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laptops and graphics cards

By judge_dredd89 · 17 replies
May 27, 2007
  1. hey guys

    i know it seems like a stupid question...

    ive been a desktop man all my life and i just recently acqired a laptop.
    how do i go about upgrading a graphics card in a laptop??

    should i get some specalist dude to do it for me or can i do it myself??

    if i was to upgrade id put a 7950 GT in

    help me

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    For 99 percent of laptops, no upgrade is possible. Changing is possible, as when repair is needed, but upgrading for better speed or performance is limited to a very few of the more expensive machines.
    For others, you partially disassemble the laptop. Then unplug one graphics module, and plug in another. It is a matter of removing six to eight screws then pulling the case apart, usually from the bottom, or from under the keyboard.
    We are really unable to help you until we know the brand, model, OS, and other configuration data.
  3. judge_dredd89

    judge_dredd89 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    system specs are.....

    Dell Insprion 9400
    Intel Core 2 Duo T5500, 1.67Ghz
    Windows Vista Home edition
    2046Mb DDR2 Ram
    ATI Mobility Radieon X1400

    any more u need to kno??

  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Here are the two possibilities:
    If your model has the Dell Graphics Card
    Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950

    Then you can upgrade to the
    256MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1400 HyperMemory
    Graphics Card

    I do not know the price, but you might do both a Dell search and an eBay search for availability and price. It will be an add-in, and fairly easy to do.
    But you will need to remove or disable the current drivers, then install the new ones for the add-in card.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I mispoke. The first one is not an integrated card. It is integrated into the motherboard... The replacement is an add-in card.
  6. x-grayman-x

    x-grayman-x TS Rookie

    hey guyz i have reccently bought the game world of warcraft and my graphics card isnt good enough i hav a travelmate 4064WLWi with intel pentium 760 processor and intel graphics media accelerator 900 is it possible to upload a new graphics card on to my laptop with in a reasonable price please help
  7. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Upload? No, I am pretty sure that is impossible! A graphics card is a piece of hardware.
  8. x-grayman-x

    x-grayman-x TS Rookie

    sorry im not a computer expert is it possible to make it work or get it in there with in a resonable price
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Sorry, and upgrade is not possible. And the configuration of the case prevents other motheboards from being used for the purpose of better graphics...
    Further, the cooling system in that model is not designed for long runs of gaming. I suspect you would find early failure of components to be a problem.
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    98% of all laptops use integrated graphics. Generally you cannot upgrade graphics on laptops. There are a few (very few), high end, expensive, gaming laptops, with removable graphics blocks. These are rare and uncommon.

    Dell computers in general do not have these.
  11. Brendannaidoo

    Brendannaidoo TS Rookie

    Dell Inspiron 9300

    Not true I have a Dell INSPIRON 9300 and it has an AWESOME graphics card a goforce 6800 it plays all latest games on full and I upgraded memory to 2GB just got to upgrade hard drive now but all in all its awesome especially the true life screen.
  12. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    Hi Brendannaidoo and welcome to TechSpot.:wave:

    The topic of this discussion was upgrading a laptops graphics card, which in 99% of the cases is not possible to do. Also, please refrain from all bold posts. See the guide in my signature for general posting guidelines.
  13. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    The 9300 is the fastet gaming laptop in its class.....but at a price! And that's why Tedster said "a few (very few), high end, expensive"
    However, what res do you play your games on? 1024x768?

    As stated before 'most' laptops have on board graphics and if it IS a pci card, then it most often runs from system memory cos there is not enough room on the card for its own ram chips, or a fan!

    Welcome to the boards mate, but please don't be so hasty, consider the company you will be keeping on here :)
  14. Brendannaidoo

    Brendannaidoo TS Rookie

    Thanks for the welcome guys. I normally play games at 1920X1200.

    Will keep that in mind thanks.
  15. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    My statement still stands.
  16. Brendannaidoo

    Brendannaidoo TS Rookie

    I was looking at a Dell Inspiron and it said it has a ATI Radeon X1150 256MB Hyper memory, is that onboard or shared?
  17. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    onboard and shared can mean the same thing. Onboard video shares system memory thus leaving less for the system. i.e 512mb system memory with 256mb onboard graphics leaves you with 256mb left to run the system = bad !
    But at 256mb ram its unlikley to be onboard, unless your laptop has a helluva lot more physical ram than that installed.

    edit: watch the bold type please matey
  18. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Well, that math is not exactly correct. The memory is not equally shared. 256 mb and 256 mb are not locked... but 256 mb is the maximum... The formula is on the Dell site. Most of the time it is closer to 64 and 448... except under heavy graphics demand...
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