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Laptop not got enough umph. Upgrade components or...Follow

#1 Aug 09 2011 at 1:01 AM Rating: Decent
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Hiya,

I've got a Compaq CQ70 laptop. It's okay for everything I use it for, bar one exception - WoW. It runs it like a dog even when the settings are set all the way to low. I get that it's not a gaming laptop so it should be expected, but in order to get a portable Warcraft I am wondering which route to take.

I've been tinkering with PCs for numerous years and am confident changing any component inside them, but I've never opened a laptop before, even for a RAM upgrade. So I am seeking advice from people that have if this is the route we decide to take.

By the way, this is all going to be on the cheap, so keep that in mind. If I could afford the latest Alienware powerhouse, I would get one. As it stands though, I don't have two pennies to rub together.

Option 1) Buy an older laptop. Something where it'll run WoW perfectly fine but in an older laptop which has a dedicated graphics card. Problem with this is that I love the design on the one I have now. It's got a good wrist support area and a full-sized keyboard (with numpad too). I'd be a bit gutted if I'd have to cart around a separate keyboard aswell.

Option 2) Upgrade my own. I'm really confident that mine doesn't have any means to put in a dedicated graphics card, so I believe I would need to upgrade the motherboard too. But I don't know if it would actually fit inside the case. Are laptop motherboards universal (in terms of fitting), or do you need to get a specific type depending on the laptop's case? Also, while my current processor would *do*, it's not great and I would like to leave that option open in the future to upgrade that too. Could the current generation of motherboards facilitate this? I believe the one in mine now is a T3200 2GHz (1MB L2 Cache 667MHz) and while I expect I couldn't put the latest processors around in there I would like to get a better version of the one I currently have.

I'm pretty much at a loss as to where to begin, so I'd like your advice and any other options you can think of. Which route will be most viable and what are the major hurdles which I am going to come across?

Many thanks.
#2 Aug 09 2011 at 7:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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Laptop motherboards are almost all proprietary and non upgradeable. They just don't often make anything that will even fit an older model. There are a few upogradeable laptop chassis out there, but they are few and far between and the cq70 isn't one of them. You almost certanly will not be able to find an upgraded board that will fit your existing chassis. This link shows the motherboard itself. http://www.insidemylaptop.com/remove-motherboard-from-compaq-presario-cq50-cq60-cq70-laptop/

Purchasing a laptop with a dedicated video card is your only viable route going forward. that being said, finding a cheap one in a 17 inch form factor isn't going to be easy.

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#3 Aug 09 2011 at 8:50 AM Rating: Decent
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Thanks for the reply. Seeing the motherboard itself kinda makes it obvious that it's non-upgradable. Even the USB and HDMI ports will be in completely the wrong places. I've been reading posts on various forums from around 2008 and seeing which could run at full spec then and whether those particular models are now cheaper. They are, but still out of my budget.
I've got my laptop running it at 25FPS (varying) in Stormwind. It looks horrible in every way, but it'll keep me going at work. My desktop which I am on now can run it at full spec, so it's not all doom and gloom.
Hopefully get a good win on the football tonight.

Cheers again.
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