External gaming graphics card for laptop. Let’s tell you how!
Almost every game lover would love a laptop that, with its compact size and long battery life, could digest any three-dimensional masterpiece at any graphic setting. Alas, it is not at all easy to realize such a miracle in practice.
Due to the severe cooling and power requirements of the components, manufacturers are forced to make large, heavy cases for gaming laptops. With rare exceptions, such as Razer Blade laptops, such a laptop will not be possible to carry with you every day.
On the other hand, there is the traditional solution: the Docking Station. The user carries with him only the laptop itself, thin and light, and if he wants to play, he connects to it a separate computing unit with self-power and a discrete desktop-class video card.
Desktop video adapters have always been and will be cheaper than smaller laptop versions. Therefore, the very idea of getting high performance and saving at the same time looks extremely attractive. And the high-quality implementation of such an idea is not as difficult as it might seem.
What is required for the experiment?
Dedicated (discrete) graphics cards built into laptops. it is about video cards, not video processors built into the CPU and earlier into video cards. in some laptops they are connected via the internal MXM interface, while in others they are completely soldered on the laptop motherboard with all their components. In both cases, the video card uses the same power and data line as in a regular computer. It is called PCI-Express. This interface assumes both data transfer and power supply. Powerful desktop graphics cards will almost certainly require an additional power line though. We will discuss this issue a little later.
Manufacturers can build in their laptops the ability to connect external devices, including a video card, through some of their own interfaces. Selected configurations of the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500, for example, were equipped with two GeForce GT 650M graphics cards, one in the MXM slot inside the laptop and the other in the multifunctional expansion bay. How did it look like? The compact module simply stuck into the side of the laptop instead of the optical drive. But such examples are rare, they increase the cost.
Most modern laptops (especially thin and light ones) rely on the video processors built into the processor. However, even the most powerful options (at the time of this writing in 2014, this was Intel Iris Pro 5200, for 2020 it is AMD RX Vega 11) do not give complete freedom in games and professional applications. If you aim for Full HD 1080p resolution, then top games can only be played in low quality.
But, nevertheless, have a laptop and a desktop PC at the same time. far from the optimal way out. And therefore, problems with graphics performance can be solved by connecting an external video adapter. We don’t need much for this. just a suitable interface for a laptop, as well as an adapter from this interface to a full-size PCI-Express to connect a video card.
Things like USB ports below 3.0 and FireWire should be discarded right away. Their performance will not be enough to transfer uncompressed images in the resolutions relevant for 2020, even if there was a suitable driver that would make it possible to use an external video card WITHOUT using the standard PCI-Express bus.
Another point that needs to be understood clearly. it is the need to use a TV, projector or monitor to display the image. If an external video card is used, it will be possible to display the picture from it on the laptop’s own screen only in isolated cases, and most often this will greatly reduce the gaming performance.
All of the above does not raise any questions? Then let’s continue! We need one of the following interfaces:
This 5 Gigabit interface gives us the same as the native PCI-Express 2.0 x1 bus. However, ExpressCard is almost never found in laptops, since about 2011-2012 people began to forget about it completely. An earlier laptop may have this interface, but there will likely be an old CPU too, which will undermine our efforts to increase graphics performance.
Same PCIe 2.0 x1 bus as above. A small wireless network card (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) was installed in such a port in laptops released before 2015. The disadvantage of using the mini-PCIe slot is obvious, you have to pull the cable from the laptop motherboard out to the video card. The laptop then becomes virtually stationary. In addition, the mini-PCIe slot is usually present in a single quantity. This means that the wireless network adapter built into the laptop will have to be abandoned (or replaced with an external analogue with a USB connection).
A laptop released after 2015 almost certainly has at least one M.2 socket. for a wireless card, or for a storage device, or whatever. Most often, cards with a width of 22 millimeters and a length of 42 to 80 millimeters are installed in the M.2 slot. But these cards differ not only in size, but also in the pinout, or the shape of the connector. This shape is also called Key. Most often, M.2 is found with Slot E, which is a PCI-Express 2.0 x1 wireless LAN card, or Slot M, which is a solid state drive with four PCI-Express 3.0 lanes. Both options should be suitable for connecting an external video card, you only need an adapter for a full-size PCI-Express x16 slot, it costs no more than 50. You can also use two adapters, the first from M.2 to PCI-Express x1 or x4, the second from PCI-Express x1 or x4 to PCI-Express x16. It is also necessary to have some kind of case and a 200-450 watt power supply for the video card itself. The latter is indispensable, since the laptop itself is unlikely to give more than 10 watts of energy to an M.2 device, but hundreds of watts will be needed. The disadvantages described in the last paragraph are also preserved. This is, firstly, the need to bring the cable out of the laptop case, and, secondly, the need to remove the card that was originally installed there from the M.2 slot. If, for example, it is an SSD, then for complete success the user will have to transfer the operating system and all data to an external hard drive or SSD connected via USB.
