Can You Change The Graphics Card In A Laptop?

Today I’ll tell you about a topic that you might be curious about: can you change the graphics card in a laptop? I guess if you’re looking for similar information, then hold tight and take a deep breath because you’ve reached the right place.

In this era, in 2021, laptops have become so advanced, expensive, according to the specific needs or niches and for everyone out there. From an enthusiast gamer to a college student, a laptop is offering its day services for him. But, sometimes, when you have your old unit and its performance doesn’t stay satisfactory enough then you may go for upgrading it or buying a new one.

Though, it all depends on your needs and what you want your laptop to do for you. So, this guide will help you to understand and know that if you have got the idea to do some up-gradation like replacing your laptop GPU, whether you can do this or not? What will it require? Is it worth it? And a lot more questions. 

Therefore, grab your tools and gadgets, and let’s dive into this brief information that will let you know if you can change the graphics card on a laptop or not.

Related: How To Check Motherboard Compatibility With Graphic Card

What is a Graphics card and what does it do?

I think this will be a shitty thing to tell you what a GPU is and for what purpose it is used. Because I know that if you are at this place and looking for this type of information, you do have a piece of pretty much knowledge about GPU and its functionality. So, why shouldn’t we come to today’s main topic? Yes, that would be a better idea.

What type of GPUs do laptops usually contain or have?

Before you go for any kind of replacement and further actions, you need to know what type of GPU a laptop can contain or have. Because without this knowledge, there is no next step. So, depending on the performance, satisfaction, and needed-based factors, laptops usually contain two types of Graphics cards or graphics units. Both are named as follows. 

  • Dedicated or Discrete Graphics 
  • Integrated or Soldered GPU

Now, let’s have a look at both and find which one can be replaced and which one is not.

What is a dedicated GPU and can you replace it with a laptop?

A dedicated graphic chip or card is just like a processor that is fitted inside your laptop in a separate slot from the motherboard. It is usually found inside gaming laptops that contain most of the NVIDIA GeForce series GPUs because a dedicated GPU gives an ultra-beast performance while performing high-end tasks. It enhances the pixel or graphic quality of games or other graphics that you play or see on the screen.

Check out the best 17inch gaming laptop with dedicated GPU.

The thing is, you can easily replace a dedicated graphic card inside a laptop and mostly it happens inside gaming laptops. Because a laptop that is made for normal usage doesn’t contain a dedicated GPU and you cannot do this inside it. However, before replacing it or making any changes, make sure and search for the several below given things inside your gaming laptop.

  • Make sure that your laptop has enough power supply to support a new GPU. Check for the manufacturer’s minimum power requirements before you go to the job.
  • Make sure that your laptop has enough space inside its case to hold a new graphics system. Because the new graphic card might be larger than the one you already have inside your laptop. 
  • Delete the old drivers and download the new ones, but don’t install them before placing a new graphics card inside your laptop. You can download latest graphics driver.
  • Carefully remove the old GPU and install the new one. Make sure that you have safely locked it near the motherboard inside that dedicated GPU space. 
  • Moreover, you should also have to make sure that the cooling systems of your laptop are powerful enough to keep your system cool even if it is using a new graphics card now.

I guess, these are all pretty enough steps or points that you should keep in your mind if you go for replacing the old GPU inside your gaming laptop with a new one. But the first and foremost of all of these is to visit or call your laptop manufacturer to enquire whether your laptop can be upgraded with a new GPU or not.

Because most of the companies don’t allow it and you’d have to have the permission or a piece of complete knowledge about your brand. Otherwise, you may harm your laptop and it might get a severe burn.

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Razer Core X

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Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box

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What is an integrated GPU and can you replace it inside a laptop?

An integrated graphics card or integrated GPU is made or inserted into laptops that are being used for normal purposes like performing lower-end graphical tasks, and playing games at low settings. (For example: Intel UHD 620 graphics can play most of the games on medium settings) It does enhance the quality of graphics and shows better quality visuals on your laptop screen. 

Well, when it comes to replacing it, seriously and honestly you can’t do that. Because an integrated GPU is soldered or embedded on the motherboard and you cannot remove it from there at any cost. The only thing you can do, if you still wanna upgrade it, is to replace the whole motherboard. But I don’t think that would be something suggestable, risk-free, cost-effective, or an easy-to-do thing without having comprehensive tech knowledge. 

Can You Change the Graphics Card in a Laptop?

Change the graphic card in a laptop

Yes, there is a way to do that. In this case, one thing I have told you is to replace the entire motherboard which is not a good thing to do or even possible, or else, you can use an external graphic unit about which I will let you know later. But for this, your laptop must have a USB type C port, HDMI, or any thunderbolt ports as without this, you won’t be able to connect this external unit with your laptop and use its performance. 

However, for connecting it, find a GPU dock that must have a pre-installed better-quality graphics card. Simply plug in the external integrated Graphics unit inside your laptop and start using it on a new screen of your laptop.

What would be better, replacing a GPU or buying a new laptop? 

Well, that’s pretty obvious. If your laptop is not compatible enough or powerful enough to deliver you your desired performance, you can go for replacements like RAM up-gradation or SSD replacements if necessary. But touching the sensitive parts of your laptop like its CPU, GPU or motherboard, etc. will not be a good thing to do.

So, you can go for buying a new laptop with maximum specs or you can have a powerful desktop computer at less price for your high-end tasks and gaming purposes. That would be a professional thing to do. 


I hope that after reaching this end, you’ve completely known about: can you change the graphics card in a laptop or not. It’s a thing that is not easy with integrated graphics and if you go, you’d probably have to replace your CPU too. You may burn or damage your laptop.

However, this change can be made if your laptop has a dedicated graphic card and you configure or keep in mind the above-given points about its compatibility with your laptop. But, my personal suggestion to you would be going for a new laptop inside of looking into the bushes and holding pieces together. Because, only through this, there will be a lifetime solution to your problem.

I do hope that you’ve liked the information provided here. Also, please let me know if you have any queries or you want to add something. So, see you soon on another great article. Until then, take care of yourself. Have a nice day.


Related: How Much Does a Laptop Battery Cost? (2021 Prices)

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