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Can i upgrade the graphics on my laptop?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 30, 2007 11:44:48 AM

I am getting a new laptop but i don't think the graphics card is that good because it is integrated.
The card is a 256mb ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 hypermemory. I have heard a bit about PCI slots and other sort of similar things but im quite new to finding out the workings of computers fully. Would i be able to put a new graphics card into one of the slots (if the laptop has one) and how do i know if the laptop has a PCI (or AGP?) slot?

If its any help below are the system specs for my laptop:

AMD Turion 64 x2 Mobile technology TL58
Windows XP
2048MB 533MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM (2x1024)
160gb Hardrive
256MB ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 Hypermemory DX9
8x DVD=/-RW Drive

Thanks!


July 30, 2007 12:28:57 PM

As a general rule: No, the graphics in laptops can not be upgraded. However, given the recent advances with some of the newer high end laptops you may be able to swap out a card. You would be better off getting a laptop with the graphics chip set you want. Typically laptop have embedded graphics to save on weight and power consumption.
a b U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
July 30, 2007 12:33:27 PM

You cannot upgrade the graphics on a laptop.
Everything you have heard is specific to desktop or tower PC's. Not laptops. That is why tower and desktop units are so big, you have to have room to put add-in cards into the system.
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July 30, 2007 1:36:21 PM

what they said. nope.

if you wanna play games, get a desktop.
a b D Laptop
July 30, 2007 2:55:57 PM

jitpublisher said:
You cannot upgrade the graphics on a laptop.
Everything you have heard is specific to desktop or tower PC's. Not laptops. That is why tower and desktop units are so big, you have to have room to put add-in cards into the system.


That's not entirely true. Like Old Goat said, the cards on higher end laptops can be upgraded. The 7950 in my laptop can be upgraded because it uses the MXM module.

farmeriain: The graphics on your laptop are integrated and thus cannot be upgraded. If you want to get a laptop with a better card, ask the manufacturer if it uses an MXM module or the ATI equivalent (I don't remember what it's called). But for right now you are sunk. Sorry.
a b U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
July 31, 2007 12:41:39 PM

There is a couple of problems with the MXM technology. The first and most frustrating being that it's extremely difficult to find or even purchase an MXM module.
The first couple of places that ever had them available for sale to the public, after a short period of several weeks, stopped selling due to "unforeseen technical difficulties."
Although a lot of laptops are supossedly upgradable, the difficulty of the upgrade, let alone finding a module to upgrade with, is still a tall task. Not to mention that notebooks were not meant to take apart, the average person cannot just take a laptop apart, put it back together and expect it to ever work again. If you do open yours up, and manage not to break anything, you instantly void the warranty.
Up till now, if you wanted better performance, you had to buy a new laptop. Having upgradable laptops is not something manufacturers are looking forward too, and not doing anything to promote the technoloy other than just making it available on the unit. For all practical purposes, MXM still has a long ways to go before anyone can say their laptop is "upgradable"
a b U Graphics card
July 31, 2007 5:46:03 PM

lostandwandering said:
The graphics on your laptop are integrated and thus cannot be upgraded. If you want to get a laptop with a better card, ask the manufacturer if it uses an MXM module or the ATI equivalent (I don't remember what it's called).


Actually now they both use MXM (usually MXMII & MXMIII , but also MXM4 like on the GFGO7950). Neither tout the socket as an upgrade solution so much as an easier plug-play mfr process. But for most people it does allow them to go from their MRX1400 to GFGO7800 and such.

Just FYI the GF8700M is MXMIII which is very nice and hopeful news for some of those early DELL 9300/9400/e1705 users, but I still say it's usually not worth the hassle versus selling an rebuying a better rig.
a b D Laptop
July 31, 2007 8:19:46 PM

jitpublisher said:
There is a couple of problems with the MXM technology. The first and most frustrating being that it's extremely difficult to find or even purchase an MXM module.
The first couple of places that ever had them available for sale to the public, after a short period of several weeks, stopped selling due to "unforeseen technical difficulties."
Although a lot of laptops are supossedly upgradable, the difficulty of the upgrade, let alone finding a module to upgrade with, is still a tall task. Not to mention that notebooks were not meant to take apart, the average person cannot just take a laptop apart, put it back together and expect it to ever work again. If you do open yours up, and manage not to break anything, you instantly void the warranty.
Up till now, if you wanted better performance, you had to buy a new laptop. Having upgradable laptops is not something manufacturers are looking forward too, and not doing anything to promote the technoloy other than just making it available on the unit. For all practical purposes, MXM still has a long ways to go before anyone can say their laptop is "upgradable"


Actually, the manufacturer will still be making money by using the MXM module because, as you say and I have said multiple times elsewhere, laptop GPUs are not available to the public. The manu. will make money because in order to upgrade it, the user will need to send it back to wherever they bought it. Otherwise, it just isn't going to happen.
August 1, 2007 5:57:14 AM

i say gaming laptops suck ingeneral, too expensive, makes your laptop too heavy, too power draining, too hot. even with the high end ones where you "can" upgrade them its lame and expensive

game with desktop, work with laptop

laptops will never truly be able to match a desktop in terms of upgradability, price, and etc.
a b U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
August 1, 2007 1:14:53 PM

I can assure you the last thing the manufacturer of a laptop wants is people returning them to be upgraded, and the price they will charge would make it prohibitive.

Who is driving the gaming need on a laptop anyway? High School/College Students? A very, very bad segment of consumers to target. Who do Laptop commercial's target? High School student's parents! Why? Because mom and dad will buy their budding scholastic genuis one, and expect them to carry it with them through college.
Why don't they target College Students, who surely use many laptops, and who are surely the largest sector of people who would want to play games on their laptop?

Take the Kinko's lesson.
Their vision of having a Kinkos near or on every major College Campus sounded like a good idea. Millions of students needing all forms of stationary and copy/print services, as well as the college staff/administration itself. It very nearly bankrupted them, and the Fedex/Kinko's buyout saw them closing the vast majority of these stores. Why? Because college students are the one of the largest segments of the population with the least amount of money to spend, and Colleges are running on shoestring budgets. They instead regrouped and concentrated their efforts near Business and Corporate America, the largest segment of the population with the most amount of money to spend. Now they are on track and earnings are soaring. Business's and their employees are amoung the largest users of laptops, with money to spend, and they don't need/don't use their laptops to play games.
August 1, 2007 1:50:29 PM

Since you're concerned about the graphics card it's safe to assume you're at least a moderate gamer. That said... I've seen an off-brand (Everex?) laptop equipped with a Nvidia Go 7600 for under $800 @ NewEgg. That's a MASSIVE step up from that integrated GPU you're looking at. It only had 1GB of RAM, but that's easily fixed.
August 9, 2007 1:54:19 PM

Before buying a notebook, if you're going to be gaming anyway, it's a good idea to check out http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Grafic-Cards...
This notebook will be really great for watching dvds, going on msn and probably tear through photoshop. However it's not possible to upgrade the video, and don't expect to play any 3d games without it looking like Pole Position at around 15fps.
August 9, 2007 3:18:55 PM

I personally have the laptop you are thinking of and if you are interested in games newer than farcry and halo 1 DONT GET IT
!