The cooperation between Apple and Intel gives us a symmetric data bus with good performance (43 Gbps are declared for TB3, in reality we are talking about 30 Gbps). The performance of TB2 is comparable to 4-lane PCI-Express 2.0, while TB3. these are already four PCI-Express 3.0 lanes. But the Thunderbolt port isn’t as common as you’d like. One or another version of Thunderbolt is definitely present in all modern Apple laptops (starting from the mid-2012 models).
We use the “docking station
You can connect a video card to a laptop in another way. And here you also need a special device. It is called the “docking station”. This device is equipped with a PCI Express slot, to which the vidyuha is connected. At the same time, it is connected to the laptop through the Thunderbolt port, which today has the highest bandwidth among all external ports (about 40 Gb / s).
A docking station is usually made in the form of a box. It is somewhat reminiscent of a miniature system unit. At the same time, there is enough space in it not only for a regular or gaming video card, but also for a cooling system.
What is the cost of the docking station? On average, you will have to pay about 250-500 euros for such a device. The price depends on the power of the power supply unit, case, various functions, etc. At the same time, it is comparable to the cost of a good video card. This can be considered one of the disadvantages of such a solution.
As for the most popular models of docking stations for external video cards, these are:
- Razer Core
- Asus ROG XG Station 2
- Alienware Graphics Amplifier
- MSI Gaming Dock
- Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box
- PowerColor Devil Box, etc.
For reference! It is not always possible to connect a video card to a laptop via a docking station. The fact is that the Thunderbolt connector is not present in all laptops. Some of the boxes are also small. Because of this, only a small-sized vidyuhu can be connected to them. For example, such devices include power color devil box and riser core.
How to connect an external video card to a laptop
Any laptop has one major drawback. It lies in the complexity, and sometimes in the impossibility of upgrading. For example, often the graphics card cannot be replaced on a laptop. Because of what it is impossible to run modern computer games. This fact forces many users to regularly buy a new laptop. However, this is quite costly. Is there another way out of this situation? Of course. You can try connecting an external video card to your laptop. How to do it? This will be discussed further.
We connect the video card through the mini PCI Express port
You won’t be able to connect a “desktop” video card via USB. This is not an external hard drive for you. You will have to tinker a little and even acquire additional equipment. But first things first.
To begin with, we note that many laptops are not designed for connecting external video cards. Despite this, a sufficient number of devices have a dedicated port. It is called mini PCI Express. It is through it that you can connect the vidyuhu. You just need to find the port. For this:
- Turn off the laptop.
- We take out the battery.
- Next, remove the bottom cover.
- We are looking for a mini PCI Express port. It should look something like the picture.
Usually the port is located next to the Wi-Fi module. precisely, the latter is connected to it.
For reference! EXP GDC adapter is suitable for both Windows / Linux laptops and all MacBooks.
When you get the EXP GDC adapter, you can start the process of installing an additional video card to your laptop. It happens as follows:
- Disconnect the laptop completely. Do not forget to remove the battery.
- We unscrew and remove the service cover. We get free access to the mini PCI Express port.
- Take the corresponding cable that came with the EXP GDC. We connect one end of it (mPCI-E) to the port on the laptop. Another. via HDMI connector to the adapter.
- Next, we install the video card. For this we use the PCI Express slot on the EXP GDC device. It’s hard to confuse.
- Then we proceed to connecting additional power. Let’s use the second cable that came with the EXP GDC. It has a 6 pin connector on one side, and a 62 pin connector on the other.
- We connect the cable to the EXP GDC with a single 6 pin connector. It is easy to guess that the video card has 6 or 8 pin. It all depends on the nests themselves on it.
- That’s not all. We connect the power supply (often comes with the EXP GDC, if not, we take it from the PC). This is mainly done via an 8-pin connector. It also happens that to connect it you need various adapters that are included with the EXP GDC.
- We turn on the laptop. Install the necessary drivers for the connected video card. In this case, sometimes you still need to go into the BIOS to activate the “UMA Graphic” mode.
- Should the service cover be replaced? Of course, just carefully lay all the wires, not allowing them to break.
As you can see, nothing supernatural is required. Everything can be done with your own hands, without asking for help from computer servicemen. In this case, the most difficult thing is to carefully remove the bottom cover of the laptop without breaking or damaging the “delicate” fasteners.
For reference! Please note that when a video card is connected to a laptop via the mini PCI Express port, the Wi-Fi module will stop working. Unless there are two mini-PCIe interfaces on the motherboard at once.
Is there any sense?
We figured out how to connect an external video card. However, many readers, most likely, have a question. “How effective is all this?” Whether an additional graphics card is useful depends on many factors. For example, an increase in its performance is influenced by:
- Processor power;
- The amount of RAM in the laptop;
- The presence / absence of a discrete video card in the laptop;
- The quality and power of the power supply;
- Connection interface and many others. dr.
Naturally, the potential of an external video card is best revealed on a laptop with a powerful processor. For example, Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7. What else? If the device has more than 4 GB of RAM, then this will also have a positive effect on the effectiveness of the upgrade. The presence of a discrete video card is undesirable. It is best if the video core is built into the processor (Intel HD Graphics).
