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upgrading graphics in laptop need help

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by chantalle78, Jul 17, 2007.

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  1. chantalle78

    chantalle78 Thread Starter

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    I need to upgrade the graphics card in my laptop. I want to do this myself if possible but don't know where to begin. I am not sure which one to buy, or what specs info i need to look for... we have purchased sid meier's railroads and my current card is not compatible because it lacks a certain 'lighting' feature. I have an Acer Aspire 3000 laptop and dont even realize where to look ... can anyone give me some assistance here???:confused: Can I buy a ATI Radeon X1600 Pro PCI-Express 512MB Video Card?
     
  2. kryptonite1055

    kryptonite1055

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    I have some bad news for you... with a laptop, you are really unable to upgrade the video card. mainly b/c they are built into the motherboard (in most cases), and if it is separate, laptop video cards are normally very weak.
     
  3. CanSnowboard

    CanSnowboard

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    It's not impossible though...
    Theres two things you have to know.
    1. If your card is built in...then you can only get a new graphics by buying a new laptop.
    2. If it is seperate (you can tell if its a brand name card like a nVidia card) it's a MXM based card.

    If it is a MXM (Mobile PCI Express Module) card then you can purchase on the off the net. The problem with that is, it's VERY hard to find a good site for that. Most laptop manufacturers don't like people purchasing MXM's because that cuts in on their sales since you can easily just upgrade rather than buy a whole new laptop.

    Check out this link for more information.

    http://www.mxm-upgrade.com/Table.html
     
  4. chantalle78

    chantalle78 Thread Starter

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  5. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Thats not upgradeable. The Aspire 3000 line of laptops are a budget line, cheap everything, including the video and the CPU. If you want a better graphics card you'll need a better laptop, and avoid any one with an SiS chipset.
     
  6. chantalle78

    chantalle78 Thread Starter

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    The acer is actually quite handy for my needs.... I only use it for Microsoft Office, keeping my small business website up to date and checking email.... however that being said my husband would like to be able to play pc games on it.... so I am clearly looking at having to purchase a second laptop for the household... any suggested brand/models/specs would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  7. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Dell, HP, Averatec make good laptops and have models that have dedicated graphics cards - you just have to avoid the cheaper units. Probably the best processor to get in a laptop right now is an Intel Core 2 Duo based on performance, power consumption, and heat generation. Video card needs to be a NVidia or ATI one, Intel and SiS do not make good gaming products.

    Here's some reading for laptop graphics: http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3056&guide=Graphics+Card+Guide+2006

    If gaming is the intention and mobility is not then a desktop is the better way to go, you can upgrade desktops far easier then a desktop and have less worries about heat and generally cost less for a comparable system.
     
  8. Tstright

    Tstright

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    Not always true, I have a Nvidia FX2500M with 512meg. Works great.
     
  9. chantalle78

    chantalle78 Thread Starter

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    So I believe to be looking at around $2000 Canadian for something with one of thse graphics cards in it... would it not be more cost efficient to replace the 'guts' of my laptop, i.e. motherboard, processor, etc etc???
     
  10. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    No, you're back at the fact laptops are not really upgradeable. Unlike desktop units, laptops are not standard designs. You can't put in any motherboard into any laptop case, nothing will line up.
     
  11. chantalle78

    chantalle78 Thread Starter

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    I see... they oughtta make them more standardized on the inside :D but that'd mean less $$$$$ for them in the end .... thanks for all your help guys... i've found a couple of options with the specs you recommended at best buy. ca
     
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