Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Upgradable Gaming Laptop: The Components You Can Actually Upgrade!
In the ever-evolving world of gaming, having a laptop that can keep up with the latest titles is crucial. But let’s face it, technology advances at a breakneck speed, and what’s cutting-edge today may become obsolete tomorrow. So, what’s the solution? An upgradable gaming laptop.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of gaming laptop components that you can actually upgrade. From the essentials like RAM and SSD to more advanced options like external GPUs, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also explore some of the best upgradable gaming laptop models on the market in 2023, so you can make an informed decision that suits your gaming needs.
Whether you’re a casual gamer looking to get a little more juice out of your machine or a hardcore enthusiast aiming for the ultimate gaming setup, this guide is for you. So, buckle up and get ready to supercharge your gaming experience!
Why Upgradeability Matters
The Gaming Landscape
In today’s fast-paced gaming landscape, technology evolves rapidly. Gamers often find themselves in a race to keep up with the latest hardware requirements. Here’s where the concept of upgradeability gains significance. Specifically, in the realm of gaming laptops.
The Desktop Advantage
Traditionally, desktop PCs have held the upper hand in upgradeability. You can easily swap out almost any component. From RAM and SSD to even the CPU and GPU, the options are vast. However, gaming laptops have always faced limitations in this regard. So, why does upgradeability matter for a gaming laptop?
Firstly, let’s talk about cost. Gaming laptops are not cheap. You invest a considerable amount of money when you buy one. Now, imagine a scenario where your laptop starts to lag in performance after a couple of years. You have two choices. Either buy a new laptop or upgrade the existing one. Upgrading components like RAM or SSD is often more cost-effective. It extends the life of your current machine, making it a smart financial decision.
Secondly, performance matters. Gamers crave high-speed, lag-free experiences. Upgrading specific components can give you that extra edge. For instance, adding more RAM can significantly improve your laptop’s multitasking capabilities. Similarly, switching to a faster SSD can reduce game load times. An external GPU can even transform your gaming visuals.
Next, consider the future. Video games are becoming increasingly complex. They demand more from your hardware. Having an upgradable gaming laptop means you’re somewhat future-proofing your investment. You can adapt to new gaming requirements without having to buy a whole new system.
Moreover, gaming laptops serve multiple purposes. Many people use them for work, video editing, or content creation. Upgrading your RAM or SSD can make these tasks smoother and faster. This versatility adds another layer of value to having an upgradable gaming laptop.
Easier than You Think
Contrary to popular belief, upgrading a gaming laptop is not rocket science. With a little research and the right tools, you can do it yourself. This DIY approach not only saves money but also gives you a sense of accomplishment.
However, one must tread carefully when it comes to warranties. Upgrading doesn’t necessarily void your laptop’s warranty. Yet, you should always check the terms before proceeding. This ensures that you won’t face any unpleasant surprises later on.
In conclusion, the ability to upgrade components like RAM, SSD, and even add an external GPU can be a game-changer. It makes your gaming laptop a more versatile and long-lasting investment. So, the next time you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, consider its upgradeability. It could make all the difference in your gaming experience and your wallet.
By understanding the importance of upgradeability, you’re not just making a purchase. You’re making an investment in a machine that can evolve with you. And in the ever-changing world of gaming, that’s a significant advantage.
Upgradable Gaming Laptop: The Components You Can Actually Upgrade
1. RAM: The Memory Boost You Need
RAM, or Random Access Memory, serves as your computer’s short-term memory. According to Tom’s Hardware, it stores temporary data that your CPU needs to access quickly. In gaming, this is crucial. More RAM means your CPU can retrieve data faster, leading to smoother gameplay.
Why Upgrade RAM?
So, why should you consider a RAM upgrade for your gaming laptop? Firstly, it’s one of the most straightforward and noticeable upgrades you can make. More RAM allows you to run more software, open more browser tabs, and play games more smoothly. It’s a quick way to boost performance, especially on gaming laptops under $1,500 or even under $1,000, many of which come with just 8GB onboard.
Before diving into the upgrade process, you need to check compatibility. Not every gaming laptop has upgradable RAM. Most gaming laptops use socketed sticks of memory called “SO-DIMMs.” To check if your laptop’s RAM can be upgraded, go to Task Manager > Performance > Memory and look for “SODIMM.”
Types of RAM
Currently, most newer gaming laptops with Intel 12th Gen Core chips tend to use DDR5 memory, while others use DDR4. You’ll need to find what works in your laptop. Tools like the Crucial System Advisor can help identify compatible RAM sticks.
