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Laptop Graphics Upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 22, 2013 1:38:42 PM

I was wondering if it would be possible to upgrade my Lenovo Z61m laptop. I bought it customized from Lenovo with all the best possible retail accessories:
2gb ddr2 667 ram
128mb radeon mobility x1400
C2d t7200 2ghz
120gb hdd

I want to add 2gb more of ram for the total motherboard supported 4gb. I also want to add an ssd without replacing the current hdd (if possible) while I was doing research on these upgrades I found that on one website the specs list read that the radeon x1400 is in a PCIe x16 slot, instead of integrated into the motherboard. I would like to know if it would be possible to get a graphics card and replace the x1400. If not, I would like to know the cheapest way of obtaining an external gpu dock that connects through an expresscard slot, which this computer also has! :D  thanks in advance!
a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2013 1:52:04 PM

Upgrading the memory is very simple and straight forward, no problems there.

Adding an SSD you might find there is no room to add another drive, you should open the laptop up first and have a look for a second open slot. Most modern laptops support a second drive.

As far as running an external graphics card, I have no experience with doing this on a laptop, so I can't really provide much more support with that.
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a b D Laptop
February 22, 2013 1:55:45 PM

This laptop appears to be quite old. Personally, I think you're beating a dead horse especially if you're trying to game with it. I think your money would be better spent on building a solid desktop.
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February 22, 2013 3:52:31 PM

I already have a solid desktop. I just wanted to have a semi-solid gaming laptop, without spending $762873687387
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a b U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
February 22, 2013 4:04:10 PM

Yeah, that laptop's GPU is soldered onto the board but uses a PCI-E BUS to connect it to the other motherboard components. You can't upgrade that.

You could get an optical drive hard disc caddy for whatever interface your current optical drive is (SATA or IDE) and put the current mechanical drive in that bay and put the SSD in the current drive slot. Then you'd need an external optical drive, but that's better than any other combination of changes.

You could do the expresscard thing. Here's a good thread for you: http://forum.notebookreview.com/e-gpu-external-graphics...
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a b U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
February 22, 2013 4:22:33 PM

1) On using the expresscard slot for a 2nd video card - Not looking to promising.
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_rn=4&gs_r...

2) You will most likely need to replace Ram, not add to it as most laptops only have one or two slots. The one slot version is normally coupled with a NON-replacable module. Cost about $50 for 2 x 2 DDR2-667 laptop Ram

3) SSD, Verify that your controller will run in ahci mode - IDE mode is NOT recommended for SSDs.

Bottom Line here is about $50 for ram, and 100+ for express slot video (or a docking station that will plug into express Slot plus a video card) for a $200 laptop (SSD could be transfered to a 2nd system so excluded) - ?????
A new MUCH better Laptop can be bought for around $450->500. If you sale your old laptop as is (and get lucky getting $200->250 for it) than that would bring your New laptop cost down to around $200 -> 300. Not a Hel%^$%# of a lot more than trying to upgrade old and for minimial improved game play.
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February 22, 2013 4:53:21 PM

As others have mentioned, get a new Laptop. It's just not practical or cost effective to make the changes you want. Here's one for $399 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13845_3-57570682-58/five-deal...$199-xoom-$399-ultrabook-and-more/?tag=nl.e796&s_cid=e796&ttag=e796 Oh darn. Sold out. Anyway. You could get a decent i5 laptop for around that price that would be big improvement over your old Laptop.
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