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Can I upgrade the video card in my laptop?

Answer: Probably not. First of all, most laptops do not have an actual video card, but instead have an integrated graphics chip that is permanently connected to the motherboard. In low-end laptops, the GPU may be integrated into the CPU itself.

If the video card is not removable, it cannot be upgraded. This is true for at least 98% of laptops. You may be able to add more RAM or an SSD to increase overall performance, but you can't upgrade the graphics chip directly. Unfortunately, the only way to increase graphics performance of a typical laptop is to buy a new one.

There is a small percentage of laptops in which the graphics card can be upgraded. These laptops have an upgradable graphic socket called MXM or "Mobile PCI Express Module." If your laptop supports MXM, you can replace the existing graphics card with an MXM-compatible one. MXM is usually found in gaming laptops and other high-end machines. Of course, if you're a gamer, you probably spec'd out your system pretty well to begin with and are already aware of the upgrade options.

Published: November 3, 2014 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center