Homemade Gaming laptop
This is my homemade gaming laptop!
I have a "Samsung P510" laptop. (Also called the "R510". It is fully the same one.) I had it for years and it was good. But it had a great downside that a lot of other laptops also have - it had a good main chip and worked with a good lot of "RAM", but had a not so good on board video chip. So the good main chip and "RAM" were bottlenecked by an "Intel GMA". I wanted to play games and do other video jobs on it, but the on board "Intel GMA" was not cutting it. It could barely play "Race Driver GRID", even on the lowest settings at 640*480. And "GTA IV" ran at about 15 frames a second even when I ran it at 640*480, put the settings to the lowest, and took out some things from the game. So I took everything into my own hands - and made it better!
And here it is - the laptop in fraining. I gave it a video board from a home reckoner! To do that, I got an "EXP GDC Beast" video board slot. It links to the "ExpressCard" slot in the side of the laptop, and has a desktop "PCI-E" slot on it. "ExpressCard" is a link that a lot of laptops have to take the job that "PCMCIA" once had, and it is built on "PCI-E". That is why this works. It is at a lower speed than the slots in desktops, but that does not mean too much since it is still a lot stronger than the on board video chip in the end, and is not that slow anyway. The "EXP GDC" needs its own mains brick. You can brook either an "ATX" mains brick with the plug-switching wire (that comes with the "EXP GDC"), or a 220W "Dell DA-2" mains brick. (You can also brook a 12v brick with a ring-shaped plug if you have a lower end video board, but that is out of the fraining here as you could guess.) I have brooked both the "ATX" mains brick and the "Dell DA-2", and they both work well. The "EXP GDC" even has a 6-pin feed slot, so that you can send feed through to the video board's 6-pin "PCI-E" feed input fitting! To do that, you need a 6-pin "PCI-E" to 6-pin "PCI-E" (plug to plug) wire. That is what I have done on this one.
So that bit was done - the laptop had an outside video board. But to brook it, an outside screen is needed to be plugged into that. This was not good enough for me - I wanted to brook the stronger video board with the inside screen of the laptop. So I bought a screen input board for the screen of the laptop. A screen input board is what it says it is - a board that gives inputs to screens. It is the main board that is inside a screen - the board that has all of the inputs on it for linking a reckoner to it, and also a smaller board with all of the switches on it to set up the screen. You need a screen board that is made for your screen. Laptops have bare screens which are set up by the motherboard of the laptop itself. Bare screens have a fitting on them named an "LVDS" fitting - on a laptop, that is the fitting that goes to the wire which then goes to the laptop's motherboard. So I had to unlink that wire from the screen and link the new "LVDS" wire (which came with the input board) to the input board. I then had to link the backlight board, that came with the input board, to the screen. What that bit does is switches "DC" feed from the input board to mains feed for the backlight of the screen, since the backlight is a bulb, but not "LED". I then wrapped the backlight board in tape. Once all of that was done, the inside screen of the laptop had been made into one with inputs.
The input board needs feed, which is a 12V "DC" input. Often you would link a standard 12V mains brick with a ring-shaped plug to that. But I did not want it to have yet another mains brick for something as low fed as the screen. So I bought a "DC" to "DC" step down switcher. A step down switcher takes an input Volting and sets it down to a Volting that is self-set before outputting it. The step down switcher that I bought had a screen with the output Volting shown on it and two switches to set the Volting either up or down. I welded two feed wires to the cell pins on the motherboard of the laptop - one to the "up" ("+") pin and one to the "down" ("-") pin. I ran these wires to the outside of the housing through a hole that I made in the lid of the laptop, and linked them to the right input pins on the step down switcher. The step down switcher has screw pins to link to the input and output wires, which made for a truly clean and smooth linking. To the output pins, I linked two feed wires which lead to a ring-shaped plug, the same kind that the input board needs. Once that was done, I set the output Volting on the step down switcher to 12V and plugged it into the input board with the plug that I screwed to it, and it worked!
(For those who want to know, the cell pack does not need to be fitted to the laptop to run the screen board. As long as the laptop's mains brick is plugged in, it works. The cells might have to be fitted on other laptops if you wire it to the cell pins like I did, but that is not a downside as the cell pack is meant to be fitted anyway.)
So that was it for wiring all of it up. It all worked. So I made holes in the lid of the laptop to fit everything onto. I had a lot of screws, nuts, bolts, and washers to fit everything with. For the video board, I made a bent metal holder which I screwed to the lid of the laptop, which is for tightening the video board's "PCI" holder to, like fitting it in a shell. I also made a hole where the "LVDS" fitting of the screen is, so that the "LVDS" wire can be onefoldly linked and unlinked. This is since the "BIOS" of this laptop does not show on any of the screen outputs, so I can now smoothly get to the "LVDS" fitting to swap it with the one that goes to the motherboard of the laptop if I ever need to go into the "BIOS", without taking the whole thing to bits (I left the old wire in there). As this hole was a greater one, the edges were rougher, so I lined them with U-channel to smoothen them. Lastly, I set up all of the wires, such as with sideways "HDMI" plugs to stop them from sticking out as much. The "ExpressCard" wire of the "EXP GDC" has an "HDMI" plug on the end where it plugs into the "PCI-E" slot, which was helpful since I could get down-bending plugs to set it up. The video board is plugged into the "HDMI" input of the screen board with a short "HDMI" wire as well as sideway bending "HDMI" plugs to keep it looking good.
And it is done! It works well. I have played "Race Driver GRID" at the highest settings now, and it runs smoothly. I shall make a shell for it in an upcoming time to keep it all well and sound (so that it does not become shorted out). I will put more onto this side when I do that. But for now, I am going to be playing more games on it!
Full list of hardware:
- "Intel Pentium T3400" @ 2.16GHz
- 4GB of 800MHz "DDR2" laptop "RAM" (two 2GB sticks)
- Slot "P" motherboard
- "Sapphire Radeon HD 5770" with 1GB of video "RAM"
- "Realtek HD Audio"
- "HP" 64GB "SSD" to see how well it works; to be switched out with a 320GB hard drive
- "Sony" slimline "SATA" "DVD" and "CD" writer, inside
- "EXP GDC Beast" ("ExpressCard" to "PCI-E")
- Screen input board for "Samsung LTN154AT09", with backlight feed board
- "DC" to "DC" step down switcher, with backlit screen to show "Volt" and "Amp" output readings