For reference! In some cases, when an external video card is connected to a laptop via an adapter, the image transmitted to the laptop screen does not please the user with its quality at all. To remedy the situation, connect the video card via HDMI cable to a TV or monitor from a computer. The picture will become noticeably better, and the fps will increase in games.
How to connect a second monitor via USB?
When working at a computer, sometimes a second monitor is required. But there are times when the computer does not have the required D-Sub (VGA) or DisplayPort video output. For example, the candy bar may not have it, as it happened in my case.
Naturally, many are wondering if it is possible to connect a monitor via USB?
As it turned out, there are a variety of USB video adapters on sale with VGA / HDMI / DVI output or combined. In addition, there are adapters that only work with USB2.0, and there are those that support both USB3.0 and the already obsolete USB2.0.
After a short search, I settled on USB video adapters based on DisplayLink technology.
The essence of such a USB video adapter is as follows. A program and driver (in this case, DisplayLink Manager) is installed on the computer, which has access to the resources of the central processing unit (CPU) and video card (GPU).
The video stream to the second monitor is compressed and transmitted via USB to a decompressor, a specialized microcircuit that is built into the adapter itself. This microcircuit performs decompression of the signal received via USB and displays the picture on another monitor.
As you can see, this uses the CPU resources of the computer itself, which compresses the video signal. At the same time, it can be quite heavily loaded. If the picture on the additional monitor is not updated, then no compression and processor load occurs, since the control program constantly monitors changes on the screen.
The USB video adapter itself is powered via the USB bus (5V) and does not require an external power supply, which is very convenient.
On the official website of DisplayLink in the section “Products using DisplayLink Technology”, you can see the list of manufactured devices. Among others, there are USB video adapters and USB monitors.
The lineup of manufactured USB video adapters is quite extensive. Basically, the devices differ in the supported type of USB interface (2.0 / 3.0) and the maximum allowable resolution of the output image. Typically, USB2.0 devices support up to Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, while USB3.0 devices can display up to 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution.
To work with my candy bar, I bought a PLUGABLE UGA-165 USB video adapter, or rather, a copy of it.
As it turned out, an exact copy of the PLUGABLE UGA-165 model is being sold on Aliexpress for a fairly low price. He took it. Here’s what’s included.
This is the so-called Single Display Adapter, that is, an adapter for one monitor. There are adapters for two, three monitors and full docking stations, to which you can connect several additional high-resolution monitors.
I chose a suitable video adapter quite carefully. It was required that it work over the USB2.0 interface and have different types of VGA / HDMI / DVI video outputs. This would allow, on occasion, to connect any monitor or LCD TV.
In addition, I really wanted to get a picture on the screen with the highest possible resolution (HD Ready, or better Full HD).
The kit included two additional adapters for a standard 15-pin VGA (aka D-SUB) and HDMI connector. This will allow the video adapter to be used in conjunction with new LCD TVs and monitors, which are increasingly equipped with an HDMI input.
For completeness, I will show a photo of the insides of the video adapter.
Here is a printed circuit board with not many elements.
Onboard BGA chip DL-165 belonging to the second generation of DisplayLink specialized processors.
DisplayLink Manager Software
All control of the USB video adapter is carried out through a special program. DisplayLink Manager.
Its latest version can be downloaded from the official DisplayLink website at the link. In addition to Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Android, Ubuntu and Chromebook operating systems are supported.
I have Windows 7, so I chose this system. Before downloading, you need to click on the “Accept” button to confirm your agreement with the license agreement. After that, the download should start. Run the installation of the downloaded file by double clicking.
During installation, the program will ask you to connect a USB video adapter to your computer.
In Windows Device Manager, the USB video adapter appears as USB Display Adapters (USB-DVI).
After installing DisplayLink Manager, its icon will appear in the tray. Here is such.
Using this program, you can control the USB video adapter: enable, disable, change the resolution to additional. monitor, rotate the screen, expand the screen on different sides. There are quite a lot of settings.
I’ll tell you about some of the features of the DisplayLink Manager utility that may come in handy.
By default, DisplayLink Manager launches when the computer is turned on. This is convenient as the desktop immediately expands to an additional monitor.
But, there are times when an additional monitor is not needed for operation. Then it can be turned off.
To disable the additional monitor, left-click on the DisplayLink Manager icon in the tray. In this case, the program menu should appear.
Select item 2.USB-DVI. Disable. In this case, the monitors will blink briefly, and the indicator on the USB-DVI adapter will go out.
This will turn off the USB video adapter and enter sleep mode on the add-on monitor. For example, my second monitor, BenQ FP93G, went to the duty room with a slight delay, but, as I understand it, it depends on the monitor itself. Dell monitor P2217h went to duty immediately after unplugging the adapter.
To turn on the additional monitor again, do the same operation as when turning off the monitor, but this time select the “Expand” item. This.
In this case, the main screen will briefly blink, and the indicator on the USB-DVI adapter will light up. The desktop will again be extended to an additional monitor.
If necessary, you can expand the desktop to the right / left, as well as from above or below relative to the main one. For example, I have my desktop extended on the right, but someone might need a different configuration.
