Last September I bought an Alienware M17x. It's more of the basic system; Core 2 Duo T9600 @2.8Ghz.. 4Gig ram @1,333, 1920x1200 monitor, one GTX 260M card.....
Anyhow, with this configuration, could I upgrade it to an Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX9300 @ 2.53 Mhz?
I'm not planning on doing it now by all means. Maybe a couple years from now...maybe.
I guess I should ask....with my configuration (mother board) can I upgrade it to anything that Alienware offers now? How about the i7 processors?
By the way, the M17x is running excellent, thought I did get the Blue Screen of Death the second day I had it, and had to use the Alien Respawn a couple weeks after owning it. Besides that, it's running awesome!
Oh, just to mention, I use this computer mainly for CAD work (AutoCAD, Inventor, Solidworks.....). Maybe once in awhile I play Fallout3, but that's it for games.
1) Yes, it is possible to upgrade to the QX9300. Alienware offers it as an option in the M17x configurator. However, you currently have a higher clocked dual core. For the price you are going to pay for the QX9300 (think around $1000) I do not think the performance is going to be worth the price.
2) If you are planning on doing this at all, you are probably better off doing it now since the Core2 line is being phased out by the i3, i5 and i7 lines. Core2s for laptops will probably be a little hard to find in a couple of years.
3) No, you cannot upgrade to the i7. The i7 uses a completely different socket and chipset and will not be compatible with what you currently have.
Yes, like it was stated, your best off sticking with what you have until you can save up and buy a new laptop that sports an i5 or i7. The cost/benefit analysis suggests that you would be wasting your time and money, especially for your use. Just hold out a bit longer until you can get the necessary funds (it's easier said than done, I know).