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Old 08-05-2008, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Building your own

I'm going to build a desktop PC as soon as I can and I was wondering...can I build a laptop, too?

Is it possible and semi-practical to build a laptop like I plan on building a desktop? You know...buying a case, buying a motherboard, buying a CPU and so on and then putting everything together. Are laptop cases and motherboards and all that available for this purpose? I dug around quite a bit and didn't see anything like this.

Also, as an alternative, how practical would it be to get an old, non working computer (like my old Compaq that has a dead hard drive), gut it and put my own hand picked parts in?

My goals: I'd like to build a relatively small laptop for the sole purpose of wireless web surfing (e-mail...message boards...youtube...blah blah blah) on a linux OS (probably Ubuntu). The PC will be for everything else...games, Microsoft Word and all that productivity junk, music recording and editing, etc. I PROBABLY won't even have that connected to the internet...not sure though.

Any help appreciated!
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Building your own

okay ive looked into that as well
if you really want to you can find just about ever part that you would need for an alienware laptop pc
but the hardest thing would be to get all of them
and actually putting it together
you would have to have like all of the parts there for you
at that point in time
you really cant build it in stages
and even then

you will have a really hard time finding all of the parts
much less what you would like to have
and how are you going to find a mobile cpu for sale?
newegg.com?
i dont recall ever seeing them on there
but i really havent looked
so im just going to leave the laptop building to the pros


and if you want a laptop with Ubuntu
then go to the web site
and look for the link to dell
they will direct you to dell laptops with ubuntu installed on them
hang on brb

okay
after a good deal of searching
take a look
overview:
http://www.dell.com/content/topics/s...=19&l=en&s=dhs
laptop 15":
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...topic~linux_3x

just click away
and enjoy the virus free os :P
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Building your own

Any laptop is capable of basic web surfing etc. I think your best bet is to buy a cheap laptop(maybe a subnotebook) and build your own desktop.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Building your own

Quote:
Originally Posted by canucks63 View Post
Any laptop is capable of basic web surfing etc. I think your best bet is to buy a cheap laptop(maybe a subnotebook) and build your own desktop.
I agree. I have a cheapo laptop that is setup to dual boot XP and Ubuntu. I use that for web surfing sometimes but just mainly for experimenting with stuff. My desktop is my main rig
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Building your own

Thanks for the replies.

...but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedoe View Post
okay ive looked into that as well
if you really want to you can find just about ever part that you would need for an alienware laptop pc
but the hardest thing would be to get all of them
and actually putting it together
you would have to have like all of the parts there for you
at that point in time
you really cant build it in stages
and even then

you will have a really hard time finding all of the parts
much less what you would like to have
and how are you going to find a mobile cpu for sale?
newegg.com?
...what are you talking about? Yea, you can buy mobile processors at newegg (http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCateg...essors-Mobile), plus on ebay and who knows where else.

After starting this thread, I decided to see what I could find on my own anyway and found out about "Whitebox" or "Barebone" laptops:

http://laptoplogic.com/resources/detail.php?id=22

http://www.etech4sale.com/Compal_IFL...id-406365.html

They're cheap laptops that come without a HDD, optical drive, CPU or memory so you can put your own computer together with the parts you want. From what I've been able to find, this is the closest you can get to building your own laptop.

However, I tracked down all the specs for my old puter that isn't working right now and found out that I could swap in an AMD XP M 3200+, a gig of ram, a new 120 gig hard drive (which it needs anyway...the hard drive died which is why it doesn't work now) and it would be a pretty killer puter. It runs XP so a gig of ram is quite a bit. It ran great with the 512mb it has now so a gig would be sweet. This is probably what I'll end up doing. It's the cheapest option, I need to fix the old puter anyway and it should work great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedoe View Post
hang on brb
LOL! You know this isn't a chat room, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedoe
okay
after a good deal of searching
take a look
overview:
http://www.dell.com/content/topics/s...=19&l=en&s=dhs
laptop 15":
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...topic~linux_3x
Those are pretty cool. The dell stuff I've used has been pretty lame but those look pretty cool. I'd never buy one though. Why would somebody pay for Ubuntu? Linux is free. ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by canucks63
Any laptop is capable of basic web surfing etc.
Oh really? lol
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Building your own

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmp5s View Post
LOL! You know this isn't a chat room, right?
i didnt make all of that as a single post
i left the page
found the info
then posted again
it was automerged due to no one else posting before i did again
but it is still one of my weird quirks that i have fun with
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Building your own

