Got a budget laptop. Can I "cheaply" upgrade for gaming - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:27 PM
Prime Winner's Avatar
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Default Got a budget laptop. Can I "cheaply" upgrade for gaming

I got a new Dell Inspiron 15 laptop and was wondering if I could play new PC games so I checked Can You Run It. I found out that I can not due to my graphics card.

specs:
Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300, 2.1GHz, 800MHz, 1M L2 Cache
3GB, DDR2, 800MHz 2 Dimm
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD
250G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit

Are there affordable graphics cards for laptops?
Would the rest of my specs last maybe a year as far as minimum requirements for future games like starcraft 2, supreme commander 2, battlefield bad company 2 ?
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:32 PM
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You cannot upgrade the GPU in your laptop. Sorry.

You will probably be able to handle anything Blizzard does since they always have really lax requirements.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime Winner View Post
I got a new Dell Inspiron 15 laptop and was wondering if I could play new PC games so I checked Can You Run It. I found out that I can not due to my graphics card.

specs:
Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300, 2.1GHz, 800MHz, 1M L2 Cache
3GB, DDR2, 800MHz 2 Dimm
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD
250G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit

Are there affordable graphics cards for laptops?
Would the rest of my specs last maybe a year as far as minimum requirements for future games like starcraft 2, supreme commander 2, battlefield bad company 2 ?
Your laptop has integrated graphics and does not have the space or connections necessary for a separate video-card. There are things like external video-cards that connect via USB, but finding one suitable for gaming would probably be rather expensive. Most laptops aren't really designed to be upgradeable like a desktop.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:46 PM
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How much did you pay for it and is it too late to return it?

I got HP Pavilion dv4 for $549 from newegg.com which had

AMD Turion II Dual Core Processor 2.3ghz, 1mb L2 cache
4gb, ddr2, sdram, 2 dimm
ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics with 128mb ddr2 cache
Windows 7
250gig HDD
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master X View Post
How much did you pay for it and is it too late to return it?

I got HP Pavilion dv4 for $549 from newegg.com which had

AMD Turion II Dual Core Processor 2.3ghz, 1mb L2 cache
4gb, ddr2, sdram, 2 dimm
ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics with 128mb ddr2 cache
Windows 7
250gig HDD
mine was $429 during a presidents day sale last weekend. I dont know about returning it, dont want to give the wife more ammo .

I just checked my emachine on Can You Run It, and to play Bioshock 2 I would need to upgrade my memory and graphics card. I could do that for about $150 right?
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:12 PM
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You can't upgrade the GPU...
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime Winner View Post
mine was $429 during a presidents day sale last weekend. I dont know about returning it, dont want to give the wife more ammo .

I just checked my emachine on Can You Run It, and to play Bioshock 2 I would need to upgrade my memory and graphics card. I could do that for about $150 right?
I'm going to assume that your emachine is a desktop, not your laptop. Even then - the answer is probably no.

Likely, you'll need a decent graphics card, which - alone, is probably going to run you at least $150. Memory also costs some cash, and you'd have to check your pc to see if you have any open memory slots. If not, whatever you buy (say 2gb) will have to go in the place of whatever you're using (so if you currently have 2 slots, each with 1gb memory sticks in them, you'll have to remove one of the 1gb to plug in your new 2gb).

On top of that, you'd have to look at whatever graphics card you're considering, and find the power requirements. Graphics cards require a pc to have a minimum amount of power - and bargain priced pc's sometimes have inadequate power supplies to run them.

In the end, without knowing your specs, I'd guess that there is no way you can upgrade for just $150. You might need a combo of more memory, a graphics card, and a psu (power supply unit)


Just to look at various prices, checkout newegg.com -- they usually have very competitive pricing

I got an hp laptop over the summer similar to masterx's, but with 400+gb hdd for about $600 after tax, and it runs games quite well. It's their "media laptop", so it comes with a tv tuner, and a little remote
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:28 AM
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I have said the same thing there needs to be a way to have a video card externally. I love my laptop but I can not game with it. I found out through a website to see if you can run certain games that I have a 192mb video card WTF IS THAT SHIT!!? It's like cant you at least put in a 256 at least most of the games can run with a 256 minimum like Crysis.

