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Jess M.
Jess M., Computer Support Specialist
Category: Laptop
Satisfied Customers: 6116
Experience:  Computer Hardware Support Specialist for more than 10 years
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I have a Toshiba A5505 model psat9u-006002 s/n 2a137188q and

Customer Question

I have a Toshiba A5505 model psat9u-006002 s/n 2a137188q and what I would like to find out is: could the graphics adapter be upgraded? I have had to have service last summer and found my Laptop to be overheating. The tech cleaned up the inside which was really clean but cleaned up the heatsink which had almost no heatsink compound on it and it cleared up the overheating. During this repair I noticed that the Graphics adapter was just a plug in module an Nvidia Gforce G310 module. Can this module be updated
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Laptop
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the graphics adapter plugged into a Socket on the motherboard. Looked as if there may have been other graphics options available
Expert:  Jess M. replied 9 months ago.

Hi Robert, welcome and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I am glad to assist you today.

I have checked your laptop model and indeed you have a dedicated graphics card. So this means that the graphics module is plugged into a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot and in that sense, appears to be easily upgraded. But unfortunately, upgrading the graphics card of a laptop is strictly NOT recommended, even by the manufacturer of your laptop -- Toshiba. The main reason is because, upgrading video cards in laptops is not always a "Plug n Play"process like desktops computers. Some laptops have integrated graphics -- which means the video card is soldered to the motherboard and cannot be changed or removed. Others like your Toshiba model, have actual separate graphics cards, and technically can be changed for upgrade purposes.

However, the main issues you can run into when attempting to upgrade is peripheral "power compatibility" and space.

Different laptops require different wattage and Toshiba (your manufacturer) does not provide technical specification for graphics card compatibility. Therefore, it will be a self-help which means you need some trial and error until you find the best fit. This means an expensive venture thus upgrading video cards for laptops is NOT recommended.

The power power compatibility or specification is also determined by the video card therefore your search for compatible graphics card will start from there. That is, you need to look for the same model and build but with higher memory allocation.

The second issue is space. The new card needs to physically fit in the same space as the old card, and needs to work with the heat sink as well. After that, then you need to get the card to work properly with all of the hardware components, which in itself is another risky venture.

After checking your pre-installed graphics card, there is not much of compatible upgrades available for you. The higher graphics card type with the one pre-installed in your system is just doubled in terms of memory. That is, your Nvidia Gforce G310 pre-installed is 512MB memory, the higher model compatible for upgrade "technically" is 1024MB. Here is the link:

http://www.techpowerup.com/gpudb/2374/geforce-310m.html

You can do the search for compatible graphics card in this link:

http://www.techpowerup.com/gpudb/

Type in the name of your pre-installed graphics card to see the compatible models.

So to answer your question, though your graphics module can be easily removed for replacement since it is not soldered to the motherboard, it is NOT recommended to upgrade.

I hope that helped.

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Thank you!

Best regards,
Jess