Planning to upgrade my laptop's GFX Card.

My laptop model is the Acer Aspire 7552G-6061.
I plan to give my laptop an upgrade.
Current CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 Mobile Processor N950 (2.1GHz)
Current GPU: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
Current Amount of RAM: 4GB

My questions:
CPU:
-Is this CPU a decent CPU?
-Should I upgrade my CPU or leave it as is?
GPU:
-Does my GPU come with a fan, or is one fan cooling the whole laptop?
-What are some good GPUs I can get with a budget of aprox. $100-150?
-My laptop has a HDMI port. If I were to change GPUs, would I still be able to use that HDMI port?
RAM:
-For recording/playing games in general, will adding 4GB RAM (8GB in the end) give me a preformance boost?
Hard Drive:
-How many hard drives can this laptop support? Do I need to buy a "hard drive caddy" to another another hard drive?
-My current hard drive is 5400RPM. Is this a slow speed, medium speed or fast speed?
9 answers Last reply
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  1. Hi Iamazn. Unfortunately, you cannot upgrade the GPU in a laptop. Only desktop configurations allow for GPU upgrades.

    Sorry!
  2. That graphics chip is soldered to the motherboard in most laptops, and sometimes the cpu is too. You cant just swap parts like on a desktop. I would bet this is the case on yours, at least as far as the graphics. Also, even if the cpu isnt soldered to the socket, usually upgrades are limited as far as what will work, and they are usually expensive
  3. ringzero said:
    Hi Iamazn. Unfortunately, you cannot upgrade the GPU in a laptop. Only desktop configurations allow for GPU upgrades.

    Sorry!

    That really sucks. :/
    Would changing my HDD/adding more RAM give me a gaming preformance?
  4. I'm not certain how many bays your laptop has. Just look underneath and take off the cover to make sure. That said, 5400 is not particularly fast, you could upgrade to a 7200rpm or an SSD. But, that would only speed up Windows startup, level-loading in games, and file copying. It wouldn't boost your framerate.

    You could upgrade to 8GB of RAM, but there aren't really too many games out there that would need more than 4.

    That 5650 isn't bad for a mobility GPU. But no laptop GPU is going to compare to a desktop setup. If you really want to game with nice performance, then I recommend building your own desktop. It's a lot of fun, cheaper than a laptop, and you can upgrade regularly throughout the years. It's a great investment.
  5. ringzero said:
    I'm not certain how many bays your laptop has. Just look underneath and take off the cover to make sure. That said, 5400 is not particularly fast, you could upgrade to a 7200rpm or an SSD. But, that would only speed up Windows startup, level-loading in games, and file copying. It wouldn't boost your framerate.

    You could upgrade to 8GB of RAM, but there aren't really too many games out there that would need more than 4.

    That 5650 isn't bad for a mobility GPU. But no laptop GPU is going to compare to a desktop setup. If you really want to game with nice performance, then I recommend building your own desktop. It's a lot of fun, cheaper than a laptop, and you can upgrade regularly throughout the years. It's a great investment.

    I'll probably end up switching out my 5400RPM for a new 7200RPM one...

    I read somewhere that having more RAM would help with game recording lag... I don't know if this is true or not.

    As for my framerate, I'm actually content with it. It averages about 60 FPS. The thing I'm NOT happy about is that the framerate is very unstable, and drops a lot. It will suddenly be 40, then 30 and sometimes even 10-20. It is rarely stable. However, when I use an external fan to cool my laptop, the FPS seems to be more stable.
  6. Yes, this is a cooling issue with gaming laptops. When temps get too high, the system automatically throttles performance down, dropping FPS until temps get back within range. This is one of the main reasons I ditched my laptop and build my own desktop. You simply cannot keep a laptop cooled consistently enough under load. An external fan would definitely help, as would keeping the ambient temperature low. Also, make sure you blow dust out of your case and fans regularly.
  7. ringzero said:
    Yes, this is a cooling issue with gaming laptops. When temps get too high, the system automatically throttles performance down, dropping FPS until temps get back within range. This is one of the main reasons I ditched my laptop and build my own desktop. You simply cannot keep a laptop cooled consistently enough under load. An external fan would definitely help, as would keeping the ambient temperature low. Also, make sure you blow dust out of your case and fans regularly.

    I haven't cleaned my fans/case since I got my laptop (1 year).... Could the dust buildup over this period of time be so much that it actually stops the fan from moving?
  8. It shouldn't stop it from moving. Could definitly be blocking air flow depending on how its been used. If the fans not running you've got bigger issues
  9. unksol said:
    It shouldn't stop it from moving. Could definitly be blocking air flow depending on how its been used. If the fans not running you've got bigger issues

    If the fan doesn't run, what can I do?
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