Question Need Advice on Upgrading GPU in a MSI GT80 Titan Laptop

Sep 14, 2020
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First off I'm somewhat clueless here. I used to always game on a desktop which was obviously easier to upgrade, but thanks to having to live in multiple different countries for work I bought a laptop back in late 2016. As the title states I am looking to upgrade my GPU but I'm reading all sorts of things online about compatibility issues with this particular laptop, and it's all a bit confusing for me so I have a bunch (hopefully not too many!) questions. Current PC specs are at the bottom.

I guess my first question is if it's even possible?

What types of graphics cards should I be looking at, and do you have any advice on which cards perform well?

This laptop is currently running 2 GPU's, but it would be nice to get away from SLI because of the lack of support in some of the newer games on the market. This might be a dumb question but is it possible to replace both of them with a single more powerful card, or would it be better to stay with SLI? This is also the first laptop or PC I've ever used in SLI mode so I'm not quite sure how it works. I use MSI Afterburner to monitor performance while I'm playing, and under "GPU1 Usage" it pretty much stays at 100% while in-game and "GPU2 Usage" stays at 0%. But it also shows that GPU Memory is being split equally between the two GPU's. I was under the impression that there was no SLI support for this game (Marvel's Avengers, released a couple of weeks ago) so it's confusing to me as to why the memory of both GPU's is being used.

I'm not asking anyone to research this but if you know off the top of your head how much high end cards are running these days, please let me know.

This quickly turned into a longer post than I intended, my apologies but thanks for baring with me!

MSI 18.4" GT80 Titan SLI-071
Intel Core i7 4720HQ (2.60 GHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
16 GB Memory
256 GB SSD
1 TB HDD
 

hotaru.hino

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Sep 1, 2020
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So here's the first question: does your laptop even have MXM slots? If not, you can stop here because you can't upgrade it.

The second is you may not have much of an upgrade path. Laptops are designed with a specific power and thermal budget in mind. Even if your laptop could support the GTX 980M, your laptop may have not included the power supply or cooling for it. The thermal output for the 970M is 75W, at least according to Wikipedia. So the highest-end options for subsequent generations are:
  • 1050 Ti
  • 1660 Ti Max Q
  • 2060 Max Q
And those may not be options depending on what's available. Also, you're looking to pay a hefty price as the only place I've seen MXM video cards is on eBay, and they typically go for at least 50% more than their desktop counterparts.

To answer some other questions:
I use MSI Afterburner to monitor performance while I'm playing, and under "GPU1 Usage" it pretty much stays at 100% while in-game and "GPU2 Usage" stays at 0%.
The game may not be using SLI.

But it also shows that GPU Memory is being split equally between the two GPU's.
SLI does not combine VRAM.
 

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