I wished there would be more upgradability with a laptop like there is with a desktop but there is not.

Mischa.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mischa316 View Post
I wished there would be more upgradability with a laptop like there is with a desktop but there is not.

Mischa.
Actually with Sager that seems the case. I think the Sager NP7762 and the NP7652 both do as they have built in ATi graphics cards and are both under $1K with i5 mobile processors. I'm going to assume those GPU's are upgradeable.
The only catch there is that even if they are ATi doesn't provide drivers to laptop makers from what I've heard. nVidia on the other hand does. There's also the NP8690 for $1,659 which includes an i7 mobile chip with a 285M from nVidia which is totally upgradeable.
All of these are listed on Sager's site though I'd suggest you check Xotic PC as well since they have people who are great to communicate with, at least online, I don't know about Sager so much.
Mischa if you're interested in a laptop being totally upgradeable like a desktop, well, short of stripping out the motherboard to completely change the inputs(which means you're dumping the desktop machine technically), the 9280 is VERY upgradeable. It's got a desktop i7 on it as well as the 285M. It can also expand to 12 GB. of RAM and has 3 HDD bays so you could do a 1.5 TB. RAID config. as well. Barebones, the laptop runs just under $2300.
I mean this laptop is referred to as a desktop replacement and, given it's got a DESKTOP i7, I'd have to agree.
For the op I just checked Xotic PC and apparently they also have the nVidia mobile graphics cards in Asus laptops under $1K.
People, including myself, need to stop kneejerking and considering companies like Dell and others when they decide to get their laptops. I came across the Sager because someone on here or another forum started showing the Clevo motherboards and what they included. After looking through the various sites I came upon Xotic PC and the 9280 and am getting it. I'd argue I got a way better buy then wasting my money on an Alienware that definitely has some power but where my money is wasted partially on the laptop's aesthetics. I don't even know if any Alienware has a laptop that is upgradeable like this one yet.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarang View Post
Actually with Sager that seems the case. I think the Sager NP7762 and the NP7652 both do as they have built in ATi graphics cards and are both under $1K with i5 mobile processors. I'm going to assume those GPU's are upgradeable.
The only catch there is that even if they are ATi doesn't provide drivers to laptop makers from what I've heard. nVidia on the other hand does. There's also the NP8690 for $1,659 which includes an i7 mobile chip with a 285M from nVidia which is totally upgradeable.
All of these are listed on Sager's site though I'd suggest you check Xotic PC as well since they have people who are great to communicate with, at least online, I don't know about Sager so much.
Mischa if you're interested in a laptop being totally upgradeable like a desktop, well, short of stripping out the motherboard to completely change the inputs(which means you're dumping the desktop machine technically), the 9280 is VERY upgradeable. It's got a desktop i7 on it as well as the 285M. It can also expand to 12 GB. of RAM and has 3 HDD bays so you could do a 1.5 TB. RAID config. as well. Barebones, the laptop runs just under $2300.
I mean this laptop is referred to as a desktop replacement and, given it's got a DESKTOP i7, I'd have to agree.
For the op I just checked Xotic PC and apparently they also have the nVidia mobile graphics cards in Asus laptops under $1K.
People, including myself, need to stop kneejerking and considering companies like Dell and others when they decide to get their laptops. I came across the Sager because someone on here or another forum started showing the Clevo motherboards and what they included. After looking through the various sites I came upon Xotic PC and the 9280 and am getting it. I'd argue I got a way better buy then wasting my money on an Alienware that definitely has some power but where my money is wasted partially on the laptop's aesthetics. I don't even know if any Alienware has a laptop that is upgradeable like this one yet.
Yeah, you can definitely get some deals. I bought a MSI gaming laptop about a year ago which was fully-loaded (even came with a Blu-ray drive) for about $1000.
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