If you expand the desktop from above or below relative to the main one, then you may encounter the following. Move the mouse to add. the monitor can only be within the border of the width of the second monitor. For example, the width in pixels of the main monitor is 1920 pixels, and the second is 1024.
In this case, if you move the mouse at the top / bottom edge within 1024 pixels, then you can easily move the mouse cursor to the second monitor. If you move the mouse pointer further than 1024 pixels, then it will not work to move it to the second monitor. Such is the feature.
For those whose monitor allows you to change the position of the screen, the “Rotate screen” option may be useful.
When changing the screen orientation from landscape to portrait, simply select the “Screen Rotation” item in the DisplayLink Manager menu and then one of four options to choose from.
You can rotate the image to the right or left. Turning step 90 0.
If you select “Flip”, the image on the monitor screen will be displayed “upside down”. When you select “Standard Album”, the image on the screen will take a standard view, which is accepted by default.
On the second tab of the menu there is an item “Screen resolution”. Through it, you can set the screen resolution of the second monitor. Usually, the program independently determines the nominal resolution of the additional monitor, but, if required, it can be set manually. It was detected automatically for me. No further action required.
If you select Use this monitor as primary, the secondary monitor becomes the primary. A taskbar will appear on its screen. This can be useful if the secondary monitor has a higher resolution and you work primarily within the boundaries of its screen.
The item “Create a copy” duplicates the image of the main screen on the second monitor. What I didn’t like about this mode is that the image resolution on both screens gets smaller, and its proportions and positioning on the screen change.
Apparently, this mode is used in conjunction with projectors. I don’t need him.
The item “Fit to TV screen” can be useful in cases where the USB video adapter is used in conjunction with an LCD TV. In some cases, even if the video adapter works correctly with the TV, there are black margins on its screen at the edges. You can correct the position by adjusting the image manually.
To do this, select the item “Fit to TV screen” and adjust the image on the TV screen so that it occupies the entire screen.
A red frame will appear on the LCD TV screen, the edges of which can be shifted using the “” and “-” buttons in the “Fit to TV screen” window. Configure and click the “Apply” button.
There are two items in the main DisplayLink Manager menu: “Sound Setting” and “Advanced Configuration”.
Clicking on the “Sound Settings” item opens the standard “Sound” settings window of the Windows system, which is available along the “Control Panel” path. “Sound”.
The fact is that some USB video adapters also support the transmission of an audio signal, for example, via HDMI. Therefore, the program has a sound setting item.
The situation is similar with the item “Advanced configuration”, which simply refers to the tab of system settings Windows screen resolution (“Control Panel.” “All Control Panel Items”. “Display”. “Screen Resolution”).
You can find out the version of the DisplayLink Manager software by clicking on the “DisplayLink Manager” item at the top of the main menu.
If there is a new version of the program, it is better to download and install it, since in newer versions errors can be eliminated.
During the operation of the USB video adapter, some of them came to light. It is very rare for a video driver to fail. Solved by reboot. Sometimes this is not required, the video driver restores its work automatically.
Another “glitch” that was revealed when using the video adapter is the hang of the program, the window of which was on the additional screen. monitor. Hangs occur when disconnecting USB video adapter via DisplayLink Manager menu.
Basically, this is how the Media Player Classic freezes when playing a video. Perhaps this is a feature of the player itself. It was solved by force closing Media Player Classic and restarting it.
Things to Consider When Choosing a USB Video Adapter?
First, you need to know which version of USB (2.0 or 3.0 / 2.0) the video adapter will work with. For example, my monoblock simply does not have USB3.0 connectors, so I chose a video adapter that supports an older version of the interface (USB2.0).
If your computer has a modern USB3.0 connector, then it is better to take a video adapter with USB3.0 support. Some of the USB video adapters support both USB3.0 and USB2.0 interface versions. But here it is worthwhile to understand that the bandwidth of the USB2.0 interface is low, and it will not be able to display a picture with a resolution greater than Full HD (1920 x 1080) on the monitor. This is the “ceiling” for him.
Another thing is USB3.0, the bandwidth of which is enough for multiple monitors with high resolution.
The second thing to consider is what kind of video connector the USB video adapter will have. If the standard VGA is enough for you, then you can get the cheapest video adapter. The newer monitors support the newer HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces. Therefore, you should think ahead and take something newer. Or such a video adapter, which is equipped with all these connectors, as in my case.
The third thing to consider is that USB video transfer technology uses the resources of the central processing unit (CPU) to compress the image. At the same time, it is quite heavily loaded.
If you have a weak processor-based computer Atom or Celeron, then, perhaps, you will come across the fact that with a dynamically changing picture on the second monitor, the computer will “freeze”, since it may not have enough resources.
Here is a screenshot for an example. Loading the Intel Core2 Quad Q8400 (2.6GHz) processor of my all-in-one when outputting a video player to the second monitor, which plays a movie with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (Full HD). As you can see, the load is at least 14
15%. This is provided that no other processes are running on the computer.
If you move the video player window to the screen of the main monitor, then the load on the processor drops sharply and remains at level 3
It is also worth remembering one feature. If the picture on the second monitor is static, that is, it does not change, then there will be no load on the computer’s processor. The image is simply displayed on the second monitor from the memory of the USB video adapter itself.