Here are some of the top RAM options for upgrading your gaming laptop in 2023:
- GSKILL TRIDENT Z5 RGB DDR5/32GB/6600Mhz F5-6600J3440G16GX2-TZ5RK$255.00 w/GST
- GSKILL TRIDENT Z5 RGB DDR5/32GB/7200Mhz F5-7200J3445G16GX2-TZ5RK$295.00 w/GST
- GSKILL TRIDENT Z5 NEO RGB AMD EXPO DDR5/64GB/6000MHz F5-6000J3238G32GX2-TZ5NR$409.00 w/GST
- GSKILL TRIDENT Z5 NEO RGB AMD EXPO DDR5/32GB/6000MHz F5-6000J3238F16GX2-TZ5NR$219.00 w/GST
- GSKILL TRIDENT Z5 NEO RGB AMD EXPO DDR5/32GB/6000MHz F5-6000J3636F16GX2-TZ5NR$209.00 w/GST
- GSKILL TRIDENT Z5 RGB DDR5/32GB/6400MHz F5-6400J3239G16GX2-TZ5RK$229.00 w/GST
- GSKILL TRIDENT Z5 RGB DDR5/32GB/6000MHz F5-6000J4040F16GX2-TZ5RK$278.00 w/GST
- GSKILL TRIDENT Z5 RGB DDR5/32GB/5600MHz F5-5600J3636C16GX2-TZ5RK$297.00 w/GST
How Much RAM Do You Need?
16GB of RAM is the bare minimum for Windows 10. However, for an optimal gaming experience, 32GB is recommended. For heavy multitasking or running memory-intensive programs like video editors, 64GB is advisable.
The Upgrade Process
Upgrading RAM is easier than you might think. Here’s a simplified guide:
- Turn off and unplug your laptop.
- Open the laptop base by removing or loosening necessary screws.
- Locate the RAM. SO-DIMMs are typically held in by clips.
- Remove your old RAM by pressing down and outward on the clips.
- Insert the new RAM at an angle, aligning the notch with the slot.
- Press down on the new RAM until it clicks into the clips.
- Close your laptop and power it on to check if the RAM was successfully installed.
Risks and Warnings
However, be cautious. Upgrading your RAM can void your laptop’s warranty. Always check the terms before proceeding. Also, always hold RAM by the edges and avoid touching the gold-colored connectors to prevent any damage.
In summary, upgrading your RAM is a cost-effective way to improve your gaming laptop’s performance. It’s a straightforward process that can make a significant difference in your gaming experience. So, if you’re looking to make your gaming laptop more upgradable, start with the RAM. It’s the memory boost you need for better gaming.
2. SSD: Speed and Storage Combined
Solid State Drives, or SSDs, have revolutionized the way we store and access data. In the context of gaming laptops, an SSD is not just a luxury; it’s almost a necessity. Upgrading to an SSD can significantly improve your laptop’s performance, offering faster data access, quicker boot times, and reduced game loading times.
The Importance of SSDs in Gaming
So, why are SSDs crucial for gaming? Traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) have mechanical parts. These parts can slow down data retrieval. In contrast, SSDs use flash memory. This allows for quicker data access, which is vital for gaming. Faster data access means quicker game loads, smoother gameplay, and a more enjoyable gaming experience.
When it comes to SSDs, size does matter. Aim for at least a 500GB capacity. This will accommodate your operating system, games, and other software. A larger SSD can also improve the overall speed and efficiency of your system.
Speed: The Game Changer
Speed is another crucial factor. SSDs come with varying read and write speeds. Higher speeds result in faster data transfer, which is beneficial for gaming. Always look for SSDs with high read and write speeds to get the most out of your gaming laptop upgrade.
Before you make a purchase, ensure the SSD is compatible with your laptop’s interface. The two main interfaces are SATA and NVMe. NVMe generally offers faster speeds but make sure your laptop supports it.
Brand also plays a significant role. Opt for reliable brands known for producing high-quality SSDs. Some of the top names include Samsung, Crucial, and Western Digital. These brands offer a balance of speed, reliability, and cost.
