Video cards handle all of the images on your screen. For playing games, editing movies/photos, and other graphic-intensive programs a great GPU is quite important.
Is It Possible To Upgrade A GPU on a Laptop?
In most cases, upgrading the laptop graphics card is actually impossible, this is due to the graphics processing unit either being soldered to the board, or integrated with the processor. Even if it is possible, you should know that most upgrades options are aimed at big laptops. If there is a slight chance of upgrading your laptop’s GPU, you’ll need to be skillful to pull off such a difficult task.
Another option could be getting an external GPU which you plug directly into your laptop’s USB port. It’s worth noting that not all external GPUs offer full compatibility. external graphics cards are worth it if you have a decent laptop with no dedicated/discrete GPU from NVIDIA or AMD.
Determine Whether Your GPU is Replaceable
Only a few laptops have removable video cards. To save space, many laptops come with attached graphics processing units (GPUs) that are hardwired into your processor and motherboard. That means that in order to get a new video card for your computer you’d need to get a new processor.
Check the “Specifications” or “Product Description” section in your laptop’s user manual to determine if you have a slot to plug a card into. Look for “Graphics,” and note what options your computer supports. Old laptops may have a PCI slot, while newer ones will have an MXM slot.
To get your current video card’s information, search for Device Manager, on the Windows search bar and click “Display Adapters”.
- If you see an Intel Chip, or the words “Integrated Graphics,” then you have an attached GPU and you cannot swap your video card.
- if there are two options, such as Intel graphics and an ATI or nVidia card, you have a discrete graphics card that may be possible to swap out.
Once you’ve determined whether you can upgrade your GPU, the hardest part is choosing the right one in the first place. There is a wide selection of GPU options available from a variety of manufacturers, and it might not be immediately clear which best fits your needs.
Replacing the Graphics Card
This is not an easy procedure, and it requires that you take apart almost the entire laptop and put it back together flawlessly. Every laptop will have a slightly different procedure in order to find and remove the video card, but the same basic principles hold no matter who made your computer.
Step One: Dismantle the laptop in a clean, dust-free environment. Clean your hands and wipe down the laptop with a static-proof cloth before beginning,
Step two: Every laptop is different, but the odds are good that you need to go all the way into the guts of the computer to get your old video card out and the new one in. You want to read through every step 2-3 times before beginning to avoid surprises. you need to know your computer from top to bottom before beginning,
Step three: Once you’re familiar with the task at hand, shut down the computer. Unplug everything and let it sit for 10 minutes to cool down
Step four: More often than not, your first step is going to be stripping away the plastic so that you can get into the guts of the computer. More often than not you simply need a small screwdriver,
Step five: This is where every computer is different—as some computers require massive dismantling and others offer easy access to your switchable video card. Remove the necessary parts, keeping them organized with the screws and attachments needed to reassemble the computer. Pay close attention to your work, your product manual, and your parts.
Write down the order you took parts out if there is any confusion. This will help you work backward when you need to put the computer back together.
Step six: Once you get to the card, simply slide it out of the PCI x16 port (labeled on the switchable motherboard) and slide the new one in. Don’t bend, jiggle, or yank on either card — they should slide in and out relatively easily once you undo the safety latches on the sides. Clean off all the parts by blasting air, especially the fan, while they are out.
Step seven: Replace the parts in the order you took them out. The installation, in all cases, is the same procedure used to remove the parts in reverse. If you’ve paid attention and kept yourself organized, you should be able to easily retrace your steps and put the computer back exactly how you found it.
Please take safety measures such as grounding yourself and taking anti-static measures, such as wearing an anti-static wristband, before working on your computer.