Updating your motherboard and cpu

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In some cases, even if you can get at the guts, you'll find the key components drive-soldered to the motherboard.

Fortunately, you don't need to crack open the chassis just to find out if you can replace the RAM or hard drive.

Most recent-era laptops take DDR3 RAM that's PC3-12800 speed and either 1.5 or 1.35 volts.

Looking through RAM listings, you may also see specs that indicate whether it’s ECC or non-ECC and buffered or unbuffered.

Except for a few high-end workstations, most laptops use non-ECC, unbuffered memory.

In the upper left corner of the screen, the Advisor shows you just how much RAM your laptop can handle and how many DIMM slots it has.

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Adding more memory, particularly going from 2GB or 4GB to 8GB, can make multitasking or working on large media files easier.

If your motherboard has an Intel LGA1366 socket, it's impossible to use a newer model Core i7 chip that requires an LGA2011 socket.

The older 1366-pin socket physically cannot accommodate the new 2011-pin chip.

If you're looking to upgrade your business' computer equipment without spending a lot of money, it might be tempting to try to simply upgrade CPU chips without upgrading the rest of the computer.

After all, cases, keyboards and CD-ROM drives haven't changed much in the last few years.

Older computers typically use Double Data Rate 2 memory, while DDR3 is more popular in newer computers.

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