Upgrading Your MSI Laptop Graphics Card: Can It Be Done?

Newer laptops are often less possible to upgrade than older laptops. Can I upgrade my MSI laptop graphics card?

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Can I Upgrade My MSI Laptop Graphics Card?

Most likely, you can’t upgrade the graphics card – it’s probably soldered in place and difficult or impossible even for professionals to remove. If you are lucky, the graphics card can be upgraded, but don’t bet on it. You can still upgrade other parts of an MSI laptop.

I can easily remove a graphics card and replace it if the graphics card slides out instead of being soldered in place. 

However, I cannot remove a soldered graphics card. Possibly, some professionals might remove and replace soldered parts with special equipment, but these professionals are not easy to find. 

You Can’t Always Upgrade Laptop Graphics Cards

Sometimes, you can’t open your laptop up and work on it at all because there’s no way to open it without damaging it. 

Other times, you can open and upgrade your laptop but cannot upgrade the graphics card. 

Laptops have partly replaced desktops, but desktops are still easier to upgrade. You can’t always take the graphics card out on a laptop, not even one that can be upgraded. 

Changing the Graphics Card on an MSI Laptop

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It Depends On the Laptop

With some laptops, there’s no way to get a better graphics card than getting a better computer. A game that would work on your laptop with no improvements other than a new graphics card might be unplayable if you can’t upgrade your laptop.

Even if you can upgrade the graphics card, you can’t use whatever graphics card you want – it has to be compatible. Many people upgrade laptop graphics cards without causing any problems, but this isn’t always possible.

Is Replacing the Graphics Card Complicated?

If you don’t want to change the graphics card yourself, you can take it to the shop and they’ll quite likely do a good job changing it. If you do it yourself, you can save money.

Changing the graphics card is not complicated, but you have to be careful. The last thing you want to do is damage your new card. 

You also have to install new drivers after you put the new graphics card in. The old drivers (programs that allow hardware to communicate with software) may not be compatible with the new graphics card.

Changing the Graphics Card on a Newer MSI Laptop

Unfortunately, you probably can’t change the graphics card on a newer MSI laptop. Some graphics cards are removable – you can slide them out and slide a new graphics card in. 

Other graphics cards cannot be removed because they are soldered in place. Removing a soldered graphics card is difficult or impossible. All you will do is wreck the card, and you won’t be able to put a new card in. 

Most New Graphics Cards Are Soldered

Laptops have been moving away from removable cartridge graphics cards and non-removable soldered graphics cards for years. Removable graphics cards are not one-sidedly better. Soldered graphics cards are better if you want the laptop to be as thin and compact as possible.

Since laptops are getting thinner, graphics cards are less and less likely to be removable. This is true even for MSI laptops, though you can still open them up and do other upgrades. 

It’s possible that you are lucky and your MSI laptop has a removable graphics card. If you do, you can take the laptop into the shop and have a new (compatible) graphics card inserted whenever you need it for a new game. Otherwise, you’re stuck with your current level of graphics card technology until you get a new computer. 

What Parts Are Upgradeable?

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Some laptops can’t even be opened, others let you upgrade many parts as desktops do. MSI laptops are upgradeable but not as much as desktops. 


Thankfully, MSI laptops let you upgrade RAM, which is crucial for game performance. Not every stick of RAM is compatible with every motherboard. 

If your computer fails to boot, the RAM stick you put in is incompatible. If you don’t want to do one of these slightly risky upgrades yourself, have a professional do it. 

Hard Drive

There is no guarantee that you can remove your hard drive. Some MSI laptops have the hard drive soldered in place. However, your odds are much better than with a graphics card. 

Gaming PCs should have faster SSD hard drives and not slower HDD hard drives. HDD hard drives have much more memory for the same price, but they are slower. Get an SSD drive and use external storage for extra memory. 


Unfortunately, MSI laptops have soldered processors. While you could probably remove a soldered processor with the right skills and equipment, most professionals won’t do it. 


Thankfully, you can upgrade the motherboard. Some people don’t recommend doing this because of the price and compatibility issues but it does work. Make sure the motherboard is compatible with your cooling system and battery.

WiFi/Bluetooth Cards

Unlike the graphics card, the WiFi/Bluetooth card can be upgraded. This can get you faster speeds as long as your internet service is fast enough.

Older Laptops Are Easier to Upgrade

Manufacturers are not focusing on making their laptops more upgradeable over time. Instead, they are improving them in other ways and sacrificing upgradeability. 

If you have a newer laptop, maybe only the RAM and hard drive can be upgraded. If you have an older MSI laptop, you might be able to remove and upgrade the graphics card. 

Key Takeaways

  • Usually, you can’t upgrade your graphics card with an MSI laptop. This is because most laptop graphics cards are soldered in place these days. You can’t remove/upgrade a soldered graphics card. 
  • It’s possible that you can upgrade the graphics card for your MSI laptop. Look it up, you might be lucky. However, the odds are that you can’t. 
  • You can upgrade other parts of your MSI laptop, such as the RAM without problems. You can upgrade the motherboard and often the hard drive. 

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