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  Notebook Upgrading, More Upgrade Options 
  Nov 29, 2001, 09:30am EST 


By: Sander Sassen

About two months ago we posted an article, Notebook Upgrading, How and Why, that has gotten quite a lot of interest as it explored the possibilities of upgrading your notebook. Naturally we did not only look at how you could upgrade the memory as that is pretty straight forward, but we also detailed how you could upgrade de CPU and the harddisk. As we discussed in that article a modern notebook is not similar to a desktop in terms of upgrade ability, although there are a lot of options open for those that are willing to try. Upgrading the memory and the harddisk is a no-brainer and yields excellent results with any notebook, whether in terms of performance and/or storage capacity. Upgrading the CPU is something that takes a little more time and effort, but since Mobile Pentium IIIs are available in a retail packaging we don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to crank up the MHz.

Mobile Pentium III CPU

Fig 1. Mobile Pentium III CPUs in the MicroBGA-2 form factor packaging, these are most commonly used in most modern notebooks.

We’ve gotten a lot of questions about what CPU would fit what notebook and we simply cannot answer those questions with absolute certainty. We can however give you a general rule of thumb. If, for example, you’ve bought your notebook from a vendor that also offers upgrade options for that particular model, such as a faster CPU, bigger harddisks etc. you should have no problem exchanging the CPU up to the fastest that’s available for that model. Exchanging Mobile Celerons for Pentium IIIs is also a possibility but only if the CPU itself is mounted in a socket, which isn’t always the case, especially not with the very low-end notebooks. As for Mobile Pentium IIs and older Celerons, upgrading these CPUs to a Pentium III or a more recent Celeron is usually not possible, the notebook’s motherboard and BIOS simply don’t support these CPUs or it could be using a different form factor for the packaging.

But naturally there are more upgrade options available for your notebook, options which we didn’t cover in our previous article. In the next few pages we’ll be looking at how to upgrade other parts of your notebook, such as the CDROM/DVD/CDRW drive, as well as what else you can add to make it more versatile. We’ll also be touching upon networking, other I/O options and WiFi, or wireless networking.

1. Introduction
2. CDROM, DVD and Combo drives
3. Networking and I/O
4. WiFi, Wireless networking
5. Conclusion

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