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How to build custom laptop

Sandra Bachan
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Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 434
Hello everyone,

I am interested in building a custom laptop such at it has 64-bit processor, and enough RAM to run several Virtual Machines.

I am unable to find a detailed guide on building custom laptop, the closest thing is this 8-part series of YouTUBE videos (Building a Notebook, http://www.youtube.com/user/fortuneajebon/videos?flow=grid&view=0)

I wish I can find a guide that is detailed as this Lifehacker one for building a desktop (http://lifehacker.com/5828747/how-to-build-a-computer-from-scratch-the-complete-guide).

The lifehacker guide goes into detail about the parts to buy, whereas the YouTUBE one is more vague.

Plus I cannot find a place where they sell barebones laptop, i.e. laptop without CPU, Hard disk, etc, etc.

I really want to build my own custom laptop for my simple needs. Eventually, I'd like to build custom laptop for family members. Please help!!!


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60059
    
  65

Surely your needs aren't so unique that there are no laptops on the market that will meet them?


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24166
    
  30

This really isn't something people do, as laptop components are made to all specifically fit together: the case, motherboard, cabling are all designed with specific drives, fans, and other mechanical parts in mind. Whereas desktop computers can easily be assembled from standardized parts, laptops are just not made the same way.

I'm not saying that it's impossible to make a "homemade" laptop, but I am saying that it would be next to impossible to choose your ideal specs, then build a machine to meet them, the way you can with a desktop. You'd mostly be choosing your components based on what would actually fit into the case. Much better, as Bear says, to just shop around for a machine that meets your needs.


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Sandra Bachan
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Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 434
Bear Bibeault wrote:Surely your needs aren't so unique that there are no laptops on the market that will meet them?


Well, I am unable to find any reputed company that sells 64-bit laptop with high amount of RAM to run several VMs. These laptops have more features that I care to have, i.e gamers would appreciate these over-the-top features.

I'd like to build laptops (and desktops) from scratch as a hobby and learning experience. Just like writing code to do something useful, there is a pride one gets when creating something. And besides, building your own system saves you $$$.

Edit: I went on Dell's website and they insist on including WIndows OS on their laptop, hence jacking up the price. What if I want OS such as Ubuntu that I can download and install myself for free?
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
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Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3205
    
    2
I can understand building a desktop as a learning exercise. But building a Laptop is an exercise in futility, imho. Technically, there is no difference between a laptop and a desktop so you will not really learn anything extra by building a laptop. Laptop components are *extremely* optimized for space and, forget about the cost, I don't believe it is even possible to assemble one manually by sourcing off the shelf components. You may try but you I see little possibility for success here.

Regarding the cost of pre-loaded windows - as compared to the cost of hardware, the cost of OS is not really much. So even if you are paying for it, you will be saving a ton on the hardware. So, imho, it would be better to buy a laptop and throw away the preloaded OS.


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Sandra Bachan
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Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 434
Paul Anilprem wrote:I can understand building a desktop as a learning exercise ...Laptop components are *extremely* optimized for space and, forget about the cost, I don't believe it is even possible to assemble one manually by sourcing off the shelf components. You may try but you I see little possibility for success here.


Oh wow ..... then it's better to focus on desktop building as a sort of hobby


Paul Anilprem wrote:
Regarding the cost of pre-loaded windows - as compared to the cost of hardware, the cost of OS is not really much. So even if you are paying for it, you will be saving a ton on the hardware. So, imho, it would be better to buy a laptop and throw away the preloaded OS.


That's a good point! I'll probably end put putting the preloaded OS aside and replacing with Ubuntu flavor OS.
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4637
    
    5

There are no 32 bit computers any more, at least not in consumer oriented laptops, desktops, etc. Look for "gaming laptops" as the gaming folks tend to demand much higher performance than normal people. See this magazine article for typical configurations and prices:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2020688,00.asp

What do you consider a lot of RAM? Many of the laptops in the referenced article have 16GB. That is overkill for nearly all normal uses, even hardcore development. Most of the serious boutique builders will happily sell you more if you want it. My MacBook Pro has 8GB and so far, I've not found any real reason to get more RAM.
 
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