Replacing soldered-on ‘discrete’ laptop GPUs with different GPUs

I know that the things come soldered on to the motherboard, and that laptop cases and coolers are designed only to deal with the thermal output of the components they come with.

If I were fearless and skilled (or prepared to pay someone skilled), how would I go about determining which soldered-on GPUs are physically compatible with a given board?

Does anyone know if such GPUs ever have weird firmware quirks so that they only work with specific motherboards or vice-versa?

If this is really, really, actually impossible, that’s fine— but I wish I had a clearer account of why that is than I’ve yet found online.

There is more then just the GPU chip. You have the ram, bios and the power supply components. You are talking about a nightmare, you can have enough problems replacing a gpu with the exact same chip. Take a look at this.

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Ahh good ol’ Luis.

It is so difficult as to be impossible. I am not sure of the software end of it as laptops can have MXM cards instead of.soldered on and they are replaceable but I am not sure if a laptop would recognise a different GPU soldered on.

Other than that as above it is not just one chip, it is many and all their support components. Even if the pinout of the main chip is the same everything else could end up being incompatible. And the laptop would certainly not know what’s happening with heat output so if you went bigger that would be a mess of problems.

Edit, even replacing like for like is not easy.

Thanks, guys. I was hopeful that enough determination might do the trick, not realizing that modular GPUs actually integrate more chips on the removable card than are connected in one place to the motherboards of laptops with pseudo-discrete graphics.

It sounds like I’d be better off Frankensteining laptops together at a higher level to get the kind of outcome I want. (Not that that is easy, either. Then I’d likely be limited to kits I could find online.)

(The aim would be to replace the useless NVIDIA dGPU on my ThinkPad with an AMD one, since NVIDIA refuse to support GPU offoading on Linux.)

Thanks for helping me get a clearer picture of why this would be an ill-advised effort. :slight_smile: