Purchasing Tips – New PC paired with Thunderbolt™ 3 External Graphics (eGFX)

Posted on November 21st, 2017

Ravi Gananathan, Thunderbolt™ 3 eGFX Marketing

Are you ready to experience power-house gaming and media creation on a new thin-and-light laptop paired with a Thunderbolt™ 3 external graphics (eGFX) device? If so, here are a few tips to inform your purchase of a new PC and eGFX device.

Tip 1: To help ensure a premier user experience, make sure the PC and eGFX device are Thunderbolt 3 certified (i.e. carry the Thunderbolt brand logo and/or Thunderbolt 3 name) and promoted by manufacturers on www.thunderbolttechnology.net/eGFX.

  • Thunderbolt 3 certification is designed to enable a reliable, convenient, interoperable and simple-to-use ecosystem for PCs and eGFX devices. As I have shared in my previous blogs, external graphics can be a complex and demanding use case requiring many components – Thunderbolt 3, OS, System BIOS and GPU drivers – to work together to ensure a seamless plug-and-play experience. Working with various ecosystem companies, every effort is being made to continually improve eGFX solutions to ensure you have a smooth eGFX user experience.
  • Please check www.thunderbolttechnology.net/eGFX for Thunderbolt 3 certified PC systems that promote eGFX and Thunderbolt 3 certified eGFX devices.
  • As part of the Thunderbolt 3 certification requirement, eGFX device vendors are required to qualify and maintain compatible PC systems and GPU cards for their devices. Ensure that the graphics card you are considering is qualified by the eGFX enclosure vendor. Do not use an unqualified or more powerful graphics card in the enclosure. When in doubt, consult your eGFX device vendor.

Tip 2: To take advantage of the latest developments, please consider the following when purchasing a new PC for use with Thunderbolt 3 external graphics:

  • Overall performance depends on many factors – CPU, GPU, power, memory type, memory bus width, etc. Visit 3rd party review sites to understand the performance you can expect from the system of your choice with the graphics card you are considering for your eGFX setup.
  • Today, Thunderbolt 3 eGFX devices are certified for Windows 10 systems only.
  • For best graphics performance, ensure that your PC provides four lanes of PCIe to the Thunderbolt controller.

Tip 3: Thunderbolt eGFX enclosures and PCIe Expansion enclosures are not equivalent

  • Thunderbolt 3 certified generic PCIe expansion enclosures are not meant for eGFX usage and vendors of such enclosures are not allowed to market them for graphics use. You should avoid using these enclosures with graphics cards. More information on this topic here.


External Graphics enables thin-and-light laptops with the latest Thunderbolt 3 connectivity to bring desktop-level gaming and powerful graphics for demanding applications such as Adobe Photoshop*, Premier Pro*, and AutoCAD.*

With Thunderbolt 3 eGFX, gamers and heavy graphics users who are mobile, now have more easy-to-use choices to get the graphics experiences they want. You can enjoy your choice of a high-performance graphics card you love with the latest thin-and-light laptops, allowing you to game and work with one machine.

Thunderbolt 3 eGFX

Intel, the Intel logo, Thunderbolt, and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.