Oct 23, 2014 Written by: MasterC

G551 Upgrade Guide

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There is something that makes a laptop very appealing; that certain satisfaction you get when you know you've upgraded and pushed your laptop until it can't possibly go any further.

The ROG G551 allows you access to components to improve the performance, if you haven't already maxed it out when you bought it, giving you the option of boosting your laptop via upgrade later on. Here we get to open one up, but first, find some stable work space where there's ample room (losing a screw is never fun) with a surface that won't scratch the nice, brushed-aluminum surface on your new G551. It is ill-advised to disassemble more than what is illustrated here, as that would void the warranty.

To start, we need to flip the laptop over, unscrew the two screws (as illustrated with red lines) and slide the cover down to open (do not pull to open).

1a

Under the cover, you will find the 2.5-inch SATA hard drive/SSD bay on the left, which has four screws (red) holding it down (to reduce the total number of screws, one screw also secures the cover which we already took out). In the middle is the WiFi/Bluetooth module.  Next to that is the RAM (blue).  There's a small square window on the right which reveals the optional 24GB SSD cache, but this is inaccessible and must be purchased pre-installed if you want it..  On the very right, there is the card-reader slot.

2b

 

Upgrading the RAM

ROG G551 has 2 SO-DIMM slots, you can insert up to two 8GB sticks of DDR3L (low-voltage 1.35V) 1600MHz RAM.  By pulling the 2 latches on each side outward the DIMM pops up, and then you can pull them out.  As usual  when working with sensitive electronics like memory, always discharge (ground) yourself to make sure you don't zap (potentially kill) it with static electricity.

3

 

Upgrading the Hard Drive / Swapping the Battery

There is a removable Li-ion 56Wh battery which can be removed by sliding the locking mechanism (white). The battery pops up and you can drop in an optional second battery if you wish.

6a SATA

 

In this model we have a Solid-State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) connected via the SATA connector (blue) in the drive bay.  You can swap it out for an alternative like a pure 2.5-inch SSD if you wish, but remember all your data is stored on the one drive. 

 

Upgrading the Optical Drive

If you are in favour of using a Bluray ROM/Burner, or using the optical drive bay as a second HDD bay via a 3rd party caddy/adapter, then you can simply unscrew the single screw (yellow) securing the optical drive and slide it out.  The connector is standard mobile SATA.

5a Optical Drive

Other

There is a WLAN / Bluetooth combo card (purple) and a slot for the optional mSATA Mini SSD for cache (green). 

4b Wifi

 

The WLAN / Bluetooth combo card can be removed and replaced, although if replaced with a different card there may be compatibility issues, so it is best to avoid changing it.

7a WiFi BT

mSATA Mini (Half Size) Slot

An optional 24GB SSD cache resides here (green), which must be spec'd and pre-installed by the retailer at time of purchase. It gives SSD-like performance to HDD/SSHD users, giving a good balance of performance and large storage space.

8a PCIe

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