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How to Use a PC Graphics Card with a Laptop

How to Use a PC Graphics Card with a Laptop

When it comes to a power comparison between a gaming laptop and a gaming PC, the PC is generally going to come out on top. The problem with laptops is that, since they’re portable and mobile, parts have to be tailor-made for them, and generally have to be a lot more compact than their desktop counterparts. As a result, laptop hardware often tends to be a lot more expensive than desktop hardware, and might occasionally suffer in the performance department, to wit- particularly where graphics are concerned.

So, why not just use a PC graphics card, then? With the right components and a bit of elbow grease, you can actually rig up a spare graphics card to your notebook or laptop…giving your system a considerable kick in the process. Pretty sweet, right? Of course, there are a few issues with this process that means it won’t be for everyone. First and foremost, your laptop needs to have an ExpressCard slot. Unfortunately, most laptops aren’t actually designed with these fairly wide, rectangular slots. If you’re not certain whether or not your laptop has one (don’t mistake a Mini slot or SD slot for one), check the manual – but chances are good that it doesn’t.

You’re also going to need Windows 7 installed- and you’ll want the 64 bit installation if you’ve more than two gigabytes of RAM. Oh, and complicating matters even more is the fact that your graphics card isn’t 100% guaranteed to work with your laptop in the first place. Ask around.

Assuming you’ve got everything you need, you’re still going to have to purchase a PE4H. You can probably find a decent one on Amazon, as well. Oh, and a power supply, too – If you’re using a fairly low-grade PC graphics card (though why would you be?) you can probably get away with using a 12v or 15v power supply. Otherwise, you’ll want a desktop-grade supply for the whole array. Finally, you’ll likely want to get yourself a small PC case in which to house everything- you know, so you don’t inadvertently knock the whole array over.

Anyway, I won’t go into too much more detail here. The guide that they’ve posted on Techradar is decent enough for you to be able to follow it without much trouble. I just figured I’d make everybody aware of it.

Until next time.

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Aug 13, 2012

643 Articles Published