Are MSI Laptops Upgradable? (Explained for Beginners)

Users would always want to upgrade their MSI laptops sooner or later since laptop components keep upgrading as the years pass. That being said, users are curious to know if MSI laptops are upgradeable at all.

So which parts on MSI laptops are upgradeable? Can users upgrade their RAM, HDD, processors, motherboards, and graphics card?

Photo by Leon Bublitz on Unsplash

Can MSI Laptops Be Upgradable?

Yes, MSI laptops are upgradable, however, this is only applicable to certain models. Also, not all parts on MSI laptops are upgradeable.

At first, it’s hard to tell whether or not a laptop is upgradeable, however, if you look at laptop components such as the RAM, CPU, and GPU and you’ve confirmed that they’re indeed upgradeable, then that specific laptop can be upgraded.

For MSI’s case, the majority of their laptops come with soldered GPUs and CPUs, so that means these can’t be upgradable. Don’t lose hope though since you can have your MSI laptop’s RAM upgraded.

Do take note that it’s better to not tamper with your laptop and disassemble things on your own for the sake of upgrading parts. There are repercussions if you decide to pull off upgrading your MSI laptop’s components on your own such as voiding the warranty on your laptop.

This is especially true for MSI laptops that belong to the GS Series, so do consult MSI if you want to have your hard drive or SSD upgrade.

Which Parts On MSI Laptops Are Upgradable?

Only the RAM, HDD, and SSD can be upgraded for MSI laptops and this would also depend on what model of MSI laptop you own.

RAM (Memory)

Luckily for MSI laptops, you can have your RAMs upgraded to make your laptop faster and have a longer lifespan. An important thing you must do before you buy a RAM of your choice is to see if the RAM you want is compatible with your laptop’s motherboard.

If you’re not careful enough in finding a compatible RAM for your motherboard then that would most likely result in compatibility problems and unauthorized memory. An unauthorized memory would lead to booting failures or system alerts.

Luckily for MSI, Kingston has a list of RAM that is compatible with a list of MSI laptops. They provide a whole variety of RAM with different specs that have been automatically paired with an MSI laptop that’s compatible with it. This makes things easier for users so that they won’t have to struggle with searching for the right RAMs.

For instance, according to Kingston’s website, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is compatible with both Kingston and HyperX RAMs:

Kingston:

  • 16GB DDR4 Non-ECC SODIMM (2666MHz)
  • 8GB DDR4 Non-ECC SODIMM (2666MHz)
  • 4GB DDR4 Non-ECC SODIMM (2666MHz)

HyperX:

  • 8GB DDR4 HyperX Impact Non-ECC SODIMM (2666MHz)

If you want to check out the entire list of RAMs that are compatible with specific MSI laptop models go and check out Kingston’s link here.

Hard Drive (HDD)

When it comes to upgrading a laptop’s HDD, users would usually go for SSDs instead of HDD since these are a lot faster. It won’t make sense to upgrade an HDD for another HDD with a higher capacity, so the most logical thing to do here is to upgrade to an SSD.

That being said, it’s the user’s responsibility to know what SSD is compatible with their MSI laptop model. Several MSI laptop models have HDD and SSDs soldered into the motherboard so it’s going to be difficult to have these upgraded.

Some say that soldered components can be upgraded with the help of professionals while others state otherwise since tampering with a component that’s soldered shouldn’t be touched to begin with and this would only mean that they’re not upgradeable laptops.

The decision is entirely up to the user in question, luckily, Kingston, again, has a variety of SSDs that are compatible with certain MSI laptop models. For instance, the MSI GS60 2QE Ghost Pro is compatible with SATA SSDs listed below:

Kingston:

  • 2.0TB Kingston KC600 2.5’’ SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) SSD
  • 1.0TB Kingston KC600 2.5’’ SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) SSD
  • 512GB Kingston KC600 2.5’’ SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) SSD
  • 256GB Kingston KC600 2.5’’ SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) SSD
  • Kingston A400 2.5’’ SATA SSDs (1.92TB, 960GB, 480GB, 240GB, 120GB)
  • Kingston KC600 2.5’’ SATA SSDs (Drive only) (2.0TB, 1.0TB, 512GB, 256GB)
  • Kingston KC600 mSATA SSDs (1.0TB, 512GB, 256GB)
  • Kingston UV500 mSATA SSDs (480GB)
  • Kingston XS2000 Portable Drives (2TB, 1TB, 500GB)

There are tons of SSD upgrades you can choose from once you visit Kingston’s website. The good thing about their SSDs is it comes with a lifetime warranty from Kingston and these SSD upgrades will surely make a difference in boosting the performance of your MSI laptop.

