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Dell Studio 1745 Motherboard Upgrade...?

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Okay, so I have a Dell Studio 1745 complete with Intel Graphics Decelerator and T6600 Core 2 Duo CPU

From all my research, the 1747 and the 1749 motherboards are "physically identical" as far as shape/size and whether or not it will physically fit into the body of the laptop.

Now I mistakenly purchased the SLBTV - Intel Core i5-540M 2.53GHz/3M PGA988/BGA1288 Mobile CPU Processor thinking it would work, having missed the 988 vs 478 on my "Socket P". Yes, brain fart, but it's 4.00am and I'm tired!

Okay, so now that I've made said mistake, my research has told me that the LA-5155P W87G9 0W87G9 motherboard from the 1749 will "fit" in my system and work with the CPU I purchased. (Am I right on this?)

If so, logic tells me my CPU/GPU heatsink would need to be replaced?

I've looked and it seems the fan is pretty much universal but it would seem I need the following heatsinks:

GPU Heatsink G406T
CPU Heatsink D636T

Does anyone know if I am correct on this as well?

(Only problem I see is not having the heat transfer pads, but I think I can wing that)

Now assuming I am correct on these 3 parts and re-building my system with them...

Anyone know if there is anything else I'd need to do in order to make this setup compatible?

I know changing the motherboard will freak out MS as far as my OEM Windows, but I plan on upgrading to 8 and searching for a cheap touch screen to replace mine with when I can find one?

So far, this laptop has seemed pretty upgradable and interchangeable for parts. 

Anyone know if I'm headed in the right direction or if I'm about to Wile E Coyote myself into a brick wall?

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RE: Dell Studio 1745 Motherboard Upgrade...?

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The only way to replace the graphics card is to replace the motherboard. My project was successful, here are the basics to it.

It will require replacing a few other small parts as well such as the processor heat sync and adding the gpu heat sync for the appropriate board you install. You will also need thermal pads for them so keep this in mind and have them ready when you do the install (compound such as arctic silver will not be thick enough to bridge the contacts). This will also almost certainly require replacing the processor. Check to see what processors work with the board you get and if yours is compatible. If you go 1749 like I did, yours will not be but the new processor was cheap. I do not remember if they were the same or not for the 1747.

The best thing I can suggest is go to "thepartspeople" who basically sell dell parts. You can put in your model laptop (the 1745) and then put in the motherboard as a part you want to replace. When you select the motherboard for the 1747 or 1749 it will also tell you all the other parts you will need to replace and whether or not they are in stock.

If they don't have the parts in stock you need, use the part numbers and search places like amazon, ebay, etc. for somewhere you can buy a working replacement (I was able to find everything pretty cheap too). It's a little bit of work but in the end it is very worth it. If you're savvy enough and determined enough I built myself what would be an $1200-$1600+ dollar laptop on today's market some time ago for like half the price. Using this method I added touch screen, multiple OS's and hard drives, blue-tooth, backlit keyboard, upgraded wifi, the works on top of the i5 processor and 1gb 5650 graphics card. I am in every way happy with how it turned out.

Free advice though, if you have a webcam or camcorder and decide to do this project, tape yourself (the laptop) up close taking it apart and do so very slowly. This way if you get lost during re-assembly you can play the recording backwards and watch how to put it back together.

For the record here are my current specs from the 1745 I started with:

Motherboard: Dell Studio 1749

Processor: Intel Core i5-540M 2.53GHz/3M

17.3" Touch Screen (2 touch points)

8gb DDR3 ram

2x 1TB Hard Drives w/ 8gb SSD combo. (I run Win 7 & Ubuntu)

It has Bluetooth, Wireless N and a back-lit keyboard.

I tried to make use of the Mini-PCI-E port as an SSD but found out the type of port it has was not compatible with any of them that I'd be interested in using. That turned out to be more headache than it was worth so in the end I just got the TV-Tuner and put that in there. It's handy when I'm in a hotel for using it as a monitor for a gaming console like the xbox one.

Putting the touchscreen was another easy change but it required getting the connector ribbon (like a couple bucks) and a new lid. You have to make sure it's the thicker one but it made it pretty much into a brand new laptop.

