Windows 10 eGPU setup with Optimus!

3 min read

Last year I did a Thunderbolt 2 enabled external GPU setup using Windows 8.1. I did not upgrade right away when Windows 10 came out because Optimus was broken which meant I could not use the internal laptop screen. Now NVIDIA has finally fixed the problem in the latest 361.75 driver as described in the release highlights:

Beta support on GeForce GTX GPUs for external graphics over Thunderbolt 3

I will be starting from scratch so this post assumes you already have

Driver installation

  1. Turn the laptop and eGPU off
  2. Plug in the thunderbolt cable from the eGPU setup to the laptop
  3. Power on the eGPU setup
  4. Power on the laptop and boot into Windows 10 (hold down the ALT key to get to the boot menu)
  5. Confirm that the graphics card is detected in Device Manager
External graphics card detected in device manager before driver installation
  1. Install NVIDIA driver (use 361.75 or later)
  2. Reboot into Windows 10 (hold down ALT key for boot menu if needed)
  3. The internal and external graphics card should now both be visible without any errors in Device Manager
External card now correctly detected with the NVIDIA driver installed
  1. Confirm that the eGPU is working by doing a benchmark, I used Geeks3D GpuTest
GPU benchmark under Windows 10 using the internal screen (Optimus)


After the driver installation I do the following every time I need to use the setup:

  1. Make sure the laptop and eGPU setup is powered off and disconnected
  2. Connect the laptop to the eGPU system using the Thunderbolt cable
  3. Turn on the laptop and boot into the boot menu by holding down the ALT key
  4. Turn on the eGPU system
  5. Wait a few seconds (I can usually hear the graphics card fans starting) and then continue booting into Windows 10

The above steps might be overkill, but for now I have successfully started the setup with no problems many times in a row.


Help and support

There is a large eGPU community out there. For the best help and support please visit these sites:

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