Upgrading graphics in a Eurocom laptop

You may not know this, but you can indeed upgrade graphics in laptop. This week Gordon does it and runs the math to find out if it even makes sense.

Eurocom has given me the ability to do the unthinkable: I upgraded the graphics card in this ancient gaming laptop.

You know what sucks about gaming laptops? Once the video card is past its prime there’s nothing you can do except chuck it to an eWaste bin or sell it to your annoying brother-in-law for a steep discount.

“Come on man, I bought it for twenty-five hundred, I can’t sell it for $300 dude.”

If you’re crying because your gaming laptop can’t play GTA V maybe you should attempt the impossible: Upgrade the graphics card.

Behold: A three-year old laptop with a GPU and CPU in it that’s just as old. It can barely play GTA V at a dismal 30 fps without turning the image quality settings turned all the way down to fugly. Boo hoo.

Rather than take it in the shorts and buy a new laptop for two grand, I swapped the old video card out for a state of the art GeForce GTX 980M with 8GB of video RAM.

Now GTA V runs smooth like butter without going full fugly.

In the past, upgrading a laptop GPU wasn’t exactly an option. You had to crawl obscure forums too find out if you could even do it and then mine fleabay for parts and cross your fingers that it would work.

While doing a laptop GPU upgrade still isn’ t as easy as a desktop graphics swap out, Eurocom has taken a lot of the sting out by gathering up all the parts for you.

You still take the risk of nuking your laptop and it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of small screws and delicate parts. It also doesn’t work with all laptops. You need a true gaming performance laptop to even think about upgrading it in the first place.

Now for the cost: This GeForce GTX 980M, for example, costs a thousand dollars. Yes, holy chips. Six-hundred yes, but one thousand?

Initially that sounded insane throwing good money after bad, but when you do the math it almost makes sense.

For a gaming laptop, the most important part is the GPU–the CPU is almost irrelevant. To get a top of the line graphics card like the GeForce GTX 980m in a new laptop, I’d have to spend at least two thousand. So my thousand bucks that gets me playing today’s games in all their glory again actually saves me a grand.

That’s an extra thousand dollars that I can spend on renovating my office.

And that doesn’t count the value of being able to say I did what most people think is impossible: I upgraded the graphics in my laptop myself. That’s hardcore.