The only thing I don't know about today is the cost and speed of the ram. When I did it I got 8gb of PC8500 really cheap and it works great. I am not sure if the higher clock speeds will work with it since I capped out the motherboard for ram and I know ram costs more now.

At the time I did this searching for a used 1749 I found one that was not nearly as upgraded as mine and it was over $1300 used so it was a very cost effective project and I had fun doing it. I learned so much about dell parts interchangeability from this project that I now exclusively buy dell laptops. I found that attempting a similar project with an HP I had bought my wife to be nearly impossible. The difference is with thepartspeople you can easily find parts you need and what is required to upgrade/change them. There is no help like this with any other brand of laptop that I have found and HP won't even sell you parts so you're stuck guessing and buying everything used. Not fun! If you're uncertain you can actually call thepartspeople and ask them about the upgrades and they will double check the part requirements for you. They are awesome and they alone have brought me back as a dell customer for a long time.

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RE: Dell Studio 1745 Motherboard Upgrade...?

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Hello pcphantom,  I know this is an old thread but hopefully you can help me. Was wondering what your final results were. I have bought the studio 1745 off cl and it's a nice computer but graphics are terrible. I am looking to upgrade as well. Thanks for any help you can give me.

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RE: Dell Studio 1745 Motherboard Upgrade...?

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The only way to replace the graphics card is to replace the motherboard. My project was successful, here are the basics to it.

It will require replacing a few other small parts as well such as the processor heat sync and adding the gpu heat sync for the appropriate board you install. You will also need thermal pads for them so keep this in mind and have them ready when you do the install (compound such as arctic silver will not be thick enough to bridge the contacts). This will also almost certainly require replacing the processor. Check to see what processors work with the board you get and if yours is compatible. If you go 1749 like I did, yours will not be but the new processor was cheap. I do not remember if they were the same or not for the 1747.

The best thing I can suggest is go to "thepartspeople" who basically sell dell parts. You can put in your model laptop (the 1745) and then put in the motherboard as a part you want to replace. When you select the motherboard for the 1747 or 1749 it will also tell you all the other parts you will need to replace and whether or not they are in stock.

If they don't have the parts in stock you need, use the part numbers and search places like amazon, ebay, etc. for somewhere you can buy a working replacement (I was able to find everything pretty cheap too). It's a little bit of work but in the end it is very worth it. If you're savvy enough and determined enough I built myself what would be an $1200-$1600+ dollar laptop on today's market some time ago for like half the price. Using this method I added touch screen, multiple OS's and hard drives, blue-tooth, backlit keyboard, upgraded wifi, the works on top of the i5 processor and 1gb 5650 graphics card. I am in every way happy with how it turned out.

Free advice though, if you have a webcam or camcorder and decide to do this project, tape yourself (the laptop) up close taking it apart and do so very slowly. This way if you get lost during re-assembly you can play the recording backwards and watch how to put it back together.

For the record here are my current specs from the 1745 I started with:

Motherboard: Dell Studio 1749

Processor: Intel Core i5-540M 2.53GHz/3M

17.3" Touch Screen (2 touch points)

8gb DDR3 ram

2x 1TB Hard Drives w/ 8gb SSD combo. (I run Win 7 & Ubuntu)

It has Bluetooth, Wireless N and a back-lit keyboard.

I tried to make use of the Mini-PCI-E port as an SSD but found out the type of port it has was not compatible with any of them that I'd be interested in using. That turned out to be more headache than it was worth so in the end I just got the TV-Tuner and put that in there. It's handy when I'm in a hotel for using it as a monitor for a gaming console like the xbox one.

Putting the touchscreen was another easy change but it required getting the connector ribbon (like a couple bucks) and a new lid. You have to make sure it's the thicker one but it made it pretty much into a brand new laptop.

The only thing I don't know about today is the cost and speed of the ram. When I did it I got 8gb of PC8500 really cheap and it works great. I am not sure if the higher clock speeds will work with it since I capped out the motherboard for ram and I know ram costs more now.