And one more important thing to be aware of. Cheap models of video adapters based on old processors are only suitable for transferring a mostly static and low-changing image. They are not suitable for fast-paced video games.!
Even when playing high-quality Full HD video, the computer starts to slow down. Therefore, video with a higher resolution and bit rate is best viewed on the main monitor, and the second is used to display low-changing images. For example, use a second monitor for surfing the Internet, viewing documents, etc.
Despite all the advantages, the UGA-165 USB video adapter at first upset me.
After unpacking, I decided to try it out in conjunction with an LCD TV Samsung LE32A430T1. But the TV did not “see” the signal from the adapter point-blank and I did not manage to display the picture on it. I tried everything. I connected both via VGA and HDMI, climbed into the TV settings, changed the resolution. Nothing helped.
To calm down, he explained this stubborn reluctance of the LCD TV to work with a USB video adapter only by the fact that it is already quite old. In addition, in the instructions for the TV, I found a clarification that it does not support SOC synchronization or something like that. Perhaps the reason lies precisely in this.
Selecting external speakers
External speakers fall into two categories:
Most often, stationary external speakers, which are equally suitable for both laptops and desktop computers, require mains power. Portable speakers are powered by a USB connector. There is also a category of speakers that is powered by built-in rechargeable batteries.
Having decided on the choice of portable speakers, the owner of the netbook should carefully study the recommendations of experienced users and find out how to connect the speakers to the laptop.
Connecting Bluetooth Wireless Speakers
Make sure your laptop is equipped with a Bluetooth radio that can be used to connect wireless speakers. To do this, press the “WinR” keys, type “devmgmt.msc” in the line and press “OK”.
If you see a category called “Bluetooth Radios” in the Device Manager tree, click on it to expand the list of devices. If there are any devices in the list, it means that Bluetooth is installed on the laptop.
Make sure Bluetooth is turned on. To do this, look in the tray (bottom right) for the presence of a blue icon.
If there is no icon, you will need to enable it.
- Press the button with the image of a wireless connection in the form of a Bluetooth icon or an antenna on a laptop. Usually this is one of the “F1-F12” buttons (depending on the laptop model), pressed together with the “Fn” button.
Find a suitable location to place the bluetooth speakers (speaker).
When installing speakers, consider:
- the speakers must be connected to a nearby power source;
- to easily turn on and off the speakers, place them in an easily accessible place;
- the presence of a wall between the laptop and the speakers is not necessary, but it can reduce the sound quality;
- refer to the speaker manual to find out how close they should be to the laptop.
Reference! Typically, Bluetooth speakers can be up to 10 meters away from the receiving device, but some models may have a closer range.
Turn on the speaker, making it discoverable. Speaker activation depends on the model. They often have a button that needs to be held down for a few seconds to put the device into “discovery” mode.
Note! If there is not enough information on how to enable detection of the Bluetooth speaker on its case, you should refer to its instruction manual.
To connect a laptop with Bluetooth speakers, click “WinR”, type “control printers” and click “OK”.
In the window that opens, select “Add a device”.
The search for devices starts. When the speakers appear, select them with a mouse click and click “Next” to connect the devices.
Connecting wired speakers
Choose a set of laptop speakers. If your laptop has USB or a headphone jack, you can connect most wired speakers for your personal computer.
- Most computer speakers have a small 3.5 mm audio jack (1/8 ″ mini-jack, suitable for smartphones, iPods, PC audio cards) that plugs into a standard headphone jack. Speakers of this type are usually connected to a power source;
Place the speakers in the workspace. Most PC speakers are labeled “Left” (L) or “Right” (R) on the back or bottom of the unit.
If your speakers are equipped with a subwoofer, you can place it behind the system or on the floor.
Reference! It is important to take into account that wherever the speakers are located, the audio and power cables should conveniently and safely reach the corresponding connectors on the laptop.
Decrease the volume of the speakers to the minimum. usually this is done by turning the volume control on one of the speakers all the way to the left.
Left-click on the sound icon at the bottom right of the desktop. Adjust the volume to about 75%.
When you click on the “Mixer” option, different sliders will appear, use the slider labeled “Applications”.
When the laptop is on, connect the audio jack cable (USB or 3.5 mm jack) to the corresponding port on the laptop.
- If using a 3.5mm jack, look at the sides of the laptop, finding a small jack with a headphone or speaker pattern.
Important! Do not connect the speaker plug to the microphone jack shown in the illustration on the left.!
Turn on the speakers with the “On” button, usually located on the back of one of the speakers. Sometimes the power button is combined with the speaker volume control.
Important! If your speakers have a power cord, connect it before turning on the speakers.
Play audio on laptop. streaming music, CD, YouTube videos, etc.
Find a comfortable listening volume by slowly turning the volume control on your speakers until you reach the desired level.
Reference! If nothing is heard from the speakers, check again that the speakers are properly connected to the laptop and to the power outlet.
The connection process is straightforward, but may differ depending on the type of external speakers purchased. Contact can be achieved by connecting the speakers to a variety of jacks, including headphone jack, USB jack and Bluetooth.
