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Upgrading The Graphics Card On A Laptop

John in Kilgore, Texas asked us about upgrading the graphics card on a laptop

Alienware Gaming Laptop

John asked: “Is it possible to upgrade the graphics drive on a laptop?”

 

John, if you mean the graphics card on the laptop, it is possible on some models, but unless you specifically have a gaming PC, the odds are not great.

Most laptops just use integrated graphics chips that are part of their motherboards and they don’t leave empty spaces to add anything else, some do come with cards that can sometimes be updated, but they’re in the minority.

There are some laptops that allow you to connect to an external GPU

The reason isn’t just space, newer graphics card tend to generate even more heat than older ones, so even if they could fit, manufacturers would still have no way of accounting for the airflow the new card would require. Desktops are nice and roomy and can have room for multiple fans, but laptops have to deal with a much more delicate balance between power and heat management, so most laptops ship one way and are expected to stay roughly that way.

There are some laptops that allow you to connect to an external GPU now, but those are either very special gaming laptops with connectors designed for it, or Apple laptops where they’re taking advantage of the Thunderbolt port and putting a GPU in the screen.

So, with the exception of very specially designed models that offer upgradable or external graphics, the answer is, as we said, no.

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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