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Old 06-14-2014, 04:17 PM  
Canofbier Canofbier is offline
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Upgrading my laptop

Some background - I bought my current laptop just a bit over three years ago. At the time, it had pretty decent specs:

CPU: Intel i7-2630QM, 2.00GHz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 460M, 1.5GB
RAM: 8GB DDR3

Nowadays, the old thing is starting to show its age. I am looking to upgrade the GPU for sure. I took the laptop apart earlier today to confirm that the GPU is replaceable, so no worries there. I also saw that my power source goes up to 150W, and even the fanciest mobile video cards don't look to go above 100W, so I'm not worried about that either.

My question is: what is the best mobile GPU I could get that wouldn't be gimped by my older CPU? If it would make more sense to upgrade the both of them, I would consider that, too.

Actually, I'm curious: if I upgrade both the CPU and GPU, will my laptop game as well as a new computer with those same two components? I'm pretty ignorant to how hardware is utilized, but I don't hear much about anything other than CPU and GPU when it comes to running intensive games.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:33 PM   #2
Vegas_Dave Vegas_Dave is offline
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Put in a solid state drive. Night and freaking day difference.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
Canofbier Canofbier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas_Dave View Post
Put in a solid state drive. Night and freaking day difference.
I've had one since the day I bought this laptop, actually. I've never had a computer start up faster than the one I have now, so I love it. It has relatively low capacity, though, so I limit it to the OS (Windows) and other primary applications.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:15 PM   #4
Canofbier Canofbier is offline
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Perhaps it's worth mentioning: my motherboard is a Micro-Star MS-16F2. I have way too little technical expertise to know what's compatible with it.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:13 AM   #5
DaveNull DaveNull is offline
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Do you know what your choke point is on the machine now? That seems like a pretty serviceable machine for a lot of uses.

*edit*

But I'd kick it to 16 GB of RAM and a faster SSD.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:18 AM   #6
Vegas_Dave Vegas_Dave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNull View Post
Do you know what your choke point is on the machine now? That seems like a pretty serviceable machine for a lot of uses.

*edit*

But I'd kick it to 16 GB of RAM and a faster SSD.
Agreed. If your ssd is an older model, a newer model can make a big difference. I live then newer Intel models. Your ram is also low for a gaming rig.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:23 AM   #7
AustinChief AustinChief is offline
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16GB of Ram is a must... I'm pretty sure that motherboard has 4 slots (2 front and 2 back) that can each take a 4GB stick.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:18 PM   #8
Canofbier Canofbier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNull View Post
Do you know what your choke point is on the machine now? That seems like a pretty serviceable machine for a lot of uses.

*edit*

But I'd kick it to 16 GB of RAM and a faster SSD.
Since my main problem is low framerates during gaming, I had assumed that my issue was an aged video card.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:32 PM   #9
Canofbier Canofbier is offline
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Quote:
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16GB of Ram is a must... I'm pretty sure that motherboard has 4 slots (2 front and 2 back) that can each take a 4GB stick.
You're correct. That being said, if I'm going to upgrade my RAM, I might just upgrade two of 'em; accessing all four sounds like a huge pain in the ass. You don't think that the video card is the cause of poor framerates?
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canofbier View Post
You're correct. That being said, if I'm going to upgrade my RAM, I might just upgrade two of 'em; accessing all four sounds like a huge pain in the ass. You don't think that the video card is the cause of poor framerates?
It's part of our for sure, but don't neglect your RAM. Frankly, I find the whole gaming laptop silly for the reasons that you are experiencing now. Build a proper desktop gaming rig and you have far better scalability and performance.
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:51 PM   #11
Canofbier Canofbier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas_Dave View Post
It's part of our for sure, but don't neglect your RAM. Frankly, I find the whole gaming laptop silly for the reasons that you are experiencing now. Build a proper desktop gaming rig and you have far better scalability and performance.
No doubt that it's something to consider. I thought if I could replace one or two parts on my laptop I might get it to last a few more years before building a desktop, but if the replacement effort is more than that it may just be worthwhile to build a new one altogether. I'll have to research a bit more, I think.
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:53 PM   #12
Vegas_Dave Vegas_Dave is offline
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No doubt that it's something to consider. I thought if I could replace one or two parts on my laptop I might get it to last a few more years before building a desktop, but if the replacement effort is more than that it may just be worthwhile to build a new one altogether. I'll have to research a bit more, I think.
ignore you CPU... its fine. It might not be the fastest compared to whats out there now, but it is a VERY solid CPU.
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:28 PM   #13
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Vegas_Dave View Post
ignore you CPU... its fine. It might not be the fastest compared to whats out there now, but it is a VERY solid CPU.
^^ what he said.

The easiest upgrade is RAM and it may be enough to get you where you need to go. I'd go for 16 if it were me but 12 is ok too. I'd definitely try to max out RAM before attacking the GPU. It can get a bit tricky getting a different mobile GPU to actually fit and line up with the heatsink and all that jazz.

So.. if you want to step it up piece by piece until you are comfortable.. go 12GB ram, 16GB ram, new GPU... after that you are better off going with a desktop.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:19 PM   #15
Canofbier Canofbier is offline
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Bier do you play games on it? I sent you a pm
Yep. Sent a reply just now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
^^ what he said.

The easiest upgrade is RAM and it may be enough to get you where you need to go. I'd go for 16 if it were me but 12 is ok too. I'd definitely try to max out RAM before attacking the GPU. It can get a bit tricky getting a different mobile GPU to actually fit and line up with the heatsink and all that jazz.

So.. if you want to step it up piece by piece until you are comfortable.. go 12GB ram, 16GB ram, new GPU... after that you are better off going with a desktop.
Alright, thanks for your advice. I reached out to the company I bought my laptop from (it's a pretty small website that prides itself on customer service) with questions, so we'll see what they have to say about the upgrade. Hopefully they won't be put-off by the fact that I'm just asking questions and not buying anything extra from them.
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