Can I Upgrade My Laptop for Gaming? It’s a question a lot of gamers are asking.
Perhaps you’ve just bought a new laptop for work and are wondering what to do with the old one.
Then, an idea strikes you – why not convert it into a gaming laptop? It would save you a few hundred dollars, right?
I’m going to show you how to approach the whole process – what to remove, what to add, and what to change.
But first, let’s state it clearly that upgrading a laptop for gaming isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Manufacturers are determined to sell their products and make it difficult to upgrade, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done! So, they would rather see you dump your old laptop and buy a new one.
For this reason, they have come up with parts that simply cannot be removed and BIOs locks that construct a virtual Stasi, imprisoning your device and only allowing it to work with standard components.
But that won’t stop us. Here is what you need to do;
Step-by-Step Methods To Upgrade Laptop For Gaming
Step one: Upgrade the CPU
Start by checking online to see if anyone has ever upgraded the CPU of that laptop, then find out if the CPU is soldered or socketed. Socketed CPUs are easier to replace.
Check the model of the processor using CPU-Z, AMD Overdrive, or the Intel Processor Identification Utility. Then, look up the processors in the same family line.
Choose a processor with the same socket, voltage range, and thermal profile as the one you’re replacing.
Also, ensure that the BIOS can support the new processor. Updating the BIOS can help here.
Once you’ve found the ideal replacement, remove the old processor and gently fix in the new one. Installing a processor in a laptop isn’t any different from installing one on a desktop.
In fact, the only major difference is that instead of the standard ZIF lever, you’ll be dealing with screws.
Step Two: Strive For Better Graphics
The Achilles heel of portable gaming devices is the lack of any realistic graphic upgrade options. But again, that shouldn’t derail your efforts. There are two viable options you can consider.
The first one is to buy an external PCI-e adapter and PCI-e graphics card to replace the existing hardware. Check out these best external graphics cards before you buy!
One good option is the PE4H which costs about $65 including shipping. Once you have it, you just plug and play.
The second option is to find a streaming service such as GameFly.com. Gamefly has a wide variety of games to choose from, many of them offering a 30-minute trial and a three to five-day pass.
Gaikai.com is another service you can use.
Alternatively, use the steammygame.com solution to boost your performance. Here, you use your PC to do all the 3D processing and stream the game through your local network and via the internet.
At Just $9.99 a year, their premium service allows you to stream your favourite exciting games with 1,280×720 resolution.
If you choose this service, whenever you want to play a game, you simply open the steammygame.com main page, choose the game you want to play, and away you go.
Step Three: Upgrade The Storage
This is an often overlooked area but upgrading the storage can reap some significant rewards. It solves two common problems in computer gaming; heating and the reduced speed.
Often popular budget gaming laptops tend to come with smaller storage and/or slow RPM drives which can easily be replaced with an SSD for seriously improved performance.
But still, you need to be careful. You want something that will give you improved performance without leaving a hole in your pocket.
If you’re going for SSD, two obvious options would be the 64GB or 128GB models. Their prices have been coming down so, anything between $140 and $150 should be able to buy you the 128GB models.
Just remember these won’t leave you a lot of storage space for your favorite games.
For spinning disk options, it’s a lot harder to pick. Most disks in this category are priced below the $90 mark. Two things you’ll be looking for are the capacity and the rotating speed.
For instance, do you buy a 500GB 7,200rpm or a 1,000GB 5,400rpm drive?
To avoid any further complexities, just pick a higher capacity hard drive. A 1TB drive, if you can afford one, will serve you very well.
That was quick! Right?
One more tip, however: If the total cost of the upgrade is anything over $500, rather use that money to buy a new laptop.