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Upgrading laptops?

Posted on 2005-04-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Im thinking about getting a laptop but im just wondering waht parts can be upgraded. I know that they arent the most upgradable thing but which parts CAN I upgrade?
Question by:me1191

Expert Comment

ID: 13683241
i have read of many people upgrading the athlon 64 processor notebooks if you have the desktop class processor, also many stories of hard drives being upgraded, there is usually at least 1 extra slot for RAM sometimes 2, besides that most other parts are integrated and thus not really upgradeable.
LVL 69

Accepted Solution

Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 13683532
Hard drives and RAM are usually upgradable; some have socketed (as opposed to soldered) cpus, so they may be upgraded to another mobile cpu, and yet others have video chipsets that are replaceable (not common at all).  PC Cards (aka PCMCIA) allow numerous devices like networking, Firewire, and memory cards to be used, and USB ports allow different USB devices like external hard drives, mice, and keyboards.  The screen is the one part that must stay.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 13684279

Generally, just hard drive and RAM.  A very few laptops have separate video cards, but it's the exception.  The CPUs in some laptops (maybe half of them) are socketed, but changing it, while perhaps possible, is fraught with a lot of at least potential problems.  I have changed out the optical drives, moving from a CD/DVD drive to a "combo" drive (reads DVDs and burns CDs), this can sometimes be done.  The key with everything beyond memory and hard drive is that the answer to the question ("what can be upgraded") is machine specific, and, beyond that, you won't know if certain upgrades are possible without actually attempting to make them.


Expert Comment

ID: 13685013

Most commonly replaceable/upgradeable laptop hardware:

Hard Drive
Video Card
Extra Battery
Floppy Drive
Docking Station
Wireless Cards
Analogue Modems

Most newer laptops are quite versatile in upgrading, about the only thing that cannot be upgraded are the screen and processor. Older laptops are more proprietary and have to be sent to the manufacturer for any maintenance.
Beware that doing the work(upgrading) by yourself commonly voids warranty!, if you are considering purchasing a new laptop then i suggest talking with a sales representative as to what options are available.
You might even be able to get an advance replacement warranty which means after so many years, you can get a higher return value to use for purchasing a new one (which is really nice cause then in 2 years you can save on a laptop thats twice as fast as the one your about to buy )

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