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedoe View Post
i didnt make all of that as a single post
i left the page
found the info
then posted again
it was automerged due to no one else posting before i did again
but it is still one of my weird quirks that i have fun with
lol...I've found myself doing the same thing and then remembering "oh yea...I haven't posted this yet"...lol
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Building your own

I did some research for barebones laptops for a friend a few months back and found that the barebones prices were really high, I took 10 with specs he wanted (dual core mobile processor was a must add in for him) and compared them to 10 refurb/recertified laptops and the barebones units were actually priced higher on average, with the highest priced one of the 20 also a barebones laptop...

so basically, you can get some really good deals on refurb/recertified laptops for about the same price as the barebones kits, just putting a dual core mobile cpu in the unit you linked puts that barebones kit slightly over what you would pay for a decent refurb/recertified laptop on Newegg, and you would still have to buy the memory and hdd, and laptop hdds ain't cheap like their desktop brethren...

my advice would be to get a refurbished/recertified laptop, yeah they're slightly used, but they've also been tested to make sure they work or to make sure whatever may be wrong with them has been fixed...

recertified laptops on the 'egg

also stay clear of the nvidia G84 and G86 mobile gpus, they are not reliable and are failing in huge numbers...

all G84s and G86s are bad
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Building your own

Quote:
Originally Posted by wol-va-rine View Post
I did some research for barebones laptops for a friend a few months back and found that the barebones prices were really high, I took 10 with specs he wanted (dual core mobile processor was a must add in for him) and compared them to 10 refurb/recertified laptops and the barebones units were actually priced higher on average, with the highest priced one of the 20 also a barebones laptop...

so basically, you can get some really good deals on refurb/recertified laptops for about the same price as the barebones kits, just putting a dual core mobile cpu in the unit you linked puts that barebones kit slightly over what you would pay for a decent refurb/recertified laptop on Newegg, and you would still have to buy the memory and hdd, and laptop hdds ain't cheap like their desktop brethren...

my advice would be to get a refurbished/recertified laptop, yeah they're slightly used, but they've also been tested to make sure they work or to make sure whatever may be wrong with them has been fixed...

recertified laptops on the 'egg

also stay clear of the nvidia G84 and G86 mobile gpus, they are not reliable and are failing in huge numbers...

all G84s and G86s are bad
Thanks for the info!

I had actually considered getting a rebuilt laptop a while back when I was in a local computer shop doing some marketing work for an old employer and I noticed a TON of older laptops for sale that varied in price from ~300-500 bucks...some of which were actually quite small and nice. This option has always seemed quite viable to me and has always been in the back of my mind.

I too found some of the "barebone" puters to be more expensive than I was expecting but I found some that weren't too bad. There were a few on eBay that were flat out cheap.

However, I think I'm going to fix Ol' Trusty before starting out on an entirely new project:



Ol' Trusty's specs

The only real thing wrong with it is the hard drive took a crap (*see below for details). I have a couple questions regarding buying a replacement hard drive for it. This page has a bunch of replacement parts for my computer but, in the hard drive section, it has 2 kinds..."SATA" type and ones that don't say anything about being SATA or not. Which does mine take? It came with the 60 gig, 4200 rpm one on the bottom but I want one of the bigger ones, probably a 120 gig, 5400 rpm one as a replacement. Also...will I be able to get anything off the old drive and put it on the new one?

* For a long time it had been making all kinds of crazy noises but worked ok. Well...it deteriorated quickly until it wouldn't run any more...plus it started saying "hard drive failure imminent" every time it started booting up...I quit using it. It sat for over a year when, one day I decided to see what happened if I turned it on. To my AMAZEMENT, it ran like a top! "Hard drive failure imminent" screen and all! It would SMOKE my girlfriend's new Dell Inspiron like a cheap cigar! It ran great for about a month which I found hillarious. Her Dell only shipped with 512mb ram and, running vista, it barely even worked. She actually had the thing for a couple months wondering what was wrong with it before the "techs" at Dell told her she had to BUY MORE MEMORY FOR IT TO WORK! I was in disbeleif. I couldn't believe the actually sold a brand new computer that didn't even work. Even after "upgrading" the Dell, my old, crippled, barely working Compaq STILL ran The Sims 2 100X better than the Dell.

Mine, running XP, will be a beast when I'm done putting a gig of ram in it...:-D I love XP.

So, after a new hard drive and another 512mb of ram for good measure, Ol' Trusty should be ready to rock once again!
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Building your own

That is the same laptop I have.
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