Upgrading my Laptop...help me choose what I need 17 replies

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Bubbleteatroopa

I got them crazies.

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31st December 2008

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#1 8 years ago

Hey guys. So, My laptop has had a bit of trouble recently so I took it to the shop (twice :uhoh:) and they said I needed a new motherboard (various problems from it, not going to get into the details;)).

Since I am getting a new motherboard, im going to want to upgrade my laptops graphics card and ram with that (possibly hard drive as well). Right now my specs are:

Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 8600mgt 256mb RAM: 2GB of DDR2 HDD: 160 GB 7200 rpm Screen: 17" Acer (something or other) 1080p CPU: 1.5 ghz Intel core 2 duo OS: Windows Vista Home Premium

Those are my current PC specs. They are not too bad, but are no longer considered a gaming PC exactly (it was when we got it ages ago). Here is what I am considering upgrading it to

Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 9500 1gb (or a 9800 512mb) RAM: 3GB or 4GB DDR2 HDD: Keep it, buy an external Screen: Fine il keep that nice glossy screen of mine :naughty: CPU: Upgrade when I have better finances to an ATI tripple core OS: Might change to XP Pro, but for the time being keeping at vista level. It seems to be running okay.

Now, the big question is what graphics card. I have heard that the 9500 is only as good as an 8600, but im not sure about that. The 9500 1gb seems to be more in my price range, but the 9800 is better for gaming and a bit out of my price range. What do you guys think? I want to be able to play games like call of duty 4, lost planet, battlefield 2, 2142, l4d 1 and 2, Alien vs Predator etc... I would like to play these games on high settings, probably only at 1024X768. What do you guys think?

Price of GeForce 9500 1gb (Canadian $) $79.99 Price of GeForce 9800 512mb (Canadian $) $114.99 RAM: 2gb $54.99 (possibly X2) ----> in Canadian $

Total $169.98 (w/ 2gb of extra ram and nvidia geforce 9800 512mb) $134.98 (w/ 2gb of extra RAM and nvidia geforce 9500 1gb)

What do you think I should get? Im not the richest guy around, and I do not want to spend over the 150 dollar mark. But if the 9800 gt 512mb is absolutely needed for these games, than I might take the plunge for the extra. Whatya think?:confused:




kow_ciller

Gettin' hardware chilly

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16th June 2004

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#2 8 years ago

You cant upgrade laptops with normal PC hardware. You can upgrade your ram but thats about it.




Bubbleteatroopa

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31st December 2008

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#3 8 years ago
kow_ciller;5257358You cant upgrade laptops with normal PC hardware. You can upgrade your ram but thats about it.

Depends on if it has integrated graphics or not. My laptop is upgradeable in terms of graphics.




Mastershroom VIP Member

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18th November 2004

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#4 8 years ago

It depends on your exact model. Swappable graphics cards for laptops do exist (look up MXM), but laptops that actually use this standard are pretty rare. Dedicated graphics cards in laptops are soldered to the motherboard and completely proprietary by model in probably 90% of cases. Only a select few very high-end gaming-specific laptops have this MXM graphics format, like Asus, Alienware, Sager and Clevo.

What exact laptop do you have? If you give me the manufacturer and model number, I can look up whether or not it uses MXM graphics. Just don't get your hopes up. Odds are yours is just one of the 99% of laptops out there without replaceable graphics cards.




Bubbleteatroopa

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#5 8 years ago

Well, its actually in the shop right now. Im on the mac (lolz @ mac :D) and they said it can be upgraded. My motherboard is going to be replaced anyways since it is fried for some reason, and im getting a much better motherboard that can support very high end graphics cards. Im not sure of the exact model number so on so fourth as I do not have it currently. My main question is what graphics card do you think would be best for my needs? Thanks for the offer though, I might take ya up on that when I get it back sometime this week :)




Mastershroom VIP Member

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18th November 2004

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#6 8 years ago

Until I know exactly what laptop you have, I won't be able to tell you what graphics cards you can swap between, if these shop people actually know what they're talking about.

Keep in mind that you definitely will not be able to upgrade your Core 2 Duo to anything but another Core 2 Duo. You have either Socket M or Socket P, depending on your chipset, and those were only ever used for Core 2 Duos, except for a few mobile Core 2 Quads on Socket P, but even those were pretty rare, and extremely expensive. In order to use an AMD processor (which is a terrible idea, because AMD mobile CPU's are notorious for running slow and hot, Intel owns the mobile CPU market), you would have to get a motherboard for your specific laptop that has an AMD socket and chipset. This would require that your laptop model was offered in both AMD and Intel versions, and I can't think of any models that did that off the top of my head.

