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Does a laptop use a normal video card or is it just onboard?

Answer: Laptops use graphics chips that are soldered onto the motherboard. Because of space constraints in portable computers, this is the only practical design. Since the graphics chip is built in to the computer, it cannot be upgraded. This is one advantage of desktop computers, which typically use PCI or AGP slots that accept video card upgrades. While graphics chips in laptops may not be quite as high-performance as the video cards in desktop models, companies such as ATI and Nvidia have developed portable graphics chips that deliver impressive 2D and 3D performance.

Published: March 20, 2003 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center