Buying a new motherboard..upgrade?

Tiel

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Aug 21, 2011
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Hello!

I have an Acer Aspire 7745-5632 notebook I purchased back in the fall of 2010. It was a swell lappie, but unfortunately it succumbed to hard drive failure and, soon after, a screen fracture a few months out of warranty.

I have a bit of cash, and I'd like to reinstate the computer into working order. Everything save for the screen and hdd are fine, but I was looking at one of Acer's other products - the 7745g line designed for gaming.

You can see a review of a product belonging to it at http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Acer-Aspire-7745G-Notebook.31516.0.html

Now, let me tell you. Except for a bigger battery, Every. Single. Detail. is identical to the broken notebook sitting next to me. One of my initial concerns was cooling, but it's the same laptop with different innards, fan and all!

So, I was thinking of going all-out and purchase a new motherboard as well - but that of the 7745g packing a dedicated GPU and quadcore CPU support.

My concerns here, and the reason I'm pestering you with my grand scheme, are primarily compatibility. The 5632 (let's be convenient and refer to it as 'Larsa', yes I name my computers) has an i3 350m. I'm not certain whether I could plop that into the new motherboard or not - I don't want to spend extra on an obsolete first gen i5 unless I absolutely have to. There are going to have to be some extra purchases, for example Larsa's wireless card has failed in the past, but overall I'd like to keep purchases reserved to the screen, hard drive, and motherboard.

And that brings me to my next question, that of the graphics card. From my experience I'm aware GPUs are directly soldered to the motherboard by the manufacturer for the sake of avoiding the expenses a full blown MXM would induce. I'd like some confirmation as to whether these mobo peddlers on the web sell them with the GPU installed. I'd figured that the price of 250 would encompass both components given their desktop counterparts would probably be cheaper (70 for a decent mobo, 150 for a decent GPU), but I need to be sure, you know?

This is the one I'm planning to buy at the moment: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Acer-Aspire-7745G-Intel-Motherboard-MB-PUM06-001-MBPUM06001-31ZYBMB0030-8859-/350711943358?pt=Motherboards&hash=item51a80f90be

Mostly because it has an actual picture and its shape looks vaguely like that of my 5632's. Anyway, if anyone could offer some insight here I'd be most grateful.
 

Gundy

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Jan 30, 2013
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Are you sure they're identical? Maybe they are, but all it takes is one screw boss change to ruin your drop-in-replacement fun.
This whole business is a bit risky, but you already know that. As long as you're prepared for this whole thing to go south at any moment, give it a try.
The GPU is probably integrated onto the motherboard, so you shouldn't have anything to worry about there.

If I might be so bold as to offer an opinion: don't do it. Just save the money and buy a real computer later. You're spending too much for too little with a high risk of getting nothing at all.
 

Gundy

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Jan 30, 2013
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Are you sure they're identical? Maybe they are, but all it takes is one screw boss change to ruin your drop-in-replacement fun.
This whole business is a bit risky, but you already know that. As long as you're prepared for this whole thing to go south at any moment, give it a try.
The GPU is probably integrated onto the motherboard, so you shouldn't have anything to worry about there.

If I might be so bold as to offer an opinion: don't do it. Just save the money and buy a real computer later. You're spending too much for too little with a high risk of getting nothing at all.
 

Tiel

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Aug 21, 2011
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I kid you not

7745g

7745-5632


Same cooling, same everything, as far as the eye can see.
Also,


I can't seem to find any pictures of my own laptop's underside on the web, but aside from the oversized battery I can assure you that the setup down there is identical to what's sitting in front of me, useless secondary sideways SATA bay and all :cheese:. And this is the 5850 model, apparently with no additional cooling whatsoever over my own i3-350m GMA HD setup.

My theory here is that the 7745-5632 model was simply comprised of low-cost components packaged in a 7745g chassis; a way to get rid of the latter cost effectively or perhaps simply targeting a different market with materials already on hand. Supporting this is the fact that the 5850 didn't have any extra fans, leading me to conclude that the case's cooling was designed for it in the first place, and while overkill for the integrated solution put into the 5632 it was cheaper to just leave it be. So all things considered, if I'm right the motherboards will be exactly alike save for a tidy little GPU.



Thank you for the confirmation on that. I realize I could be making a fool's move here, but technically speaking I can always return the 7745g board if things get sour.



Well of course you can offer your opinion, that is the purpose of the thread after all :lol:

I won't argue the logic here - 250 bucks could go a ways to securing a gaming laptop instead of on a foolhardy venture like this, but as it stands 250 is also a lot less than 900. If I take advantage of what I already have I end up with a tidy gaming lappie for a quarter of the price. It's a gamble, really, but either way I walk away from this with a learning experience. Thank you for your thoughts.



 

Tiel

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Aug 21, 2011
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Thank you for your answer Brett!




Not identical, no, but for the most part they're twins down to the last transistor. The differences I can see are that the 7745g's has dual RAM slots where Larsa's only has one in each location, and there are some more minute metal parts on the 7745g's, as well as an aesthetically different CPU slot, but overall they look like the exact same board with minor adjustments. Oh, and on the 7745g I can see a GPU.



When I looked at the same spot on Larsa's motherboard..



Empty! And the space is visually indifferent from the 7745g motherboard save for the absence of a GPU. There are also rectangular black boxes in spaces around the GPU on the 7745g board that are unoccupied on mine, I assume they are VRAM components.

So I might not have to buy a new motherboard at all, just a GPU, some VRAM, and a soldering kit! However, I am concerned as to power. I think I've all but confirmed my theory of my mobo simply being a neutered variant of the 7745g's without the bells and whistles, but that doesn't necessarily mean the PSU can support the addition of a GPU..

edit: Hmm, it just occurred to me that all those 'bells and whistles' I saw were to ensure proper graphics card functionality. I don't know if it'd even work if I just soldered a compatible graphics card in there along with the VRAM. I guess the best option would be to go for the mobo, given my discoveries I'm fairly certain it'll go in just fine.
 
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