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512mb 7900 gs compatible with 256mb?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 23, 2010 2:35:58 AM

Hello, I have a Aurora m9700 alienware laptop with a nvidia 7900 gs 512mb graphics card SLi enabled,which i believe is fried, and I was just wondering since it's hard to find the 7900 gs 512mb card and it's expensive, if there was a cheaper but just as efficient graphics card that is compatible with my hardware. If anyone can help it would much appreciated. Thank you.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 23, 2010 2:40:48 AM

If you SLI a 512mb card with a 256mb card essentially the 512mb card will match the lower amount of memory on the other card for compatibility purposes. So you will have the equivalent of two 7900GS 256mb cards in SLI.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 23, 2010 2:48:13 AM

True, but we are dealing with a laptop here. The video is attached to the motherboard and can't really be replaced. You can't just go on newegg and buy a new card and stick it in there. Time for a new laptop.
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December 23, 2010 2:53:56 AM

So just to clarify, I can go and replace my 512mb graphics card with a 256mb graphics card? Sorry, for my ignorance....
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 23, 2010 2:59:00 AM

If you have a card, yes. Seeing as you have a laptop with just a 7900GS chip, no.
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December 23, 2010 3:00:22 AM

oops, i cant do that because the graphics card is attached to the motherboard? New laptop? Thats discouraging to hear because that laptop cost me $3800. So what are my options in terms of replacing the graphics card.....getting the same one?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 23, 2010 3:01:50 AM

twistedspine said:
So just to clarify, I can go and replace my 512mb graphics card with a 256mb graphics card? Sorry, for my ignorance....


I have no idea to be honest. Occasionally laptops do have removable/replaceable cards and a high end(at the time) SLI based Alienware model could very well be one that allows you to do so. I figured you already knew you could do so from your initial question. Contact Dell and find out. If not then there is nothing you can do. If so then a 256mb 7900GS would work in SLI with a 512mb card, it will just not use all of its memory as I said in my previous post.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 23, 2010 3:07:33 AM

I'm going to change my answer based off of this link.

http://www.techspot.com/review/9-alienware-aurora-m9700...

It appears they do plug into slots on the laptop. If you can find another LAPTOP 7900GS like yours, then you should be able to change the old one. Some of these came with a single card, others in SLI. 256 or 512MB were also sold. (according to page one.) See if you can't find out what setup you have, and match it as best you can.
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December 23, 2010 3:23:14 AM

Sorry guys, to clarify... the graphics cards i have are removable, (SLI GeForce Go 7900GS) I need to find an exact or suitable replacement.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 23, 2010 3:28:49 AM

I hate to say it, but ebay? Perhaps some honest person is parting their dead laptop and the GPU still works. Considering the age of the machine its probably your only shot. Make sure they have (near) perfect feedback and they have a return policy just in case something goes wrong.

Have you looked online? Maybe even Dell's store?
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December 23, 2010 3:37:23 AM

Well, I have asked around town and also searched online, but haven't found any in stock on most websites. I tried ebay but like you said theres only a few people with a dead laptop and I'm not very comfortable trusting ebay yet i will give it another look just incase. But right now, I'm going to try and reseat my video card to see if it maybe will work again but Im thinking i'll most likely end up buying a new card.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 23, 2010 5:38:04 AM

If you've looked inside, do you have one card or two? That review I linked I think the guy said he had a 512MB card, but later said he had the SLI setup of two 256MB cards.
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December 23, 2010 5:50:02 AM

Yeah, i have two 256mb cards sli together. Should I be getting drivers for 256mb or 512mb? I think thats where the problem is haha.....
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December 23, 2010 6:02:01 AM

Well, I just tried to install the drivers for the 256mb but it didn't work so its obviously a 512mb driver that I need. I'm sure if I need a new video card or not, I think I just need the correct driver. Also, i have windows vista ultimate, does that have any effect on which driver I need to get because I can only find drivers for vista and 7 but not vista ultimate. Not sure if it matters.
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December 23, 2010 6:06:39 AM

Now, the drivers for the 256mb are installing so i am hoping this will work.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 23, 2010 6:17:02 AM

There shouldn't be different drivers for different ram amounts. Vista drivers should also = Vista ultimate. Where are you getting drivers from?
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December 23, 2010 6:22:46 AM

From alienware, I was just was wondering if that mattered, guess it doesn't because i got the 256mb drivers to install and now I am trying to play LOL, if you know what game that is, to see if everything is working correctly. Hopefully, it will and my problem is solved. If not, i think i may need a new video card.
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