Computer Help forum

Question

Should I replace Gateway motherboard?

by iuvs2fish / November 15, 2012 8:15 PM PST

My 4 year old Gateway laptop died, it's been diagnosed as needing a motherboard. Price for new motherboard $75 & labor to install $60-75. Work being done by friend of brother in laws friend who has small shop in small town. Had it diagnosed by university shop also and they quoted $210 for the job.
Price is lower from BIL friend due to being friend of family. Other then motherboard the laptop was working fine lol. No other known issues. Question-I cannot afford a new laptop for at least a year. My husband is sick & undergoing medical care that will be going on for next 42 weeks. So can you guys give me an opinion as to what u think I
should-repair it or scrap it.Thank you very much for your consideration.

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All Answers

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Answer
Re: repair or scrap
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 15, 2012 8:55 PM PST

Depends on the alternatives.

- If you have a nice desktop, and no need for a laptop, why spend money on it?
- If it's your only machine and you need it to be portable, $150 might be good. A new laptop is at least $450 and you say you can't buy that for at least a year.
- If a desktop would be good enough, it shouldn't be difficult to find a second hand one for less than $ 150 that is faster then your laptop. But it might be a complication it needs a mouse, a keyboard and a monitor also.

Kees

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re: I don't have a desktop etc
by iuvs2fish / November 15, 2012 10:00 PM PST
In reply to: Re: repair or scrap

Tx for your reply. I don't have a desktop I can use at home.

I should have mentioned my main use of a laptop:
---I use my laptop to track medical information for my husband, web browse, skype w/daughter who lives 10 hrs away & who has just had a new baby, and to watch movies while at hospital/clinic w/husband while he undergoes treatment.

I also have a muscular condition that is painful and cannot sit on a chair in front of a desktop for longer then few minutes-forgot to mention. Laptop affords portability-I can move to where I'm more comfortable.

Does anyone have an opinion as the the new Chromebooks? With what I need a laptop for would this fit the bill? I dont do any game playing, or bill paying. Just whats been mentioned.
I really appreciate this forum and the time you all take to answer questions!!
TIA.

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Answer
Normally
by Jimmy Greystone / November 15, 2012 10:45 PM PST

Normally I'd say scrap the thing, but given your second post, fixing it may be the better option. Chromebooks basically take the idea of the netbook to a whole new level. Netbooks did have a full version of Windows, and you could potentially run a lot of programs on them if you really wanted, but the idea was to use web based services like Gmail and Google's little online office suite where most of the heavy lifting is done on the server side. Chromebooks basically have as bare bones an OS as you can get. With recent versions Google did add things like a basic text editor (think Windows Notepad), but the OS on Chromebooks is basically the bare minimum needed to run a web browser. Which might well put Skype out of the question. AFAIK, there is still a Linux version of Skype (Chrome OS is based on Linux, not Windows), but whether you could get that to run on a Chromebook would be kind of an open question.

So in the end it comes down to whether you want to spend the money to fix this thing or put that repair money towards a new laptop. I'd just make sure it's an actual laptop, not a Netbook or Chromebook. The easy way to tell a Netbook is it has an Intel Atom CPU. I'm not sure what AMD's equivalent CPU is called, since I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a netbook with an AMD CPU in it. Maybe someone could fill in that gap for me.

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Re Thanks for your reply!
by iuvs2fish / November 16, 2012 12:07 AM PST
In reply to: Normally

I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy days to help me reach a decision.

I'm thinking AMD used names like Athlon, Duron, Sempron, Turion, Phenom etc but they seem to really have backed down from trying to go toe to toe w/Intel. They haven't come forth into the tablet market that I've heard much of and although I heard they rehired Jim Keller this past late summer I haven't heard of anything real exciting coming out (but I could be wrong).

Due to weight issues & my (in)ability to tote a heavy laptop around -gateway is 6lb7oz-( ,I had considered buying a smaller netbook but seems they can barely run a trimmed down version of Windows 7 and I really need a full version due to some of the graphics work I do. I could see me getting very frustrated w/a netbook when I ask it to do more then it's able. (and knowing me I'd do that first thing-)

I've also thought about buying one of the Black Friday trimmed down version laptop & upgrading it myself--add more memory etc. But that opens another whole can of worms......which, what, how much to spend on one, etc. It looks like there will be many versions/models out there in the next week for $197-300 for bare bones. I can get all the latest software I want from the university computing department for free (my husband works there as a graphics designer) if a barebones laptop can run them. So is buying a bare bones laptop a good option?

Right now I'm using my daughter's old Dell Inspiron E1405 that I bought her for high school graduation 5 YEARS ago. A year after I bought it I upgraded it a bit-doubled memory and despite fact it looks like crap it's still running fine-fan still works, bought a web cam for it (that's how old it is-) &had to buy new battery of course and a new power cord but other then that it's really paid off considering I paid only $800 for it.

I've even considered buying the motherboard for the Gateway and installing it myself. I'm not afraid to tread where angels fear to go, can follow a schematic/tutorial & have some pretty good tools&electrostatic wristband etc. I did replace the fan and heatsink without any problems (didnt' realize it was running so hot-had too much dust etc-it's a learning process for a dinosaur like me-) But-- I haven't researched that as an option yet.....if I could put it in myself I could probably fix my Gateway for under $90. What do you think of that? Can I really do any more harm to it then having it not running? I'm very cautious, won't go forward till I'm sure I'm doing it correctly.

Sorry to be so full of ?'s today. Thank you again in advance for sharing your knowledge/experience w/me.
Chris

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