New to laptop upgrading, best upgrades for the R4?

Hey all,

Just joined the community for this one and I was hoping I might be able to get some pointers in the right direction. I've never upgraded a laptop before, and I'd like to put some power back into my M17x. I have had a great lot of difficulty trying to Google up some clear answers on what I can and can't do, or finding up to date info.

What I would like to know is exactly what I can upgrade in my M17x R4, beyond RAM and HDDs of course, and what the best options currently available might be. Some links to retailers would also be sweet. I've never approached laptop upgrades before because as far as I knew, you were really stuck and couldn't, so it's a brave new world for me as I'm perfectly fine with desktops.

The spec for my machine is as below. Nothing has been changed from the stock factory settings when purchased:

Intel i7-3610QM at 2.30 GHz
nVidia GeForce 675M with 2GB video ram I believe
6GB stock ram at 1600Mhz
500GB Storage HDD

I intend to upgrade the RAM, but I was confused as to what MHz rating I need to be looking at and what limitations there might be, if not limitations to how many GB of RAM I can chuck in the thing as well. Any suggestions of brands is also awesome.

I am also keen at looking to replace the CPU if it is possible, and the GPU to something much higher if I can... hopefully even an SLI card. I didn't have the funds to purchase SLI when I ordered the rig, and would like the extra oomph.

The laptop is used primarily for gaming. Pricing isn't too much of a concern. I just want to get the best bang per buck out of this awesome laptop.

All assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Resource Administrator / Forum Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
Adelaide, Australia
Firstly you can't go SLI on the R4. Only the 18 inch machines are capable of this (unless you get the m17x r2)
You will easily be able to upgrade the CPU and GPU. The CPU's you will want to look at would be the 3740QM, 3840QM, 3920XM, 3940XM. It will depend on what you want to spend. You won't see a huge performance difference between the top ones. I upgraded my M18x R2 from a 3840 to 3920 mainly because I just wanted to have an Extreme CPU.
For the GPU I would suggest the 780M. I also upgraded my M18x from 675M's to 780M's. I got mine off ebay from upgradeyourlaptop. They had great service and they also have the modified driver that you will need on the item page on ebay. It installed easily. You will not be able to get your video driver from NVidia anymore because your R4 was never built to run a 780M. You will need thermal pads and thermal paste when you change. They offer a kit which has everything in there I believe.

If you haven't done it before it's not too difficult but you need to be very careful when playing inside your laptop. Any wrong move could spell disaster. Watch lots of youtube vids.

I found ebay was my best bet to pick up the parts I needed.