What can I upgrade in a laptop?

Updated: 04/12/2021 by Computer Hope
Laptop computer

Unlike a desktop computer, laptops and other portable computers often do not offer many upgrade options for improved functionality. Below is a listing of common laptop upgrade questions and the answers to each of the questions regarding laptop and portable computer upgrades. These upgrades refer to the upgrade done to a laptop after its been purchased.

What can I upgrade in my laptop?

This answer varies on the manufacturer and model of the laptop or portable computer. However, most laptops and other portable computers only allow a user to easily upgrade or change the system memory, hard drive, and have options for a better battery.

Can I upgrade the memory in my laptop?

Almost every laptop and portable computer allows a user to upgrade the memory (RAM) in the computer. Often this is done by opening a compartment on the bottom of the laptop and adding an additional stick of memory or replacing existing memory.

Often you must purchase the memory for your laptop through the laptop manufacturer or an authorized dealer. However, many memory manufacturers and companies also make compatible memory for many of the newer laptops. If you have questions about your laptop's memory specifications or how to upgrade the memory, contact the manufacturer of your laptop.

A listing of memory manufacturers and related web pages is also on our memory network section.

Can I upgrade the processor in my laptop?

Some laptop and portable computer manufacturers allow their customers to upgrade their processor speeds. However, the amount of money spent on a faster processor usually results in a small increase in performance and may not be worth the upgrade. This upgrade often requires the laptop computer or portable computer manufacturer or authorized repair shop to perform the upgrade and is not something an end-user can do.

If you are curious about the availability of upgrading your laptop or portable computer processor and the cost involved, you must contact the laptop manufacturer for additional information.

Can I upgrade my video card in my laptop?

Some high-performance laptop and portable computer manufacturers offer models that enable users to upgrade the laptop's video card or graphics accelerator. Unless you're one of the lucky few who have one of these laptops or portable computers, you can't upgrade your video card. If you are unsure, contact the laptop manufacturer for additional information.

Instead of replacing the laptop video card you may also consider an eGPU, if your laptop supports the necessary connections.

Can I upgrade the laptops hard drive?

Most manufacturers allow a hard drive to be replaced by a larger hard drive or even a traditional hard drive to an SSD (solid-state drive) hard drive. For laptops that allow the user to easily replace the hard drive, there is usually a compartment that allows access to the hard drive.

Alternatively, you can consider an external hard drive solution that utilize connectivity technology such as USB (universal serial bus) or FireWire. Although these solutions take up additional space and may be a bit slower, they are fairly inexpensive and might be your only option.

Can I upgrade the laptops LCD to a bigger size?

We are unfamiliar with any laptop or portable computer manufacturer that offers an upgrade for the LCD (liquid-crystal display) or screen that comes pre-shipped with the computer. Therefore, this is not an upgrade option. However, you can always connect the laptop to an external monitor, projector, or another display of any size.

Can I upgrade other peripherals such as the modem or network card?

We are unfamiliar with any laptop or portable computer manufacturer that offers an upgrade for the internal modem or network card. However, users can purchase a new PC Card or ExpressCard modem, network card, and numerous other peripherals and connect them externally to replace the component that came with the laptop.