With the right laptop parts and accessories, you can rebuild or upgrade your laptop and keep it longer. These days, concerns about the economy have trumped concerns about the environmental impact of e-waste, but the reality is that upgrading a laptop makes both financial and environmental sense.
According to writer Mark Kyrnin of about.com, the maximum lifespan of a notebook computer is about five years, while some last only two to three years.
Unfortunately, instead of replacing laptop parts, most people choose to junk their old laptop and buy a new one. Many businesses operate this way too – instead of upgrading existing hardware, they choose to buy new.
Now that the economy is slowing down, an increasing number of businesses and individuals are looking for ways to tighten their belts. Rebuilding or upgrading an existing laptop is a great place to start.
Determining Whether to Upgrade Your Laptop
Before you go on a hunt for laptop parts, you should determine the feasibility of upgrading. Mark Kyrnin raises some good points:
Memory is the easiest upgrade to make. Used computer vendors often sell a wide range of laptop parts, including memory. Generally, memory for older model laptops is inexpensive and easy to install.
You may find it more difficult to replace the hard drive of your notebook. Most laptops sold to the corporate market have removable trays that house the hard drive. If you have a hard drive that uses the same interface as your laptop and the hard drive is on a removable tray, you can replace it. Note that you will have to reinstall all of your software and transfer all of your data to the new hard drive.
If you cannot install an internal hard drive, you may want to try an external hard drive. Any vendor of notebook accessories will carry these parts.
CD/DVD drives present the same challenges as hard drives. If there is no removable bay on your laptop, you may need to use an external drive.
Expansion slots can be used in many ways to expand the capabilities of your laptop. Check with your laptop parts vendor about which options are available to you.
3D graphics capabilities are pretty much impossible to add to laptops, since most come with built-in integrated graphics solutions. New notebook accessories are being developed to provide laptop users with an external unit that uses a standard PCI-Express card with an external monitor. As Kyrnin notes, this is not a portable solution, but it is progress.
If the CPU is the problem, it is unlikely that any laptop part can help you. Considerable technical expertise is required to replace a laptop processor. In this case, replacing your laptop is your only realistic option.
Buying Laptop Parts for Upgrading
If you decide to upgrade, you can find the parts you need online. Even if your computer has been taken off the market by the manufacturer, you can likely find a vendor that carries all of the notebook accessories and parts that you need. Search for vendors of used or discontinued laptop parts, or check with the laptop’s manufacturer to see if they have a reselling partner you can contact.
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