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GPU swap in Presario 3240US?


sundaysed

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humor a newbie, if you will.

i've got a compaq presario 3240us, with the amd athlon 64-bit cpu, nvidia geforce4 440 go gpu, 512 mb ram and a 60-gb hdd. i've just loaded vista beta 2 (a clean install, with no dual boot), and now see that my graphics card is, well, crap.

my question, then: how difficult and costly would it be to swap out the 440 go and get something robust enough to handle vista's demands? i'm not a gamer, so i don't need anything too beefy. maybe a 128- or 256-mb card; something to handle the graphics demands of vista (i.e., the aero and flip features).

thanks,

kevin (learning on the job)

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First of all, what you call eye candy in Vista is refered as useless crap by a lot of people. (including me)

Your graphic card is the equivalent of a desktop geforce 2... which means that you are limited in Vista to regular ala Windows XP mode.

I don't want to ruin your day but when you got your laptop your graphic card was probably the best you could get. Therefore there is little room for improvement. If you really want the vista aero crap you can still buy a 2006 class laptop.

ps: I found nothing on eBay about your laptop... :)

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I like eyecandy! Unless it causes significant performance decrease of course.

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Best he could get?

I don't know why you would get a newer 64bit CPU laptop with a graphics card from 4 years ago.

I'll do some research on this when I have time, but you can't get any Vista Aero on that thing, you should return that to compaq as they ripped you off.

A laptop like that should have a GF5 or GF6 atleast.

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First of all, what you call eye candy in Vista is refered as useless crap by a lot of people. (including me)

Your graphic card is the equivalent of a desktop geforce 2... which means that you are limited in Vista to regular ala Windows XP mode.

I don't want to ruin your day but when you got your laptop your graphic card was probably the best you could get. Therefore there is little room for improvement. If you really want the vista aero crap you can still buy a 2006 class laptop.

ps: I found nothing on eBay about your laptop... :)

Fabrice:

I appreciate your comments, though I don't necessarily agree with them. That said, I'm still looking for an answer as to whether I can swap out the GPU card. I understand it was one of the best cards available when I bought my laptop. And I understand it surely is not in that class now. That's why I'm asking the question about a swap.

I've seen online where some Dell models (the Inspiron 5100, I believe) allow for a swap-out of the GPU. And I've seen the 440 Go card for sale on eBay, meaning someone obviously has at least pulled the card out of a laptop. So, I'm pretty sure I can do this.

I'll restate the request: I'm looking for some advice from someone who has done this, who has decided it's not worth the effort, who has run into problems doing this, whether it's worth the cost versus buying a "2006 class laptop" (by the way, I'm still pretty happy with the AMD chip, the hard drive capacity and the memory slots, the latter of which are easily upgraded), etc.

Thanks,

Kevin

Best he could get?

I don't know why you would get a newer 64bit CPU laptop with a graphics card from 4 years ago.

I'll do some research on this when I have time, but you can't get any Vista Aero on that thing, you should return that to compaq as they ripped you off.

A laptop like that should have a GF5 or GF6 atleast.

Bill:

Thanks. And I wish I could return it to Compaq now for an upgrade, though I'll say I've been completely satisfied with the GPU up until the Vista release. As I said, I don't do much with gaming, so it hasn't really been a problem. Heck, it even worked just fine for an intensive mapping and analysis program like ArcGIS, with the ability quickly draw and refresh maps as I added, deleted or edited data layers.

One quick question for you: Are the laptop GPUs sized specifically for different units? I ask because, in checking at sites like eBay, TigerDirect, etc., I see a wide variety of card shapes. The 440 Go looks like a completely different layout than, say a Radeon unit. So, it looks like I'll immediately be limited in what I could/would/should plug into the Presario.

Oh, and if it matters, I have pulled apart a Presario 1200 laptop (I believe it was) that I had prior to the 3240 as I swapped out the LCD, the hard drive and other internal components. I'm just a little gun-shy about ripping out a GPU and wrecking my machine.

Kevin

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The eye candy in Vista has a price that is obvious at RAM level: 40Mb... what does it bring... a five minutes hard on the first time you boot your machine.

I'm a proud and sole member of the sect of the No wallpaper, no screensaver and plain black background.

I liked the conclusion of this article... Vista not ready for retail.

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The eye candy in Vista has a price that is obvious at RAM level: 40Mb... what does it bring... a five minutes hard on the first time you boot your machine.

I'm a proud and sole member of the sect of the No wallpaper, no screensaver and plain black background.

I liked the conclusion of this article... Vista not ready for retail.

Fabrice:

Congratulations on your sect. I wish you the best with it. But you won't find a convert here, despite any amount of pontificating you might offer.

Re the TechGage article: Great. They showed a Beta isn't ready for retail.

Finally, re the "five minutes hard on": C'mon, you can be wittier than that. You got one guffaw from me as I read it. If you're gonna snipe at tens of thousands of people who look for these types of features in an operating system, however, you'll need better put-downs than that.

Kevin

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Some brands are known for their intrail upgradability... Dell is among them since you basically select whatever you need.

