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Alienware M15x Graphics Card Upgrade

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics Cards
November 28, 2011 2:21:49 AM

Hello all I have a few questions but the biggest one of them is about a graphics card upgrade.
As gaming season 2011-2012 is about to begin and Christmas is around the corner I figured now would be a good as time as any to upgrade a few things in my laptop. My main concern is the graphics card. As I have never upgraded, purchased or done anything with a graphics card I am clueless atm.
Currently I have the Nvidia GeForce 240m and I need an upgrade there for sure. I have been looking around and I figured I should go ahead and go for the Nvidia Geforce 560m. I would have jumped on this but I asked a friend of mine and he told me that if I put it into my M15x it would cause it to overhead whenever I used it. I'm turning to you (the community) to help me out here in getting the best graphics card I can get within my budget (maybe a smidgen up but not too much).

On a side note, if you see anything else that you would recommend for me to upgrade while I'm at it by all means to not hesitate to say so.
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TYPE OF LAPTOP: Alienware M15x
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: February of 2010
BUDGET RANGE: USD $150-250

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Skyrim at highest settings and modded out A LOT is main cause for this upgrade. Battlefield 3 of course also. Next would be any and all other games that I play on here. Minecraft. Next would be movies playing off of MpcStar in .avi format.

CURRENT SPECS:
*Or if you would just like to look at the Speccy link here it is
Spoiler

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01 - Operating System
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0101 - Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.110622-1506)
0102 - Language : English (Regional Setting: English)
0103 - BIOS : Ver A03 1.00
0104 - Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q 720 @ 1.60GHz (8 CPUs), ~1.6GHz
0105 - Memory : 8192MB RAM
0106 - Available OS Memory : 8180MB RAM
0107 - Page File : 2587MB used, 13772MB available
0109 - DirectX Version : DirectX 11
0110 - DX Setup Parameters : Not found
0111 - User DPI Setting : 96 DPI (100 percent)
0112 - System DPI Setting : 96 DPI (100 percent)
0113 - DWM DPI Scaling : Disabled
0114 - DxDiag Version : 6.01.7601.17514

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02 - Processor
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0201 - Caption : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q 720 @ 1.60GHz x8 ~1597MHz
0202 - CurrentClockSpeed : 1597MHz
0203 - L1 Cache : 32.00 KB
0204 - L2 Cache : 256.00 KB
0205 - L3 Cache : 6.00 MB

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03 - Video Adapter
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NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M
GPU GT216
Device ID 10DE-0A34
Revision A3
Subvendor Dell (1028)
Current Performance Level: Level 3
Current GPU Clock: 550 MHz
Current Memory Clock: 790 MHz
Current Shader Clock: 1210 MHz
Voltage: 0.930 V
Die Size: 100 nm²
Release Date: Jun 15, 2009
DirectX Support: 10.1
OpenGL Support: 4.1
Bus Interface: PCI Express x16
Temperature: 52 °C
ForceWare version: 285.62
BIOS Version: 70.16.21.00.01
ROPs: 8
Shaders: 48 unified
Physical Memory: 1024 MB
Virtual Memory: 768 MB
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04 - Memory
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0401 - TotalMemory : 7.99 GB
0402 - FreeMemory : 5.66 GB
0403 - Pagefiletotal : 15.98 GB
0404 - Pagefilefree : 13.45 GB

0405 - BankLabel : Bank 0
0406 - Speed : 1333 MHz
0407 - TotalWidth : 64 Bits
0408 - Capacity : 4.00 GB

0405 - BankLabel : Bank 1
0406 - Speed : 1333 MHz
0407 - TotalWidth : 64 Bits
0408 - Capacity : 4.00 GB

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05 - Network
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0501 - Description : DW1520 Wireless-N Half-Mini Card
0502 - Driver Date : 8-21-2009
0503 - Driver Version : 5.60.18.8

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06 - Motherboard
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0601 - Model :
0602 - Manufacturer : Alienware
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08 - Hard Disk
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0801 - Model : SAMSUNG SSD PB22-JS3 2.5
0802 - MediaType : Fixed hard disk media
0803 - Size : 119.24 GB
0804 - InterfaceType : Serial ATA

0801 - Model : OEM Ext Hard Disk USB Device
0802 - MediaType : External hard disk media
0803 - Size : 930.77 GB
0805 - Driver Date : 6-21-2006
0806 - Driver Version : 6.1.7600.16385

0807 - Caption : C:\
0808 - Capacity : 104.55 GB
0809 - FreeSpace : 32.92 GB
0810 - DriveType : 3-Fixed
0811 - FileSystem : NTFS

0807 - Caption : Z:\
0808 - Capacity : 930.82 GB
0809 - FreeSpace : 175.02 GB
0810 - DriveType : 3-Fixed
0811 - FileSystem : NTFS

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PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: Newegg.com or any other trusted source.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States (Ohio)

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would perfer to stick with Nvidia unless I can be persuaded otherwise.

OVERCLOCKING: Usually Never

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600:900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: MUST be able to run Skyrim on highest or next to highest settings. Another reason for upgrade is clearly it's time. But the other must for this is...I must get a card that is not going to be vastly out of date in 9 months. This Nvidia 240m got me a solid 10-11 months which is great imo considering how quickly new ones are rolled out.

While I am at home and don't have my laptop on the move with me, I tend to keep it plugged into another screen. This Christmas I will be getting 2 new 19" screens to replace my 1.
I'll be using one of these USB to VGA adapter in order to achieve that result.

More about : alienware m15x graphics card upgrade

a c 170 U Graphics card
November 28, 2011 5:14:42 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums ! :) 
The fastest card that you can put in a M15x is GTX 260M not 560M.
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November 28, 2011 12:18:10 PM

Thanks for the welcome.

But do you think you could be a bit more explainative than that?

I can look at new a Alienware M14x on their website and see that they can come with a Nvidia GTX 555.
Why would I not be able to get the same if not a little better with a laptop that is that little bit bigger giving me more ventilation?

And also if what your saying is final then what are my other options here in order to achieve my goal?
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Related resources
December 11, 2011 4:32:21 AM

Best answer selected by thatoneguy009.
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