Processor

As of now, no MSI laptop’s processor can be upgraded since almost every MSI laptop model comes with a soldered processor. It’s not recommended to tamper with soldered parts since this would only void the warranty of the laptop and there may be other problems to be encountered once the processor is removed.

While it may not be entirely impossible to upgrade a soldered processor, however, it would take a lot of skill to do it. For instance, a person would need to have a professional BGA rework station plus skills to desolder a processor. This is why most people advise against tampering with a soldered processor.

This is why users are left with upgrading their entire laptop if they want a processor upgrade.

Motherboard

MSI laptop motherboards can be replaced and upgraded, however, this isn’t recommended. There are certain compatibility issues that people may face if they try to pull off this kind of upgrade.

Motherboards are constantly being upgraded through the years so their components are being changed as well. For instance, cooling systems, vent size, and battery are components that get regular upgrades over time. Due to these upgrades, they may not be compatible with certain MSI laptop models.

Another thing, motherboards are pricey (due to supply demands), so solely upgrading a motherboard can almost be compared to buying a brand new MSI laptop.

This is why several users recommend just buying an entirely new MSI laptop. By doing so, users won’t have to risk compatibility issues and they get to have a whole upgrade with every laptop component as well.

Graphics Card

Right off the bat, you must find out what type of GPU your MSI laptop has: is it an MXM video card or a soldered video card?

MXM video cards can be removed and replaced since they act like cartridges that you can just take out or plug in. On the other hand, soldered GPUs are nearly impossible to replace (and it’s not recommended to replace them anyway) so there’s no luck in upgrading them whatsoever.

Laptop brands nowadays are shifting their focus on slimmer and lighter components so the possibility of having MXM video cards in laptops that are being manufactured now would be slim. That being said, it’s going to be impossible to replace and upgrade an MSI laptop’s graphics card.

Again, similar to soldered processors, people are better off buying a brand new laptop instead of upgrading a single component from their laptops. Not to mention, MXM video cards are very expensive as well and a lot of users say that it’s not worth the upgrade.

Is The MSI GS65 Upgradable?

The MSI GS65 is semi-upgradeable since only the RAM, SSD, and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card can be upgraded.

The MSI GS65’s GPU and CPU are soldered into the motherboard so that makes it impossible to upgrade them. In terms of the RAM and SSD, it can be upgraded when it comes to the MSI GS65. In addition, users have the option of adding another SSD, just make sure that it’s an m.2 NVMe.

If users want to upgrade their GPU, they can do so by opting for an eGPU. To run an eGPU all you’ll need is a laptop that has a Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 port, a GPU, and an enclosure. This way, users won’t have to disassemble anything and everything would be external.

However, having an eGPU would be costly. Moreover, there are a lot of factors to consider if users decide to go down this route. For instance, would the laptop in question be able to support eGPU use? Is the thermal performance of the laptop able to cool down the CPU when it’s processing hardcore applications/software?

If the thermal performance of a laptop isn’t able to keep the CPU cool and perform its best, then the eGPU would be a complete waste. If you want to know more about eGPUs then you may want to visit this link.

Needless to say, the MSI GS65 can handle an eGPU, so all that’s left is to upgrade the CPU of this specific laptop model. Sadly, there’s no way that the CPU can be upgraded since it’s soldered into the motherboard.

How Can You Upgrade Your MSI Laptop?

You can upgrade your MSI laptop by purchasing the components you want to upgrade. You can get RAM and SSD upgrades from Kingston since they provide a list of compatible RAMs and SSDs on their website. As for eGPU upgrades, you can purchase them from brands like Razer.

Before opting to upgrade your MSI laptop you must know first what components are upgradeable, that way, you’ll know which components to purchase. This is a sure way of saving money and not making the mistake of buying a component that isn’t compatible or can’t be installed on the laptop itself.

Most MSI laptops manufactured nowadays can only have their RAM and SSD upgraded, so do be wary of that. Also, if you want to upgrade your MSI laptop, it’s best to consult MSI’s customer support so that you’ll know what components are upgradeable for your laptop. Also, it’s best not to tamper with your laptop and do all the upgrading yourself.

The best course of action to take when it comes to upgrading is to have it done by professionals since they know what they’re doing. This would prevent the risk of voiding the warranty on your laptop as well.

Resources:

https://us.msi.com/support/technical_details/DT_Upgrade_RAM

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-upgrade-ram-msi-ge66-raider