Can you upgrade a gaming laptop? (Is it Possible & worth it?)

The gaming laptop is the first choice of students and even professionals who like to play games or users who do any heavy tasks prefer to get portable options over the last few years gaming laptop sales have spiked a lot, however, the biggest question often asked is can you upgrade a gaming laptop?

A quick answer to this is yes, few parts are upgradable whereas you cannot expect to fully replace the hardware as you do in a PC as the functionality of laptops is different than desktops let’s discussed in detail about upgradable gaming laptops.

Can you upgrade a gaming laptop?

Can you upgrade a gaming laptop

Firstly, we have to understand the situation yet let me get straight to the point you can upgrade the memory and hard drive in your laptop but components like graphics card and processor are not possible to change.

Additionally, if you are not satisfied with the laptop’s screen performance you can get an external gaming monitor which has the capacity to run games, moreover, if you have not bought a laptop or planning to play games on the existing device then read through this post to understand about can I upgrade a gaming laptop.

For instance, laptops are small equipment that runs on battery and at very small space brands put all the equipment that is necessary to build laptop whereas gaming laptops require more space to provide better cooling system manufacturer adds extra fans under the machine.

The biggest challenge is to replace the CPU and GPU due to their formation under the laptop, as both are attached to the motherboard which is next to impossible to replace you have to remove the complete motherboard all this process has huge risks, time-consuming and a lot of costs involved.

Moreover, there is another difficulty you might face after upgrading a laptop for gaming, windows applications won’t support the functionality with newly added components, also CPU and GPU should complement each other in the laptop so it’s quite critical for gamers to add the hardware, overall laptop upgradability cost is quite hefty.

Also Read: Can you connect the laptop as a Monitor for Xbox

Can I use an external graphics card on the laptop?

Yes, the external graphics card is a reliable option instead of setting up an entirely new gaming rig however your laptop will become like pc as while going outdoors you either have to carry a complete setup or leave GPU at home.

Additionally in case you are using an older model or non-gaming laptop then the device can heat up during gameplay where you can experience thermal throttling that will affect performance and also impact the battery.

As the machine is not meant for heavy task, gaming laptops are generally built with a better cooling system like vents and extra fans that keeps the laptop cool.

How to upgrade a laptop for gaming

There is no need to underestimate existing laptops you can apply a few tricks before taking a big decision below we have covered a few interesting methods to upgrade gaming laptops for better performance.


Check the memory usage 

The first step is always to check how much memory resources your video game using as some times game lacks due to heavy memory usage.

However, ram directly does not impact fps yet overall performance is largely dependent on memory support, it is quite a flexible and easy way to optimize your laptop for playing games.

While checking ram consumption keep in mind that windows 10 occupies around 2-3GB, so in case the laptop has 8GB and you are trying to run the latest games you need 16GB ram, check the stats by installing MSI afterburner this application gives you complete information while playing games and it’s easy to install.

After checking take your decision wisely either you want a new gaming laptop or the game is manageable with the upgradable ram as most of the latest laptops do come with slots to extend memory.

Additionally, before upgrading identify if under the machine laptop has 2 slots, in case your laptop is equipped with dual memory support, use it wisely instead of adding one chip suggest you get 2 ram chips to fill both slots this will increase overall performance significantly.


Use SSD over HDD

There is a very rare chance your laptop has HDD in your system as all the modern gaming rigs do come with a solid state drive, yet if you are using an older budget model then make sure to check whether your system offers SSD or HDD.

The HDD makes the laptop slower again SSD does not increase your FPS but it will drastically increase the loading efficiency, gaming applications will open in a fraction of a second.

Moreover, SSD definitely a little expensive but worth your penny also while choosing an SSD make sure to go through the system requirements of the game you want to run, the latest games take a lot of space and if you wish to play more than one game then 500GB SSD drive is must.


Use external monitor

This is another best trick to upgrading a laptop for gaming to maximize your performance, if the laptop screen struggling to generate playable fps, then instead of spending a hefty amount on a laptop consider using an external monitor.

There are many gaming monitors available in the market however if your main aim is to play esports games TN panels are a great choice as they have better refresh rates than its counterpart you can also read the detailed gaming monitor buying guide here.

 The gaming FPS is not entirely dependent on inbuilt GPU, the screen frame rate also deciding factor specifically for gaming, overall any gaming monitor that offers a minimum 144hz refresh rate is enough for playing games at 60FPS and again you have to keep a good balance between the video card and display.

