I have an M17x R3. Can I upgrade parts down the road? I just spoke with a Dell Representative on the phone an they are clueless...or at least the one I talked to is. It just doesn't seem like their business is setup for you to order individual upgrades and then install yourself.
Also, where can I buy individual laptop parts? It is frustrating that even NewEgg doesn't carry laptop GPU's, CPU's, etc.
Also, two years from now, how would I know that the laptop GPU or CPU I wanted to upgrade to was even compatible with the mobo that I have?
I feel like I have little control over my laptop and this is frustrating since I am used to building my own desktop.
As far as GPUs go, the world is much less forgiving. Pretty much all notebook brands use different slots and sockets for their discrete GPUs, and few of them are compatible. I've heard a few times that Dell offers upgrades on GPUs, but I've never heard of anyone doing it.
You do have some options as far as a new GPU. The m17x (and m15x) use MXM III B slots, one of the only upgradable laptop GPU's. Depending on if you have the R1 or R2 m17 you can go with dual cards (R2). Good upgrades for this would be dual, or single, ATI Radeon Mobility 5870 or the Nvidia geforce 460m.