Varieties of external speakers
Having received an affirmative answer to the question: “Is it possible to connect speakers to a laptop?”, The user “burdens” himself with a new problem associated with the choice of the most suitable external speakers.
Connecting with headphone jack and USB jack
On the laptop case, there are, most often on the side, special connectors that provide contact with a microphone and headphones. If it becomes necessary to connect portable speakers, you can insert their plug into the headphone jack. By the way, you can insert the plug even when the laptop is turned on, trying only to avoid contact with these connectors.
After the performed manipulations, the user is convinced in practice that it is enough to simply connect the speakers to the laptop and this does not require any additional super-complex skills at all.
How to connect a speaker to a laptop via USB
When using a laptop, it is often found that the quality of the speakers built into it does not satisfy the user. Watching movies or listening to music through a set of additional speakers greatly improves their perception.
Whether it’s wireless, USB, or audio, your computer speakers are easy to set up and deliver decent portable sound quality.
Features of connecting a phone to a laptop
Despite the fact that the third decade of the XXI century has passed, sometimes it is still necessary to connect the phone to the laptop. The user can pursue different goals: copy files, synchronize contacts, download some content. There are many ways to accomplish these tasks. This manual will discuss how to tie a phone to a laptop: what you need to consider, what settings you need to enter, what are the disadvantages and advantages of each of the methods.
Is it possible to connect a phone to a laptop
You can connect any portable device to a laptop: an ordinary push-button phone, smartphone, communicator, tablet, console, etc. It does not depend on what operating system is installed on the laptop (Windows or any other), as well as on the OS on the smartphone. Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android and iOS have the same communication capabilities.
Restrictions are possible only if the user wants a simple phone dialer without any bells and whistles connected to a laptop via a USB port. In this case, the communication capabilities may be limited by the firmware, which does not even support file transfer.
Since almost all modern people use mainly smartphones based on Android or “with a bull’s-eye”, then such problems do not arise. Most of the options for the interaction of two devices are available with any connection method.
How to connect the Internet via a phone to a laptop via a USB cable
When connecting the phone, you need to select the “Use phone as a modem” item. The wording may differ depending on the version of the operating system. Also, this menu may be absent altogether. for example, on old Androids it simply does not exist.
The first time you connect to a laptop, the driver installation should start automatically. They are stored in the phone’s firmware, so you don’t need to download anything.
If the computer recognizes the phone, it will connect to the Network without any problems. If the menu offering to select the connection mode does not start, you need to go to the smartphone settings, select the “Connection and Sharing” item and activate the slider opposite the “USB modem” item. In this mode, the phone will connect to the Internet via GPRS or 3G / 4G and will exchange data with the computer via a wire.
Note! In the Windows 7 operating system, if the Service Pack 1 update is not installed, the drivers for the smartphone modem must be downloaded and installed independently.
On iOS, the settings are slightly different. To connect to the Internet from a laptop via a cable using an iPhone, go to the device settings and activate the “Modem mode” switch. As in the case of Android, the drivers for the modem should be installed and activated automatically.
How to connect phone to laptop via USB cable
The only thing that is needed in this case is a cable that connects to the smartphone with one end and plugs into any USB port of the laptop with the other. Such a cord often comes with the device as part of the charger and is universal. If you insert it into the power supply of the charger, the telephone can be charged, and without the power supply, the device can be connected to a PC. Phones equipped with a universal micro USB Type A or Type C port also charge when connected to a computer.
For these purposes, you can also use a composite magnetic cord. This cable is equipped with a magnetic lock and is used to keep the smartphone’s charging socket from getting loose. The owner keeps a special plug permanently plugged into the phone and connects it to the rest of the wire only when the phone needs to be charged. It is not recommended to reflash the phone using such a cable. you need a solid, non-separable.
When connecting to a computer using a cable, many phones offer to select the operating mode. file transfer, use the phone as a modem, or not respond to the connection in any way. If such a menu does not appear, all this can be connected by going to the smartphone settings.
Ways to connect smartphones on Android and iOS
There are only 3 ways to connect your smartphone to your computer:
- Via USB port by cable. In this case, you can transfer files, synchronize contacts, use your smartphone as an external modem or computer control panel. The only way you can reflash your smartphone.
- Using Wi-Fi. You can access the Internet using your phone as a modem.
- Via bluetoooth wireless connection.
The latter method gives the same possibilities as connecting with a cord, with the exception of flashing.
Programs for synchronizing smartphone and laptop
IPhone owners have a wonderful application with which you can synchronize not only content, but in general all data of the phone with a laptop. iTunes. The disadvantage of this iOS is that without this application on the iPhone it is impossible even to download any MP3 song. But the application is simple and intuitive. Can be used on both MacBook and Windows computer.
Android smartphone owners can use one of the following applications:
Synchronizes devices over Wi-Fi. You can transfer files (the option is not available without such a utility), and also use your smartphone as a laptop control point. It is not necessary to run this application on a laptop: the control interface can be accessed through a browser. The free version has limited functionality. files larger than 1 GB are not transferred, there is no packet data transfer, you cannot connect more than 2 smartphones, you cannot use the phone as a webcam.
