External GPU on a laptop?

I have a friend who wants to run Battlefront (the new one) on his laptop (for those of you who replied to my other post about a friend who wants to run Battlefront on a brand new computer, this is a different friend)

His laptop does not have a GPU (Other than the Intel HD Graphics 4400). He was wondering about running a GPU externally from his laptop. All he needs is for it to run Battlefront. His CPU is pretty good, so I don't think there would be any bottlenecks.

Does a product like this work: http://www.amazon.com/Laptop-External-PCI-E-Graphics-Card/dp/B00QIYS48M

I have also seen something about the ViDock. Is that a good option? Does anyone have links for purchasing it or does anyone own one?

Are there any cheaper options? What are all of the parts he would need to run it? He has a laptop and a monitor. He just needs the GPU, power, adapters, etc...

Thanks guys!


The interface that will be running this external GPU is not as fast as a PCI-Express port, the port that usually runs a graphics card.

There aren't any cheaper options for running an external card, and even doing so, your friend's probably not going to get the desired results.

Personally I haven't tried this myself, even though I had the means to do so, but I've received commends that it is 'a waste of time and money'.

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It's not worth it. Plain and simple. It's a working piece of technology, but the bandwidth allowed on the mini pci-e slot is equivalent to pci-e 1x which is very little for a GPU (usually 4-8 lanes is recommended/required). So yes, it's possible, but no it is not worth it. The best thing to do is to just do a dedicated desktop/laptop...

That will be the version you want to go with unless you have the extremely rare express card slot in his laptop (I haven't seen one since the Win2k days) or it is a business laptop.

If he already has a Monitor I think it would be cheaper and much easier to just get a PS4 if he really just wants Battlefront

I agree with VXAce, the setup is a bit fiddly and experimental, of course PCI was never designed to be used this way.
Adding to that does Windows even have a fully working driver for such a device?
Its easier and cheaper to just get a cheap desktop build going, and maybe even sell the laptop to cover some of the costs, its a brilliant idea on paper, crap in design unless you have one of them MSI laptops with the dedicated port, even then I don't think its plug and play so you need to turn off the PC, remove the cable then restart.

Maybe in a few years :)

Your better off building another computer and using in home streaming. Or the new computer.

Here is a cheap one LINK I think it would still be better to build a proper gaming rig. But one of these and an nVidia 750 ti, one of the reference ones that doesn't require power would be good combo.

Unless he wants to buy one of those laptops that has a dedicated pcie dock, I would avoid any of these aftermarket connectors, its not going to be worth it and may be sketchy in some way.

I managed to get one working with a Thinkpad T410 and the PE4H module. It was a bitch to setup, getting drivers to work sucked, and it was altogether a total pain in the ass to setup. But it did work pretty well. I managed to get around 90FPS on CS:GO maxed out. The screen tearing was horrendous though. And don't even try this on Linux it's, nothing but tears.
Do i recommend it? No. If you're buying new hardware you're gonna get way better performance with a low specced gaming PC.
Was it fun? Absolutely. It was a lot of fun getting it to work, and very rewarding showing my friends my janked rig.

Thank you so much guys! That answers my question! We will build him a new system :)