Your laptop might be getting old which is really slowing down its performance but before you buy a new laptop you might have asked yourself, “Can I replace the graphics card of my laptop?”
Although this is a common question it doesn’t have a very satisfying answer. Typically, it is not possible to replace the graphics card of a laptop. This is because newer laptop models have a built-in graphics card soldered to the CPU which is attached to the motherboard, making it impossible to remove.
Some users might think of de-soldering the old graphics card and solder in the new one – but that leads to further problems and doesn’t really work. In order, to fully replace your graphics card you might have to remove the whole motherboard and replace it with a motherboard with your dedicated graphics card but if you want to do that you might as well just buy a new laptop.
However, there are some exceptions to this. Some laptop models such as the dell precision and hp Pavilion all-in-one, allow you to replace the graphics card and upgrade the GPU.
In this article, I’ll go through the methods you could use to replace the graphics card in your laptop to give you better performance, speed, and graphics.
Replacing Laptop Graphics Card Using GPU Kits
If you are using your laptop for gaming this might be a great option for you. Eurocom is a candian company that creates and sells laptop and they launched a unique GPU kit which would allow you to upgrade the graphics card of your laptop. Unfortunately, this kit is only compatible with a few big brand laptops such as, Clevo. However, if you have a gaming laptop, there’s a high chance it was made by Clevo as many laptop manufacturers outsource their production to them.
The GPU kit is quite expensive and usually includes the following:
- Graphics card
- Thermal paste
- Thermal pads
Before you go ahead with the purchase you should first check if it is compatible with your laptop. To do this you can go to Eurocom’s website, where they would have a list of the laptops they support upgrades for. Till now, they are supporting specific laptop models of Dell, ASIS, Alienware, Clevo, hp, and MSI.
Installing the graphics card
Once you have the kit, it is time to install it into the laptop. Eurocom comes with its own drivers which means you would have to uninstall the previous drivers from your laptop. Before starting, disconnect your laptop from the charging port and turn it off.
Now follow the instructions outlined below:
- Turn your laptop upside down and remove the bottom cover.
- Remove the 4 screws from the motherboard protector (if it doesn’t have any screws you can simply remove it).
- Remove the thermal pipes.
- Remove the graphics card – if there are no screws it might be attached with thermal paste. Gently pull on it with just enough force to break the seal and remove it.
- Apply thermal pads to the heatsink and graphics card
- Place the Eurocom graphics card in place with the thermal paste provided in the kit.
- Install the thermal pipes that were also included in the kit.
- Re-install the motherboard protector.
- Re-install the bottom cover by screwing back the 4 screws.
Once you have the new graphics card installed, follow these instructions to download the drivers:
- Go to Eurocom.com
- Under Upgrades/Support go to Drivers and find your laptop model.
- Click on your laptop model and download the drivers of the graphics card.
- Uninstall previous drivers you had.
- Download and Install latest BIOS update.
If any of the above steps are difficult to follow you can check out Eurocom’s YouTube channel that has upgrade guides for replacing your graphics card for different laptop models.
Here is a video that shows you how to install the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI graphics card in a Eurocom X8 laptop:
Installing an External Graphics Card to Your Laptop
An external graphics card can give your laptop a huge boost by giving it desktop-like capabilities and upgrades. There are many external GPUs (also known as eGPU) available in the market that are made by top brands. An external GPU would give your laptop access to desktop-quality power and graphics as it comes with its own power supply and dedicated graphics card.
Most eGPUs require the user’s laptop to have a thunderbolt 3 port so if you have that just connect it to your laptop and install the necessary drivers and voila! You have a high-performance computer capable of running almost every game with great graphics and speed.
In the 2010s, laptop manufacturers had started to create slimmer models of their laptops. One consequence of this was that the graphics card was fixed into the laptop’s motherboard making it irreplaceable. Some laptop models are an exception to this as they still include a replaceable graphics card such as the hp pavilion all-in-one. However, companies have joined hands to make it possible for majority of laptop users to enjoy the same upgrades as desktop users.
Eurocom have launched a GPU kit which would allow you to replace and upgrade your old graphics card and well-known gaming companies such as, Razor and Alienware have started manufacturing external GPUs or eGPUs that give laptop users the same high quality and graphics as desktop.
These might seem daunting to install at first but with this helpful guide you should have a good idea of what to do and avoid when replacing your graphics card in your laptop.