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 Post subject: List of notebook upgrades-any possible?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:24 pm 
8086
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I plan on getting a new gaming laptop for college (alienware m17 maybe) and am wondering what you can upgrade on 'em to save money. I hear alienware is very good with letting you upgrade their laptops and may even cover it under their warranty (not sure about the last statement though). I was hoping to upgrade the cpu from the stock p8400 to a q9100 ($564 from ebay vs. $850 from alienware) or a t9600 ($370 from ebay vs. $500 from alienware) to save money. I'm pretty sure the tdp for all the 45nm dual cores (save the extreme versions) are all the same and the quad core i think is one step up (does alienware change the cooling if you upgrade to a quad core?).

In addition i thought I'd save money by buying my own hard drives and configuring them in a raid 0 array but idk if i could get raid drivers from alienware then I'd also have to buy and OS.

Next i know you can normally add in ram but is it possible to remove the ram inside of the laptop and replace ti with faster 1333mhz ddr3 ram at the same voltage?

Thank you in advance for your answers!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:35 am 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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Hard Drives and RAM are definitely upgradable. Just keep an eye on the maximum amount of RAM the laptop can recognize

CPU's are sometimes upgradable. If you are blessed with a laptop with a socket instead of solder you can upgrade it if you can manage to properly take apart the laptop CPU's delicate cooling system and put it back together. Another issue that pops up is "can the cooling system handle a faster chip?". My take is that if the chip was available as an option when you originally purchased your machine, then yes, it will have no problems.

I've also seen some success with people upgrading their internal miniPCI WiFi cards (ie- Intel 2900 series to a 3xxx series or 4xxx series).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:00 pm 
Klamath
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>>>is it possible to remove the ram inside of the laptop and replace ti with faster 1333mhz ddr3 ram at the same voltage?<<<

Only if the existing RAM is DDR3.

You must use the same type (e.g. DDR2 or DDR3). The rated speed of the SODIMMs only represents the fastest speed they'll run at.

The actual speed is determined by the mobo/chipset. If you replace DDR2/533 with DDR2/800 it won't go any faster.

>>>>i thought I'd save money by buying my own hard drives and configuring them in a raid 0 array but idk if i could get raid drivers from alienware<<<

Funny that you're looking to save money in one of the few areas where it would be to easy to upgrade.

One way to clearly add a performance increase would be to replace the fragile, slow, mechanical HDDs with an ultra-fast SSD, or better yet a pair of them in RAID-0.

2.5" SATA and PATA HDDs don't come anywhere close to the 250MB/sec reads and 170MB/sec writes of a fast SSD like the Intel X25-E. HDD seek times are measured in milliseconds. SSD seek times are measured in microseconds.

Not only would you be getting a performance increase but greatly improving data security. A dozen SSDs in RAID-0 represent less data risk than a single HDD, even sitting still. If you compare tolerance to operating shock, the increased security of SSDs is even more pronounced.

Add the fact that the SSD draws much less power, 0.15W active and 0.06W idle for the X25-M compared to 5W spinup, 1.8W active and 0.8W idle for the 7200RPM 2.5" Hitachi HDD and it's perfect for a laptop.

The only reason to use a HDD instead of an SSD is money.

http://www.Intel.com/design/flash/nand/ ... /index.htm

And SSDs are very RAID-able:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/13/batt ... aid-array/

That should reduce load times for your favorite games.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:35 pm 
8086
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I have thought about throwing an ssd in there-and maybe it could still happen if prices drop enough in time to get a laptop for college but, an ssd with good speed is still a ridiculous amount of money imho.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:49 pm 
Team Creamsicles
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Yeah really. Just get a 320GB western digital scorpio black for 90 bucks. It's probably a third the price of a decent SSD, and 3x the capacity.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:44 pm 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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JimboToronto wrote:
The only reason to use a HDD instead of an SSD is money.



and capacity.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:15 pm 
Klamath
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Flytrap7 wrote:
JimboToronto wrote:
The only reason to use a HDD instead of an SSD is money.



and capacity.


He's talking about a laptop. 2.5" SSDs already have larger capacities than 2.5" HDDs.

Just wait until the SSD makers get around to making SSDs for mere desktop computers. They're too busy trying to satisfy their enterprise, and to a lesser extent, laptop markets.

If they can fit 512GB in a 2.5" drive, what can the squeeze into a full 3.5"?

My guess is that SSDs will reach 100TB long before HDDs. It's all about controller design and that's evolving so rapidly it seems to change weekly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:20 pm 
Klamath
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>>>It's probably a third the price of a decent SSD, and 3x the capacity.<<<

And a third of the performance.

HDDs are close to obsolete for anything other than bulk storage.

They're more or less where tape drives were a few years ago. OK for backup.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:18 am 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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JimboToronto wrote:
Flytrap7 wrote:
JimboToronto wrote:
The only reason to use a HDD instead of an SSD is money.



and capacity.


He's talking about a laptop. 2.5" SSDs already have larger capacities than 2.5" HDDs.



Not yet they don't.

The world's first 512GB SSD will be introduced by Toshiba at CES 2009 this year. So right now, a 500GB 2.5" HDD is still king of capacity until these new SSD's hit the public:

Tom's Hardware on December 31st, 2008 wrote:
Toshiba, whose 256GB SSD offerings pull in nearly half the maximum read and write speeds of Samsung’s, is pushing toward high-capacity as fast as the company can go. It’s already announced that it will be debuting the world’s first 512GB SSD at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show.


Anyone see that projected price tag on these 512GB SSD's? $1,652

It's not that I'm against SSDs, I just think technology needs another 16-20 months to mature.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:34 am 
Team Creamsicles
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HDD's are nowhere near what tape drives were a few years ago. The vast majority of people still use HDD's. Give SSD's about 2-3 more years, and then I'll agree with you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:01 am 
Monkey Fed [PC]
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1600 bucks vs.100 bucks for a good 7200 RPM HD. For most of the people on these forums, 1600 bucks for 500 GB of storage is a little outlandish. Most of us folks have jobs, houses, mortgages, car payments etc. Sure, if we win the lottery a 1600 dollar top-of-the-line ssd will be included. Until then, it's just too damn expensive.


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