External Graphics Card

I am looking for help on buying an external graphics card. My current card is integrated into the motherboard, and it is designed for CAD work (Nvidia quadro fx360 to be precise) and ontop of all that, it is a low-end card in that section.

I called Dell, my laptop is a Dell Precisicion M4300, and they reccomended the external card as the only option short of buying an entirely new system.

So what are my options? What type of performance could I expect from one, compared to a usual graphics card? What are the costs (price ranges)? Where would I buy it?

Any reccomendations, suggestions, and hellp would be awesome, thanks!
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More about external graphics card
  1. What exactly do you want to do with a graphics upgrade? Are you intending to play games?

    I believe a few years ago a few companies played around with external graphics adapters that were essentially a box that installed a desktop graphics card and connected via a PCMCIA card. These were VERY expensive and gave VERY poor performance in comparison to how the cards would perform in an actual desktop. They were about $400 and didn't give you all that much. I have not seen anything about them in the recent years.

    Honestly the best thing to do is sell your laptop to reclaim a bit of money and then purchase a new one with the devices you need. Laptop graphics never run cheap and are not upgradable, for the most part.
  2. sorry for not specifying, yep it's for games. I am bothered by the lack of performance in the older games I play, and the newer ones like COD6 are just completely and utterly unplayable.

    And as you say those boxes don't seem to be a great option. I don't think I'd spend much money on a new laptop either, I don't really *need* it, it would just be something that made my free-time more enjoyable.

    thanks for the help!
  3. If the laptop is used for work or to be mobile, you may want to consider a desktop that you can use for gaming. I have a sweet desktop and an old HP business laptop that I use for when I need to be mobile. The laptop is about 4 years old and still does its job. I save the tedious tasks for the desktop and gaming. Desktops are much less expensive to upgrade and also tend to have a longer life when you start talking about gaming.
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