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Homebuilt Notebook Computer

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April 4, 2007 11:19:58 AM

Is it possible?

I was wondering will you save any money building a notebook instead of buying one from the big guys? Dell , HP, Etc.

Is there a DIY seller of notebook cases and parts?

I am asking because this is a build for school and im not happy with the options that are given on the big guys websites.

Thank You All. :D 
April 4, 2007 11:53:26 AM

There used to be places where you could buy laptop chassis but they seem to have mostly disappeared. Nowadays the chassis manufacturers only sell direct to laptop makes, not to the general public.

This may be worth reading:

http://compreviews.about.com/od/buyers/a/WhiteBoxNote.h...

I'd suggest that if you don't like the big boys, go to one of the smaller manufacturers.
April 4, 2007 12:47:19 PM

There used to be barebooks on the market by ASUS and MSI.
But nowadays they are like impossible to find and on top of that they are just as expensive as regular notebooks (I mean retail-ready, with all components built in and stuff).
Related resources
April 4, 2007 4:11:17 PM

The best I have been able to do is make one good working laptop out of two IBM thinkpads that were not working - they were nearly identical to start with though - so it really wasn't that hard.
April 4, 2007 4:48:41 PM

Only retailer with barebones lappies I know of - Citrus Micro

Prices aren't cheaper than an OEM built, probably not worth it.
April 4, 2007 5:00:17 PM

I once tried building a laptop out of mATX PC parts in an old briefcase. Couldn't find a LCD panel that was cheap and would fit, though.
April 4, 2007 5:03:17 PM

I built my own about 5 months ago. Yes, you can save money, mine cost me about $2000 for a 14 inch display, T7600 processor, 2 gigs of RAM, geforce 7400 go and 100 gig 7200 RPM drive along with an extended life battery and dual layer dvd burner.

On that note, I also have connections. One of my friends owns a small custom built computer company mostly dealing with buisnesses. He had to order the chasis for me from his supplier and then the supplier screwed me hard saying I voided the warrenty when I installed the processor. The built in wirless in the chasis was busted. The switch that turned it on and off was stuck in the off position. They told me I should have tested the chasis before voiding the warrenty, I pointed out it'd be pretty hard to test without a processor, hard-drive, dvd-writer, ram, etc, etc, they said well sucks to be you, I had to buy an add in card. Long story short, don't buy from ASI, they'll screw you if you don't buy a complete system from them.

on another note, the chasis come with the mobo, usually the gfx card and all the little nifty perfirials already built in, so it's not as custom as you might like.
April 4, 2007 7:08:03 PM

Thank you for all the information guys. :D 
April 5, 2007 3:15:14 AM

Whoa... Good luck finding stuff. newegg is your friend. eBay can be a good buddy too.
April 5, 2007 4:03:43 AM

Quote:
The best I have been able to do is make one good working laptop out of two IBM thinkpads that were not working - they were nearly identical to start with though - so it really wasn't that hard.


Between my family and I, we have three identical Gateway 600YG2 notebooks. At least they started out identically:

Notebook #1: mine
CPU: Intel Mobile P4-M @ 2.20 GHz and roughly 70 C idle
Chipset: Intel 845MP and 82801CAM (ICH3M) half-dead
GPU: ATi Radeon M9000 on 15.7" 1280x1024 screen
RAM: 1 GB PNY DDR-333 (at 266) + 512 MB OCZ DDR-266
HDD: Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 100 GB
Optical: Dead 10x4x24x16x CD-R/RW DVD-ROM drive
WLAN: Intel 2945 mini-PCI
LAN: Reaktek 8169 PCMCIA card (built-in PRO/100 wireless died)
Keyboard: dead F4 and F5 keys
Case: Shows some wear

Notebook #2: My brother's
CPU: Intel Mobile P4-M @ 2.20 GHz HS full of Cheez-It crumbs
Chipset: Intel 845MP and 82801CAM (ICH3M)
GPU: ATi Radeon M9000 on 15.7" 1280x1024 screen
RAM: 256 MB Mitsubishi (?!) DDR-266 + 512 MB OCZ DDR-266
HDD: Toshiba 60 GB 4200 rpm POS
Optical: Dead 10x4x24x16x CD-R/RW DVD-ROM drive
WLAN: ORiNOCO Gold 802.11b mini-PCI
LAN: Intel PRO/100 VE
Keyboard: Full of Cheez-It crumbs
Case: Beaten up badly with most vent slot fins missing

Notebook #3: My mother's
CPU: Intel Mobile P4-M @ 2.20 GHz HS cleaned, lapped, max load is 61 C
Chipset: Intel 845MP and 82801CAM (ICH3M)
GPU: ATi Radeon M9000 on 15.7" 1280x1024 screen
RAM: 2x 256 MB Mitsubushi DDR-266
HDD: Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 60 GB
Optical: Fully functional 10x4x24x16x CD-R/RW DVD-ROM drive
WLAN: ORiNOCO Gold 802.11b mini-PCI
LAN: Intel PRO/100 VE
Keyboard: Clean
Case: Looks new

The beaten-up one that was my brother's has donated a few parts to mine, especially that nice 1 GB RAM DIMM he paid something like $200 for and won't work in his new Core 2 Duo Sony notebook :lol:  Also a few screws to replace a couple that had fallen out of mine over 5 years of hard use. I really probably should switch the motherboard on mine out as it has a dead NIC on it and the chipset is flaky to say the least. I'll mess with it when I have time, but I'll have to find that first.
April 5, 2007 4:25:54 AM

hey the only advantage that I have found is that you can find a slightly better video card. I started to build one but ran out of money. If you decide to build it pm me if you want a tl-50 I have one for sale.
April 5, 2007 5:13:58 AM

Overall, unlike a desktop, it's not worth it. The screen only runs about $400 for a 15.4". I say just spend the money and buy one.
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April 6, 2007 8:43:36 PM

You can buy them from eclipsecomputers.com but I must mention that as they are in Great Britian and the $/£ conversion ratio and shipping it might be a slight problem but you can buy them and it's cheaper (in G.B.) to build one with better spec. like with a Go 7600, 1.66Ghz C2D... for under £650 even maybe £580.

Eclipsecomputers laptop barebones

I hope to have one built by the end of the year, and I wish you good luck with proving the myths wrong. ;) 
April 6, 2007 8:44:59 PM

You can buy them from eclipsecomputers.com but I must mention that as they are in Great Britian and the $/£ conversion ratio and shipping it might be a slight problem but you can buy them and it's cheaper (in G.B.) to build one with better spec. like with a Go 7600, 1.66Ghz C2D... for under £650 even maybe £580.

Eclipsecomputers laptop barebones

I hope to have one built by the end of the year, and I wish you good luck with proving the myths wrong. ;) 

EDIT: sorry about double post :roll:
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