If you are trying to build your own laptop. You would have come across MXM graphics cards. These cards are what makes it possible to turn your laptop into a gaming laptop. That is if you are building one.
But aside from that, there’s also another reason why MXM graphics cards are popular for certain laptop or desktop enthusiasts. Here’s everything you need to know about MXM graphics card.
What Are MXM Graphics Card?
MXM (Mobile PCI Express Module) graphics cards are removable or replaceable graphics cards for laptops or notebooks. Laptop motherboards already make it near impossible to replace or swap out the GPU or CPU.
The graphics cards are either non-removable or soldered onto the motherboard. That’s where MXM graphics cards come in.
Some laptop manufacturers allow the GPU on the motherboard to be replaced. This makes upgrading easier. No need to buy a new gaming laptop just to get better gaming performance.
Why Are MXM Graphics So Expensive?
The less common the item the more expensive is going to be. A lot of laptops also don’t have motherboards that support the MXM graphics card.
Plus, few vendors sell MXM graphics. This allows them to charge high prices for the graphics card.
To put it simply, it’s all about supply and demand. The demand is not high. And so making MXM graphics cards in small quantities is going to affect the price i.e. by increasing it.
If it was in high demand. Manufacturers would have to make large numbers. This will then reduce the price of the graphics cards.
If you saw diamonds on your street every day. You wouldn’t think of it as valuable anymore, won’t you?
Why Aren’t MXM Graphics Card Popular?
There are three reasons why MXM graphics cards are not popular.
As mentioned earlier, MXM graphics cards are damn expensive. For the same price, you could get a desktop version of the card. A GTX 1060 card cost approximately USD400.
A GTX 1080 MXM graphics card costs about USD1000. That’s almost equivalent to the price of a gaming laptop. When you see prices like that you will quickly change your mind about getting an MXM graphics card.
Laptops are not the same except for the same models. The BIOS, shape and size of the motherboard are all different depending on the manufacturer.
The biggest reason why laptops come in different shape and sizes. Because of this, there will certainly be compatibility issues. You have to know whether your laptop’s motherboard supports MXM graphics card.
Plug and play without doing the necessary research will leave sorely disappointed. Even if the motherboard supports the MXM graphics card. Your current BIOS might not support it.
There might even be the case that newer cards won’t work on your board. Newer cards might have different layouts than previous generations.
Lastly, you need the hardware knowledge to properly install an MXM graphics card. If you are not careful you can easily destroy something on the motherboard.
You have to do thorough research before you even think about purchasing an MXM graphics card. Most people do not have the knowledge or the time to learn about MXM graphics cards. Hence it’s unpopularity.
If building your laptop was a thing like building your desktop. Then maybe MXM graphics cards would be popular.
Should You Get An MXM GPU Laptop? – The Advantage of MXM Graphics Cards
The only advantage that an MXM GPU has is its upgradeability. That’s all. To be honest, it is not worth getting an MXM graphics card.
Unless you are personally interested in building your laptop or you take it as a hobby. For the average user, you will be far better off purchasing an already made laptop or desktop.
Where Can You Buy An MXM Graphics Card
You can purchase MXM graphics card from Amazon, Newegg, eBay, Aetina etc. There are so many GPU resellers I can’t possibly list them all here.
For laptops that support MXM GPUs. MSI, Clevo, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Dell Alienware and Toshiba make use of MXM graphics cards.