Does Dell Inspiron 15 7000 support external GPUs?

Does Dell Inspiron 15 7000 support external GPUs?

Best answer: The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 cannot support the use of an external GPU. In order to enjoy higher fidelity gaming, you'll want an XPS or Alienware laptop.Amazon: Dell XPS 15 ($961)

eGPU requires Thunderbolt 3

External GPUs are an excellent way of turning a notebook without a capable internal GPU into a fierce gaming rig. For an external GPU to work, it requires Thunderbolt over a USB Type-C connection. The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 comes with the correct port, but lacks Thunderbolt 3. It's only USB Type-C with DisplayPort.

Unfortunately, that means you won't be able to game on the Inspiron 15 7000 with an eGPU. If you already own the notebook, you'll need to make do with the internal NVIDIA MX150 GPU, which isn't too bad but you will be restricted in the choice of games to enjoy.

Gaming on the Dell XPS 15

If you're on the fence of purchasing the notebook, you may want to look at another Dell laptop, particularly the XPS 15. This laptop not only has similar internals and a gorgeous design, but also has the Thunderbolt 3 port you need for an eGPU paired with one of the best graphics cards available. There is a quirk of using an eGPU with the XPS 15, which is caused by the two PCIe channel limitation.

Through our testing, we found the best configuration is to keep Dell's own proprietary AC adapter connected, instead of relying on power over USB Type-C to provide all the juice the notebook needs. If you need further information and details on how to get the eGPU working with the XPS 15, we have you covered with a comprehensive guide.

An eGPU setup is pricey, requiring you to not only purchase a capable laptop like the Dell XPS 15, but also an enclosure and graphics card. You also shouldn't consider the entry model of the XPS 15 if you want to take full advantage of a powerful eGPU. 16GB of RAM and a Core i7 processor should be considered the minimum.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.