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=N82E168...) 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.
if you have the latest BIOS, it should support all the hardware in the link
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?
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.
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!