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Video Card Upgrade for XPS 15 L502x


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#1 Chibibug

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

What I Need

I need to upgrade my laptop from a GeForce GT 525M video card to a card capable of handling programs and games, particularly Blender, Sims 2, Sims 3, Portal, and Portal 2. I ran a search on dell.com for an upgradable card for my model, but I found nothing. The card can't be anything listed in red here (Sims 3) or here (Sims 2). Is there a card listed in green that will fit my model and be able to handle programs like blender and other games? If so, which one should I choose?

Specs

Model: XPS 15 L502x
Video Card: GeForce GT 525M
Integrated Graphics: Intel ® HD Graphics Family

I'll supply more specs as needed since I wasn't sure what to include.

Additional Questions

I discovered too late that my video card is not the default card for programs. For the months I spent playing the Sims 3 and other games, I was probably using my chip instead of the card. I had no idea! In that time my computer suffered severe overheating while I remained ignorant. How can I test for damage to my system without opening it up? Is there a diagnostic program I can use?

Thanks a world for your help!

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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:40 PM

Video is integrated into the motherboard on that model, no upgrade for you.

So what happened when you made your NVidia GPU the default for your games? Any better performance?

What are the symptoms you are experiencing concerning the overheating?

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#3 Chibibug

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

I only just now tested the card on the Sims 2 and Blender very briefly. With the card, Blender lagged. The Sims 2 looked better in neighborhood view, but the water flickered when I rotated the camera. In addition, the grid on the ground in build mode flickered, and I noticed that I still had an artifact in one of the thumbnails.

As for the overheating, I'm not having any issues right now. But when I played the Sims 3 a while back, my laptop once got hot enough to burn me. That could NOT have been good for the components.

#4 dpunisher

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:21 PM

I don't really have anything to tell you. I have a 540M in my lappy, and it is the same GPU as yours, just clocked a tad higher. When I did play games on it, it worked fine with source engine games, and lagged with others.

Your system is 3 generations behind as far a CPU/IGP, and that will cause slowdowns in some more CPU intensive games. If you can reduce your video settings, and you still have the same choppyness, it might be a CPU limitation.

You might try the latest NVidia drivers and see if changes anything, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that as any optimizations for that GPU have long since been done. Wouldn't hurt though.

If you are not having symptoms, don't worry about the heat. Those things get hot, especially when you are running stuff on your NVidia GPU. If it concerns you, get a cooling pad for it to make sure your airflow is happy.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#5 Chibibug

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:49 PM

Your system is 3 generations behind as far a CPU/IGP, and that will cause slowdowns in some more CPU intensive games.


Ouch. Considering I just got this laptop brand-new earlier this year, that's not the best of news. But I'll just have to make do with what I have for now. :wink:

Since blender seems to run better on my chip, can I continue to use my chip instead of my card to run it? Does doing so have the potential to damage anything?

Thanks a world for your help. You've really helped ease my mind.

Edit: Are there any external video cards that would do the job?

Edited by Chibibug, 04 December 2012 - 11:50 PM.





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