Also Read: How to charge laptop with HDMI 

Enable game mode:

This option is available for almost all windows 10 users whether you using regular or gaming laptops, this helps the gamer to enhance gaming performance and you do not need any technical guidance.

For using this option just go on settings the options will pop up on your screen, click on gaming and choose the game mode for enjoying your gaming sessions.


Check and update windows:

Usually, the system automatically updates windows yet sometimes it’s better to do it manually, update the drivers and also check if any software running in the background.

We run many applications on our system that keep running unknowingly it’s better to keep checking, this is a very effective way to enhance your laptop’s performance for gaming close all unused software and you will see a positive impact while playing the game, do not worry you can enable them whenever to require do not delete permanently.


Check the internet speed

The gamer often uses wireless internet connection to play games no doubt it provides more flexibility and without much worry of wired connection however suggests you first check the internet speed even though 20-50mbps is capable of smooth gameplay yet the higher the better.

Additionally, test the wired internet connection before deciding on increasing the speed this method definitely improves the gaming flow.


Use cooling pads

Gaming laptops do come with advanced cooling technology yet playing games on a laptop is a very heavy task that heats up your device and that can also be a big factor in why your gaming performance is lacking.

The cooling pads help your machine to stay under control temperatures its one of the best methods to keep the laptop away from thermal throttling as it also enhances the durability of the battery and other inner components.


Clean laptop inner parts

Every product requires maintenance after a certain time same applies to laptops, we all take care of outer materials but forget about in-built hardware like motherboards, fans, and vents make sure to clean after every 3-6 months.

Additionally, if the laptop is older then also check the thermal paste at times after certain age it starts to become inefficient as a result machine gets hot quite easily which impacts overall performance, however, using high-quality thermal paste you can take experts’ advice before implementing.


Can I upgrade my laptop Graphics card?

The graphics card in laptops is attached to the motherboard which is not replaceable if you want to upgrade the graphics cards you have to completely remove the motherboard this process is very tiresome, time-consuming, and expensive.

Instead, you can use an external GPU while playing games as most gaming laptops offer multiple ports you can connect easily, but lack of stock availability is another issue many gamers face, and buying GPU is a little more costly yet affordable than buying an entirely new gaming laptop.


Things you must consider before upgrading your gaming laptops

There are not many options in the market right now claiming you can change the entire inbuilt system, Alienware has come up with upgradable gaming laptops but they are high-priced.

However, laptop upgradation requires high technology support before taking it to an expert always take advice from the brand or manufacturer, especially if your laptop still comes under warranty.

In case your laptop is still under warranty then there is no way you can go to any third party I highly suggest visiting the service center, if you have any doubt go through the manual, terms, and conditions, and follow the instructions before taking any decision.


Is it worth Upgrading a gaming laptop?

Yes, upgrading a gaming laptop worth depending on what kind of game you play and what is the system requirement always check what components your game needs to run smoothly and do some research.

Make a list of things you have to arrange like an external monitor, ram, graphics card, or cooling pads, then do costing and compare how much you have to spend check the prices of the latest PC and laptop if you feel that its worth getting new gaming set up then avoid upgrading.

Gaming laptops are not entirely upgradable even though the CPU or GPU is not replaceable yet once you upgrade the ram you will definitely notice improvement whereas an external gaming monitor helps to increase FPS.

Things you must consider before buying a gaming laptop

Everyone, like to play games including me, and even though pc are more affordable yet for a few users laptop, is a necessity as they are easier to carry in school and college.

Most of the time gamer buys laptop with few games in mind and consider only the required specifications for their favorite games, whereas game developers constantly work on making their existing game more user-friendly.

You often notice that after a certain period you get new mods and versions of the same game, as result the hardware requirement also changes, you must always choose a gaming laptop that is future proof and you do not have to worry about the next 5 years.

For instance, building pc is way different than getting a gaming laptop the latest graphics card in the laptop is Nvidia RTX 3080 but this is very expensive everyone cannot afford to get a such pricey machine.

However, if you have a budget of around 1000 to 1300 dollars then RTX 3060 is a great choice for existing high graphics intensive games it’s value for your money and it runs almost all the latest games at mid-high settings.

Final words:

We have discussed whether can you upgrade a gaming laptop, there are not many options you have while upgrading a laptop for gaming additionally there are solutions as well.

It requires you to spend money that you are not sure tricks you are implementing will work or not, however, make sure to check everything properly before taking any decisions like how much CPU, GPU, or memory your game utilizes during gameplay and whether is it really worth upgrading.



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