External graphics card enclosure

  alexgray104 22:13 18 Apr 2006

My mate is thinking of purchasing a laptop instead of using his desktop. The trouble is - he can't afford one of these seperate graphics card jobbies. So i was thinking, maybe we could build a sort of graphics card enclosure that can fit a AGP/PCIexpress card. Something like a external HDD enclosure - Anyways, just a wild thought!!!
Thanks in advance for any much appreciated help.

  Belatucadrus 00:05 19 Apr 2006

To fit an AGP/PCIexpress card in an external enclosure, you'd need a suitable socket probably on a MOBO as I've never seen a stand alone one That'll need a power supply and all the other gubbins. You've just started to build a desktop.
The closest I've ever seen is a PCMCIA VGA adaptor and they're very rare, expensive and designed more for split screen displays than graphics acceleration.
If your mates on a budget and wants a games machine, forget the laptop, if however he wants a PC and is willing to forgo the pleasures of Halo etc a budget laptop is a great bit of kit.

  Totally-braindead 08:55 19 Apr 2006

Its interesting if you could do it. You could build the external enclosure but I think as Belatucadrus has said the stumbling block would be the connecting to the motherboard. Theres no way of doing that as far as I can see.

I'm afraid if you want a PC to play games you're better with a desktop. If he doesn't play games then a laptop will do everything else you could ever want. Its games that are the stumbling block. Mind you he could always buy a budget laptop and a PS2 or an Xbox if he was so inclined.

  alexgray104 19:16 19 Apr 2006

Thanks for the replies guys, sorry a long time getting back to you! Back to the drawing board... any thoughts and/or ideas? ? ?

Many Thanks again,


  Totally-braindead 19:41 19 Apr 2006

Only what I've already said, games for PCs demand so much more graphically every few months that even if you got a high end laptop you may find it struggling 6 months or a year down the line. With a desktop its fairly easy to install a new graphics card, apart from a few very high end laptops the graphics card cannot be changed, and the ones that can be changed are probably very very expensive. I would think you'd probably be as well getting another laptop.

Get a desktop for games or a cheap laptop and an Xbox or PS2.

  Belatucadrus 00:46 20 Apr 2006

Another thing about the so called upgradable VGA laptops, as Totally-braindead says, they are very expensive and the upgradability is somewhat academic as finding anybody that stocks the upgrade parts is near impossible and it's not going to be a home fix anyway. So high initial price and then the cost of shipping back to the manufacturer to get the upgrade done.
Thoughts, buy the cheapest laptop he can find, say the Dell Inspiron 1300 for about £300 or whatever the latest offer is. Then blow the balance on the games console of preference.

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