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Lenovo Thinkpad T480s GPU upgrade

Hey Guys,

 

I have my Lenovo Thinkpad T480s for about 6 months. Overall im quite happy with it, but i would be interested in the GPU options.

Since it has TB3 i know i could simply buy an external gpu, but atm this would be too expensive for me. 

So. I know that the T480s has a configuration with an mx150. Back in  the Summer i didnt want to spend the extra 250 bucks on a mx150 upgrade.

My question would be. Can i buy a seperate mx150 and install it in my laptop? If you open the laptop you can see the free space, where the mx150 should be.

This relates to my next question. Can you even buy a seperate mx150 since they are only used in laptops. Then if i would be able to get one will there be any driver issues or should i be fine?

 

Thank you for your answers. 

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What do you mean with soldered to the board? Since i dont have a mx150 installed it cant be soldered on.

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Laptop GPUs are usually custom fitted for the components for example you can buy the same razor "model" with one set of specs and one with a different set of specs and you cant interchange the graphics because the cooler set up is different for example. Its unlikely Lenovo left in the cooler for the MX150. If the laptop is using integrated graphics right now id put the chance at upgrading as very slim.

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20 minutes ago, Lewio said:

What do you mean with soldered to the board? Since i dont have a mx150 installed it cant be soldered on.

Laptops aren't designed to be modular aside from (usually) the hard drive and RAM. CPUs are almost always soldered now, and on cheap Chromebooks and Celeron-ish stuff, the memory is an eMMC chip soldered in, the RAM is soldered in and nothing is upgradeable. Laptops aren't meant to be customized post-purchase anymore.

 

I'm very, very familiar with ThinkPads, and while they remain the most modular family out there if you know how to use a screwdriver, you cannot add an MX 150 to a system that wasn't built with one. You'd have to purchase and install an entirely new motherboard and heatsink, and at that point you might as well just buy a new PC entirely. The TB3 eGPU dock is your best bet.

Sincerely,

 

me

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27 minutes ago, Lewio said:

What do you mean with soldered to the board? Since i dont have a mx150 installed it cant be soldered on.

What they meant is that MX150 is a BGA chip, meaning that it is available only as a motherboard-soldered piece. Your motherboard possibly has something looking like the place an MX150 would go into, but there are multiple problems:
 - such laptop chips are not generally available to the customer. To build a working GPU you would also need multiple other pieces including memory chips, capacitors and other SMDs

 - even if you got the complete set, you would need a BGA-soldering station to do anything with it. And those aren't cheap

 - and even if you managed to solder it to the board, the traces to BGA socket are most likely dead, as Lenovo would not want to have exposed pads causing shorts, rusting, etc. Additionally, MX150 model of T480s seems to be using slightly different cooling assembly, so your current one wouldn't work for MX150 neither

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Ah well. Makes sense. Too bad. 

Thank you for solving my issue.  

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14 hours ago, Lewio said:

snip

Take note if you plan to use eGPU in future: T480s only has x2 PCIe lanes TB3 which reduces eGPU performance even further

My Desktop specs:

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