Today Eurocom announced some interesting news. They are now selling new upgrade kits for existing laptops which feature a MXM 3.0b graphics card. This will let owners of older laptops, who are not interested in a complete upgrade, obtain the power of the new Maxwell 2 based GPUs from NVIDIA in their laptop.

MXM, or Mobile PCI Express Module, is a standard graphics interface for low power and small form factor systems, and was introduced to make it easier for OEMs to integrate a GPU into a system. They feature up to 16 PCIe Gen 2 lanes, up to a 256 bit memory interface, up to 4 dual mode Display Ports with HDMI support, in a standard package.

Although not inexpensive, it will allow customers to get some extra mileage out of their laptop, especially with the major improvements in performance we have seen with the Maxwell 2 based GTX 980M and GTX 970M. And overall while MXM was designed to allow just this kind of upgradability, it's actually fairly rare that we see upgrade cards released in this fashion, so it's nice to see this upgrade offered.

The kits come with all of the required hardware to make the swap, and each kit is tailored to a specific laptop make and model. Obviously this will only apply to systems that utilize MXM 3.0b card for the GPU.

If you are not afraid to open up your laptop, and you are looking for a graphics boost, you may want to check out the kits which can be found at Eurocom’s site.

Source: Eurocom

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  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    I'm actually working on a Eurocom (Clevo P750ZM) review right now. As for pricing on the GPU upgrades... I think most people would be better off selling the original notebook and buying a new one rather than spending $1000 on a GTX 980M. Then again, I'm not sure what the used market is like for high-end gaming notebooks; I'd be wary of buying something like this used (especially online), simply because you don't know what its been through prior to your purchase.
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    True that. I'd buy it used if it was cheap and then spend the $1000 to upgrade the GPU haha (probably not, I mean, that's a GTX980 for a desktop). But in all honesty, I could see a use case for those who have a 3K series CPU and a 600 series GPU. Not much to gain when upgrading from Ivy to Haswell, but the GPU upgrade would give substantial improvements.

    Having a socketed laptop is huge tho, big props to them - having a complete user upgradable laptop may just be worth the price premium. Looking forward to that review! Keep up the good work!
  • Khenglish - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Used mobile GPUs have high resale value on ebay. For example a clevo 7970m card goes for ~$400. 680m is similar, with 780m and 880 cards going for over $500.

    Also Eurocom charges a lot. rj-tech has the 970m for $450 and 980m for $720, but they are US only.

    So net cost of upgrading a 7970m or 680m from a P150EM to a 50% faster 970m is ~$100 considering shipping and ebay fees, and around $350 for an 80% faster 980m. Considering that an ivy bridge is a superior CPU to haswell for gaming laptops, upgrading is a very practical option. All you really get for say a P750ZM is the superior chassis.

    On a side note, I am very concerned with temps on the P750ZM. It has an IHS, which on haswell is known for die contact issues, and at least on pre-production models the GPU and CPU heatsinks were connected, which could make getting even die contact very difficult.
  • SniperWulf - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Funny you should mention RJ. I emailed them earlier asking about a 980M for my Sager (P370EM). Their reply stated that my model doesn't support the 980M although its clearly on Eurocoms list.
  • Khenglish - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Support is sketchy. You need to run a 347 series driver or else you will suffer a major performance hit. This is problematic because nvidia disabled overclocking on the 980m starting with the 347 drivers. No matter what driver you use, you will have problems with standby and maybe hibernate.

    The bottom line though is the 980m will play games at high fps with the right driver, so it does work, it just has some quirks.

    Just say you have an SM series and buy from them anyway. Cheapest option by far.
  • extide - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    Sweet, looks like I should buy from them instead.
  • extide - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    It depends... I mean, if I can sell my 680M for like $500 or so, then it's only $500 ... and I already have a pretty high end laptop (Sure, it's IVB, but it's a 3920XM and has 32GB of ram and a lot of storage, much of it solid-state)
  • Flunk - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    They sell Clevo whitebooks so you can also look up Clevo or Sager (who also sell Clevos) reviews.
  • Mondozai - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    The fact that you can upgrade your laptop with (relative) ease is cool, I guess, but unless you're gaming that has little relevance. The thing that most people upgrade for these days are things like screen resolution(going from 1080p to 1800p or 4K etc) or from a very slow CPU to a fast CPU, from low RAM to higher RAM as well as size/weight. Usually you do it all at once.

    Plus their laptops are fugly and clumsy as well. Anything over 1.3 kilos is too heavy and ideally it should be below 1. The Asus T300 Chi is an ideal example to follow for the future of laptops. Slim, sleek, high-DPI display etc. But for the niche market of those who want a gaming laptop, yeah, I see the appeal. But their workstations/ultrabooks? lol
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    I still think there is a relevant market for what they're doing here and I appreciate anandtech shedding light on these niche companies pushing the status quo (it's funny actually, I find anandtech has had a larger influence on my consumer habits as the years have past). One significant use case I can see is prosumers who don't have corporate purchase programs for workstations,

    My friend is looking for a workstation with a Quadro, who doesn't have a corporate purchase agreement. I'd definitely recommend their laptops here as she could upgrade a quadrophonic for $2000-4000 instead of buying a newer laptop just for a newer version of the same Quadro "class; CPU being sufficient.

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