Am I missing anything to make these setups work?

First Comment
edited November 2023 in Help Choosing Parts

Unfortunately, I need a new PC and a new Laptop at the same time. I have worked out 3 general build concepts, but I want to know if I'm missing any key components, or if there is something about the build that is non-viable for any reason. The builds all use devices I'm not familiar with. Also, sorry if this is not the right topic for this question; let me know if there is a better place to ask.

Needs: Light web and software development, gaming, digital art and music, long laptop battery life, and other requirements specified in each build.

What I already have / builds must be compatible with: External SSD, USB mouse, keyboard, and webcam; sound system; miked headphones; USB Xbox controller; and three monitors. There is a big unfortunate cavitate on the monitors. All three are different brands. One is HDMI; the other can go VGA or DVI-I dual link.

BUILD 1: Laptop + Auxiliary

laptop, external GPU, hub/docking station with ports for external GPU, and the above devices.

B1 Questions: I've never used an external GPU, not sure how viable it is. If I got a solid work computer like a Lenovo Think Pad, could I connect it to an external hard drive and GPU to make for a decent gaming experience? I'm not a power gamer, but I like Rocket League and would like to play Baulder's Gate.

BUILD 2: Laptop + Daisy Chain screens

Basically the same as build 1 but I just bite the bullet, ditch the old monitors, and buy daisy chain monitors if a hub with the required monitor inputs is not available. By daisy chaining screens, I could possibly get away without using a hub provided there are the right/enough ports on the laptop itself (I already have a small hub for the little devices like keyboard, mouse, and webcam). The bid question is, will an external GPU be able to connect easily to a laptop?

BUILD 3: Desktop + Laptop + KBM switch with Monitor Ports

Desktop, Laptop, a KBM switch With monitor ports that will allow me to dock my laptop at my desk, taking over the peripheries (mostly for my work laptop since I can just network my personal devices. I probably wouldn't need to dock my personal laptop at my desk. But docking my work laptop would be huge!)

B3 Questions: I have never used a KBM switch. I think I have seen KBM switches with monitor ports (KBMM Switches?) but I'm not 100% sure if they work the way I imagine them to work. Can anyone verify that this is viable?

I know it's kind of a big, broad, question. I'm basically just looking for a "that should work fine" or a "you would need a ________ to make this work". I don't want to spend several thousand dollars and a Saturday morning setting it all up just to discover it doesn't actually work the way I want it to.


  • Shoan041
    Shoan041 ✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Awesomes 5 Likes 5 Insightfuls


    The first thing I would recommend you to do is look at Baldur Gate 3's recommended specs, this is from Larion Studios website.


    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel i7 8700K / AMD r5 3600
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 2060 Super / AMD RX 5700 XT (8GB+ of VRAM)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 150 GB available space on an SSD
    • Additional Notes: Default API is Directx11. Vulkan 1.1 API also provided.

    It would be important that you buy a graphics card capable of running the game at the resolution and refresh rate that you are looking to play in. From what I know about external GPUs, they will work very well for gaming as long as your computer is capable of meeting the requirements of the game and of the external GPU enclosure that you get.

    What are the resolutions and refresh rates of the monitors you plan on using?

  • GMSeven
    Hey thanks,

    I'm not new to building gaming PCs. I'm aware of this stuff. I should have been more clear in my post. I just need to know if using external GPUs and KBM switches as described are viable solutions, as I am unfamiliar with those devices in particular, and I don't know how they work or what their intended use case is.

    So to summarize the point more succinctly (which I should have done in the first place my bad):

    Build 1 & 2: Are external graphics cards usable in this way? I don't want to set up my whole system around an external GPU, only to find out "that's not what those are for."

    Build 3: Are there KBM switches with this functionality? I don't want to build a setup around a KBM switch only to discover "they don't let you switch monitors and other devices, just the keyboard and mouse specifically."

    Does that clarify? Should I delete this post and make a more clear and succinct one?
  • Shoan041
    Shoan041 ✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Awesomes 5 Likes 5 Insightfuls


    External GPU enclosures should be able to work for that.

    KVM Switches have different resolutions and ports that they support. If you get one that supports your monitors it shouldn't be a problem.

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