I recently purchased a laptop with an Intel Core i5-3210M running at 2.5 Gigahertz with 6 gigabytes of RAM with a maximum of 8 gigabytes of RAM. The laptop had windows 8 preinstalled. It only came with Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics, however, other configurations of this laptop with the same motherboard and processor come from the factory with a dedicated Nvidia Geforce card as well as integrated Intel graphics and use Nvidia Optimus technology to switch between graphics cards. I am wondering if i could add an Nvidia card in one of my three available PCI express slots and install the Nvidia Optimus driver. Currently in my "Bios" or whatever Windows 8 replaced it with, there are no options for Optimus. My question is if i added an Nvidia card and installed the Optimus driver, would it work? Also, should i install the driver first and then the card?
Well, sort of. Generally there's only one PCI-E slot (maybe 2) and they're mini pci-e formfactor. No one that I know of makes video cards in that formfactor, and they're usually x1 slots anyway (most graphics cards run at x16, or x8).
There's a previous question that asked about upgrading video cards, and the same answer might be true here - there might be some graphics adaptors that would work, and they're of the MXM formfactor, and its a crapshoot.
There's one more option though, assuming you're using this on a desk, you may be able to get a expresscard -> PCIe adaptor - you'd need to supply a power supply, and of course there's the cost of the kit itself. Notebook review has a nice in depth guide on the process