Here are some of the top SSD picks for upgrading your gaming laptop in 2023:
- Samsung 980 PRO with Heatsink PCIe 4.0 M.2 1TB$242.00 w/GST
- Samsung 980 PRO NVMe PCIe Gen.4 500GB$151.00 w/GST
- Samsung 980 NVMe PCIe Gen.3 1TB$157.00 w/GST
- Samsung 980 NVMe PCIe Gen.3 500GB$89.00 w/GST
- Samsung 980 NVMe PCIe Gen.3 250GB$69.00 w/GST
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe PCIe Gen.3 2TB$372.00 w/GST
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe PCIe Gen.3 1TB$191.00 w/GST
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe PCIe Gen.3 250GB$80.00 w/GST
The Upgrade Process
Upgrading to an SSD is a straightforward process, but it requires careful planning. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Backup your data: Always start by backing up your important files.
- Choose the right SSD: Consider capacity, speed, interface, and brand.
- Unplug and turn off your laptop: Safety first.
- Open the laptop: Remove the back panel to access the internal components.
- Locate the existing drive: It’s usually near the laptop’s center.
- Remove the old drive: Unscrew and carefully take it out.
- Insert the new SSD: Place it in the same slot and screw it in.
- Close the laptop: Put the back panel on and screw it in place.
- Reinstall your OS: You’ll need to install your operating system on the new SSD.
- Restore your data: Transfer your files back onto your laptop.
Risks and Precautions
While SSD upgrades are generally safe, there are some risks involved. One major concern is voiding your laptop’s warranty. Always check the warranty terms before proceeding with any upgrades. Also, make sure to handle the SSD carefully during the installation process to avoid any damage.
Cost vs. Benefit
SSDs are more expensive than HDDs, but the benefits often outweigh the costs. The speed and efficiency gains can transform your gaming experience. Moreover, SSDs are more durable and reliable than HDDs, making them a wise long-term investment.
In summary, upgrading to an SSD is one of the most effective ways to improve your gaming laptop’s performance. From faster game load times to smoother multitasking, the benefits are numerous. So, if you’re considering an upgrade, an SSD should be at the top of your list. It’s an investment that pays off in speed, reliability, and overall gaming satisfaction.
3. External GPU: Enhancing Graphics Performance
The graphics card is the heart of any gaming setup. But what if your gaming laptop isn’t up to par? Enter the external GPU (eGPU), a game-changing solution that can significantly boost your laptop’s graphical prowess. According to Digital Trends, using an eGPU can enhance your laptop’s performance, whether you’re looking to gain frames in Apex Legends or speed up Premiere Pro renders.
The Need for an External GPU
So, why would you need an external GPU? Gaming laptops come with limitations. Their built-in GPUs often can’t handle graphically intensive tasks or modern games at high settings. An eGPU can provide the extra muscle you need for a more immersive gaming experience.
Top Picks for eGPUs
Several brands offer top-notch eGPUs. Some of the best options include the Aorus RTX 3080 Gaming Box. Each has its unique features and price points, so choose based on your specific needs.
- Gigabyte AORUS RTX 3080 Ti GAMING BOX$1,765.00 w/GST
- Cooler Master MASTERCASE EG200 eGPU WITH SFX550 GOLD PSU$499.00 w/GST
Compatibility and Connection
Before diving in, check your laptop’s compatibility. You’ll need a laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 or 4 port to connect an eGPU. Thunderbolt 3 and 4 ports are essential for attaching an eGPU, providing the benefits of Nvidia or AMD graphics cards without the bulk.
An eGPU doesn’t just improve gaming. It can also accelerate other graphically demanding tasks like video editing or 3D rendering. This makes an eGPU a versatile addition to your upgradable gaming laptop.
How to Set Up an eGPU
Setting up an eGPU is relatively simple:
- Connect the eGPU to a power source.
- Use a Thunderbolt 3 cable to connect the eGPU to your laptop.
- Install the necessary drivers.
- Reboot your laptop to complete the setup.
Cooling and Noise
eGPUs come with their cooling solutions. For instance, the Aorus RTX 3080 Gaming Box includes an all-in-one Waterforce cooling system. This ensures your eGPU stays cool and quiet, even under heavy loads.
Cost and Value
eGPUs are not cheap. However, when you consider the performance boost they offer, they present good value for money. For example, the Razer Core X costs around $400 but can significantly enhance your laptop’s capabilities.
Risks and Precautions
Be cautious when investing in an eGPU. Make sure to read the warranty terms of both your laptop and the eGPU. Some manufacturers may void the warranty if you use an external GPU.
In summary, an external GPU can be a game-changer for your gaming laptop. It offers a significant performance boost, not just in gaming but also in other graphically intensive tasks. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your gaming laptop, an eGPU should be high on your list. It’s an investment that can transform your laptop into a more powerful, versatile machine.
