The ‘world’s smallest’ external GPU has been tested and it could be the best laptop upgrade yet — here’s why
GPD’s ‘GPU box’ is perhaps one of the most effective ways to give your laptop the graphics upgrade it needs without having to pay for a new machine, or Replace the GPU yourself.
The GPD G1 looks more like one docking station than anything else and can actually serve as one, given the plethora of ports it offers. But it comes with the added bonus of increasing the graphics capabilities of your machine.
Weighing 867 grams and measuring 225 x 111 x 30 mm, the lightweight GPU expansion unit houses a Radeon RX 7600M XT GPU armed with 8 GB GDDR6 memory.
The Japanese publication PC watchwho tested the device claims that the performance is almost excellent Nvidia GeForce RTX3070 graphics card – which is certainly not slow.
The performance-enhancing GPU box
Benchmarking by PC watch shows the effect it had in improving gaming scores on a ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen9 enterprise notebook equipped with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU running Windows 11 Pro.
When comparing the system to Final Fantasy The Blue Protocol benchmark also rose from 2,319 – “Below Minimum Hardware Requirements” – to 11,937 – “Excellent”.
The site achieved these results on the ThinkPad’s built-in display, with the score dropping 30% when connected to an external display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels via HDMI.
This was followed by testing with PCMark 10 and PCMark 10 Extended to demonstrate what effect the addition of the GPD G1 could have in more everyday office environments. The scores increased by 17% for the former and 51% for the latter – showing that the impact of this particular external GPU was significant.
Testing with Procyon’s Office Productivity Score, where benchmarking is performed Microsoft Office apps including Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook generated an increase of 6.1%.
Not only does it offer a performance boost, but it also doubles as a docking station, making it the perfect addition to today’s best business laptops – many of which don’t have the range of connectivity options that business users need.
In addition to the Radeon RTX GPU that comes with the device, there are three 3.2 USB-A 3.2 ports, an SD card reader, two DisplayPort 1.4 ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, in addition to an OCuLink port and one USB 4.0 gate. The disadvantage? There’s only one USB Type-C port with power – and no Ethernet connectivity.