Can You Upgrade A Laptop GPU?

Laptops have become an important part of our workflow no matter if you are a student, blogger, businessman or freelancer. Technology is improving day by day, the complexity of the applications is also increasing, it is difficult to keep up. Many applications especially games need dedicated resources to work properly and if your Graphics Processing Unit – GPU isn’t up to the mark, you will face some serious issues and in this case, you have to either change the GPU or change the laptop. But, can you upgrade a laptop GPU?  In this guide, we will tell you if it is possible or not.

Is it possible to upgrade my Laptop GPU?

Well, there is no accurate answer to this question, let me explain why. Laptops are getting better each year but they are also getting thinner which gives them an elegant look but it comes with the cost. The cost is that you get the cramped components which mean it is almost impossible to replace your laptop GPU or CPU. However, other parts like RAM, Fans, hard drives, and solid-state drives are replaceable. The main motive behind this approach is to match the user expectation of having a thin and light laptop but there is also a business perspective, where if users get the option to upgrade their GPU in their laptop then there is little chance that they will invest in a new laptop which is not good for their business. So if your laptop is new and thin then there is almost no chance of changing your laptop GPU.

Similarly, if your laptop has integrated graphics then the answer is clearly “No” as there is no simple way to upgrade it. However, if your laptop has dedicated graphics with a thick body then yes your laptop GPU can be upgraded. However, the process will be complex and you will have to take the services of professionals who will charge huge fees to install the GPU as they will have to take apart almost every part of the laptop and then put it back. In this case, you will have to address the important point that if your GPU is compatible with the old laptop or not. As normally, companies use the latest equipment for their new laptops and if your GPU isn’t compatible with laptop configuration then you can’t upgrade your Laptop. So the simple answer to this question is that no you can’t upgrade your laptop GPU. Another important to consider is that if your laptop is worth being upgraded. These days, you can find a good low-tier gaming laptop with good graphics under $700. So if you are into good gaming laptops check our guide to some good notebooks.

Changing the GPU

However, if you are still want to change to your laptop’s GPU without the help of professionals, follow these steps to change your GPU.

  1. Select the GPU you want to install and make sure that the GPU should be fully compatible with your laptop configurations.
  2. Also, make sure that your laptop should have enough space for the new GPU.
  3. Get the latest drivers of your new GPU.
  4. Uninstall the drivers of your older GPU.
  5. Shut down the laptop and open the system. Remove the old graphics card carefully.
  6. Detach the Old graphics card from the motherboard.
  7. Install the new GPU and make sure the right wires are connected to the right ports.
  8. Once the new GPU is in place, double-check it.
  9. Power up your laptop and install the new GPU drivers.
  10. Test the performance and if performance is good, you are good to go.

Meet the External GPU

An External GPU is a dedicated box that comes with a full-size graphics card, PCIe slot, and power supply which can be directly attached to your laptop via Thunderbolt 3.

Installing the new GPU is a complex process and if you have an expensive laptop then you don’t want to risk your laptop and you should look for more feasible options. One of the most feasible options is having an External GPU. If you have bought your laptop in 2017 or in 2018 then there is no need to have the external GPU as you may already have the best GPUs but in the future, if you want to increase your GPU power you can use the external GPU.

The idea of External GPU isn’t new but this has become the real deal after the invention of Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 which allows up to 40 Gbps connection which makes sure that you get the full advantage of External GPU. There are many companies who offer a wide range of External GPUs Rigs and the following are some of the best External GPUs Rigs

  • Razer is a well-known gaming brand and Razer core is Razer’s External GPU setup. Its price is $500 and it is only compatible with Razer Blade and Blade Stealth. It is fully compatible with all the latest GPUs by AMD and Nvidia.
  • Alienware also offers its own External GPU setup for its Alienware gaming laptops and it is much more affordable than Razer Core. Alienware Graphics Amplifier is available for only $200 and it is compatible with Alienware 13, 15, and 17.
  • PowerColor Devil Box is also a good External GPU setup which is available for $450 and it supports the AMD and Nvidia Latest GPUs. PowerColor is a good option to have if your laptop isn’t compatible with Razer Core and Alienware Graphics Amplifier.


Upgrading your GPU is a complex process, so make sure to have expert supervision when changing your GPU. If your laptop has Thunderbolt 3 then External GPUs are a very good option and you can save yourself from a lot of trouble by investing in an external GPU. Let us know what you think about this guide in the comment section below. Also, visit our below posts about the best seats for gamers.