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My Own Custom Laptop

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  • Laptops
  • Cases
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
August 12, 2008 2:47:15 AM

I'm used to building my own desktops and have been looking into buying a laptop, but am first wondering can you customize laptops too?

These are the parts I ideally want to install on my laptop...
AMD Turion™ X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile Processor (ZM-86)
Kingston 2048MB PC4200 DDR2 533MHz SODIMM Memory
Seagate Momentus 7200.1 Ultra ATA/100 80-GB Hard Drive

Also, I want to install Ubuntu on it not Windows.

Where I need help is I can't find a case (an actual computer case not a carrying case). I just want to buy a case instead of buying the whole computer and I would use a OCZ DIY, but they're even more expensive then the whole computer. What I'm looking for in the case is...
AMD compatible motherboard
14' - 19' screen
Good integrated video (enough to speed through GUI and maybe low setting games)
-2+ USB ports
-Wifi included or capable

If you could help me or know a place that sells everything you need to build your own laptop please help me out.

More about : custom laptop

a b D Laptop
August 12, 2008 2:54:00 AM

You're making more trouble for yourself - it's far too difficult to build a laptop. It's just too small, too unique each time.

I don't know why you would choose an AMD processor in a notebook over an Intel...the Intel is more efficient and less power hungry.

I also don't know why you would choose to have an ATA hard disk over a SATA disk.

I don't know where you can get any DIY notebook cases, and I'd advise against it. I don't even know where you could get a laptop form factor motherboard.

Very little hardware is standard in the mobile world. It's a hard life for the DIY.
August 12, 2008 3:10:21 AM

I disagree that AMD is less efficient than Intel. I've been an AMD fan for a long time and a lot of people are now going my way. AMD's are faster than Intel's and has been proven so by the latest in benchmarking. Don't get me wrong, Intel is very good too, but I think AMD comes out on top, even if it is a bit more power hungry. ATA over SATA is simple, I want my hard drive to last me more than a few months. SATA's are great while they last, the problem is that's not long. Anyway I agree with you and say DIY's are a sad excuse for custom build. I just really don't want to buy retail and really building a laptop shouldn't be that hard as I have gutted and rebuilt laptops before, replacing parts for customers. My only problem is the case/motherboard. Am I SOL?

My main beef with buying retail is paying the extra $100 for Vista when I want to but free Ubuntu on it anyway. Plus I like the added security of knowing what's in my system and being able to get support direct from the part manufacturer rather than a retail brand and its OEM ways.
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a b D Laptop
August 12, 2008 4:15:22 AM

I think the latest benchmarks disagree with the AMD vs. Intel subject, especially in the mobile realm (Intel's been on top there by the numbers for a long time), but if you're a fanboy, I won't disrupt your feelings. If you look at my specs, you'll see I'm not a fanboy by any reguard - I switch when it's better for my money.

I don't know what you have that says SATA hard drives don't last long..I've had SATA disks for years now, not one of them has died. I have three that run 24/7, and have been doing so for 3 years now, working just fine. My SATA laptop disks show the same kind of stability. In fact, my ATA disks have a worse track record than my SATA disks; and trust me, if there's one thing I'm not short on, it's hard disks. I have stacks of them.

Dell offers notebooks that come pre-installed with ubuntu, if you'd like to travel that route, but they aren't any cheaper than those with windows. In my experience, the OEM brands have much better support than do the hardware manufacturers. They're just bigger.

As I said, I don't know where you'd find a laptop case or motherboard. I have significant experience in repairing, modding, refurbishing, and cleaning notebooks piece by piece, too, and I still wouldn't attempt building one. I don't have the time. It's not impossible, but it's harder than it looks. I don't know what you see it as, so that's not a judgment on to you.

I don't know how to help, other than to tell you to find a broken laptop, find a motherboard possibly on ebay, and hope you and a dremel tool can make the two mate.
July 15, 2009 7:00:12 PM

I was thinking about doing the same thing, but I'm not sure if I will actually follow up with it.

As for cases, so long as you aren't especially picky I would just buy a dead laptop either at a PC recycling shop or on ebay, strip it of it's components, and then use that case. That said the others are right that things are much more variable and machine specific for note books. Perhaps you can find a used laptop that has dead other componants, but a perfectly functional motherboard that will support the processor you want and then purchase your CPU separately.. from there you can add what hard drive and memory you want.

I have a laptop like this from work that they were planning to throw away(motherboard, CPU and case only) that I'm planning to stick my own components in.
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a b D Laptop
June 19, 2010 3:33:11 PM

I was thinking the same, only two things i was looking at... how to successfully take out the screen and have no use with it; in other words how can i replace it with a graphics card and the other would be how new is the laptop... cause the laptop i have by a friend who donated for such an occassion.... is a dell i am looking at it and can see that i can take the top part off; where the keyboard is at. But if i do this then i can extend the top and keep the base of the laptop, but then how can i install additional fans and energy and video card.... it seems interesting and not to far fetch in doing so.... just it really is a custom build, without custom parts to succeed.