Hi, I would like you guys to see this config for a Dell Studio 1558. Although I have to mention a few things before hand, I required a relatively high end laptop, and unfortunately, living in India, dell was the only option I had, which is fine with me.
So here is the config;
Intel® Core™ i7-740QM processor(1.73GHz, 4Core/8Threads, turbo boost up to 2.93Ghz, 6M cache)
4GB (2GBx2) 1333MHz DDR3
Seagate 500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
LG Slot-Loaded Fixed Blu-ray BD-Rom/DVD RW combo drive
ATI Mobility Radeon 5470-1gb memory
Integrated CREATIVE Sound Blaster(R) X-Fi MB Audio
Dell 1520 Wireless-N Card
15.6 " Full HD (1080p) WLED (1920x1080) Display with TrueLife™
I am quite satisfied with the config overall. The HD screen makes for some pleasant movie experiences, with the i7 processor, multitasking is a breeze and most of my work gets done with ease, however, I tend to be on the move quite a bit, and use this rig for gaming as well.
I am aware the graphics card isn't the best option in that sense. Unfortunately, Dell simply didn't have a better graphics card option for orders in India.
As far as I know, some graphic cards are integrated into the chipset of the laptop, and some are attached in slots and are replaceable (Correct me if I'm, wrong) . I was unable to come up with any data specific to this model (Dell studio 1558).
I wanted to check out the possibility of replacing my graphics card, and what good options are in that case. I don't really need ultra level settings for gaming, medium or possibly high is fine.
So basically wondering if I can upgrade the graphics card, or there are any alternative ways of improving my graphics performance.
Sadly GPU are 99.99% un-upgradeable. So you have to choose wisely right now or wait a bit longer (like Jan or whenever they bring in new models -- but expect the price to be high too).
I think the best thing to do is to make a list of games you might want to play and check how the HD5470 performs with them (grpahic details & frames-per-second achieved). NoteBookCheck.net is a good place for such comparisons. If you pick a gaming-spec laptop now, then 3-4 years from now your laptop will be more useable than if you had gone for a mid-range laptop.
there are several models that have non integrated video, but they are very high end (Dell doesn't have any). LemonadeStand is more or less correct, you can't change integrated GPU on a laptop or desktop, but you can add dedicated to desktop. Now there are PCMCIA video interface card that plug into the side bus slot but these are TV Tuners or TV connector card, not video game cards or laptop video replacement cards.
Is overclocking a viable option if i keep temperatures stable?
I know you selected an answer, but I feel this is still worth answering. With the GPU it can be a viable option if the laptop is within power requirements, but if the power brick can't supply enough power to handle the OC then you may get an unstable machine.
With the CPU, the answer is mostly no. Dell and most other OEMs lock the BIOS on their machines to prevent people from messing with settings. This means you get no access to any of the frequency settings. There's at least one software tool that you may be able to use, but results can widely vary.