Please advise.
Best. Ujai.





 

blazorthon

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Also worth mentioning is that USB, unlike PCIe, is a very CPU intensive interface and rarely gets anywhere near it's maximum transfer rate for a single device. That a single PCIe lane, even for 3.0, is already still a significant bottle-neck tells me that using USB3 would be completely impossible for gaming purposes It's be like trying to play Crysis 3 in 1080p with a Radeon 5450 no matter what game you played.
 

ujai

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Now I asked Dell to provide me a credit note, which they are wit a 15% depreciation on my original purchase price as my system is 4 years old. So now I have finalized a vostro laptop with the below specs, and the dell sales rep says that I would be able to run adobe premier pro/ avid video editor on this:

Processor 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM processor (6M Cache, up to 3.2 GHz) [8K9C6]

Operating System Ubuntu 12.04 [UBUNTU-NEW]

Memory 4GB DDR3 SO-DIMM AT 1600MHz-1X4GB [5023749]
Video Card AMD Radeon™ HD 7670M 1GB DDR3 for ICC [VH9P6]

Hard Drive 500GB 7200RPM SATA HDD Drive for ICC [ICCPHR4J]

Optical Drive 12.7" SATA tray load DVD+/-RW [5023813]

Dell Services: Hardware Support 1 Year Next Business Day Onsite Service [I2VN2NBD1]
Wireless Driver Driver for Dell Wireless 1703/1704 [M1V46]
Keyboard Dell(TM) Backlight Chiclet Keyboard with Multi-touch Touchpad (English) [W8-019HT]

Color Kits: Aberdeen Silver LCD Cover for ICC [ICC-SILVER]

I would use win 7 ultimate 64bit and upgrade RAM to maximum from aftermarket (8/16/32) as it has two slots and they are sending 4gbx1. Would like to use an external graphics card if possible.
What do you guys advise?
 

TheWhiteBlur

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ujai

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Mike Lovett

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The reason this person, as well as I, am looking to do this is, we do not taking gaming so serious as to invest such serious money--$500 is not chump change! And for about $100, you can put together an external graphic card system that can transfer to ANY laptop, so it isn't a wasted investment.
With MMO games like LOTRO and WoW and EQ2 and so on constantly patching their games, it often times leaves out the players who have a great working laptop to play on; I know, it happened to me for both LOTRO and WoW. The only thing I could do was buy RAM upgrade, and I still barely get by.
 
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