Join Mike Meyers for an in-depth discussion in this video Laptop hardware: CPU and motherboard, part of CompTIA A+ (220-1001) Cert Prep 9: Portable Computing.
- If you want to start getting into some deeper stuff, well, that can be a real challenge. In particular, I'm talking about a CPU, a motherboard, ventilation, fans, things like that almost always require a little extra surgery, so gimme a minute, because I'm actually reading that I have to take out, it says, 13 screws to get this cover off so I can get to the next layer of stuff. (lighthearted ukulele music) So, I'm actually taking off the monitor itself from the laptop, and this is something you run into a lot with these things. You see these wires right here? These are actually, you can see where they came from, these are the wireless network card antenna wires. There's a big antenna inside this thing, and it runs up into the monitor, so we need to make sure that these are all reconnected. (lighthearted ukulele music) So even though I've got all the screws out right now, there's still going to be little snaps that are holding it down, and there's nothing scarier than this noise. (plastic snapping) There you go. That's an okay sound, it's just a little terrifying when you first hear it. (lighthearted ukulele music) So, I've got two big parts here I can deal with. Number one, here's the keyboard, so I can take that guy off, put a new keyboard in if I want. Done a lot of those over the years, and then here is the touchpad, so if I want to, I can pop this and replace the touchpad. It seems that both the keyboard and the touchpad run off of a little controller down here, so one of the things I'm going to be looking at if I'm going to replace a keyboard or a touchpad, I might go ahead and replace the other just 'cause I'm already in here already, and that might save me a step. All right, let's go back to the actual computer itself, not a lot left here anymore, is there? Okay, first of all, what I have here, this is a card reader, so a lot of these laptops, especially things like smart card readers in particular tend to go out from time to time. This is where I'm going to have to go and replace it. On this one, not only is it a card reader, but it's also a USB. You're going to see how they're all on one little card like that, I'm going to have to replace the entire thing, but there's a part number for it if I needed to. Right here is the other problem child. This is the fan. These little fans get dirty, they get jammed up, and they often need to be replaced. If you can't get the fan to spin up, this is where you go ahead and get yourself a new fan. Now, this isn't on the A+, but I'm going to mention it anyway. Right here is actually where you plug in the AC adapter, and this is what you call your charging circuit. This is your jack where you plug in for your DC power, but this little charging circuit can be a real pain. Most of the time, when someone has a laptop, and they plug it in, and when it's plugged in, it runs just fine, but the moment they unplug it, the battery is down to zero, it's probably a good battery. These little charging circuits go out all the time, and almost every laptop manufacturer makes it easy for you to replace these. The other thing that gets broken is the actual jack where the AC adapter comes in, people just tend to be abusive of these things, and for one little $3 part, I can fix that all in one shot. Can't tell you how many times I've gotten myself $2000 laptops because somebody didn't take the time to think of fixing one little $2 component. Okay, so let's see, the last great thing here is actually the motherboard and the CPU itself, so let's see if we can dive in just a little bit deeper and get to those guys. (lighthearted ukulele music) Now, another thing I'd be doing at this point, I'm movin' a little bit quickly here, but when I get a lot of little parts like this, even though I have a diagram, most of the time, I'm going to be using my smartphone, and I just take picture after picture after picture, and then as I'm reassembling, I can see where I'm at, but I'm movin' fast here, so, (lighthearted ukulele music) we got it, so this is the actual motherboard for this system. So here's our fan, we've got this big copper heatsink, and underneath here is the CPU. It's rare to be able to replace the CPU on a laptop. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, let's take a look right here. I'm pretty sure this guy's soldered on, ooh. (lighthearted ukulele music) And here is a typical soldered-on CPU that we'll see in most laptops. Now, they don't have to be. I've actually got an old Dell over here, let me bring him over, and I've already even taken out the heatsink and everything. If you take a look, that's actually a zero insertion force socket, and this CPU, this is an older Intel CPU, whoopsie, and it's actually removable, isn't that cool? This is extremely rare, you don't see this hardly at all anymore on more modern laptops, but do be aware that that can be an option, so most of the time, if somebody comes up to you, and they go, "Mike, I want to add more RAM to my laptop", it's usually not that big of a deal. "Mike, my hard drive's bad, I need a new hard drive." Sure, I can help you out there. "Mike, is there a way to upgrade my old 802.11g wireless card to 802.11ac? Probably, not a problem there, either. What gets us in trouble is the moment people start asking things that seem simple, they're like, "Mike, my laptop isn't charging, can you help me?" And it's like ugh, it's not that the charging circuit is hard, it's just sometimes it's hard to get to, and especially when someone says, "Mike, can you upgrade my CPU on my laptop?" I mean, I might do some cursory research, but the answer's going to be no. Not because it's impossible, but because it's just too much work for the amount of power you get back in response for that. Well, I've done the easy part of a laptop and I've dismantled it, so what I'm going to have to do now is I'm going to be takin' awhile, and I'm going to put this puppy back together, and I guarantee you I can do it. (introspective orchestra music)
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