Upgrading A Graphics Card In A Laptop – Can you upgrade your laptop’s graphics card? If so, what are your options and how exactly does it work?
In this article, I will address these and other closely related questions, so stay tuned for their answers and a better understanding of laptop graphics hardware.
Upgrading A Graphics Card In A Laptop
First, let’s talk about laptop graphics in general. When you get a graphics card in a laptop, it comes in two forms: an iGPU built into your CPU, or a discrete GPU that’s separate from your CPU on the motherboard.
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IGPUs share RAM and other resources directly with your CPU, while discrete GPUs have their own VRAM cache and typically use less power and thermal resources than their iGPU counterparts .
Even with a separate laptop graphics card, unfortunately you can’t replace it because the GPU is supplied to your motherboard before it leaves the factory and reaches you.
You cannot replace your laptop’s graphics card. Even if your laptop’s processor doesn’t have an iGPU integrated into it, modern laptops just aren’t built with this kind of capability in mind.
RAM and storage upgrades are common in the laptop space, but that’s about as much as you can upgrade.
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It’s not necessary, especially if your laptop supports Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 connectors for an external GPU dock.
With the Laptop GPU Dock, you can use a full desktop GPU with your laptop via a compatible Thunderbolt cable and docking station.
However, you need to make sure your laptop supports Thunderbolt 3 or better before trying this, as these docks won’t work without the faster bandwidth that the Thunderbolt standard provides.
By the way, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 ports are often in the form of USB-C – just check the Thunderbolt logo or your laptop’s product documentation to see if your laptop supports Thunderbolt.
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If your laptop is compatible with a GPU dock, congratulations: you have more options! And in a way, you manage to upgrade your laptop’s graphics card, albeit without it
Gaming is still improved by the dock, but it makes a big impact compared to the desktop, while the eGPU bottleneck only has a small impact on productivity workloads.
Of course, you’ll want a GPU that’s significantly better than what’s already in your laptop, but beyond that, the choice is mostly up to you.
However, I would recommend an Nvidia graphics card for professional workloads and an AMD graphics card for gaming.
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Alex has already written a very comprehensive guide to eGPU docks, including a curated selection of the best currently available on the market.
Overall, I feel the Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 is the best eGPU case for most users.
While it’s still a pretty penny, it’s cheaper than other GPU docks while offering the basic features you’re looking for.
I’m also looking forward to GPU docks made with Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 5 in the future, as the bandwidth improvements will help reduce the disadvantages of a laptop GPU dock.
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Now, if you can’t fix the hardware itself on your laptop, there’s not much you can do except maybe bring back powerful cloud computing or streaming from your PC at the workstation.
The first thing I would consider is getting a laptop cooling pad. With a laptop cooling pad, you can help the laptop maintain a more stable temperature under load, which prevents thermal throttle from settling as quickly and results in (effectively) a faster computer.
Undervoltage is the process of carefully changing the voltage of your GPU while keeping the same clocks.
Reliability testing is required, but it works with almost anything and greatly improves heat and performance consistency.
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As a standby voltage, simply because it allows the GPU to run more consistently at target frequencies without overheating or overclocking.
And that’s it, at least for now! I hope this article answered your question and helped you find the best ways to improve your laptop graphics processing.
If you have any questions about laptop graphics or computer hardware in general, leave a comment below or in the forums; I or one of my players will be happy to help you.
Until then, or until next time, happy bidding! And don’t forget to seriously consider the GPU undervoltage of this laptop. Laptops don’t have great thermal solutions, but you can still find ways to make the most of them. Gaming PCs use mobile versions of GPUs. For example, the Nvidia 3060 is a desktop video card, while the mobile Nvidia 3060 is what you would call the only GPU in a laptop. You thought that laptop GPUs are much smaller than desktop GPUs. In contrast, they consume less energy. There are no fans attached to them either (heat dissipation is entirely dependent on chassis cooling – heatsinks and the works). They also don’t have display connections (like HDMI) because they should only be connected to a laptop monitor.
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Compared to a desktop GPU, laptop GPUs are less flexible. They cannot be easily taken out, accidentally scratched, removed, changed, etc.
RAM and storage (HDD/SSD) are the only two parts that can be changed or upgraded in a laptop.
The answer will vary depending on your build and model. Not all GPUs are easily replaceable. Especially in non-gaming PCs and even some gaming laptops, the GPU is surface mounted to the motherboard. If that’s the case, you’re out of luck unless you have the skills to replace the entire motherboard, create your own custom board, align the new GPU on the custom board, and hope it works (maybe it will). t so don’t even try).
The process of changing or upgrading a laptop GPU usually involves removing the existing GPU and inserting a new GPU into the same socket. Not all GPUs are the same size. They are based on different architectures. You need to make sure your socket is compatible with the new mobile GPU you plan to use.
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Supplying a new GPU is not easy. This does not mean taking out the old graphics card and installing a new one. It’s much more difficult than that.
The process also depends on how the GPU is connected. If it uses a PCIe connection, things should be much easier.
Brands have been trying to tap into this market of people looking to upgrade their laptop GPUs. For example, Alienware’s Area-51m (and Area-51m R2) was a laptop that could swap new GPUs in and out (along with other parts like the CPU and cooling components).
Note that the gaming laptop uses solder to attach the components inside the chassis to save space. The soldering and sealing of the components ensures that the chassis is rigid: a selling point for laptops (and laptops in general).
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Therefore, Dell (Alienware’s parent company) had to build a large laptop to build an updated and customized laptop for the user. The original Range 51m was very heavy and bulky.
The idea was to create a laptop that was more portable than a desktop and more like a normal laptop.
It’s always better to wait and save when buying a new gaming laptop. No one, including Alienware Area-51m users, wanted the hassle of updating their gaming laptop.
Dell created official specifications and form factors for manufacturers to provide consumers with a seamless parts exchange experience. But the Alienware market is not that big. As a result, no one followed suit. Dell never promised to make the replacement parts needed to replace the Area 51m machine.
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There was an argument about it and the idea quickly fell apart. There were no tenants during the year.
Lesson: To build a gaming laptop that can easily replace the GPU (the average user can do it by hand), you need a big, big machine. Even if you get it, updating is still a pain.
Someone has sued Dell in the US about this update requirement. When Area-51m R2 was announced, no bar was mentioned. The main components (CPU and GPU, of course) can be upgraded, the company said. However, GPU upgrades and anything above Intel’s 10th generation processors are not supported. This is a case of cheating players and is the reason for the lawsuit. We support this action. Read the news report at The Verge.
The latest entry in this category is Eurocom’s “fully upgraded” Sky Z7 R2. It is based on Intel Rocket Lake and has an updated GPU socket for mobile GPUs in the MXM 3.1 V2.0 form factor, officially up to Nvidia RTX 3080. Support for next generation chips is not allowed. Read the full report at PCGamer.
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A 4D or 5D universe cannot be imagined. Seeing it on a 2D screen doesn’t help either.
Arguably not. The fourth (and other dimensions, according to string or M theory) are additional spatial dimensions that we cannot understand mentally or recreate mathematically with any software (since the software itself is limited to three dimensions). We are said to live in 4 spatial dimensions and 1 time to directly experience 3 spatial dimensions and 1 time.
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