So much for saving money the next couple of months!
It all started with a smell. Specifically, the smell of very hot electronics, which I found rather disturbing, since I was writing on my three year old laptop, which has been running very hot of late. Now, I usually buy new laptops every three years or so, but was holding off this year, because we are saving to make some repairs to our house. But with this rather pervasive stench accompanying my very hot laptop… I started to assume it would be a very expensive month in the Scormey household.
Not so fast.
I have an MSI GE63VR, which was a rather awesome little (15″) gaming laptop… back in early 2018. But it more than gets the job done for what I require of it. Light gaming (older MMORPGs, some medium graphics Steam games, etc), podcasting, even livestreaming, should I go back to that hobby. But yeah, if it is running so hot – even with the fans at 100% – then we have a problem, Houston.
Now MSI laptops are kind of notorious for being difficult to work on the for the average end user at home. That said, I am not the average end user. I’m not saying Scormey is a whiz with computers, but I’m no slouch, and I’ve built my share of PCs in the past. I even was able to tear down and diagnose the malfunction in the faulty laptop Origin PC sent me (the one they refused to think was actually faulty), which I ended up having to send back and replace with this MSI.
Anyway, to YouTube I went, watched a video on tearing down and upgrading this particular model of laptop, then proceeded to do exactly that. Gave it a good cleaning, inspected the unit for potential issues (I found no obvious problems), and came up with a plan.
I’m going to future-proof this aging beast.
Look, I don’t do a lot of PC gaming anymore, so this laptop is more than enough for what I require of it. But it does have a few issues I would like to address, which I plan to take care of very soon.
- I want to pick up some new thermal paste, so I can replace the original, as it is quite old and likely quite dry now.
- The unit has a 500gb PCIe SSD, which I use for a Boot drive. There is also room for a second PCIe or SATA SSD, so I’ll be looking for a big one (2TB, maybe) for use as a Game-specific drive. That way I can install more MMORPGs and all of my Steam games, as I just don’t have that kind of room on the current SSD.
- The laptop currently has a 1TB 2.5″ mechanical hard drive, which has to go. Not only is it slow, it produces way too much heat, adds weight, and just isn’t big enough for the storage drive I need it to be. So I’ll be looking to replace this with a 2.5″ SSD, hopefully in the 4TB range.
Everything else is just fine for my purposes right now. If I can keep the price of these upgrades reasonable, I may not need to replace this laptop for another two to three years, which would be great, and allow me to save up for a monster laptop, when I do have to upgrade. Meanwhile, the siding, windows, doors, and porch on my house can all get the work done they absolutely need.
Anyway, time to start looking into parts.
UPDATE: Order made with Amazon, for the following:
- ARCTIC MX-4 Thermal Paste. I keep seeing this recommended for thermal paste, and it was a decent price, so…
- Inland Platinum 2TB M.2 SSD. Plenty of space for games.
- Western Digital Blue 2TB SATA III 2.5″ SSD. Yes, this is smaller than what I wanted, but it will more than do for storage purposes.
Got all of this for just over $400, which is a damn sight cheaper than a new gaming laptop!
UPDATE #2: So I just spent most of a weekend breaking down, cleaning, upgrading, and giving this ol’ laptop a complete wipe-&-refresh of all software (and then some). I have also completed some testing with my podcasting gear and software, so that everything seems to be back in satisfactory order. I even had time to watch “Wrath of Man” with My Lovely Bride™ (short critique: It’s decent, but Statham and Ritchie have done better).
In the end, the laptop is running much cooler, and because of that, is running much quieter. I also have more than enough room to install every game in my Steam library, and a veritable fuckton of MMORPGs. It feels nearly like a new laptop, which of course it isn’t, but it’s amazing how a fresh install of Windows and your preferred software makes even older hardware feel so much snappier, no?
Anyway, now we get back to recording “Ronin Roleplaying” podcasts…