Learning about Graphics Cards and Trying to Upgrade Mine. Seeking Advice


Mar 22, 2015
Howdy Toms (is that the right thing to say?)

I have am iBuyPower CZ-17 Valkyrie with:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX (Dedicated Graphics Card)
Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Integrated Graphics Card)

My first question is exactly how the Intel and NVIDIA Graphics cards interact? I know that I've had to set Global settings to always use the NVIDIA card over the Intel card my games and various other programs, but the actual laptop display appears to run through the Intel Card. With that in mind I believe it is impossible to disable the Intel Card, and rather that the NVIDIA card runs through the Intel Card. Is that correct?

My next questions revolves around upgrading my graphics card. I have no idea what cards would be compatible. I believe MSI compatible cards would work, but I have no idea what that may include. I was looking at the 900 series Graphics Cards, but since I don't really understand the relationship between the NVIDIA and Intel Cards, I didn't want to jump in blind.

Finally, I was really unsure how to find the graphics card in my computer. I took off the back, and was able to identify the Hard-Drives, Memory, and other basic hardware items, but saw nothing the looked like a Graphics Card, perhaps I don't know where or what to look for.

I'm still very much a novice in computer hardware, so any and all advice would be appreciated.


Feb 28, 2015
On a laptop your computer will switch between both graphics cards and maybe in some cases use both. The reason for this is to save power. It will use the Intel GPU when it doesn't need the video processing power. I'm not sure on your laptop but the costs involve in upgrading a laptop GPU normally out weight the performance you will can gain. the graphics card will probably have a heavy duty heatsink on it and maybe even a fan.



Feb 5, 2015
Nvidia Optimus technology utilizes both a dedicated GPU with the integrated Intel one so as to save battery when needed. It does so by switching graphics while intensive gaming and idle usage.

Coming to the GPU upgrade, Modern day laptops have GPU and CPU soldered in the Mobo, so it practically not possible and economically not feasible to upgrade.

Download cpuZ and clarify all your doubts about GPU from there.