Centrino Duo Whitebook: A Do-It-Yourself Laptop

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Assembly: CPU, Cooling & RAM


The CPU, RAM, mini-PCIe slot and GPU are all hidden under the main panel. The panel is held on by three screws (refer to the diagram on the previous page). After the screws have been taken off, the panel is removed by sliding it down towards the front of the laptop, then it's lifted up and clear.


Now that the main panel is out of the way, we turn our attention to the empty 479-pin FCPGA6 socket. The process of installing the Core Duo is no different than the process used to install any other processor using a zero insertion force (ZIF) socket, with one small exception. The arm used to lock the processor into the socket is missing. To save space, the FCPGA6 uses a screw-like retainer at the top of the socket body to lock the processor in place. We'd describe it as screw-like because it only turns 180 degrees and can never be removed. While this works just as well, it's just another normally tool-less step that now requires your trusty screwdriver's intervention.

There are two SO-DIMM slots under the CPU socket. RAM installation involves placing the SO-DIMM module into the slot at a 45 degree angle. Then the RAM module is pressed down until it 'clicks' into the two retaining clips at either end of the slot.


Taking a step back to observe our work, we see that the mini-PCIe slot is located under the CPU socket and to the left of the RAM slots. The Z96JS comes with the Intel Pro 3945ABG wireless adapter already installed in the mini-PCIe slot. To the left of the mini-PCIe slot is the integrated X1600 and its four dedicated RAM chips. A thin black sheet of plastic covers the X1600 and protects the motherboard from direct contact with the aluminum heatsink. A circular cut in the motherboard's PCB can be seen. This makes room for the heatsink's slot-style blower.


Now that the CPU is installed we can install the heatsink and fan assembly. The heatsink is slid into its place and then seven screws are used to hold it down. The aluminum heatsink assembly uses two independent heat pipes, one for the CPU and one for the GPU, to bring heat directly to the blower. The heatsink makes direct contact with the CPU, GPU, and the four integrated GPU RAM modules. The fan is relatively quiet and the assembly does a decent job at keeping the system cool. We observed temperatures hovering around the high 40s under full load which is respectable for laptop cooling.


This concludes the assembly process of the Whitebook. That's right, that's all it takes. Not much more involved than your standard desktop system install.  In fact there's less to do over all when you think about it. However, you will need your tools since everything requires tools to install except the DRAM modules.

Tags:  laptop, ebook, Book, Centrino, White, duo, AP, K

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