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Want Beef Up My Laptop! Where to start?

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Chid46    0

So like the topic says, I'm new to PC gaming, and I want to beef up my laptop, and learn the ropes of upgrading computers for gaming performance.  More than any other game, I will be picking up World of Warcraft for the first time in a while. However, I also plan to play the occasional steam -based game such as Assassins Creed, Fallout, and maybe even some simulation games like Civilization and Total War. 


I decided to ease into it and get what seemed to be a mid level gaming laptop: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1050-ti-256gb-solid-state-drive-black/5872507.p?skuId=5872507


Current Benchmark: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/6308809


I did a ton of benchmark comparisons when I was looking to buy, and decided this seemed to be a great laptop for beginning gaming, at a good price. My only complaint is that it still seems to be a little choppy when I play most of these games. 


Anyways, my main question for you all is; What should be my first upgrade, that would make the biggest difference in my experience with these sorts of games? I have toyed with the idea of investing into a new stick of ram, because even while just having this single window open, Task manager is saying I am using 5.1/9.1 GB of my Committed memory. Not sure what exactly that means, but it also says  4.1 GB of my ram right now and it says I only have 3.7 GB left... and all I'm doing is this post! So should my first upgrade be to a cheaper upgrade of adding 4GB of ram? If yes, any tips on specific brands/types would be greatly appreciated.I'm not looking to invest much, but I want to add something to my laptop as a Christmas present to myself! haha 

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Mindovermaster    1,598

Well, all you can really change in laptops are HDDs (SATA SSD or PCI-e M.2), the RAM, and wireless card (if you want something better than stock)


I'd max out the allotted RAM. Rather 16GB or 32GB, depends on the laptop type.

And get a higher SSD/M.2. 512/1TB


For gaming, laptop keyboard/tracpad kinda sucks for gaming. Do you have a nice exterior keyboard/mouse?


If your laptop has a thunderbolt port (didn't read link yet), you can go with a eGPU..

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Jim K    11,660

Really only two things you can do. 

Memory:  I believe this notebook comes with two DDR4 SODIMM slots ... but I'm not sure if they are being populated with 1x 8GB module or 2x 4GB modules.  I'm guessing it just has one 8GB module ... this could be easily confirmed by task manager (Performance > Memory > see how many slots are being used).  If it only has one 8GB module ... easy path would be to try and get a matching 8GB module.


Storage: If needed, this notebook (I'm almost certain) has room for a 2.5inch SSD/HDD drive.  The m.2 in the current system is SATA ... so I wouldn't bother with it ... but you could slap an additional drive in it.


Other than that (aside from accessories) ... not much else you can do.


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Raa    1,505

SSD, memory. You're done.

Good luck!

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+DevTech    1,340

Everyone is answering his question instead of giving him advice.


So far, upgrade to a SSD isn't any help because according to the link he provided it already has an SSD.


Upgrading the RAM is easy but will just be disappointing because he has already complained of STUTTER in everything he is playing.


The correct answer is the 1050 ti is not powerful enough at 1920 x 1080.




1. Play games at 1280 x 720 with reduced effects or


2. Sell laptop and get one that is actually designed for real gaming or


3. Use a desktop for gaming so you can actually upgrade GPU as needed over time.


NOTE: if you go with Option 1, then in games like WOW, a RAM upgrade will help to reduce some types of lag when in very crowded areas.


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eddman    283

Which is more important to you, portability or upgrade capability? You cannot have both. With a laptop you practically cannot upgrade the most important performance parts, CPU and GPU.


If you really want to be able to upgrade, then you have to get a desktop. If not, then you'd have to get a new laptop every time you want better performance.


As for your current laptop, the only immediate thing you could do is to lower the graphics settings in-game and if that doesn't help, lower the game resolution.

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Jose_49    933

First, welcome to Neowin!!! Glad you enjoy your time here!


Things to notice:

  • Windows reserves a certain amount of RAM for "caching". This allows programs to boot up quickly. Don't upgrade RAM until:
    • Windows tells you that it's running out of Memory.
    • You are using a RAM-intensive product, such as Virtualization, or video-editing. (Games, will depend on how much VRAM you have, and it consumes.
  • Check that you're not playing at the highest settings (You have to manually experiment to see the best option for your game). The 1050 TI is a good card. It should hold for medium-high settings in most games.


Next time, aim for a Thunderbolt 3 capable computer. This allows you to attach an external graphics card, and future proof your device.

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