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Old 06-26-2008, 06:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Area-51 m17x

I was planning on selling my desktop computer so that I would have money to buy a good laptop for college that I can play games on. I was looking at the Alienware Area-51 m17x laptop. First of all, does anyone have any thoughts on that laptop, and how is the alienware support? But my main question is this, say I just bought a basic m17x with no upgrades, but then later let's say I want to upgrade from 8700 to 2 8800 in sli, and I want to upgrade my proc and ram, will I be able to do this. I did a lot of building desktop pc's but don't have much experience in laptops, but I assume it is possible.
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Area-51 m17x

Hello,

You have to remember that laptops have VERY limited space. So to try and upgrade from the 8700 to the 8800 in SLi would be very space consuming. Not to mention the heat factor brought on by this.

To get a new CPU might require a new mobo which is not easy to isntall. RAM on most laptops now a days are easily replaced with just the removal of 1 panel on the back.

Also have to remember that laptops use very think and easily breakable ribbon cables about the thickines of construction paper. Opening up the laptop to work on the insides too much could result in more damage than you know.

It is much harder to do these types of things with laptops. That is why people tend to buy the best one possible then run it till they cant no more and buy a new one. Upgrades for a laptop are much more expensive.

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Old 06-27-2008, 06:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Area-51 m17x

Thanks for the response. I know that laptops are very cramped, however if I get the option when customizing online to use 2 8800, I am assuming that I can add another 8800 later, since it has the space necessary. Also, with the processor, if I stay in the same line of processors, in this case core 2 duos, wouldn't all core 2 duos fit into the laptop? And, also where would I buy a new mobile gpu, since I don't see them on newegg.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Area-51 m17x

Hello,

Yes you would be right. You could but locating them is a different story. As you said yourself you can not find them on NewEgg cause you would haev to be a partner or reseller to obtain them i believe. I have not seen mobile GFX cards for sale anywhere.

Staying in the same line would work. But you would have to rip apart the laptop which is where my caution comes in. Those ribbon cables tear and break easily. Considering that laptop mobo's are split. They are then sandwidched together. From my experience. So you would have to remove hard of the mobo without breaking any connections. Then remove the heatsink and CPU to replace it.

All in all you could do it. To many people it isnt worth the extra costs to find hte mobile stuff needed to fit and owrk properly in a laptop. Getting a new CPU isnt just like popping it in. Have to find one with low heat so that you dont cook the laptop.

But with enough want you could do it. It will just cost you more to upgrade a laptop.

Cheers,
Mak
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Area-51 m17x

Too bad. After all this time, it is kind of sad, that upgrading laptops is quite difficult. I guess I will just get an ok laptop, and just keep my desktop for gaming and upgrading and stuff. I find it really fun to get new stuff for my computer once in a while, and it's too bad I can't do that easily with a laptop.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Area-51 m17x

you can get mobile graphics cards. I'm pretty sure you can get them from ASUS if you look hard enough. I'll try and locate a couple.

and you can get a nice barebones kit from ASUS
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Area-51 m17x

Yeah, laptops usually don't have upgradeable parts other than RAM and HDD, sometimes CPU but you have to tear the whole thing down to get to it. Graphics chips, as well as most other peripheral devices like sound, network, USB, modem, etc, are usually soldered right on to the motherboard, making it impossible to replace. Some laptops have the graphics on a separate board, but these boards are manufacturer-specific, so you couldn't upgrade yourself. I agree that there needs to be some standardization in laptops. A small form factor graphics card and connector needs to be developed so that laptop graphics could be upgraded. Also remember that laptops have limited cooling, and a desktop replacement laptop will put out as much heat as the equivalent desktop, but with much less cooling. My temperatures run really high on my relatively low end 8600M GS, 2 8800M's in SLi would run incredibly hot and you'll probably need some sort of cooling.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Area-51 m17x

I know for alienware laptops you can upgrade the mobile cards pretty easily. They have a nice layout, and you just call up alienware i think and say "I want 2 8800's in sli now" and as long as you have the newer laptops they just ship you out the new ones for an outrageous price i bet, and then instruct you to put them in.

But really, why do you want that much power in your laptop? you might be able to save money by purchasing a cheaper laptop with an 8600m (for around 700-900), and then getting a desktop and OC'ing it to a better level then your alienware laptop. This laptop your talking about with all the upgrades will probably cost around $4,000? Maybe more?

get a $1,500 desktop, and a $900 laptop and you have yourself alot more money in the bank and the same gaming experience.


Oh, and my friend has experience with alienware support... they are extreme nubs most of the time and they try to cheat you out of your money. They have the bios locked on his so that even though he has a 64 -bit OS, the laptop only recognizes half his ram (he complained so much they unlocked it, which shows how bad they are). They also tried to screw him out of the promised upgradability to the 8 series.

I would just get a cheap acer laptop with an 8600m and a desktop with a nice 24" monitor .
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Area-51 m17x

Thanks for all the replies, I think I finally made my choice. After looking around at people's modded desktops, I think I am just going to buy a cheapish laptop, and then keep my desktop, upgrade it, and mod it out. Thanks for all the help again, and yeah laptops are freakin expensive for the performance they give.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Area-51 m17x

I agree with your decison, best of luck!
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