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Build or Buy Laptop?


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#1 pconstantinescu

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:33 PM

Hello everyone,

I need a laptop, and I was wondering, will it cost more to build my own laptop from scratch, or to buy one already built?
Will I end up paying less if I build one? I need it to be small, light and functional. It needs to have at least a cd or dvd drive and I don't want a floppy drive that would take up space.

I am looking around at motherboards for laptops but there are so many I don't know where to start. I noticed that you can't really shop by specs for laptop parts. I am trying to see how cheap it can be done, and still have a fast laptop.

I want to spend under 250 dollars, if that is possible. I don't need the fastest processor, as long as its faster than my 7 year gateway old desktop (2.39GHZ pentium 4). I figured since my computer is worth about one penny, pretty much any processor you can buy today should be faster. More important for me though, is RAM and battery life. I need at least 6 or more hours. I need at least 4GB RAM. I will mainly use it for homework and maybe a couple movies everynow and then. It would be a plus if the video card was seperate not integrated because I would be able to upgrade later.

Where should I start? Any motherboard combinations?

Edited by pconstantinescu, 06 February 2011 - 09:56 PM.


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#2 killerx525

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:20 AM

Building a laptop will cost more and limited on choosing the parts. Buying one is much easier. For $250 you could get a netbook and the battery lasts long but it has only 1GB for most models but you can always upgrade it to 2GB. For homework and a couple of movies the netbook suits it although it has a small screen.
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#3 dpunisher

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:28 AM

There are a lot of motherboards for laptops out there. None are intended for a ground up build though.

Laptop components are very proprietary from one OEM to another and with few exceptions (CPU sockets, memory, mini PCI,SATA connectors) everything is unto itself. You can't get a motherboard from one system, and a case from another, a display from someone else, and have any reasonable expectation they will fit together. There was a proposal many years ago (decade+) about a standardized laptop format (like AT,ATX,BTX etc) so you could mix and match parts but nothing really became of it. Thats why it is such a pain working on old laptops sometimes as you have to find the specific part you are looking for as usually nothing else will fit.

Long story short, you cannot build one yourself unless all the parts you have were part of the same model as originally released. Kind of cuts down on the "custom aspect" of a build.

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#4 pconstantinescu

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:39 AM

Building a laptop will cost more and limited on choosing the parts. Buying one is much easier. For $250 you could get a netbook and the battery lasts long but it has only 1GB for most models but you can always upgrade it to 2GB. For homework and a couple of movies the netbook suits it although it has a small screen.
Asus


Okay thanks I was also thinking it would probably cost more. The 2GB max is a deal breaker for me and also not having a cd-drive.


There are a lot of motherboards for laptops out there. None are intended for a ground up build though.

Laptop components are very proprietary from one OEM to another and with few exceptions (CPU sockets, memory, mini PCI,SATA connectors) everything is unto itself. You can't get a motherboard from one system, and a case from another, a display from someone else, and have any reasonable expectation they will fit together. There was a proposal many years ago (decade+) about a standardized laptop format (like AT,ATX,BTX etc) so you could mix and match parts but nothing really became of it. Thats why it is such a pain working on old laptops sometimes as you have to find the specific part you are looking for as usually nothing else will fit.

Long story short, you cannot build one yourself unless all the parts you have were part of the same model as originally released. Kind of cuts down on the "custom aspect" of a build.


Okay thanks. I was thinking I would have to go down a route like that. I'm going to do a little research and find out how much more it would cost to build an exact laptop laptop model that is sold. Know of any sites that have OEM parts? I'll probably just google laptop repair parts.




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