I purchased a Dell XPS 17 L702X back in 2011 with the following build:
Motherboard: JJVYM - non-3D 1G (integrated GT 550M GPU) VRAM with 2 DIMM slot
CPU: i7-2620M (2Cores 2.7GHz, boots 3.4GHz, 4MB)
RAM: 2x4GB 1333MHz (Dell OEM)
C: drive: HDD 750GB (WD 7200rpm))
D: drive: HDD 750GB (WD 7200rpm)
WLAN: Intel Centrino 1000 (WiFi)
LCD: 1080p 17.3"
Over the years I made few upgrades has following:
RAM: 2x8GB DDR3 1600MHz (Corsair Vengeance)
C: drive: SSD 1TO (Samsung 850 PRO)
D: drive: HDD 2TB (Seagate BarraCuda 5400rpm)
WLAN: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 (WiFi + Bluetooth)
I'm was wondering if it's possible to make the following upgrades:
Motherboard: TXP27 - 3D 3G VRAM (integrated GT 555M GPU) with 4 DIMM slots - 300$
RAM: 4x8GB DDR3 1600MHz (add 2x Corsair Vengeance to the 2x8GB existing ones) - 200$
CPU: i7-2960XM (4cores 2.70GHz, boots 3.70GHz, 8MB) - 250$ (or any CPU that can handle 32GB RAM)
LCD: 1080p 17.3" 3D - 100$
LCD bezel: 3D - 25$
LCD cable: 3D - 35$
So total cost should be about 900$, I know this is alot, but it's still cheaper than a whole new laptop. Since they don't make XPS 17 anymore, my option would be an Alienware 17 with the following build:
CPU: i7-7700HQ (4cores, 2.80GHz, boots 3.8GHz, 6MB)
Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 2GB
RAM: 2x16GB 2400MHz
M2: 180GB (would reuse my 1TO SSD + 2TB HDD)
Total price of near 1900$
Of course the Alienware would be more powerfull than my "pimped XPS 17", but still 1000$ more expensive.
Any recommandations / GO/NO-GO about this ?
Do you really want to sink $900 into used parts for a system this old? For that sum you'll get at best a 90-day parts warranty. Further, you will also need to replace the display panel to upgrade to the 3D version of the system, and you'll also need the wiring harness for the 3D display panel -- the 3D mainboard won't work with other than the 3D screen (and the wiring harness would also need to be replaced).
That'll push your budget to well over half what a new Alienware would cost -- and there is the Inspiron 17 7000 series, which slots below the Alienware in price but is a more direct successor to your XPS system -- fully decked out with 16G RAM, 512G NVme drive, etc. it's about $1250 -- not much more than your parts spend, and WITH a full year (minimum) warranty.
It's your call - but spending more than $1,000 on parts for a system that's 6-7 years old is a losing proposition from a value standpoint.
All the parts that I manage to find are all brand new parts and does included the new 3D screen gear. So 900$ for all "old" brand new parts. Important to note that this 900$ includes 200$ for additionnal RAM and 250$ for CPU. I never experienced issues with my current XPS, so the warranty "issue" doesn't scare me.
I didn't think about the Inspiron 17, I though the performance couldn't match the XPS. I've look into it and yes for about 1300$ I could get something not that bad. I could upgrade to 32GB RAM for an additionnal 200$ for a total of about 1500$.
I'll look forward to compare the XPS 17 Video GT555M vs the Inspiron MX150 and the i7-2960XM vs the Inspiron i7-8550U.
Since warranties issues is not really a concern for me, I still need to analyse deeper for fully compare to pimped XPS option at 900$ vs a new Inspiron 17 at 1300$ + 200$ (for RAM).
The Inspiron still 600$ more expensive than my pimped XPS proposal, I need to push the analysis deeper, because from now I think the pimped XPS performances still higher than a new Inspiron 17.
Thank you for your input.
The Inspiron 17 with an NVMe drive (which the old XPS can't take) will outperform the XPS by every measure.
The NVMe drive alone makes the argument for buying new vs. upgrading old. And that's before you realize you're buying 6-7 year old parts to upgrade your 6-7 year old system.