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Can I improve my notebook video card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 3, 2007 3:01:32 PM

Hello everyone. I just bought myself an Acer Aspire 5630, cpu T5500, lots of ram, and the Intel 945GM (GMA 950) as the graphic card.
Problem is that I didn't like the graphics performance at all, specially in 3D... Intel's website says the chipset comes with a x16 PCI Express port for improvement, does that mean I can put some more power on it?

Regards,

Rafael M.
April 3, 2007 3:33:36 PM

Laptops are not built with expandability in mind unless you pony up for a XPS, an alienware, or something else in the high end. But even then you are upgrading existing components, not adding all new ones that never existed before. Budget laptops, like the one you purchased, come as is with usually no way to install a graphics card because they come pre-built with integrated graphics.

Yes, according to Intel the chipset supports a x16 PCIe slot. However, that doesn't mean one actually exists on your notebook. You can always try to find the spec sheet on your Aspire... but i'm betting it doesn't have one.
April 3, 2007 3:55:11 PM

/me is looking forward to the day when we'll have external video card solutions for laptops
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April 3, 2007 4:57:16 PM

Quote:
Laptops are not built with expandability in mind ...


Huh? Many midrange laptops have removable video cards, especially from dell.

In a laptop, you can upgrade(expand), the video card, memory, storage, wireless card. You have a PCMCIA (or PCard) slot to add additional hardware, like better sound cards, additional network connectivity, additional ports, video cards (basic), cellphone network capability, additional memory and storage, and all kinds of different features and devices.

Though USB/Firewire/bluetooth, expandability is even easeir.

Main topic, Videocard upgrade ability. This is not limited to high budget machines such as from XPS and Alienware.
April 3, 2007 5:01:41 PM

Hi
I have a lenovo and with the dockingstation attached I can insert a pci graphics card into the station which will give me improved graphics. I bet you can do the same. Anyway try to disassemble your laptop and if the graphics chip is not on the motherboard but on a separate pci card that can be replaced, then you can upgrade it.
April 3, 2007 5:14:08 PM

even if you are able to upgrade the video card your laptop doesnt have the proper cooling to keep your system within safe temperature levels

basically upgrading the gfx card will add heat to the system, and may cause stability issues or worse
April 3, 2007 5:17:06 PM

According to what I just read on your laptop... "the built-in Intel® GMA 950 option further enhances the graphical performance"

So I guess you want performance enhanced even further huh? My Dell laptop has an ATI Radeon X1400 video system and although it's not a gaming beast... I know it's better than the GMA 950 I passed over. If you had ANY intentions of playing games on that laptop, you really need to kick yourself in the arse for buying that laptop.

I didn't see anything online that would suggest a docking station is available for your laptop... and even if it is, odds are the docking station won't allow for the addition of a graphics card.

You get what you pay for! Caveat Emptor!
a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2007 5:51:03 PM

Quote:
You get what you pay for!


Exactly.
April 3, 2007 6:37:15 PM

Quote:
even if you are able to upgrade the video card your laptop doesnt have the proper cooling to keep your system within safe temperature levels

basically upgrading the gfx card will add heat to the system, and may cause stability issues or worse



Most the replacement gfx cards as upgrades also comewith an upgraded cooling solution. This is one reason why buying laptop gfx cards is not an easy task unless you go though the manufacturer.
April 3, 2007 6:39:59 PM

I dont know if you guys noticed that most notebook come with an intel 3945 abg wireless card (for wifi)

Most of the mini-pci card work on quite standard pci(a little smaller , but its pci)

But the intel 3945 abg works on the pci express wich is mostly used for graphic cards.

But i dont know at what speed that pci express works (2x,4x,8x,16x ? )

It mayby a good idea to look for specification about this port... :idea:
!