Can You Change the Graphics Card in a Laptop?
What is the Graphics card?
The graphics card is hardware that sends the video data to your laptop display. As far as the installation of the graphics card is related, the answer is YES!
You can change the Graphics card in your laptop. Now the notebooks are upgradable unlike before. The laptop hardware used to be very complicated for a non-professional like me. A few years back for a small upgrade or repair, I used to take the laptop to the shop now it is not like that.
I am going to tell you a generic way of changing the Graphics card. I am pretty sure it will help you.
The better the graphics card, the better the video results. If you do not want to compromise the quality, I suggest you get a higher quality card.
You can choose between PCI or PCI Express graphics cards. The PCI Express graphics cards attach to your motherboard into a graphics card compartment.
The graphics card is one of the easiest hardware installations.
You can easily do it by yourself by following the steps.
Step1: Turn your laptop off, take the power plug out, remove the battery pack and disconnect any different cables and external devices.
Step 2: Take precautions for electric shock.
(Pro Tip: Take a picture of your laptop from the top and the bottom as well, so remember how to reassemble it after you take it apart.)
Step 3: Unscrew the nails open the cover and the keyboard cover by unclipping the hinges (be gentle with the keyboard strip because it is a delicate business).
(Editor’s note: Make sure you keep all the screws and the cover in a safe place so after you done with the installation you don’t waste time looking for loose parts.)
Step 4: After you remove the keyboard cover do not hesitate to put the keyboard aside as it is connected to the laptop with the ribbon connector from the laptop’s logic board, remove the keyboard from the laptop base and set it aside.
Step 5: You will also find the LCD ribbon connector gently remove it from its bed. Now your laptop LCD is free from and communication.
(Editor’s tip: Keep different sizes and different pointed screwdrivers, you may need it)
Step 6: Now unscrew the retaining screw securing the heat sink to the logic board. Pick it out gently and put it in a safe place.
Step 7: Unscrew the video card from the logic board. Take out the old logic card and keep it aside. Install the new video card by setting it in the video card slot. Now screw back the screw to secure it.
Now put back all the things you took out and secure it entirely and thoughtfully.
After the reassembly of the laptop. Turn on the laptop make sure the screen and keyboard and everything works fine. Now install the new Graphics card software from the CD that came with the card. Follow the instructions shown on the screen.
Voila, it is done.
Alienware and Asus and MSI laptop Graphic cards:
These laptops graphics card change is less hectic as it is straightforward to open a small cover slot from beneath and change it in a few easy steps.
- Unscrew the slot (the slot size depends on the size of the Graphics card size) you will be able to see the card and the holding groove.
- Unplug the card by gently pushing down or pulling on the catch at the end of the PCI-e slot that holds the graphics card.
- The old graphics card should be free from the slot to take it out and renew it with the new graphics card.
- Now that the card is in place screw the cover back on the slot. Make sure you screw it carefully to avoid loose parts.
- Connect the 6- or 8-pin connectors that are from the power supply to the power connectors of the new graphics card.
Portable Graphics Card option:
You have another option as well to add the graphics card. You can connect the Graphics card through USB. It gives an average result for games.
I will not recommend it for games, but it serves the purpose very well.
By connecting this option of the graphics card, you can have an extra graphics output so you can drive an external monitor as well as your laptop’s built-in screen.
Then again, if your laptop already has a VGA, Display Port or HDMI output, adding a USB graphics card means you can drive the third screen as well you can expand your limitation from two screens.
Optimizing Graphics card setting:
To make the best use and optimal result of the graphics card follow the instructions below.
- The Graphics card will work best if you turn off the energy saving option.
- Also, do not hotplug the hardware. Turn off the laptop and then connect the Graphics card.
Common model installation configuration:
Here is the list of laptops and their configurations.
- THINKPAD T410/T420/T430:
bios-DISPLAY-graphic device-INTEGRATED GRAPHICS
- Lenovo Y470/G470/Y480/G480:
bios-GRAPHIC DEVICE -UMA, PXE BBOT TO LAN- disabled
- Acer 4750G/4752G/5750G:
BIOS-GRAPHIC MODE-integrated, NETWORK BOOT- disabled
- HP8440P/8460P/8470P/envy 14 beats/cq45/ 2730P PTD-7S HP CQ35-219TX:
Insert into the system before Express Card.
- Lenovo Z470:
Close the WIFI switch.
Can you update the Integrated Graphics card?
Yes, you can, but it is a tedious task. Integrated graphics Card is fixed into the motherboard by default by the manufacturer so it cannot be in any case upgraded, as you would require replacing the whole motherboard with CPU for changing or improving the GPU.
Another thing is that to replace the card you require a particular configuration of slots to achieve proper connection between the card and the motherboard.
A good graphics card makes a big difference in the video quality of your laptop. It is unfair not to have the best option for your computer when it is so easy to have and install in your computer.
The cameras and games graphics are upgrading. You can only enjoy to the fullest when you have compatible and supportive hardware. I hope you can use the above mention instructions and details to enhance the graphics card.