Onboard video via VGA D-sub output uses shared RAM (amount is set automatically).
The N40L also accepts discrete low profile graphics cards (with low profile bracket only). The PCIe2 x16 slot only has room for a single slot card, and note that it is marked "25W" on the mainboard so you can not expect to use a card with higher power draw (up to the usual PCIe x16 standard of 75W) there without issues.
If it is to be used for simple video playing applications (e.g. XBMC) with GPU acceleration, any Nvidia G210 or ATI HD5450 or better card will suffice. However, if N40L is only used as a HTPC, the onboard N40L Turion CPU and graphics can output 1080p (via VGA) without the need for a discrete GPU.
3D video requires a HDMI 1.4a capable card (e.g. HD6450 or GT520, see list below for user recommendations). The N40L does not have built-in audio out; to use it as an HTPC, HDMI-out or a sound card is needed for audio and video output.
Add: the N40L can be used as gaming machine.
NB: Radeon hardware GPU acceleration in Linux is poorly supported, but the cards (particularly HD6xxx series) are regarded to have marginally better video image quality than the nVidia equivalent.
Graphics cards known to work with the N40L (and which OS they are used with)
- ASUS EAH5450 SILENT LP 1GB (Windows 7 x64) link
- Powercolor Go!Green HD5450 1GB
- Sapphire ATI 5450 1GB (Limited driver support under Linux: playback of Full-HD movies not smooth)
- HIS ATI 5570 1GB (link) (Windows 7 Ultimate x64)
Radeon HD 6450
- Asus Radeon HD6450 1024MB PCI-E D-Sub/DVI/HDMI HDCP Heatsink DDR3 Low Profile (Windows 7)
- Club3D Radeon HD6450 (link) (Windows)
- GIGABYTE GV-R645D3-512I Radeon HD 6450
- HIS ATI 6450
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6450 1 GB DDR3 [3D Blu-Ray (MVC) playback with PowerDVD 13 stuttering due to 100% CPU utilisation]
- XFX HD-645X-ZQH2 Radeon HD 6450 (Newegg review) (Windows)
- SAPPHIRE HD6670 1024MB GDDR5 LRTL (Windows 7)
- HP OEM AMD HD7450 1024MB (WHS2011, Windows 7)
- Multiple different version works according to forums on the Internet
- Asus Radeon R5 230 LP (R5230SL1GD3L).(Windows 7) [Without LP brackets. Fits nicely. Fanless, Audio ok, Samsung.Demo.Oceanic.Life.x264.1080p.40Mbps ok with 20% cpu]
- Asus Radeon R7 240 LP (R7240-2GD3-L). (Linux) [Comes with 2 LP brackets. You get DVI + HDMI out on card. Did not mount the 2nd bracket with VGA, but can be done. Fits nicely. Has fan]
GeForce 5 Series
- EVGA GeForce GT 520 1GB (01G-P3-1521-KR) (Windows, Linux) [Fits fine, has a fan]
- Gigabyte GeForce GT 520 1GB (GV-N520D3-1GI) (Windows) [Fits nicely and has a fan]
- MSI GeForce GT 520 1GB  (Windows, Linux)
- Palit GeForce GT 520 1GB PCI-E 2.0 (Model No.: NEAT5200HD06 (Windows) [Has a fan]
GeForce 6 Series
- Asus GeForce GT 610 1GB DDR3 (GT610-1GD3-L) (Linux) [Comes with low profile brackets (DVI/HDMI and VGA). When switching to the low profile brackets, the VGA connector needs to be removed (has PCB connector) as the ribbon cable is not long enough to fit it in the N40L. Fits perfect, has fan.]
- Gainward GeForce GT 610 (Windows) [PowerDVD 13 Ultra 3D Blu-Ray (MVC) playback with only 50% CPU utilisation. Fits fine, no low profile bracket included, has a fan.]'
- Gigabyte GeForce GT 610 2GB DDR3 (GV-N610D3-2GI) (Linux - using proprietary nVidia driver 319.17) [Comes with low profile bracket. VGA connector needs to be removed (has PCB connector). Fits comfortably, has fan.]
- Gigabyte nVidia GT 620 1GB DDR3 (GV-N620D3-1GL (link) only tested) (Windows 7) [Comes with low profile brackets (DVI/HDMI and VGA). Fits well, has a fan. Un-clip power cables from left bracket to fit card in, return after. VGA connector can be used, with fiddling, but blocks use of second PCI slot.]
- Zotac Sapphire Synergy Edition GT 610 1/2GB [Fits nicely and has a quiet fan]
- Zotac GeForce GT 630 2GB (ZT-60409-20L) (Linux) [Fits fine, fanless/SILENT, doesn't overheat.]
- Leadtek Winfast GT640 with Low Profile Bracket bought seperately Link
GeForce 7 Series
- PNY VCGGT7301D5LXPB GeForce GT 730 1GB 64-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 Low Profile Ready Video Card (FreeBSD x64) - Includes low-profile bracket. Has a small fan.
- Zotac GeForce GT 710 - Includes low-profile bracket. Fanless.
- Gigabyte GT 710 (DVI, VGA, Gold HDMI) - Includes low-profile bracket. Has a small fan.
- MSI GeForce GT 710 2GB Passive Cooling (GT 710 2GD3H LP) - Includes low-profile bracket. Fanless.
GeForce 200 Series
- ZOTAC GeForce 210 Synergy Edition 1GB, with low profile brackets (Openelec). Second bracket can be mounted. No fan. Fits right. Sound through HDMI ok.
- P690 Plus LP Dual monitor (Windows 2012) [No fan - fits great. Zoom feature not available in Win2012/Win8]
Graphics cards known to be difficult with N40L
- Asus GT 210 (doesn't fit, requires heatsink removal and modding)
- Asus ENGT430 (doesn't fit, the heatsink gets in the way)
- Asus GT 520 (GT 610 as well) Low Profile Silent Version (heatsink gets in the way)
- Asus GT 620 (GT620-1GD3-L) Low profile fan version doesn't fit due to heatsink
- MSI GT 620 (2GB) Low profile fan version. Includes brackets (HDMI+DVI and VGA). VGA connector can be removed, has PCB connector. Doesn't fit, requires fan removal or modding (I cut the fan to get it into). (Runnning Linux Mint 14 without problems).
- Point of view 8400GS does not fit due to the heatsink. No fan.
Windows 8 and Server 2012 Compatibility
Users have reported problems when using an NVidia graphics card, more than 2GB of system RAM, with the onboard gigabit LAN and Windows 8 or Server 2012. The symptom is a BSOD on boot with DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION. (link)
- Disputed*** Using the current nVidia driver (314.22) and a GT640 GK107 card does not produce a BSOD on Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
- Disable on onboard LAN in the BIOS.
- Use only 2GB of system RAM (e.g. the supplied DIMM only)
- Remove the NVidia card and use an ATI/AMD card instead.
- Disable the onboard LAN and install a seperate LAN card which is Windows 8/Server 2012 compatible (not tested)
- Install the latest bios (2013.10.01 (A) 15 Nov 2013). Downloadable here