As for your graphics card, if you really can upgrade it (which I still doubt, but we'll see when you get it back), I wouldn't bother with anything less than a 9600-series. I'd skip the 8xxx series altogether, because mobile 8xxx series GPU's were known for having overheating issues, which is probably what was wrong with yours in the first place. The 8600m GT and 8400m GS were especially prone to this.

Just keep in mind that laptops, while usually upgradeable to a certain extent, are not nearly as upgradeable as desktops. Most parts (especially motherboards) are made to fit a very specific chassis and heatsink design, so there is very little cross-model compatibility for these parts, and thus the parts associated with them. Graphics cards are virtually always part of the motherboard itself, dedicated or not. The only exceptions to this are the MXM standard, and Dell had a proprietary graphics format for its XPS M1730, but there were only 3 or 4 graphics cards available for that anyway.




Bubbleteatroopa

I got them crazies.

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#7 8 years ago

Zamamee;5257434Until I know exactly what laptop you have, I won't be able to tell you what graphics cards you can swap between, if these shop people actually know what they're talking about.

Keep in mind that you definitely will not be able to upgrade your Core 2 Duo to anything but another Core 2 Duo. You have either Socket M or Socket P, depending on your chipset, and those were only ever used for Core 2 Duos, except for a few mobile Core 2 Quads on Socket P, but even those were pretty rare, and extremely expensive. In order to use an AMD processor (which is a terrible idea, because AMD mobile CPU's are notorious for running slow and hot, Intel owns the mobile CPU market), you would have to get a motherboard for your specific laptop that has an AMD socket and chipset. This would require that your laptop model was offered in both AMD and Intel versions, and I can't think of any models that did that off the top of my head.

As for your graphics card, if you really can upgrade it (which I still doubt, but we'll see when you get it back), I wouldn't bother with anything less than a 9600-series. I'd skip the 8xxx series altogether, because mobile 8xxx series GPU's were known for having overheating issues, which is probably what was wrong with yours in the first place. The 8600m GT and 8400m GS were especially prone to this.

Just keep in mind that laptops, while usually upgradeable to a certain extent, are not nearly as upgradeable as desktops. Most parts (especially motherboards) are made to fit a very specific chassis and heatsink design, so there is very little cross-model compatibility for these parts, and thus the parts associated with them. Graphics cards are virtually always part of the motherboard itself, dedicated or not. The only exceptions to this are the MXM standard, and Dell had a proprietary graphics format for its XPS M1730, but there were only 3 or 4 graphics cards available for that anyway.

I would buy a completely new system, but the problem is im on a budget. I do not have all the money in the world to spend on computer systems. I need to buy a car, insurance, clothes, food, money for dates...it all adds up. Until I have a chance to seriously put away some big money and buy an amazing desktop setup, il just have to stick with upgrading this laptop for now. And yes, they did say it could be upgraded as it was originally built for games. A new motherboard will be installed and they said I can put a new graphics card in it. Im not a complete technological genius, but I do know somewhat about computers and their parts. I appreciate all the help though, il look into what you have said.




Mastershroom VIP Member

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#8 8 years ago

Just so you know, gaming-oriented does not mean replaceable graphics. My old Dell Studio 17, for instance, had the dedicated ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4650 graphics card, but that was it. There was no way to remove the graphics card and replace it with another one.




Bubbleteatroopa

I got them crazies.

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31st December 2008

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#9 8 years ago
Zamamee;5258300Just so you know, gaming-oriented does not mean replaceable graphics. My old Dell Studio 17, for instance, had the dedicated ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4650 graphics card, but that was it. There was no way to remove the graphics card and replace it with another one.

Yeah, I know. Ive taken the graphics card out before, replaced it and put it back in. I believe that its more of a motherboard indifference than it is the complete laptop itself. Actually its coming to me in about 45mins from this hour, so ya know il be sure to tell ya.:)




Bubbleteatroopa

I got them crazies.

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#10 8 years ago

Ahhh! I just got it back! :) This makes me a happy guy because....

Yes! It does have MXM, and the graphics card can be upgraded. It is one of the 1% that allows it. Its an acer aspire 5920g. Im replacing the motherboard to support a 9800, so that will be what comes around next.




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