How to change the video card on a laptop to a more powerful one

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The assembly scheme of the laptop hardware, the features of its components require special skills to service the product. However, some operations can be done independently. In this case, it is enough to act carefully and thoughtfully. Such work includes replacing the video card on a laptop. Sometimes this is done to improve performance. But often there is a need to change the video card on a laptop due to its abnormal operation, malfunctions.

Integrated graphics card issues

In most laptops, the display serves built-in (integrated) video card. This is a special chip, in case of malfunctions of which the following can be observed:

  • stripes on the screen;
  • places with color change;
  • rendering errors, cubes or areas with artifacts.

Artifacts on a laptop

If the picture on the display has problems that indicate the failure of the graphics chip, it is worth replacing the video card on the laptop. It is recommended to entrust such work to professionals. There are two situations.

  1. The graphics chip is soldered on the motherboard. In this case, you will need a microscope and professional soldering stations to remove the old one and install the new one.
    The graphics chip is soldered on the motherboard
  2. The chip is in a special MXM socket. To extract it, you need a special tool.

It is worth noting that, with some care, you can replace the video card on a laptop, the chip of which is placed in the socket, on your own. In this case, a number of rules must be observed:

  • work with rubber gloves so that finger grease does not get on the contact group;
  • it is worth giving up woolen clothes;
  • it is recommended to wear a special bracelet that removes and neutralizes static charge.

When such an upgrade or repair is being done, undue force must not be applied. The chip is placed neatly in the socket, set into position with uniform pressure over the entire area. There are a lot of laptops with a video card designed in this way. For example, some DNS models offer this possibility. Other manufacturers have different tactics. In particular, in 99% of Lenovo laptops it is difficult and expensive to change the video card, since it is part of a multifunctional chip.


Discrete graphics card

Video cards of this type are installed, as a rule, on a separate board in powerful gaming machines in addition to the integrated one. They have high performance and are ideal for displaying gaming images. Replacing a discrete graphics card on a laptop is an operation that will be available to most users. The main thing is to have sufficient skills in handling a screwdriver and accuracy. Would need:

  • buy a new video card compatible with the desired laptop model;
  • disassemble the device;
  • remove the old card and replace it with a more powerful one;
  • correctly assemble a laptop.

Discrete card

Important! The last operation is critical. The main thing is not only to place all the hardware components in their regular places, but also to ensure heat removal from the video chip.

Subtleties of installing a new card

Advice! How exactly to get to a discrete video card in order to replace it with a more powerful one — you should first look on the Internet. This will help you understand how to remove the laptop hardware components correctly and in what order.

In general, the process looks like this.

  1. Necessarily the power adapter is turned off, the battery is pulled out.
  2. The power button is pressed for more than 20 seconds to neutralize the residual charge of the motherboard elements.
  3. Removing the entire back cover. It can be fastened with screws, some of which are located in the area of ​​the battery compartment, and sometimes fixed with latches. To find them, it is worth drawing along the connection line of the parts with a thin knife, squeezing the fasteners at the detected points.
  4. Dismantling the cooling system. The fans are unscrewed or snapped off; before this operation, you need to find the connection points for their cables and disconnect the connectors on the motherboard.
  5. Remove heat pads.

After such work, you can usually see how to change the video card on a laptop. It is inserted into the motherboard connector and has a protective cover. To remove the card, you will need to unscrew the two fixing screws. The whole block is pulled out. After that, the protective cover is carefully removed from the card.

Rules for installing a new device are quite simple.

  1. The new card is placed in its original place and inserted into the slot.
  2. The surface of the chips, CPU and main circuits are cleaned with an alcohol wipe.
  3. Thermal grease is applied to dry and clean surfaces of the chipset and CPU.

Important! Don’t skimp on pasta. Cheap thermal paste has a thick consistency and forms a fairly thick layer under pressure. Or vice versa, a cheap product is extremely fluid and dries quickly. Expensive thermal paste forms a thin, uniform layer with a long service life.

After applying the heat-conducting layer on the card, a protective casing is installed. In this case, you need to make sure that the thermal pads are placed exactly on the CPU and chips.

thermal paste

As a conclusion

Reassembling a laptop is usually not difficult. It is recommended to do preventive maintenance, clean and lubricate coolers, remove dust and dirt from air ducts and other elements of the cooling system. It is also worth replacing the thermal paste on the CPU if it has a heatsink installed.

When assembling, proceed in reverse order. By being careful and remembering where everything was connected, everything can be completed quickly and with good results. It remains only to enjoy the stable operation of the serviced system with a new high-performance video card.


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