Need to upgrade processor and/or graphics card. What are my options?

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Daskill

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Ok, here's the deal. I have a Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop. It has a 1.6GHz AMD Turion processor. It also has an ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 Graphics card. I'm not sure how much memory it has and I don't know how to find out, but I think it's either 128MB or 256MB. Probably the former.

I wish to run a game that requires a 2.4GHz processor and a 256MB graphics card.

I know very little about what processors/graphics cards are compatible with my computer or how much they cost.

What are my options?
 

Triple6

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You can't upgrade the video card, its part of the motherboard. The best you can do is check the BIOS setup when the computer starts to see if you can increase the shared video memory to 256MB and maybe update to the latest ATI Catalyst video card driver from the ATI website and see if it allows you to increase the video memory from within Windows, some ATI boards do allow you too. But the X1150 is a basic integrated GPU not well suited to gaming so even with the maximum memory allocate to it it just may not play the game.

As for the CPU, AMD's go by model number so even though you have a 1.6Ghz processor its equivalent processor in pure Mhz or Ghz is higher and it may be just fine. Upgrading a processor is a laptop is not an easy task as most laptops manufacturers do not post waht processors are supported.
 

Daskill

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How do I increase the shared video memory, and does this carry any risks?

Also, how do I install the ATI Catalyst video card?

Thanks.
 

Daskill

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I know how to access the setup menu, but how do I increase the shared video memory?
Also, is there a version of this catalyst driver for Windows Vista?
 

Daskill

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Okay, I found and installed the Catalyst Control Center, but it doesn't work; every time I try to activate the program, nothing happens. Any idea how I can rectify this?
 

Daskill

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Daskill

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Okay, forget my last post; I've managed to get everything installed. What do I do next?
 

Triple6

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Open it and see if you can adjust the shared memory size/UMA. You might not. In which case you are stuck with what you have. Have you tried the game?
 

Daskill

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I have opened it but there doesn't seem to be anything about memory size. But it does tell me that the memory size is 800MB...that doesn't sound right, does it?

I've tried the game, it is no better.

Would upgrading the CPU make any difference?
 

DoubleHelix

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Processor upgrades on laptops are limited as best. You definitely wouldn't see a huge performance increase. The laptop you have just isn't designed for gaming.
 

DoubleHelix

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If a system doesn't meet the minimum hardware requirements for a program, and the computer can't be updated, there are no options.
 

Triple6

Rob
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Helix is right, in a laptop if you can't fix a gaming issue/requirement by changing a setting or updating the drivers then its hard and not worth or possible to upgrade it.
 
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