External Video Cards?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kavi, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. kavi macrumors member

    kavi

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #1
    This may be an incredibly stupid question but here's the deal. I recently bought a macbook. the only real reason why I didn't get a macbook pro was because the macbook I bought plus the extra ram I bought and installed myself was something like $700 cheaper than the bottom line macbook pro (more to upgrade it to 4GB of ram myself). I couldn't really justify spending all that much extra for just a video card and a slightly bigger screen.

    I recently started playing world of warcraft and it runs pretty well on my macbook however I recently saw a friend playing it on a macbook pro and I became envious of how smoothly and everything the game ran. the only real difference between my macbook and my friend's macbook pro seems to be the video card.

    So here's my question, I know for like $150 I can buy a 320GB external hard drive so are there external video cards that I could connect to my macbook through a usb or firewire port? If such a thing existed it would have to be pretty cheap. So is it possible to get an external video card that's about as good as the video card in the bottom line macbook pro for a price that's not really much more than around $100?
     
  2. philgilder macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    you wont get the same power of the macbook pros graphics with an external video card for only $100

    an internal graphics card isnt much cheaper than that

    google is your friend
     
  3. kavi thread starter macrumors member

    kavi

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #3
    the information that I find when searching google doesn't make a lot of sense to me. most of the information that comes up involves multiple monitors and that's not what I'm looking for. I'm just looking for a relatively cheap external thing to plug into a usb or firewire port to make world of warcraft run smoother.

    does such a thing exist?
     
  4. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #4
    What you're talking about is the Asus XG station, and its going to cost a ******** more then $100. The hardware its self will be at least $500 and a good graphics card to put in it will be at least $200.

    It is not in production yet and there is no comparable product in existence already.

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/08/hands-on-with-the-asus-xg-station-external-gpu/
     
  5. egg88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #5
    macbook external video cards

    this is a similar to the OP but i have a white macbook. the only things i see on the side are the 2 usp slots, mini dvi, and firewire 800. now for me money dosent really matter (to an extent), what external vid cards would help me play a game like Left 4 Dead (on windows partition).

    so far my specs are 2.2 GHz, 4 GB, and we know how terrible the GMA X3100 is.
    so basically what i am trying to do here is at least get myself up to 30 FPS when i play L4D. So far with my current specs i get decent fps when im in closed corners and lookin at the ground, but when i look foreward in open areas, use the flashlight, shoot. my frames drop to 5 fps and it isnt pretty to watch. so if there is any external vid cards i can hook up to this thing it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
  7. egg88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #7
    well all i got is 500 bucks, if i had an extra 300 i could get a gamin tower
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #8
    $500 is a decent AMD + 4670/4830 territory if you do it right.
     
  9. zorahk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #9
    You cannot change the graphics card on a laptop.


    External solutions are either one of two things:

    1. Not in production
    2. Only available on one laptop in the world.
     
  10. Hydroxs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa
    #10
    You can on those with mxm slots.
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #11
    Even so the supply and demand of said MXM cards on those few thick, GAMER laptops are going to make the prices outrageous.
     
  12. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    #12
    To make it short and sweet, the answer is 'No, you cannot do anything to improve the graphic capabilities of your Macbook.'

    If I were you, I'd be thankful that there's at least a decent card inside, and I didn't get shoved with some crap Intel integrated card like the previous generations did.

    Even if Apple used MXM slots, they would solder the graphic card on anyway.

    Even if they didn't, he would only have a MXM-I card slot. All other video cards that are MXM-I are equally as weak.

    Even if he had a MXM-II or MXM-III card slot (which makes no sense), the video card will produce so much heat, it'd burn his entire freaking notebook.
     
  13. egg88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #13
    sometimes i wish macs didnt shoot themselves in the foot by making it almost impossible to upgrade things like a videocard for the sake of "looking pretty"
     
  14. rukus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    #14
    show me a laptop that is reasonably mainstream that has a replaceable gfx card. i can't think of one let alone one that is reasonable priced.
    apple is not shooting themselves in the foot here. if they did offer such a thing they would be blasting their toes off b/c it would be expensive, ugly, heavy and powersucking.
     
  15. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    #15
    Nope. You yourself are shooting yourself in the foot because in the end, you have to buy a new Mac when yours is outdated.

    http://uk.zepto.com/Shop/Notebook.aspx?notebookid=1079

    Prices are pretty good now, especially since the value of the pound has dropped quite a bit. I believe all the notebooks of screen sizes 14" - 17" shown on that page use MXM graphics and can be upgraded.

    And please, you're exagerating about the whole "expensive, ugly, heavy and powersucking" bit. I've seen notebooks smaller than the iMac that have more powerful graphic cards. It's not that expensive anyway. Apple just jacks up the prices.
     

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