Highlighted
Gknight1
1 Nickel

I'm not seeing my Nvidia Geforce 330m listed in my Vostro 3700 Bios or Windows Display Adapters Menus

Jump to solution

Is the 330m removable or replaceable? If so where can i buy one or can I upgrade to a more powerful discreet gpu? If it is on the motherboard why wouldn't mine be showing up? Thanks!

0 Kudos
6 Replies
9 Rhodium

RE: I'm not seeing my Nvidia Geforce 330m listed in my Vostro 3700 Bios or Windows Display Adapters Menus

Jump to solution

It isn't a separate card.  The system was sold with Intel-only boards (most of them) or optional nVidia GPUs (high end models/upgrade at purchase).

If your system is Intel-only and you want the upgrade, you'll need at least two things:

1.  A replacement system board with the nVidia GPU

2.  A new heatsink assembly (the Intel heatsink won't work with the nVidia GPU and vice-versa).

You will also need to check your power adapter - if it's 65W, you'll need to replace it with a 90W or higher capacity power adapter.

Note that these systems used the generation of nVidia GPU that were known for premature failure - you may be able to find a survivor but they'll be thin on the ground at this point and may not be a wise investment given the high rate of failure.

0 Kudos
Gknight1
1 Nickel

RE: I'm not seeing my Nvidia Geforce 330m listed in my Vostro 3700 Bios or Windows Display Adapters Menus

Jump to solution

So, when I see 330m's on ebay these can't  be put on my board? Also, if I bought a board with the 330m on it could I upgrade that board with a higher end gpu like a  GT425m or 650m or something? Thanks!

0 Kudos
9 Rhodium

RE: I'm not seeing my Nvidia Geforce 330m listed in my Vostro 3700 Bios or Windows Display Adapters Menus

Jump to solution

The GPU is a chip, not a card.  It cannot be upgraded - when the mainboard is built, the chip is permanently soldered to it.  At the time the system was built, some systems had separate video cards - it was the transition between that and today, when everything outside of the very high end of gaming and workstations have permanent, non-removeable GPUs (and CPUs as well).

0 Kudos
Gknight1
1 Nickel

RE: I'm not seeing my Nvidia Geforce 330m listed in my Vostro 3700 Bios or Windows Display Adapters Menus

Jump to solution

I'm just a little confused because I can see the individual chips being sold on ebay. I can see the alignment arrowarrow o tge chip where you line it up on the board like a small CPU. Why are they selling these individual chips on ebay if they can't be put on boards?

0 Kudos
9 Rhodium

RE: I'm not seeing my Nvidia Geforce 330m listed in my Vostro 3700 Bios or Windows Display Adapters Menus

Jump to solution

Probably because the chips are a common failure point, and some shops could purchase them to replace the chips.  Bear in mind that doing so requires the specialized equipment necessary to unsolder hundreds of pins and solder in a new chip - these don't drop into a socket.  They're hard soldered to the mainboard.

You can compare the Intel board:

www.parts-people.com/index.php

with the nVidia

www.parts-people.com/index.php

and you'll see that on the Intel board, only the solder traces are present.  The nVidia version has the GPU soldered near the CPU socket.

Note that though both boards have the traces, if you want the nVidia GPU in a system that has Intel video, you will need to replace the system board, heatsink and likely the power adapter as above.

Gknight1
1 Nickel

RE: I'm not seeing my Nvidia Geforce 330m listed in my Vostro 3700 Bios or Windows Display Adapters Menus

Jump to solution

I see now. Thanks for the info!

0 Kudos