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Replace Notebook Graphics Card

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 18, 2012 9:51:49 AM

Hi guys,

M girlfriend's laptop has been experiencing some "random" shut downs lately so I decided to do some testing.

It turns out that whenever the GPU load is high, the laptop just starts jumping for 1-2 seconds and then shuts off. The CPU is fine (tested with Prime95).

The laptop is three years old; ASUS K52JK, i3 350M (Arrandale) at 2.27GHz; ATI Radeon HD5145

It is even possible to exchange the graphics card on a notebook? I have another notebook I don't use (broken screen), which I could replace the graphics card with. I've done some building on desktops so I have some experience; but have no idea if its wise to do the same on notebooks?

Thanks for the help!
a b D Laptop
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 10:00:44 AM

mensen19 said:
Hi guys,

M girlfriend's laptop has been experiencing some "random" shut downs lately so I decided to do some testing.

It turns out that whenever the GPU load is high, the laptop just starts jumping for 1-2 seconds and then shuts off. The CPU is fine (tested with Prime95).

The laptop is three years old; ASUS K52JK, i3 350M (Arrandale) at 2.27GHz; ATI Radeon HD5145

It is even possible to exchange the graphics card on a notebook? I have another notebook I don't use (broken screen), which I could replace the graphics card with. I've done some building on desktops so I have some experience; but have no idea if its wise to do the same on notebooks?

Thanks for the help!


Have you eliminated heat as the cause of your issue? 3 years is plenty of time for the cooling on a laptop to get clogged up with dust and crap...
Before you think about changing (which I think will be difficult) suggest you just do (or confirm you have done) some basic triage..

Cheers
a c 439 D Laptop
a c 358 U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 11:44:46 AM

Check your system temps. From the following website download the All CPU Meter Gadget (you will also need to download PC Meter as well; the link is provided). Also install GPU Meter as well.

http://addgadgets.com/

High temps could be the issue and is generally caused by trapped dust blocking airflow or the thermal paste is going bad. Either way you need to the apart the laptop to troubleshoot the issue. You might as well get some good thermal paste like Arctic Silver 5 to replace the current thermal paste. You need to completely clean out the thermal paste using alcohol (90%+ is preferable) before applying a thin layer to both the CPU and GPU.

If that does not resolve the issue, then you need to bring into a repair shop. The graphic chip will be soldered into the motherboard so the repairman will need to unsolder it and solder in a new Radeon HD 5145. You might as well Google around to see if that particular laptop model is compatible with something a little more powerful than a HD 5145. If you are going through the expense of paying someone to repair the laptop, then installing a more power graphic chip would be preferable. Assuming such an option exists for that motherboard. If you get "any old graphic chip" soldered in there you will likely find that the laptop's BIOS does not recognize the upgraded chip and it will not even boot up.
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December 18, 2012 6:06:01 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I could check the temps for the CPU using Prime95 to load the cores, and core temp to monitor the temperature. The CPU steadily rises from an idle 45C to about 85C over the course of about 15 minutes; and then seems to plateau at about 85C. This seems okay to me; especially considering that the laptop didn't shut down once during the testing [Even just watching a youtube video will shut it down in less than a minute; hence I assumed it was a GPU issue].

Can anyone recommend a similar program like Prime95 which stresses the GPU?

Is the cooling system for the CPU and GPU the same in a laptop; or could it be a GPU-cooling specific problem?

Since professional repair is outrageously expensive in Switzerland, we would be better off buying a new laptop for just a little over the price of repair.
a c 439 D Laptop
a c 358 U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 6:21:04 PM

FurMark is considered the ultimate stress tester for the GPU. It stresses the GPU far beyond any game can and it is recommended you do not run it for too long because of extremely high temps.
a b D Laptop
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 6:27:11 PM

85C is quite high for a CPU. I believe most CPU will automatically shut down around 95C so you're close to that. And since the GPU is usually next to the CPU on most laptop it might be the CPU that is causing the shut down. Maybe if you stress BOTH the CPU and GPU it makes the CPU temps jump up to 95C. Just saying...

Have you tried removing the cover and cleaning the fans? They're probably filled with dust which prevents from evacuating the heat. Just use compressed air if you never cleaned the laptop in 3 years you might be surprised how much dust will come out of it. I've seen some people dropping their temps by 30C or 40C just by cleaning the fans, when it gets to the point where fans have trouble spinning because of too much dust it gets really bad.
a c 439 D Laptop
a c 358 U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 6:55:02 PM

Intel CPUs throttle at 100C.

High temps are becoming more common nowadays especially with thin and light laptops / ultrabooks. Copper is a really good conductor of heat, but it ain't as light as aluminum so less of it is used.
!