The program allows you to control your phone from a laptop and vice versa, and also supports file transfer. This application is a logical development of a utility for remote access to another computer. The application is completely free for ordinary users, only its use for business is paid for.
- WI-FI File Transfer.
A utility for transferring data from a phone to a computer and vice versa via a Wi-Fi channel. The interface is like a regular file manager: the contents of the smartphone are presented in the form of a convenient tree-like directory.
A program for synchronizing content over a Wi-Fi channel. The phone automatically uploads new photos and videos when connected to the local network, synchronizes contacts, calendar and much more. The smartphone is recognized by the computer as a network drive, so it can be used to store important backups that you would not want to lose on your PC. for example, a system restore point or a Windows image with installed software.
The application allows you to access, including the hidden sections of Android. This is not dangerous: the OS will simply not allow you to delete those files without which it will be inoperative. In all other respects, this is an ordinary file manager with convenient data synchronization. The “trick” of the program is that the smartphone is displayed on the PC screen as a virtual device. You can work with several phones at the same time.
In general, there is nothing difficult when connecting a phone to a laptop. Even if the user cannot independently figure out the functions of an application, there are enough instructions on this topic on the Internet. the main thing is to look for them correctly.
Connecting a video card to a laptop
There are two options to “make friends” a laptop with a desktop graphics adapter. The first is to use special equipment called a docking station, the second is to connect the device to the internal mPCI-E slot.
At the moment, there is a fairly large selection of equipment on the market that allows you to connect an external video card. The station is a device with a PCI-E slot, control elements and power from an outlet. Video card not included.
The device connects to the laptop through the Thunderbolt port, which has the highest bandwidth among external ports today.
The plus of the docking station is ease of use: plug into your laptop and play. This can be done even without restarting the operating system. The disadvantage of this solution is the price, which is comparable to the cost of a powerful video card. In addition, the Thunderbolt connector is not present on all laptops.
We connect an external video card to a laptop
Most users with a laptop would like to turn their typewriter into a powerful gaming monster, while not giving up big money for ready-made solutions from well-known manufacturers. There is a way to achieve what you want by connecting an external video card to your laptop.
Internal mPCI-E connector
Each laptop has a built-in Wi-Fi module connected to the internal mini PCI-Express slot. If you decide to connect an external video card in this way, then the wireless connection will have to be sacrificed.
In this case, the connection is made through a special EXP GDC adapter, which can be purchased from our Chinese friends on the Aliexpress website or other similar sites.
The device is a PCI-E slot with “tricky” connectors for connecting to a laptop and additional power. The kit includes the necessary cables and, sometimes, a power supply unit.
The installation process is as follows:
- The laptop is completely de-energized, with the removal of the battery.
- The service cover is unscrewed, which hides all removable components: RAM, video card (if any) and wireless module.
Before connecting to the motherboard, a tandem of the graphics adapter and EXP GDC is assembled, all cables are mounted.
- Main cable, with mPCI-E on one end and HDMI on the other
connects to the corresponding connector on the device.
The auxiliary power wires are equipped with a single 6 pin connector on one side and a double 6 pin 8 pin (62) connector on the other.
They are connected to the EXP GDC with a single 6 pin connector, and to the video card. 6 or 8 pin, depending on the available sockets on the video card.
It is advisable to use the power supply that comes with the device. Such blocks are already equipped with the required 8-pin connector.
Of course, you can use a pulsed (computer) power supply, but this is cumbersome and not always safe. It is connected using various adapters that are included with the EXP GDC.
The power connector is inserted into the corresponding socket.
Then you need to dismantle the Wi-Fi module. To do this, you will need to unscrew two screws and disconnect a pair of thin wires.
Next, connect the video cable (mPCI-E-HDMI) to the connector on the motherboard.
Further installation will not cause difficulties. Route the wire to the outside of the laptop so that it undergoes minimal breakage, and install the service cover. Everything is ready, you can plug in the power and use a powerful gaming laptop. Remember to install the correct drivers.
It should be understood that this method, like the previous one, will not fully reveal the capabilities of the video card, since the throughput of both ports is much lower than that of the standard PCI-Ex16 version 3.0. For example, the fastest Thunderbolt 3 has a bandwidth of 40 Gbps versus 126 for PCI-Ex16.
At the same time, with small “laptop” screen resolutions, it will be possible to play modern games very comfortably.
How to connect a laptop to a computer via USB?
When you have made sure that both machines have the Total Commander file manager and the appropriate drivers, and the PC-to-PC connection cable meets all the requirements, you can start connecting. For this:
- Connect the USB plugs of the device to computers.
- Open Total Commander on both computers.
- On each computer, go to the Network submenu and select Set up LPT / USB connection.
- Now decide from which computer you need to copy the data. With an active connection, one of the computers will become a kind of “USB flash drive”, and you will not be able to use TC on it. Therefore, select which computer will be the Server (the device from which you want to copy the data), and which will be the Client (the machine to which you want to copy the data). When you decide. select the appropriate item in the program window by clicking Server and Client.
- You may be asked to select a port, select USB.
