Can I Upgrade My GTX 960M? Exploring Your Options for Graphic Card Upgrade

In the ever-evolving world of gaming, keeping up with the latest hardware can often be a challenge. For those who initially invested in a GTX 960M graphics card, the question of whether it is possible to upgrade becomes increasingly relevant. In this article, we will dive into the possibilities and explore the different options available for upgrading your GTX 960M, allowing you to enhance your gaming experience to the next level.

Understanding The Limitations Of The GTX 960M

The GTX 960M is a mid-range graphics card that was released in 2015. While it was a capable card at the time, it does have its limitations compared to newer, more powerful options on the market. One of the main limitations of the GTX 960M is its performance in demanding AAA games and applications. It may struggle to run those games smoothly at higher settings and resolutions.

Another limitation is that the GTX 960M is based on the Maxwell architecture, which means it lacks some of the advanced features found in the newer Pascal and Turing architectures, such as real-time ray tracing. This may limit its compatibility with certain games and software that require these features.

Furthermore, the GTX 960M has 2GB or 4GB of VRAM, which may restrict its ability to handle more demanding graphics-intensive tasks or run multiple monitors.

Overall, it’s important to understand the limitations of the GTX 960M to assess whether it meets your specific needs and if an upgrade is necessary to enhance your gaming or professional graphic design experience.

Exploring Alternative Options For Graphic Card Upgrades

When it comes to upgrading your GTX 960M, there are alternatives to consider that can potentially improve your gaming experience without breaking the bank. One option is to look for a used or refurbished higher-end graphic card from the same GeForce GTX series, such as a GTX 970M or GTX 980M. These cards offer improved performance and can often be found at a more affordable price point than the latest models.

Another alternative is to explore older generation GeForce GTX cards, such as the GTX 700 series. While these cards may not offer the same level of performance as the GTX 900 series, they can still provide a noticeable upgrade from the GTX 960M, especially if you find a higher-tier card like the GTX 780M or GTX 790M.

Additionally, you can consider upgrading to a graphics processing unit (GPU) from a different manufacturer, such as AMD. While this would require a bit more research and potentially some adjustments to your system, it could open up new possibilities for improved gaming performance.

Exploring these alternative options can help you find a suitable graphic card upgrade that fits your budget and enhances your gaming experience without having to invest in the latest and most expensive models on the market.

Upgrading To A Higher-end GTX Card

Upgrading to a higher-end GTX card can significantly enhance your gaming experience and graphics performance. The GTX 960M, although a capable card, may struggle with newer and more demanding games. Therefore, upgrading to a higher-end GTX card becomes a viable option for those seeking improved visuals and smoother gameplay.

By upgrading to a higher-end GTX card, you can expect higher clock speeds, more CUDA cores, increased memory bandwidth, and improved overall performance. This upgrade will allow you to play newer games at higher settings and resolutions without sacrificing frame rates.

However, before upgrading, it is crucial to consider your system’s compatibility and power requirements. Ensure that your power supply can handle the new graphics card’s power demands and that your motherboard has the necessary PCIe slots for installation.

Furthermore, it is essential to check for any possible bottlenecks in your system. Upgrading the GPU alone may not always yield substantial gains if other components such as the CPU or RAM are outdated.

Overall, upgrading to a higher-end GTX card can breathe new life into your gaming rig and provide a significant boost in graphics performance, making it a compelling option for those looking to elevate their gaming experience.

Considering Compatible GTX Cards For Your System

When it comes to upgrading your graphic card, compatibility is crucial. In this section, we will explore some compatible GTX cards that you may consider for your system, specifically if you currently have a GTX 960M.

One viable option is the GTX 1060, which offers a significant performance boost compared to your current 960M. It features Pascal architecture, improved core clocks, and higher memory bandwidth, making it a worthy upgrade for gamers who desire smoother gameplay and better graphics.

Another option is the GTX 1660 Ti, which provides even more power and performance. With its Turing architecture, higher CUDA core count, and faster memory, this card is a great choice for those who want to enjoy the latest games with higher settings and smoother frame rates.

Ultimately, the optimal choice depends on your budget and specific requirements. It is important to note that before purchasing a new graphic card, you should ensure that your system’s power supply and cooling capabilities are sufficient to handle the upgraded card. Additionally, installing the latest drivers and optimizing your system settings will play a significant role in maximizing the performance of your new graphic card.

Exploring The Possibility Of Switching To AMD Graphics

When it comes to graphic card upgrades, many people tend to focus solely on NVIDIA options. However, it’s worth exploring the possibility of switching to AMD graphics, as they offer a compelling alternative. AMD has its line of Radeon graphics cards, which have garnered a loyal following due to their competitive performance and affordability.

