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Old 12-18-2014, 04:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Several Laptop Questions In Regards To Building A Solid Gaming Laptop

Okay so I have multiple things I want to touch down on in this thread, If this is in the wrong place I'm sorry it was not my intention I am very new to forums so I don't know exactly how things run if it is in the wrong place how can i move it to the right place? Alright now on to business.

I have a Lenovo Laptop Model R400(I know not very good but its the best i could buy at the time) Currently it sucks for any kind of gaming. The graphics are terrible(Intel(R) Graphics driver for mobile), the ram is a 2GB, Its Cpu only runs at 1.80 GHz, Its a 64-bit windows 7. I want to be able to make this into a system that can run The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with no problems(not perfect but with playable FPS) and still be able to run mods for it, and have a little over decent graphics for it. Now the questions I have are as follows:

- If i wanted to take everything out (Literally) and rebuild it from the ground up to make it more suitable for gaming(I know it wont be top of the line but please don't recommend buying a whole new computer) Could I? I'm talking about replacing everything.

-If replacing everything became too expensive could i replace just the CPU? or the graphics? Or the ram? and make it compatible with what i already have?

- If i replaced any of this, would I still be able to keep all the programs that i already have on here? if so how?

Keep in mind when answering that i don't want a spectacular gaming computer, but i do want the best out of what i have right now and its parts. With that said I'm not willing to buy a whole new computer just the whole inside of the one i have(or to exchange parts here and there). I know I'm kind of a "noob" as some would say, to the computer business but I also know what i want(just not sure how to do it).

Thanks for the help and feedback i really appreciate it.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Several Laptop Questions In Regards To Building A Solid Gaming Laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGlasses View Post
Okay so I have multiple things I want to touch down on in this thread, If this is in the wrong place I'm sorry it was not my intention I am very new to forums so I don't know exactly how things run if it is in the wrong place how can i move it to the right place? Alright now on to business.
It's in the correct place - you're fine.

Quote:
I have a Lenovo Laptop Model R400(I know not very good but its the best i could buy at the time) Currently it sucks for any kind of gaming. The graphics are terrible(Intel(R) Graphics driver for mobile), the ram is a 2GB, Its Cpu only runs at 1.80 GHz, Its a 64-bit windows 7. I want to be able to make this into a system that can run The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with no problems(not perfect but with playable FPS) and still be able to run mods for it, and have a little over decent graphics for it. Now the questions I have are as follows:

- If i wanted to take everything out (Literally) and rebuild it from the ground up to make it more suitable for gaming(I know it wont be top of the line but please don't recommend buying a whole new computer) Could I? I'm talking about replacing everything.
Going to be straight up - no. If you want a laptop to game on, you're going to have to buy a new laptop. Not what you want to hear, but it's the truth. There's not much that you can replace on it, and even then you can't upgrade to much better stuff.

Quote:
-If replacing everything became too expensive could i replace just the CPU? or the graphics? Or the ram? and make it compatible with what i already have?
CPU, technically in that one yes you can replace it. Though your options are limited. See this link which has the available options for CPU's: Detailed specifications - ThinkPad R400, T400 - Lenovo Support (US)
Notice they're all Core 2 Duos.

RAM, yes you could upgrade; though according to that you can only support up to 4GB (possibly could go over that...but it's not guaranteed to work properly or at all with the motherboard).

Graphics, no. You have integrated graphics. That means it's built into the motherboard and nonreplaceable. Generally only high-end gaming laptops are somewhat "easily" upgradeable for graphics. For that you'd have to drop a minimum of $800-1000, and that's if you found a really good deal on a laptop (which is what I've done with the 3 gaming laptops I've owned).

Quote:
- If i replaced any of this, would I still be able to keep all the programs that i already have on here? if so how?

Keep in mind when answering that i don't want a spectacular gaming computer, but i do want the best out of what i have right now and its parts. With that said I'm not willing to buy a whole new computer just the whole inside of the one i have(or to exchange parts here and there). I know I'm kind of a "noob" as some would say, to the computer business but I also know what i want(just not sure how to do it).

Thanks for the help and feedback i really appreciate it.
If you're not willing to buy a whole new system, then the most you could do is upgrade the RAM to it's max supported 4GB, buy an SSD (this will provide the most benefit IMO, in general with everyday performance/loading), and if you wanted you could look on eBay for one of the slightly better performing chips that will fit in your system (you'd want to make sure your BIOS is up to date from Lenovo before performing the upgrade).

Even if you do upgrade to 4GB RAM/SSD/better CPU...probably won't notice a whole lot of performance increase because of your integrated GPU. You might see "somewhat" higher FPS...but it's up to you if you'd want to spend the $50 on RAM/$40-60 on CPU (depending on which one you get)/$100+ on SSD.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Several Laptop Questions In Regards To Building A Solid Gaming Laptop

With what CarnageX said, when you buy a run of the mill laptop (or any laptop in my opinion) you are basically stuck with what you get until you decide to get a whole new system.
All laptops to me are a pain to work on, but the easiest thing you can do for yours would be to upgrade the ram. Getting a new SSD drive would speed up the computer, but would not improve the gaming experience too much due to the integrated graphics.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Several Laptop Questions In Regards To Building A Solid Gaming Laptop

One last question that I just remembered and didnt put in the top questions.
My brother is a computer tech and well we dont talk much which is why im asking here, but he did mention at one time that I could buy a new ram card and tell it in the BIOS to use a certain amount of ram for the graphics card specifically to increase performance by a little. Is that true? If so how would i go about doing that? maybe a link to how to do it?
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Several Laptop Questions In Regards To Building A Solid Gaming Laptop

By RAM card I assume you mean a new stick of RAM?

Yes, that's possible to add another stick of RAM (like I said, you can have up to 4GB according to Lenovo). Then in the BIOS there should be a way to allocate more memory to the GPU - however that's not really going to help all that much because it doesn't increase the actual compute performance of the integrated GPU - it only increases the VRAM, which allows higher resolution.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Several Laptop Questions In Regards To Building A Solid Gaming Laptop

I see now that its not worth all the trouble of buying all this only to make my computer just a little bit better. If i wanted to build a gaming computer for as cheap as possible but still be able to run at good fps and such where would be the best place to buy parts? Im not rich so i dont have thousands of dollars to buy computer parts with but if you could be so kind as to direct me to a website that sells cheap but efficient parts that would be great. I appreciate all the help you have given me in regards to this.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Several Laptop Questions In Regards To Building A Solid Gaming Laptop

You can build a decent gaming build for much less than $1000. $600-800 will net you a pretty good machine.

If you're truly interested in building, go ahead and post a new thread here: New Systems | Building and Buying - Tech & Computer Forums

Post your budget and your intent with the machine (i.e. gaming, and what kind of games).

Since you're in the US, generally we will link you to Newegg and/or Amazon.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Several Laptop Questions In Regards To Building A Solid Gaming Laptop

I have been using newegg for all my parts for my computers. You cant beat their warranty.
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