4. Other Potential Upgrades: Beyond the Basics
While RAM, SSD, and external GPUs are the most common upgrades for a gaming laptop, they’re not the only options. Other components like the CPU and motherboard are generally not user-replaceable, but there are exceptions. Let’s explore some of these lesser-known but impactful upgrades.
Cooling Systems: Keeping It Cool
One of the most overlooked aspects of a gaming laptop is its cooling system. Overheating can cause performance issues and even damage your hardware. Upgrading to a more efficient cooling system can make a significant difference in your gaming experience.
Keyboard and Trackpad: The Tactile Experience
Believe it or not, upgrading your keyboard and trackpad can enhance your gaming. Mechanical keyboards offer better tactile feedback, and a high-quality trackpad can improve your control in games that require precision.
- ASUS ROG STRIX FLARE RGB MECHANICAL KEYBOARD BLUE$249.00 w/GST
- ASUS ROG FALCHION ACE NX RED KEYBOARD (2Y)$199.00 w/GST
- ASUS ROG FALCHION WIRELESS MECHANICAL KEYBOARD RED$249.00 w/GST
- ASUS CLAYMORE II W.LESS MECHANICAL KEYBOARD RED$429.00 w/GST
- ASUS ROG HONE ACE AIMLAB EDITION MOUSEMAT$59.00 w/GST
- ASUS ROG SCABBARD GAMING MOUSEMAT$79.00 w/GST
- ASUS ROG SCABBARD II GAMING MOUSEMAT$79.00 w/GST
- ASUS ROG BALTEUS QI WIRELESS CHARGING MOUSEMAT (1Y)$209.00 w/GST
Display: A Window to Your Game
If your gaming laptop has a mediocre display, consider upgrading. A higher refresh rate and better color accuracy can make your games look stunning. Some gaming laptops even allow you to swap out the display, although this is a more advanced upgrade.
Audio: Hear the Difference
Upgrading your laptop’s audio system can also enhance your gaming experience. High-quality speakers or a good external sound card can provide a more immersive environment.
Networking: Lag Be Gone
A stable internet connection is crucial for online gaming. Upgrading your laptop’s networking capabilities can reduce lag and improve your online gaming experience. According to PC Gamer, some laptops like the Framework machine offer user-configurable networking modules.
Battery: Game On the Go
If you often find yourself gaming away from an outlet, upgrading your battery can be a game-changer. A higher-capacity battery will allow you to game longer on a single charge.
Modular Upgrades: The Future?
The Framework Laptop, as mentioned in PC Gamer, offers a unique modular design. This allows you to upgrade almost any component, from the CPU to the display. While not common, this could be the future of upgradable gaming laptop.
Software: Don’t Forget the Drivers
Last but not least, keeping your drivers up-to-date is a form of upgrade. Updated drivers can offer performance improvements and fix bugs, enhancing your overall gaming experience.
While RAM, SSDs, and external GPUs are the go-to upgrades, they’re just the tip of the iceberg. From cooling systems to modular designs, there are numerous ways to enhance your gaming laptop’s performance. So, the next time you think about upgrading, consider these other potential improvements. They might just transform your gaming experience.
Warranties and Risks: What You Need to Know Before Upgrading
Upgrading your gaming laptop can be an exciting endeavor. However, it’s crucial to consider the warranties and risks involved. Only a few parts like storage and RAM are usually upgradeable. So, let’s delve into what you should know before making any changes.
Most gaming laptops come with a 1-year limited warranty, as stated by Tom’s Guide. This warranty typically covers defects that aren’t your fault. However, upgrading components like RAM or SSD might void this warranty. Always read the fine print before proceeding.
Some people opt for extended warranties that last 3-5 years. These offer peace of mind but often come at a premium price. Experts are divided on whether extended warranties are worth the cost for regular consumers.
Risks of Upgrading
Upgrading your laptop isn’t without risks. Incorrect installation can lead to hardware failure. Moreover, some upgrades might not be compatible with your system, causing performance issues.
Before any upgrade, ensure the new components are compatible with your laptop. Use tools and guides to double-check. This minimizes the risk of damaging your system.
Some manufacturers have “warranty void if removed” stickers. Removing these can legally void your warranty. However, in some jurisdictions, these stickers are not enforceable. It’s best to check local laws before proceeding.
DIY vs. Professional Help
If you’re not comfortable upgrading yourself, consider professional help. Some services specialize in gaming laptop upgrades. They can also advise you on maintaining your warranty.