Switching to AMD graphics can provide a different experience and potentially offer better value for your money. Radeon cards are known for their excellent performance in gaming, especially at higher resolutions. They also come with features like AMD Freesync, which can enhance the smoothness of gameplay by synchronizing the monitor’s refresh rate with the graphics card.

Moreover, AMD frequently releases driver updates to optimize game performance and improve compatibility, which helps extend the lifespan of their graphics cards. This commitment to ongoing support is particularly appealing to gamers who want to ensure their hardware remains relevant for as long as possible.

Considering the possibility of switching to AMD graphics presents an opportunity to diversify your options and potentially get more bang for your buck. Ultimately, it’s essential to research and compare the specific models available to determine if an AMD graphics card could be the right choice for your upgrade.

Exploring External Graphics Card Options

With the limitations of upgrading the GTX 960M internally, many gamers and professionals are turning to external graphics card solutions. External graphics card enclosures offer a viable option for upgrading your graphics performance without having to replace your entire system.

External graphics card enclosures, also known as eGPUs, are typically connected to your laptop or desktop via a Thunderbolt 3 port. This allows you to utilize the power of a desktop graphics card while still enjoying the portability of a laptop.

One of the benefits of using an external graphics card is the ability to easily upgrade your system’s graphics performance. Instead of being limited to a specific range of compatible graphics cards, you can choose from a wider variety of options, including high-end models from Nvidia or AMD.

Additionally, eGPUs provide better cooling compared to internal upgrades, as they are often equipped with their own built-in cooling systems. This can help to prevent overheating and ensure optimal performance during intense gaming sessions or resource-intensive tasks.

However, it’s important to note that external graphics cards do come at a cost. These enclosures can range in price depending on the model and brand, and you’ll also need to purchase a compatible graphics card separately.

In conclusion, exploring external graphics card options can offer a flexible and effective way to upgrade your GTX 960M, providing you with enhanced graphics performance and future-proofing your system.

Weighing The Cost And Benefits Of A Graphic Card Upgrade

When considering a graphic card upgrade, it is crucial to weigh the cost and benefits involved. Upgrading your GTX 960M can bring several advantages, such as improved graphical performance, increased compatibility with newer games and software, and the ability to use more advanced features like ray tracing.

However, the cost of upgrading should not be overlooked. Upgrading a graphic card can be expensive, especially if you are opting for a high-end GTX card or switching to AMD graphics. It is essential to consider whether the performance boost justifies the cost for your individual needs and budget.

Additionally, before making a decision, evaluate whether your current system is capable of utilizing the full potential of a new graphic card. If your processor or other hardware components are outdated, upgrading the graphic card alone may not yield significant improvements.

It is recommended to research and compare different graphic cards, their prices, and their compatibility with your system requirements. Consider your gaming or work needs and assess how much value the upgrade would add to your overall experience. Ultimately, make an informed decision based on the cost-effectiveness and long-term benefits of the graphic card upgrade.


1. Can I upgrade my GTX 960M graphics card?

The upgradeability of graphics cards in laptops can vary. In the case of GTX 960M, it is generally not possible to upgrade it as it is soldered onto the motherboard. However, some laptop models may offer MXM slots that allow for graphics card upgrades. Checking your laptop’s specifications or consulting the manufacturer’s website will provide clarity on whether your specific model allows for a graphics card upgrade.

2. What are my options if I can’t upgrade my GTX 960M?

If your laptop does not support graphics card upgrades, there are still other options to improve your gaming experience. Upgrading your laptop’s RAM, optimizing system settings, and regularly updating graphic card drivers can enhance performance. Additionally, using external graphic amplifiers or eGPUs may provide a significant boost in graphic capabilities, but compatibility and cost should be considered.

3. How do I determine if my laptop has an MXM slot for graphics card upgrades?

To determine if your laptop has an MXM slot, refer to the technical specifications provided by the manufacturer. You can also consult your laptop’s user manual or look for online resources specific to your laptop model. If your laptop offers a removable upgrade panel at the bottom, it might be an indication of an MXM slot, but further research or professional guidance is advised before attempting any upgrades.

4. Are there any risks involved with upgrading a laptop’s graphics card?

Upgrading a laptop’s graphics card, especially if it involves MXM slot usage, can be a complex and risky process. It might void your warranty, and compatibility issues may arise. Additionally, the physical size of the new graphics card should be considered as there might not be enough space within the laptop’s chassis to accommodate certain upgrades. It is advisable to seek professional assistance or thoroughly research the process before attempting any upgrades.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, while upgrading the GTX 960M may seem like a tempting option for some, it is important to carefully consider the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of such an upgrade. Exploring alternative options such as upgrading other components or investing in a new gaming rig altogether may prove to be more practical and beneficial in the long run. Ultimately, it is crucial to prioritize one’s specific needs and budget when considering a graphic card upgrade.

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