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Old 03-24-2009, 10:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

Inspiron 1720, 2 duo core, T7250 @ 2.0ghz , 3.0 g memory, nvidia Geforce 8400 - 256 mb, vista 32 bits.

I talked to dell they said I have to buy a new mother board if I want to upgrade for gaming. Right now I play Cod 4,5 and America's Army, they run smooth. I am wondering to upgrade would it be better to get a new system or build a new motherboard? Is xbox/playstation worth getting, seeing I already own pc games.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

With any laptop you are going to be limited when it comes to video cards. With that model the Geforce I believe you only have 128 mb of dedicated memory for video. Even then they are using shared resources and the video cards are integrated into the motherboards. So in order to upgrade you will have to upgrade the motherboard. Which IMO would definately not be worth it as you probably will still be limited to say 256 mb dedicated memory tops with that model.

My question to you is if you just play Cod 4,5 and America's Army and they run smoothly - why do you want to upgrade?

I would say to keep that laptop for general gaming and build a gaming computer for around 500 bucks if you get to the point where games no longer are managable on your laptop.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

This is one of the rare ones that you can actually upgrade the card itself. You can bump up to a geforce 8600 if you so choose. These usually aren't terribly hard to install and you can find instructions easily enough most of the time. I looked for a part a few different places but only found one on Ebay. $150, not bad actually.

DELL YY636 Inspiron 1720 8600M Video Card *Tested* - eBay (item 260379486218 end time Apr-17-09 08:45:08 PDT)

The part # appears to be compatible but you should spend a few minutes on Google to verify this before buying the upgrade.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

Well there ya go - i should do more research before posting
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

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Originally Posted by Lexluethar View Post
Well there ya go - i should do more research before posting
Laptop video upgrades are a strange thing, there isn't a universal standard and most of them you can't upgrade at all. For some reason there are a number of Inspirons that you can upgrade the video card on, though. Formerly they were based on daughter boards and I think most of them now are based on Nvidia's MXM (probably a few based on ATI's equivalent). You can learn a little about it here All about MXM but you can usually find the answer via Google easily enough.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

Actually my video card is 256mb , I edited.

Well the Dell rep only said to build a new motherboard to upgrade. Is there a big performance leap from 8400-8600?

My games run good now but new games that are coming out may require better systems, so my next step is to build a desk top. This cost $1200, I would hope to build something cheaper for gaming that can be upgraded.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

In your situation your best option is going to be buying and installing XP. You will not get a massive performance gain just going to a 8600M in the laptop. At least so much as to give you what you want.

To upgrade a laptop it would cost you as much as it would for a desktop. You would be better just putting the money toward that instead.

Not to mention if you updated the mother board, you would have to buy a new copy of Vista since a new mobo is a new PC in Microsoft's eyes and you cant transfer OEM licenses.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

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Not to mention if you updated the mother board, you would have to buy a new copy of Vista since a new mobo is a new PC in Microsoft's eyes and you cant transfer OEM licenses.
He wouldn't need to upgrade the mobo, the video card is a seperate module.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

I am confused... You said the games you play run smooth, why do you want to upgrade?

Personally, the 8600 upgrade for $150 is not really worth it. You would see a jump in performance, though I don't think it is enough to warrant spending $150. I would instead save the $150 to put towards a new laptop with a more current GPU in it.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Inspiron -How to upgrade?

Every computer you get will eventually be outdated. So you can't purchase something based off the fact that it may not run games in the future or run newer games as smoothly. With this mentality you will be upgrading your laptop once a year.

Play the games you have and enjoy playing until you get to the point where you can no longer play a new game you enjoy. At that point build a desktop. You will have a MUCH easier time upgrading a desktop and it will be a lot cheaper.
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