Graphics Card Upgrade

Jan 12, 2016 3:24PM PST

Hi all, I have got an old Alienware M15x i7 Q840 (1.86Ghz) with 8GB RAM. I dont play computer games any more and just use the PC for movies and for work. (I'm a Business Analyst and work with very large spreadsheets / data tables / VB / SQL etc.)

I just got a new monitor to make working from home a bit easier as it is great for multi tasking and has a very high resolution. (Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved LED.) Problem is that the graphics card on this machine sucks. (NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M) I have two questions, 1. Is there a graphics card I could throw in there that would allow me to get the full resolution from my monitor (3440 x 1440) and how hard would it be to install? I am pretty handy and have swapped parts out before but my experience there is relatively limited when it comes to laptops.)

2nd question - which is another option if I can find a good deal, is: Are there any sites or companies that I can pay to custom build a tower PC for me? I dont want to spend an arm and a leg and like I said, I do not play video games any more.. but I am, what you'd call a "power user" due to the large data I work with... so would want to get a solid setup for home use. I've been wanting to build my own the time has not been available to do that yet so thought I would throw it out there and see if anyone had any suggestions for me.

Side Notes: I got a very good deal on a Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB (Also have a Seagate 4GB Fast HDD Portable Drive that I use for all my storage)

Appreciate any input or help thrown my way regarding these 2 questions! Thanks!

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First, be sure you have a backup. Why? Seagate.
Jan 12, 2016 4:00PM PST
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Jan 12, 2016 4:13PM PST

Ah, a USB Video Card. Didnt think about that.,, In fact, I thought they only had adapters out. I will look into that - any particular suggestions?

Also didnt know that out Seagate... mine is doing fine though and is just for personal use, media and such.

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Those USB video cards change over time.
Jan 12, 2016 4:32PM PST
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usb 2/3
Jan 12, 2016 4:48PM PST

Laptop has USB 2. I bought and installed a Startech ExpressCard USB 3.0 but have never been able to get the damn thing to work properly. It works, but its even slower than USB 2... tried different driver options for 7-8 hours and finally gave up.

Do they even have 4k usb cards?? For 2.0?

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Your display is over the max for the Tenda.
Jan 12, 2016 7:53PM PST

That's why I thought you needed to go over 2560.

The LCD is "3440 x 1440 Pixels"

So, the Tenda should be a no-go.

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What would you do?
Jan 12, 2016 8:14PM PST

Ah, gotcha. So if this was your pc, and you wanted to be able to use the reso/pixels to the max of the monitor, what would you get?

I read that I could use a HD 7970m or a Firepro m6000 . Is that not the case?

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Sorry but
Jan 13, 2016 8:02AM PST

I didn't find where I could change the graphics in the laptop. Dell only made a few laptops with changeable cards and that was years ago. If you have such, the replacement cards were hard to find. Today, even more so.

-> Some folk look at what options this model offered at purchase and confuse that as if you can change the graphics. Well, you can but that's changing the entire motherboard which is costly.

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