Make a low cost laptop more powerful
A laptop tutorial by Peter Kalmstrom
You can save a lot of money by some simple engineering if
you buy a cheap laptop and add some more powerful parts
to it, instead of buying a pre-configured computer that
has what you need. This is how you can do it:
The price tag of this laptop will be less than half compared
to a laptop pre-configured for the same performance.
- Focus on the screen ? how large of a laptop
do you want?
- If you plan to run virtual machines, also check
that the processor is powerful enough to handle them
and has virtualization features that can be enabled.
- Buy the cheapest possible computer with the right
screen (and processor).
- Take out the hard drive and replace it with a a
solid-state drive (SSD).
- Take out the RAM and replace it with more RAM.
Taking out the hard drive and RAM
Nowadays the hard drive and RAM is often placed directly
under an access panel, just like the RAM, so if you can
do Lego or assemble IKEA furniture, you can do #4 and #5
too. You will probably find information on how to do it
in the laptop manual, and there are also a lot of instructions
on the internet.
Choosing the right replacements
Selecting the right memory and hard drive might be a bit
tricky. Look for the cheapest SSD with transfer speeds
of over 500 Mb/s.
Here is an example: A low weight laptop with a 17.3 inch
screen in full HD and space for two 2.5 inch hard drives
and a DVD-player. Add a primary SSD of 240 GB and a secondary
750 GB Hybrid drive.
Reinstall the OS
After changing the hard-drive you need to re-install the
operating system. It is not so easy, but if you have read
this far you probably know how to do it! Otherwise there
is information on the internet about that also. Windows
8 installs in 10 minutes on an SSD.
Note that this method does not work if you are a hard-core
gamer. In that case you need a graphics card with higher
performance than you will get in a cheap laptop, and they
cannot be replaced like the hard drive and RAM.