At the time I did this searching for a used 1749 I found one that was not nearly as upgraded as mine and it was over $1300 used so it was a very cost effective project and I had fun doing it. I learned so much about dell parts interchangeability from this project that I now exclusively buy dell laptops. I found that attempting a similar project with an HP I had bought my wife to be nearly impossible. The difference is with thepartspeople you can easily find parts you need and what is required to upgrade/change them. There is no help like this with any other brand of laptop that I have found and HP won't even sell you parts so you're stuck guessing and buying everything used. Not fun! If you're uncertain you can actually call thepartspeople and ask them about the upgrades and they will double check the part requirements for you. They are awesome and they alone have brought me back as a dell customer for a long time.

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RE: Dell Studio 1745 Motherboard Upgrade...?

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I'm not really trying to plug websites or anything but just in case you want the specific URL for the site I was talking about here it is. They are just so incredibly helpful I have to give credit where credit is due. I probably would not have attempted the overhaul I did without all the support I got from them.

http://www.parts-people.com/

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RE: Dell Studio 1745 Motherboard Upgrade...?

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Hi pcphantom,

Thankyou for your most informative post - very interesting. I see that you installed a TV tuner into your machine and am wondering if it is the one that I am looking for. I have already posted an earlier note about this. I have a Dell Studio 1747 with an empty slot for the TV card but have spent hours on the net trying to find one that is correct. I bought, by mistake, an AverMedia card but it is the full size and obviously will not fit. The TV tuner card has to be a half height to fit into the slot. I will contact the parts people that you recommend. I have been in contact with them before and also found them to be very helpful.

You might be interested to know that I carried out quite extensive repair work to my 1747, bought as broken on ebay. They are quite fragile and had to replace the lid and get a new power button. Also I found a problem with the touchpad/buttons which caused the machine to continually turn the display on and off randomely. Dissconnecting the palm rest (touch pad etc) ribbon cable from the mother board - under the keyboard - stopped this problem and so I replaced the touchpad etc with one found on ebay and all is ok. Also i had to do some repair work on the lid hinge anchor points on the inside of the replacement lid as a couple of them were cracked. I built up the plastic around the anchor points with a paste made of the correct plastic dissolved in a solvent. So I've managed to arrive at a quite nice machine now, quite cheaply as you also did. Slight problem when I bought a replacement lid - the one I bought initially was for the non touchscreen version and so had to find the slightly thicker lid for my touch screen. Be nice if I can find the correct tv tuner card.

Regards, 747spokes.

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RE: Dell Studio 1745 Motherboard Upgrade...?

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How has your system been running? Is it ok for gaming specifically skyrim? I think I am going to follow your model to save some money rather then spending on a new system.

I have a Studio 1745 which my wife uses to play Skyrim. We had to set the system to performance mode and the graphics to low. The characters in the game look like "clay."

anyway...

I just upgraded the RAM to 8GB DDR3 1066 and the backlit keyboard but the graphics for games is terrible.

I checked with the parts people, from your recommendation on dell parts. Did you order your parts from them as well or were you able to get them somewhere at a lower cost? I usually shop newegg, amazon and ebay.

I think i just want to get the following parts:

-1749 motherboard w/graphics

-Core i5-540M

-and the heatsinks.

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RE: Dell Studio 1745 Motherboard Upgrade...?

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My system has been running pretty good. I just upgraded it a little more. I got the i7 620m working (Must Have A08 bios installed to work right) and I upgraded to an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 2x2 w/ Bluetooth 4.0

I just got a replacement bay to remove the Optical drive and replace it with a 3rd hard drive. I got a PNY 480GB SSD to go in there, I can update later and let you know how that works out.

Depending on how Ubuntu 16.04 works out (Which is going on the SSD) I may ditch Windows on this one. I'm running Ubuntu 14.04 on one of the 1TB drives and I love it except ATI drivers for Linux stink.

I benched it and the i7 620m is a decent improvement over the i5 and for like $35 on eBay it was worth it.

Edit: Oh and no, the parts people were GREAT and very helpful for finding part numbers and looking up exactly what I needed but unfortunately they averaged about 2x the price of the same parts on eBay or Amazon. I just looked up the parts on both of those sites and took the best deal. I would have loved to buy from the parts people but couldn't afford it.

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