Can you replace a Vaio graphics card?

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by ravenperch, Jul 12, 2010.

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  1. ravenperch

    ravenperch Notebook Evangelist

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    Anyone with any experience as to whether or not Vaio's graphics cards can be replaced? Why the hell have they gotta solder it onto the motherboard? How come Dell don't do this?
     
  2. ravenperch

    ravenperch Notebook Evangelist

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    Dont worry about it..


    I guess I'll say this on here for everyone. I called Sony and the guy asked the geeks at Sony. He confirmed that Sony Vaio notebooks CAN have their GPU upgraded/replaced but they recommend that it's done by professionals. So there, thats some news! He told me this without the knowledge of my order so I guess it applies to Vaios in general. He also suggested that it be handed to a Sony Servicing center and not the geek squad or something...WHOOPIE!!!
    __________________
     
  3. namaiki

    namaiki Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I would say that the guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Generally, you cannot replace the video card on notebooks. If you can, it's MXM, and that is rare, or it's a proprietary card from that manufacturer that can swap the video card to another that was offered at purchase. However, for most notebooks (especially for anything small or thin), the GPU is soldered to the motherboard. If you want to swap the GPU, you have to swap the whole motherboard (see the previous note about proprietary cards).
     
  4. JP$

    JP$ Notebook Evangelist

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    I agree. I would take with a grain of salt ANYTHING you hear from ANY rep from ANY computer manufacturer. 90% of the members in this forum probably know more about computers than the people working customer service and sales at computer manufacturers.
     
  5. arth1

    arth1 a҉r҉t҉h

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    It is possible to change soldered components too, even SMC. But few have the equipment or skills necessary to do so. Your average repair center most certainly won't; they don't hire skilled engineers with SMC experience when 99% of the work can be done by unskilled labour.

    Another problem is that the component you change to have to work on notebook you place them in. That's not a given. BIOS and driver support might not be there, and the whole cooling assembly might be working at the limits of its capacity, and just increasing the heat generation a few percent can be enough to topple the cart.
     
  6. namaiki

    namaiki Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    What service center would do this, and how much would a custom job as such cost to have done?

    To be honest, I wouldn't mind getting some extra VRAM swapped and soldered in..
     
  7. To no End

    To no End Notebook Evangelist

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    @ravenperch

    It is most likely that if you find someone willing to change the GPU (on daughterboard?) that you would be charged on an hourly basis (potentially cost you mucho $$$) and that a no-guarantee agreement would be stressed in the deal in the event the motherboard is wrecked in the process leaving you with a pile of parts and a bill to pay.

    It also seems doubtful that the Rep knew what he was saying. Maybe he thought you said CPU which in this case is much easier to swap depending on what motherboard your laptop has.

    I would suggest looking into external video cards like Vidock or MSi GUS etc. They apparently have the ability to switch through different cards other than stock as well. Not cheap though but leaves your laptop intact.

    Or an SSD?

    At the end of the day, these options can cost you quite a bit and you'll have to consider if it's worth the upgrade or buy a new laptop altogether.
     
  8. ScuderiaConchiglia

    ScuderiaConchiglia NBR Vaio Team Curmudgeon

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    And Sony certainly will not do this no matter how much money you wave about. The rep was blowing smoke.

    Gary
     
  9. arth1

    arth1 a҉r҉t҉h

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    If you're lucky, you can find someone local who works with this kind of stuff, and is willing to make an extra buck off hours. More or less standard components like RAM and resistors can be bought from places like Mouser, but in the case of GPUs, the best bet is probably salvaging from a broken notebook.
    But even so, you take a risk doing it.
     
  10. ravenperch

    ravenperch Notebook Evangelist

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    wow, i had no idea, that there were external graphic cards, will need to look into that, thing is, i made a big mistake with my configuration(spot the odd one out(or spot the really odd one out)), even though i will not use it for gaming mucs, but definitely lots of encoding and photoshop...say, anybody's opinion, is the ATI HD5470 workable?
     
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