External video cards?

Unfortunately my only system, an alienware laptop, isn't getting any younger, leaving my ATI mobility 9700 series somewhere in the stone age. I've done some hunting around to no avail so I thought it couldnt hurt to ask - do external video cards (usb, pcmcia, whatever) exist, and are they a viable option?

Also, I've been told repeatedly that my current card (which is not in fact integrated with my motherboard) is un-upgradable due to compatability issues with the outdated laptop model. ATI changed the production line of the mobility 9600/9700 series of about 2-3 years ago so they simply dont fit anymore?

I know thats quite a barrage of questions, any and ALL information would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance
3 answers Last reply
More about external video cards
  1. nvidia makes an external, but it's for workstations rather than consumer gamers. We are expecting externals in the future do to power and heat but haven't seen any yet. Call or email Alienware tech support and ask them if they have an upgrade path for your laptop.
  2. Laptop gpu upgrades are far and few between. Even a simple driver update can prove frustrating as you cannot just simply use the desktop driver for a laptop gpu. (nasty suprises have occoured to many a laptop user). Unless your laptop has an upgrade feature, you are most likely looking and buying another laptop with a more capable video solution.
  3. Thanks for all the help - this basically confirms it - i'm screwed for the time being. I've already spoken to alienware (who by the way have been really helpful and responsive during the past three years or so) numerous times about possible upgrades, and they assure me that both ATI and Nvidia simply dont support the configuration anymore.
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