That’s it, the USB connection is established, and you can use it in the same way as FTP when working with sites, that is, copy and modify files, rename and delete content and much more, but launch programs, as in the case of FTP, will be impossible without copying to your PC. remember this.
Have you copied everything you need? On the client machine, click Disable, and on the server machine, click Abort.
How to connect laptop to laptop? Very simple!
As you can see, there is nothing difficult in connecting PC to PC. you just need a special cable and Total Commander. Now, when you need to copy data, you can use not only flash drives, but also a USB cable, which is much more practical and convenient.
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Before you remove the antivirus from your computer, you need to understand that you need to remove antivirus programs, [. ]
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Easy laptop to laptop connection via USB
It is worth clarifying once again. you will not get a local network in this way, you can only exchange files. But if this is enough, this option is very convenient, since it requires a minimum of settings.
However, the desire to transfer files is not enough. you need a special cable to connect the computer to the computer.
In no case try to connect two PCs with a regular cable with two USB plugs. in this way, you are only guaranteed to “burn” at best the plug-in connector, at worst. the motherboards of both devices.
The following Easy Transfer Cable (ETC) USB cables should be used:
- APC Windows 7 ETC;
- Belkin ETC for Vista;
- Conceptronic USB 2.0 Vista copy cable;
- Delock Easy Transfer USB 2.0 Vista cable;
- Logilink Easy Transfer Cable;
- Vivanco ETC for Windows Vista.
And many other devices supported by Total Commander file manager. On Windows XP, by connecting the cable, you will need to install a special driver for the correct operation of the data transfer program, on Vista and higher systems such a driver is already built into the system.
Connecting laptop to laptop via USB
There are many reasons to connect two computers together. This may be needed to transfer data between machines, to run games and applications on a local network, to remotely configure a PC, and much more. And, if you need a LAN or WI-FI connection to create a full-fledged local network, then you can use a USB connection to transfer data.
What, to hell with a commander? Programmers that, can not screw up what feature, such as connecting a flash drive-phone-tablet?
Having dealt with the purchase and preparation of the equipment, you can start connecting. We will look at the process of using both mentioned devices.
- Connect the USB cable to one of the corresponding ports on your computer.
Connect the same wire to the USB port on the converter.
On some models, the USB cable may be embedded and cannot be disconnected.
Connect a dual HDMI cable to the converter.
Connect the return plug to the HDMI port on your TV.
- Connect the HDMI plug to the appropriate jack on your TV.
Connect the other side of the cable to the port on the Q-Waves Wireless USB AV.
Note: The same device can be connected to TV via VGA cable.
Now use the power adapter to connect the Q-Waves Wireless USB AV to the high voltage network.
Connect a wireless transmitter to a USB port on your laptop.
At this point, the connection process can be completed, since after the actions taken, both devices will begin to transmit the signal from the laptop to the TV.
After you finish connecting your laptop to the TV via USB, you need to configure the equipment to work properly. This applies to both the TV itself and the Windows system settings.
- Press the “Input” or “Source” button on the TV remote control.
Select the HDMI port as the signal source through the menu.
- In the Screen Resolution window you can change the resolution for the connected TV. over, the maximum value is limited only by the capabilities of the TV itself.
The Multiple Displays list controls the display mode. For example, expanding the desktop using a TV or broadcasting an image from a laptop to the screen.
The same settings are available if you click on the link “Display the image on the second screen” or press the key combination “WinP” on the keyboard.
The considered approach can be used to connect not only a laptop to a TV, but also some other devices. For example, this method is perfect for connecting a computer to a projector.
Connect laptop to TV via USB
The considered type of connecting a laptop to a TV is relevant only for relatively new TV models that have HDMI or at least a VGA connector. If there is no such entrance on your device, then you will not be able to perform further actions.
By default, it is not possible to connect the USB port of the TV and laptop with a dual USB cable due to technical reasons. At the same time, this can be done through a special external USB video card that converts a signal from a computer to HDMI for a TV.
Note: The converter can target both HDMI and VGA interfaces. over, sometimes these connectors can be present at the same time.
In addition to the converter, there is also Q-Waves Wireless USB AV. a device for wireless signal transmission from PC to TV. This device is equipped by standard not only with HDMI, but also with VGA-out.
Before purchasing the device, make sure that your laptop is equipped with a “USB 3.0” port, which is a prerequisite in both cases.
The best option is a converter, since its only limitation is the cable length, while the wireless analog is limited to an area within 10 meters. Whichever option you prefer, the device must be purchased.
If the required wires are missing, you will have to purchase them yourself.
HDMI will carry the audio signal without using an additional connection, while a VGA cable will need an adapter. You can adjust the sound using standard Windows OS tools.
Connecting laptop to TV via USB
Modern TV models are often equipped with USB ports, through which you can connect various sources of information. However, these ports are not suitable for direct connection of a computer, which is not the case with the connectors on a laptop.
Thanks to this type of connection, you can easily use your TV to watch movies from your laptop or computer. However, such a connection is only an alternative to traditional HDMI, for example, in the event of a breakdown or lack of a suitable connector.