Everything on video cards for laptops
Want to replace the video card of your laptop?
Unlike with your desktop computer, it's not possible to replace the graphics card of your laptop. The video card of your laptop is integrated with the processor or with a separate chip that's attached to the motherboard. Want to improve the graphics of your laptop so you can use your laptop to game? If so, use an external GPU.
External video card for laptop via USB-C
An external graphics card for your laptop is a box the size of a large external hard drive with an integrated video card: this is the same hardware as high-end video cards for a desktop. Connect this external video card via an USB-C connector with Thunderbolt 3 support. Most modern ultrabooks and nearly all recent MacBooks support this.
Gaming video card for your laptop
Have you connected the external video card to your notebook? If so, you can connect your screen(s) to the external graphics card. You can do this via DisplayPort, HDMI, or DVI. All graphics will now run via the high-end video card for your laptop. Do you use your laptop for work, too, and don't you need high-end graphics for that purpose? If so, simply disconnect the external video card and start using the integrated video chip of your laptop again.
Difference with a gaming laptop
Many manufacturers also offer gaming laptops. These laptops have even more powerful video chips than a regular laptop. Still, these laptop variants of gaming GPUs aren't as powerful as those of an external video card. If they were, these graphics chips would become too hot. With a gaming laptop, you can't play the most recent high-end games in Full HD on the highest settings. Since external gaming video cards for laptops are equipped with a regular video card, this is possible.
Do note: Want to game without an extra screen? That's not possible with an external video card, since you always use the integrated video chip of your laptop. In this case, you should opt for a gaming laptop.