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ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Would it ever be possible to upgrade the graphics card for my Samsung laptop?

Asked by ScottyMcGeester (1753points) July 20th, 2014

Technically I heard it is, it’s just that:

1) You have to really know what you’re doing when you open the laptop

2) It might be a bad idea anyway because laptops aren’t meant to have a more powerful graphics card because of the greater power needed to cool it down.

That’s pretty much what I got after looking things up.

I mean, the VERY LEAST I need in video memory is 512 MB, and I currently have only 64 MB. Would a video card that’s at least 512 or 1,000 be too much for this to handle?

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21 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

You’re much better off simply getting something else or if your laptop supports it get an external card.

jerv's avatar

Very few laptops have upgradable graphics.

Most use whatever is integrated into the motherboard or CPU; they don’t even use a discrete GPU, nor do most even have a slot for a video card. With those, there is nothing that can be done. There is no card to upgrade, and no place to add one.

Your choices are:

1) New laptop with discrete GPU
2) Desktop

Option 2 is at least twice as powerful at half the price.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

okay, this is weird. When I’m looking up stuff about my laptop, it says it runs on a NVIDIA GeForce 310M graphics GPU coupled with 512MB of RAM which is EXACTLY what I need. However, when I went to a website called “Can you run it?” it said my specs included a Intel® HD Graphics 3000 video card.

There any way to look up on my computer itself what it has as a direct source?

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Now I see something that says: “The laptop comes with Nvidia’s automatic switchable graphics technology. That means when the dedicated GPU is not in use or the system is unplugged, the laptop reverts to an Intel integrated graphics chip.”

So. . does that mean that it works both ways? That I actually do I have the minimum power I need but whenever it’s not in use the other Intel HD Graphics kicks in?

Lightlyseared's avatar

PC companies sell very similar models with slightly different specs so unless you googled the exact model number you could get all sorts of conflict info. Websites like System Requirements Lab “Can you run it?” use a java script to pull your PC’s specs directly from the systems list of installed components and compare it against the PC games list of minimum specs, so I’d be inclined to believe that you’ve got intel graphics as opposed to NVidia.

You could always go to the device manager (type device manager) in to the start menu search box and you’ll see what graphics cards are installed under “display adapters”.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Never mind: Missed a couple numbers so I was looking at something else.

jerv's avatar

Not specific enough. What “trim level” is it? W01? W01UB? W02? A01?

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

WO2UB. That was the part I missed. But yeah, when I looked this one up it just had Intel HD Graphics.

jerv's avatar

Just so you have an idea of where your video power stands, look at PassMark’s GPU list

Intel HD 3000 scores 307
GeForce 310M = 221

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Here’s the issue I’m dealing with:

Obviously I didn’t have in mind that I was going to do gaming when I got this a couple years ago. However I did want to make a machinima (using a video/computer game to film a movie). I got someone interested and we were using this older game but then he realized that we could just use this newer computer game engine to work with. However, he has the power but I don’t. But. . I’m the director. So I need to see what he sees in order to agree to the final cut. Essentially, all I need to do is just then find a way to see what he sees. And at first I was going to try to change my graphics card to be able to download the newer computer engine and direct myself. But I think we’ll have to go with plan B instead. He had this idea that he could put on Skype screen sharing and I’ll tell him how to position the camera.

jerv's avatar

For gaming, I found even my desktop’s old GT240 (Passmark score 646) to be marginal, though a laptop has a smaller screen, so it might be able to get away with something as weak at a GT525M (Passmark score 647), though I personally wouldn’t game on something less powerful than my current GTX465 (Passmark score 2950).

For the sort of video work you’re doing… well, you really need a gaming rig. Nothing too fancy or expensive mind you. Mine is actually just a regular $500 computer with a $100 video card and an upgraded power supply to handle the load. But if you want to do that sort of work on a laptop, you pretty much have to buy a laptop with the power to begin with; aside from RAM and hard drives, laptops are pretty much non-upgradeable.

I made a similar mistake in that I wasn’t into gaming when I got my laptop either, so I am stuck with a laptop that can’t do much of what I like doing on a computer. Fortunately, my desktop has the graphical chops to handle the rendering and transcoding that would choke my lappie.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

I was trying to figure out if I can use an External GPU but I don’t think so. . .they mention something about an ExpressCard Slot. The only slot I have is for an SD card. I can’t do anything with that, right?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

What is the exact model number of your laptop

Lightlyseared's avatar

Not entirely sure how much I’d trust passmark scores alone. Looking at the top end of the list a GTX780 is 621 points better than a GTX Titan Z but in real life you can expect better than double the frame rates with a Titan Z (doesn’t justify the cost mind you). In @ScottyMcGeester‘s case even though the Intel 3000 chipset maybe faster than the Nvidia 310 I’d imagine that the lack of dedicated vram would considerably hobble it.

ragingloli's avatar

Also, mobile variants of GPUs lack features of their Desktop cousins.
The GF 610m in my laptop lacks a specific feature, so I can not use enhanced open GL in cinema4d. Which sucks all kind of robot balls.

majorrich's avatar

I think if you were able to do an upgrade, by the time you were done you would be in deep enough tht it would have been better to get another unit entirely.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

It sounds like you have an Optimus setup on that laptop. This means that the Intel graphics chip runs under light load, and the nVidia kicks in only when you need it. Try your program, see if it works. You should be fine with what you’ve got.

jerv's avatar

@Lightlyseared Yes, there are many variables, especially VRAM. My point was simply that there’s no configuration of that laptop that will offer anywhere near the performance of a gaming rig, or even a Haswell desktop’s integrated graphics.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Oh, whoa, whoa, thought this question was going to die off already.

My model is a QX411-W02UB

I don’t think it’s an Optimus setup. I read that accidentally for the QX411-W01 model and got excited for a second, but then found the box my laptop came in and saw that it was the above model.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

Have you tried doing the task in question with your existing setup?

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

No. But I was thinking about that. I’ll do it in an hour and see what happens.

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