Hardware upgrades questions!: upgrading RAM, CPU, GPU, SSD

dj3ntz

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Hey all,

I have a Sager np8170 that I am planning on upgrading. I'm not very experienced with upgrading, so I have some questions.

1) RAM: I'm planning on buying 2 sticks of 8gb corsair vengance 1600 ddr3 RAM (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233265) to replace the slower 8gb sticks I have. However, I'm a bit confused as to the RAM configuration I currently have... If I recall correctly, I purchased the laptop with 8gb of ram. My laptop has 2 primary RAM slots which are user upgradable, and 2 "system" RAM slots which are under the keyboard and very difficult to upgrade. So, is there any need to upgrade those sticks as well if I just upgrade the ones in the primary bay?

2) GPU - I currently have a ATI 6990m, my second one after the first one fried on me after a year. I want to get a better card, possibly a 670m... but what worries me is the actual process of upgrading. I know how to install the GPU, but I dont know anything about BIOS upgrades or what not... will I have to upgrade BIOS for a new GPU? And suggestions on a good GPU under $400 would be great - I plan to play primarily BF3, COD, Arma 3, Skyrim.

3) CPU - I want to upgrade my CPU as well, currently I have a i7 2630m but I think I can find a better one now.... but my main concern is what upgrading the CPU entails. I know I need to re-apply thermal paste and so, but what else do I need to do? BIOS upgrade? Suggestions on a CPU would be great as well (anything better than the current one but not really expensive).

4) I bought an SSD, and Im gonna clone my HDD onto it, but I dont know much about the installation process/how this works. My HDD is full at 500gb, the SSD is 128gb. So what I think ill need to do is copy the entire hdd to an external back up, delete a lot of stuff on the HDD, clone it w/ the OS to the SSD? help would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

dj3ntz

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I know how to install the CPU/GPU manually, its quite easy on my laptop ( a panel pops out on the bottom which gives you access to the internals), my question is more about the bios aspect of it
 

dj3ntz

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Unfortunately I don't... but is an update absolutely necessary? I'm kinda scared to do it... I don't have much knowledge of computers and the possible 'locking' of the motherboard if I screw up is not something I want to risk unless completely necessary. Note - I bought my laptop this time last year, so shouldn't the BIOS still be relatively new?
 

Emerald

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the manufacturer website should list the latest BIOS and the BIOS history showing the changes.

I would upgrade the hardware before I do a BIOS update. I work with computers for over 15 years but only update thew BOIS if really necessary.
 

dj3ntz

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ok, so you suggest first upgrading the hardware, and if it isn't detected or if there are errors I should re-install the old hardware, update BIOS, then install the new hardware?

Also, I think I know what GPU to go with (either GTX 670m or ATI 7950m) but I really don't have a clue on the CPU. What processor would you recommend that gives me the best bang for buck? i5 is ok too, since I only use this laptop for gaming really... under $250 is preferred!
 

Emerald

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you should check the Intel website to check which CPUs are compatible with your i7 2630QM. the i7 once listed are:

2720QM
2820QM
2920XM
 
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