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LogicR
08-19-2012, 08:01 AM
I've looked around a bit, but there doesn't seem to be any specific guidelines as to how much I can upgrade my computer, and I tend to hate any method other than going to a source like this and asking people that actually care! No offense to Asus in particular, I've just had bad times in the past with reliability from support for just about everything. :(

Anyways, onto my specific question. I have an Asus G74SX, I got it for Christmas last year. I'm really pleased with the stock quality -- it runs fast, and I can play all the games I want at optimal settings with little to no lag.

However, I'm looking into upgrading my graphics card or replacing the 1st hard drive with an SSD. I just want to know, is this possible? I've looked at videos and other threads on this forum and others saying that there's no way to replace the graphics card because it's welded to the motherboard, which is unfortunate because the 600-series from NVIDIA just came out a few months after I got the computer >:[

If it's possible in any way, I'd love to know how and how safe it is! Also, if it isn't possible, what CAN I upgrade, and is replacing the primary HDD with an SSD within those limitations?

Thanks all :D

thesting
08-19-2012, 11:44 AM
CPU, RAM, SSD, Network... enough threads exist i would say.

chrsplmr
08-19-2012, 04:12 PM
Here is an official guide from MarshallR :

http://rog.asus.com/24752011/guides/how-to-upgrade-the-g74sx-a1-gaming-laptop/ (http://rog.asus.com/24752011/guides/how-to-upgrade-the-g74sx-a1-gaming-laptop/)

fostert
08-21-2012, 05:23 AM
However, I'm looking into upgrading my graphics card or replacing the 1st hard drive with an SSD. I just want to know, is this possible? I've looked at videos and other threads on this forum and others saying that there's no way to replace the graphics card because it's welded to the motherboard, which is unfortunate because the 600-series from NVIDIA just came out a few months after I got the computer >:[

Anything is possible: I imagine if you're good with a soldering iron and can read and understand electronics diagrams you could possibly change out the GPU for a faster one that has the same pin-out assignments. Whether the 600 GPUs are pin-compatible with the 500s I do not know.

Easier upgrade: overclock your GPU. Grab MSIAfterburner or some such utility, your favorite graphics benchmark test (I like PassMark) and dial up the performance until the tests fail. Nudge down and you've got a stable graphics subsystem thats 20% or more faster. This knocked both of my WEI Graphics scores (Aero and Gaming performance) up to 7.4 from 7.2 with my GTX 560M. Cost: 0$.

Of course you can replace your primary HDD with an SSD. Just be prepared to reinstall everything onto the new drive, and watch your space (an SSD will necessarily be much smaller in capacity unless you are printing money in your basement). This is by far the best bang for buck upgrade today.

A Guy
08-21-2012, 07:28 AM
On another thread around here somewhere I saw an astronomer posting that he was able to run 32GB of RAM in his laptop. Only 16GB is officially supported, but 32 works (he posted a screenshot)

PILGRIM
08-21-2012, 07:57 AM
On another thread around here somewhere I saw an astronomer posting that he was able to run 32GB of RAM in his laptop. Only 16GB is officially supported, but 32 works (he posted a screenshot)

That astronomer is the same guy (fostert) who posted just before you..:)
He's officially the first user with a G74 who upped the ante to 32 GB RAM,
even when the experts (i.e. ASUS and Intel) said it couldn't be done.

On hindsight, I think what he did is the reason why ASUS now advertises
the G55/G75 laptops' RAM can be upgraded to 32 GB.

fostert
08-22-2012, 02:47 AM
(blush) Kind words but waaay too much credit to me here. Truth is some specialty vendors (e.g. xoticpc) were offering ultra-high end customizations of the
G74 including 32GB of RAM, so its likely they tested the G74 with 32GB before I did. I just figured if they would do it for an extra $1000, so could I only risking $400 by getting my own sticks. Plus I did some intensive reading on the core i7 2630QM and concluded that there was no reason it shouldn't work, even if Intel stated (and still do state) that it only supports up to 16GB max. Its likely that ASUS follows Intels lead and so (under-)rates the G74's capabilities as supporting 16GB max. The fact that @MarshallR posted that it wouldn't work just made it more dramatic.

But thanks for the kudos....

A Guy
08-22-2012, 11:29 PM
With people paying attention to details, I'm glad I got it right!

My last laptop was an HP dv9000t which I had for 5 years. That seems to be about the maximum you can get out of a laptop. When I gave it to my nephews I put it back down to the Vista it came with since 7 never really agreed with it.

I'm approaching my G74 with a 5 year plan too. I'm one year in and my first upgrade was SSD for the boot drive. I have an annual calendar event that has a 3 month ahead reminder so I can start looking for sales and update prices. Here is what the next 4 year look like for me. Although there are dates next to each item, if something gets really cheap early on, I'll do that first.

I am NOT planning on upgrading my OS, but I might add a Linux dual boot. Been experimenting with Linux VMs and not found one that is as easy to use/setup as Windows yet.


2013 Aug Larger/Faster secondary drive
(perhaps 1TB?)
(perhaps SSD?)
Wipe/Reinstall OS and apply all updates.
Reinstall only some applications


2014 Aug CPU upgrade
existing: Intel 2630QM
http://ark.intel.com/products/52219/Intel-Core-i7-2630QM-Processor-%286M-Cache-up-to-2_90-GHz%29

This is the upgrade CPU that can replace it:
Intel 2760QM ($350 as of May 2012)
http://ark.intel.com/products/53474/Intel-Core-i7-2760QM-Processor-%286M-Cache-up-to-3_50-GHz%29

Other CPUs that might also work
2860QM: ($618 as of May 2012)
http://ark.intel.com/products/53476/Intel-Core-i7-2860QM-Processor-%288M-Cache-up-to-3_60-GHz%29

This one is overclock-able:
2920XM : ($699 as of May 2012)
http://ark.intel.com/products/52237/Intel-Core-i7-2920XM-Processor-Extreme-Edition-%288M-Cache-up-to-3_50-GHz%29
That last one is 55watts, the others are 45watts.


2015 Aug RAM Upgrade (at least to 16GB, perhaps to 32GB depending on price)
DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM, 4 x SO-DIMM 204pin sockets
Get RAM after CPU since it opens up new options.
Crucial $45 per stick as of Aug 3, 2012
Part Number: CT102464BF1339 (It's more expensive on their own website)

2016 Aug New laptop!
3D screen?

A Guy
08-22-2012, 11:32 PM
Hmm the links worked a month back but seem broken now.

fostert
08-23-2012, 05:57 AM
*NO* cpu is overclockable when installed in the G74. The BIOS is completely gimped of any control that one would overclock with (voltage, multipliers, bus speeds, timings...you name it, its not allowed). You're better off getting a non-XM Intel CPU to upgrade your G74, since the Extreme Editions cost way more just for the unlocked multiplier capability (which you can't control anyways).

A Guy
08-23-2012, 06:36 PM
Thanks fostert, that is really good to know!

fostert
08-24-2012, 04:08 AM
No problem. What Linux distro are you going to use? Hate Mandrake; never tried Ubuntu (sounds OK except for unity); dropped the buggered Scientific Linux distro (RedHat based) and am now a very, very happy camper with Debian.