Before any hardware change, back up your data. This is a precautionary step to avoid data loss in case something goes wrong during the upgrade.
Upgrading your gaming laptop can breathe new life into your system. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the warranties and risks involved. Always read the warranty terms, consider the risks, and take necessary precautions. This will ensure that your upgrade enhances your gaming experience without any unwelcome surprises.
Best Upgradable Gaming Laptops: Specific Models to Consider in 2023
When it comes to gaming laptops that offer the flexibility for future upgrades, certain brands and specific models stand out. Here are some top picks for 2023 based on their upgradability features.
Aorus 17: The Powerhouse of Customization
The Aorus 17 is a top-tier model renowned for its high-performance capabilities and upgradability. With easy-to-access compartments, you can effortlessly upgrade the RAM, SSD, and even the Wi-Fi card. This model often comes with multiple M.2 slots and extra RAM slots, making future upgrades a breeze.
Aero 16: Slim Yet Upgradable
The Aero 16 offers the best of both worlds: portability and upgradability. Despite its slim form factor, this laptop doesn’t skimp on upgrade options. It provides easy access to RAM and SSD slots, allowing for quick and simple upgrades.
- Product on saleGigabyte AERO 16 16.0″ UHD+ 3840×2400 AMOLED/ADL i7-12700H/RTX3070TiQ/16GB/2TB XE5-73SG938APw/GST
- Product on saleGigabyte AERO 16 16.0″ UHD+ 3840×2400 AMOLED/ADL i7-12700H/RTX3070TiQ/16GB/1TB XE5-73SG934APw/GST
- Product on saleGigabyte AERO 16 16.0″ UHD+ 3840×2400 OLED/RPL i7-13700H/RTX4070/16GB/1TB BSF-73SG994SHw/GST
Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023): A Balanced Choice
According to Games Radar, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023) is one of the best gaming laptops of the year. It balances raw power with value for money, making it an excellent choice for those who want a machine that can be upgraded in the future.
Upgradability is a crucial factor when choosing a gaming laptop, especially if you want your investment to last. Specific models like the Aorus 17G, Aero 15 OLED and Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023) offer both performance and the flexibility to upgrade. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or a casual player, selecting an upgradable laptop can significantly enhance your gaming experience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Upgradable Gaming Laptop
Which gaming laptop is upgradable?
Many gaming laptops offer some level of upgradability, but specific models like the Aorus 17G, Aero 15 OLED, and Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 are known for their upgradable components. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications to confirm.
Can gaming laptop CPU be upgraded?
Upgrading a CPU in a gaming laptop is generally not possible for most models. The CPUs are often soldered onto the motherboard, making them non-replaceable. However, some high-end or custom-built gaming laptops may offer this feature.
Which laptop has an upgradable graphics card?
Laptops with MXM (Mobile PCI Express Module) slots can have their graphics cards upgraded. However, these are rare and usually found in high-end gaming laptops or workstations. Always check the specifications to confirm.
Can you upgrade a gaming laptop’s GPU?
For most gaming laptops, the GPU is integrated into the motherboard and cannot be upgraded. However, you can use an external GPU (eGPU) to enhance graphics performance. Some high-end models with MXM slots also allow for internal GPU upgrades.
Can I upgrade RAM in a gaming laptop?
Yes, most gaming laptops allow for RAM upgrades. They usually have extra RAM slots for this purpose. Check your laptop’s documentation or manufacturer’s website to find out the maximum RAM capacity and the type of RAM supported.
How do I know if my laptop CPU is upgradeable?
To determine if your laptop’s CPU is upgradeable, you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s specifications and documentation. If the CPU is socketed and not soldered onto the motherboard, it may be upgradeable. However, this is rare in modern laptops, especially gaming models.
Where to Source Laptop Upgrade Parts and Services in Singapore
In Singapore, you’re never short of options when it comes to upgrading your gaming laptop. From online marketplaces to specialized tech shops, the choices are abundant. Websites like Lazada and Shopee offer a plethora of components, while tech hubs like Sim Lim Square provide both parts and expert advice.
Volta PC: Singapore’s Trusted Source for Gaming Laptop and Upgrade Service
If you’re looking for a one-stop solution for all your gaming laptop upgrade needs, Volta PC is the place to go. Situated conveniently in Singapore, Volta PC specializes in gaming pc, gaming laptop and upgrade service. Their team of skilled technicians can guide you through the entire upgrade process, ensuring that each component is compatible with your system. Best of all, their services are designed to keep your warranty intact, offering you complete peace of mind.