View Full Version : Upgradeable PowerBook GPU's?

Sep 16, 2003, 09:35 AM
The new Powerbooks [15" & 17"] use the "ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 graphics processor with AGP 4X support and 64MB of DDR SDRAM video memory".

I have been following this product closely since it's introduction in early March of this year because they are supposed to be upgradeable, at least by the manufacturer, using ATI's new "FlexFit" technology that makes these Graphic Processor units [GPUS] pin-compatible.

Here's ATI's info. on the MR-9600 line. Scroll to the bottom of the linked page to see the section on FlexFit:


Has anyone looked into this yet? Being able to upgrade to a 128 or 256 GPU next year would be awesome!!

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.


Sep 16, 2003, 09:49 AM
No, you got it all wrong. The FlexFit technology doesn't allow end users to upgrade the graphics chip. Instead, ATI is simply guaranteeing that their future chips will use the same pin out, so that when manufactuers want to upgrade the GPU for future laptop revisions, they won't have to make any major changes.

Sep 16, 2003, 10:13 AM
The major, missing capability of laptops, is the ability to upgrade the GPU.

Here's a link which includes the following quote from an ATI product marketing engineer on the FlexFit feature:

The design is a cost-saver for notebook makers and should ultimately allow laptop owners to upgrade graphics cards, a first in mobile computing, said Vora.

"Somebody could go out and upgrade their graphics card, the same way they would on a desktop PC," he said.


Sep 16, 2003, 11:37 AM
Yes, but Flexifit has been around awhile from ATI. OEMs though (including Apple) solder the GPUs in under the official statement that it's done to prevent the GPU from loosening from the socket. (However, most CPUs are socketed, so this reasoning doesn't stand...) However, the main reason is so that they have a constant revenue where people will buy new PBs. It's just something we, as consumers, have to deal with.

Between hard drive, RAM, and GPU upgrades, my personal upgrade cycle would lengthen...