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Need your advice on upgrading my Lenovo X60's graphics care

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 15, 2008 1:54:31 AM

Hello everyone. My apologies that I don't have a better handle on this question; I've done a bunch of research but just am not technical enough to be able to nail it on my own, hence my request for your assistance.

I'm trying to upgrade the graphics card of my Lenovo X60 laptop. (My ultimate goal is to be able to play Call of Duty 2). The X60 has the Intel 945GM chipset, which comes with the pretty weak Intel GMA 950 graphics card built-in. I have confirmed through my research that this setup won't run COD2, so I'm wondering if I can add a better graphics card, via the PCI Express x16 port on the chipset. I believe it is theoretically possible to add a better card into that port, but any thoughts/ideas on whether this idea will work? Keep in mind please that the X60 is ultra-thin, so I'm not even sure if a new card would fit in the laptop housing. Anyone got any experience with this, or other ultra-thin laptops? And last question, if this idea would work, suggestions on a decent card?

Thanks very much!
December 15, 2008 2:22:31 AM

Hehe, your research apparently missed the most critical points:

1. A chipset is just a chip or two soldered onto the motherboard, there are no ports or slots on it.

2. No super small laptop like the x60 has upgradable graphics, some might have discrete graphics but that's it.

3. Almost no laptops have upgradable video, those that do almost never have many options to do so.

4. COD2 will run at about 800x600 on the 950 chipsets with low graphics settings (plays that way fine on my wife's laptop)

5. Why would you think a business ultra portable would be able to play anything but freecell anyway?

Your options are two, get a new laptop with discrete graphics, or play with low detail and at a low res.

Please don't take any of this as me being an ass, I just find it kinda funny that you didn't hit on any of this doing your research.
a b U Graphics card
December 15, 2008 2:36:49 AM

Yeah, sorry NYC, you're out of luck. No realistic upgrades for most laptop graphics. Not to mention, if you even could put a decent card in there, it would probably blow the power supply or overheat. The only option would be external graphics, but that is expensive and may only work with some laptops (if it ever even launched, they may have dropped it).
December 15, 2008 10:25:44 AM

Thank you both very much for the good advice. Michaelahes, to answer your questions, the X60 was given to me, not my choice. It's great for office-type stuff, and I was just hoping I might be able to multi-purpose it. As to why I didn't figure out it wasn't upgradeable, well I did read that in a couple of places but I noticed that Intel's official description of this chipset says "PCI Express* x16 port available to upgrade to higher performance graphics card if required for extreme gaming" (if interested see http://www.intel.com/products/chipsets/gma950/index.htm ). But I did think this was a little suspect.

Thank you very much!
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