Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Upgrading the Graphics Card in Your Laptop Computer (Yes, it's possible)

At some point in the life cycle of a Laptop, there is usually the demand for better graphics performance. For desktop computers, this is a fairly simple and easy process, and there are a wide range of upgrades available. However, in the case of a Laptop computer, most are told that this is not possible. That in order to upgrade the graphics capability on their laptop they should purchase a brand new expensive model. This is quite frankly, either a misinformed opinion or a bad sales pitch. In this Tip we will explore the graphics upgrade options for Laptops.

METHOD 1: For ANY Laptop with an ExpressCard slot. This method will be something you use at your desk, and it will stay there. This is not a portable option by any means, but it eliminates the necessity of buying a whole new computer. You will need:

1. A Power Supply from a desktop computer.
2. A PCI-Express graphics card of your choosing.
3. HWTools Expresscard to PCI-Express adapter.

The HWTools adapter is a very much barebones kit (85$), and therefore the cheapest alternative compared to overpriced units(750$!!!) from other suppliers that do the exact same thing.

The HWTools site has a very good installation and user manual for the adapter. It is essentially using the computing power of the graphics card and channeling it through the ExpressCard port.

METHOD 2: Netbooks. Sadly, most netbooks do not have an ExpressCard slot and cannot benefit from the method above. The one option available for improving graphics performance ONLY aids in video playback, namely Flash (Youtube) and H.264 video footage. This is done through the installation of a Broadcom CrystalHD card, which essentially offloads video decoding from a slow Netbook processor. An in depth review and test of this card is done by Nick Mertes and can be read here.

METHOD 3: MXM-upgrade! Yes, some laptops support what is known as the MXM graphics card format. These cards can actually be removed from your laptop and upgraded with better cards of the same format. The lists of MXM compatible laptops can be found HERE, and HERE. The site MXM-upgrade.com is dedicated to helping those with MXM to upgrade their laptop graphics.

That is all and I hope this has been informative helpful.

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3 Answers

Is it possible to add an external graphic card to my laptop for gaming purpose?


no.but their is a software that might work for gaming.call "3DAnalyze" helps you run 3d Gamesgo to google and download it, find its manual also.
hope that will help you.

Jun 23, 2011 | HP Compaq nx6110 PC Laptop

1 Answer

was wondering if it can be replaced with a better graphics card


This depends, mspolar1.

Depends on;

1) If it's a Desktop computer, or a Laptop computer.

Desktop computers may, or may not, come with Integrated Graphics.
For those desktop computers that do Not, a graphics adapter card is used.

(Graphics adapter card is also referred to as a Graphics Card, or Video Card)

Desktop computers that Do come with Integrated Graphics, will also have a graphics expansion slot to install a graphics card in.

2) Laptops generally just have Integrated Graphics, BUT there are some models that Do have a Graphics Card, and there is the possibility of upgrading to a better one.

The above relates directly to Toshiba desktop computers, and laptops, as well as a reference to all desktop, and laptop computers.

To explain Integrated Graphics:

Another name for Integrated Graphics is OnBoard Graphics.
ON the motherBOARD.

The graphics chip is soldered directly to the motherboard.

[ Chip and Chipset are slang terms for I.C.
Integrated Circuit,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_Circuit

A graphics chip has a GPU on it,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPU ]

Integrated Graphics borrows some of the system's resources.
The Processor and Ram Memory.

The Processor and Ram Memory are trying to take care of the Operating System, and the program that is being ran.
Two Operating System examples are Windows XP, and Windows 7. An example of a program that may be borrowing system resources heavily, is a game.

If an intense game is being played, the system resources cannot keep up with the demand for graphics, when Integrated Graphics is installed.
(Slow frame rates, or freezing. Poor graphics. Even with low settings)

A dedicated graphics card borrows very little of the system resources, or none at all.
A graphics card has it's own Processor, and Ram Memory.
(GPU and graphics ram memory)

In direct reference to Toshiba laptop's, post the laptop Model Number to see if the graphics can be upgraded.
There are some Toshiba laptops where this is possible, and some that are not.
(Post in a Comment)

The one's that use Integrated Graphics, and no dedicated graphics card, are the ones that cannot be upgraded.

Oct 29, 2010 | Toshiba Computers & Internet

1 Answer

I have the T4852 w/ Intel Extreme Graphics card. I just bough an LG flat screen monitor(W2361VG), and I was wondering "should I replace the graphics card? Would it make the pixels on the screen much better? Or am I pretty good now? I'm at 1920 x 1080 resolution with the new monitor.


No, your pixels aren't going to improve.  Match the resolution to the native resolution of the display (usually listed right on the settings menu) or the recommended Bayer equivalence.

What a graphics card would improve would be CUDA and videogame performance; that is, photo and video editing (or computation-intensive software programmed to take advantage of nVidia or AMD video processing past the GeForce8800 era cards) would get more responsive and capable with the change in the card, as would Far Cry 2 or a similarly demanding videogame.  Office 2007, OpenOffice (so far,) and Peggle would not improve at all, and your carbon footprint would increase with no benefit other than slicker virtual desktop action.

The fancy videocards draw tens of watts when doing no computation and showing a blank screen (i.e. idling,) so there's no need for them just to show YouTube or fansubs.  Encoding is another story.

Nov 14, 2009 | E-Machines T4852 PC Desktop

1 Answer

buying a laptop with graphics card


the best solution is to go with sony vio
best laptop
best graphic card (you can choose nvidia or ATI radon) both are good
nice design
best performance
and 
excellent battery life.

Mar 30, 2009 | HP Compaq dx2250 Microtower - Get 3...

1 Answer

can i fit a new graphics card


Graphics chips on laptops are usually part of the motherboard and therefore cannot be changed.
Your only choice is to get a new and usually a better laptop.

Most desktop computers can accomodate new graphics cards by installing them in AGP or PCI slots, most modern graphics are AGP type cards.

Nov 14, 2008 | Computers & Internet

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