It looks like the specs you gave are accurate you have an Athlon 64 3000+ and a GF4 440 Go in your PC. When I said I eBayed your laptop I was searching for Compaq Presario GPU spare parts... None showed up.

If you are lucky you'll be able to upgrade but I doubt that you'll reach Vista requirements for Aero.

If you are unlicky the GPU is soldered to the motherboard to drag down the prices.

You have no idea how much a 2006 video game is much much more stressfull for the GPU than a "simple" mapping software with gazillion layers. Video games require intensive multipass rendering, you have polygons raining all over the place.

About the laptop parts, some are normalized like the 2"5 HDDs, the RAM sticks (beware the technology SDR DDR and DDR2)... but some are open to the weirdness of the OEM. Though there is a GPU standard called MXM that ease the process of changing the graphic card. (ask the Tea guy from belgium)

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AFAIK it was an answer to the turkish bird of prey.

I have a hard time understanding people that just follow the masses... if you enjoy a computer that is crippled to its knees by unuseful resident programs, crappy pointless eye candy interfaces, antivirus that does everthing but coffee. Just do it... it's not my problem.

For a long time I kept my speedier Windows 98 SE desktop computer neat and clean from crap. I used Windows 2000 at work but kept my good old w98se until the release of wXP SP1. Around that time I dropped Norton Internet Security because it became a RESSOURCE HOG.

My automatic wXP install script gets rid of the useless backgrounds and screensavers... I disable most of the sounds and turn off all eye candy but styles and drag window content. It's my way of handling things.

For the same reason I never bought a Pentium 4 (exept for clients at work that rely on Intel only hardware)... if a piece of software or hardware has no or little value added from previous one... it stays out of my computer.

There is nothing shockingly new when you read that Vista beta 2 is slower and not as stable as wXP. Was wXP faster than w2k? Or wXP SP1 than wXP... wXP SP2 than wXP SP1... It never was true and it will never be true.

*going back to the forums*

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AFAIK it was an answer to the turkish bird of prey.

I have a hard time understanding people that just follow the masses... if you enjoy a computer that is crippled to its knees by unuseful resident programs, crappy pointless eye candy interfaces, antivirus that does everthing but coffee. Just do it... it's not my problem.

...

*going back to the forums*

Fabrice:

Thanks for the help -- and giving me a sentence or two that was on topic (man, you do like to preach). I'll check out the MXM issue, and see if I can locate (search on) the "Tea guy from Belgium."

Kevin

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In case you didn't find him... You'll find Ice-Tea in the MXM section of the forum.

Found him, but thanks. Of course, now I'm even more flummoxed on the idea of swapping the card. I see the NV17 series (of which my 440 Go seems to be a part) is soldered to the board, but that's per a two-year-old thread. I have no reason to doubt that still applies to my machine (especially since I bought it in summer 2004), but I think I'll still open it up and see what it looks like inside. Of course, don't tell the warranty folks...

Now, that said, is the MXM swap the only option for replacing graphics cards? I'm sure if mine is soldered to the board, we're talking about a major project, one much more costly than I'm willing to undertake. But thought I'd cast about, just in case...

Kevin

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Now, that said, is the MXM swap the only option for replacing graphics cards? I'm sure if mine is soldered to the board, we're talking about a major project, one much more costly than I'm willing to undertake. But thought I'd cast about, just in case...

MXM is an option if your graphic card uses a standadized MXM interface. In short it allows you to unplug the old card and plug the new one. You have various versions of MXM... MXM1, MXM2, MXM3...

If the GPU is soldered to the motherboard you will need a soldering iron, a roll of duct tape, a couple of six packs and a credit card. What you want to do is store the soldering iron and duct tape where they belong... take the credit card place an online order for a sweet Dell... drink beers, relax and wait. :)

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Hi there,

I've only skimmed through this topic, but the 440Go is a distinctively AGP chip. MXM is PCI Express and therefore there isn't even a remote chance that the card can be swapped for another MXM card.

Sorry,

The Tea Guy :)

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Hi there,

I've only skimmed through this topic, but the 440Go is a distinctively AGP chip. MXM is PCI Express and therefore there isn't even a remote chance that the card can be swapped for another MXM card.

Sorry,

The Tea Guy :)

Tea:

Thanks, but drats. That said, and ruling the MXM idea completely out, is there any chance the 440 Go can be pulled and replaced by a beefier GPU? Well, any chance for a guy who knows justthismuch about hardware? I'm thinking I'm down to Fabrice's soldering iron, six-pack and credit card idea -- and wishing I had known the MXM idea was coming down the pike before I bought the Presario.

Thanks,

Kevin

MXM is an option if your graphic card uses a standadized MXM interface. In short it allows you to unplug the old card and plug the new one. You have various versions of MXM... MXM1, MXM2, MXM3...

If the GPU is soldered to the motherboard you will need a soldering iron, a roll of duct tape, a couple of six packs and a credit card. What you want to do is store the soldering iron and duct tape where they belong... take the credit card place an online order for a sweet Dell... drink beers, relax and wait. :P

Fabrice:

Now that's good. :) I'll give you credit for leaving me with a very good laugh. And for making me wish I'd known about the advent of MXM before I bought the Presario. Bummer.

Kevin

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