Question Can I up grade my non gaming laptop

Aug 20, 2019
Do u think it would be possible to plug in an external graphics card via usb to my oldish Toshiba Satellite laptop. It's got plenty of ram.


Not via USB, no.

The long answer is expensive and risky. Best to save up for a gaming laptop or a laptop that directly supports external GPUs.

Most adapters for installing graphics card in your average laptop require taking it apart and co-opting an M.2 port, and cutting a hole in the side to have a place for the wires to come out. Then you still need an external power supply.

These don't always work. And there are severe bandwidth limitations in older laptops. (Usually connected to the PCH, not the CPU, so it is sharing with everything else in the laptop effectively)
No. It doesn't support external GPUs. It must have a “Thunderbolt” port, which supports higher bandwidth as well. A thunderbolt uses 2 or 4 PCI express lanes so it can enable the access of external GPU to the processor.

Apart from that, just for a different example, even USB Type C doesn't support external GPUs.

The port hardware doesn’t have the capability to do that…One needs thunderbolt hardware support for this…..You need to look at the PCIe bandwidth to run a GPU. USB Type C Gen2 doesn't give any PCIe lanes, which will make running a GPU pretty much impossible. Even Thunderbolt 3, which gives PCIe Gen3 x4 bandwidth, will bottleneck a GPU. For a GPU, you want at least PCIe x8.

BTW, even Even Thunderbolt 3 bottlenecks external GPUs due to bandwidth problems, if I'm not mistaken. The usb type-c port must support thunderbolt-3 for any of the external GPU docks to function, due to the bandwidth thunderbolt-3 provides.