Laptop computers have become an essential part of our daily lives. They allow us to stay connected to work, family, and friends no matter where we are.
But what happens when your laptop motherboard breaks down? Can you simply replace the motherboard and be up and running again?
Should you replace the laptop motherboard yourself? Or should you consult a professional? Is it possible for replacing laptop motherboards?
You will get all your answers in this article.
Let’s get started.
What is the Motherboard in a Laptop?
A laptop motherboard is the main circuit board in a laptop. It contains all the components that allow the laptop to function, including the CPU, memory, graphics, and storage. It is often referred to as the “heart” or “brain” of your laptop.
If your motherboard is down or something goes wrong in there, you may face these issues –
- The laptop is not turning on
- It shuts down automatically
- The start-up time is too long than usual
- The laptop is heating too much and gives off a bad smell
Laptop Vs. Desktop Motherboards
If you have experience with replacing your Desktop motherboard, you may as well think that laptop motherboards will be the same or similar.
Sorry to say, but this is wrong.
Desktop motherboards are drastically different than laptop motherboards.
Desktop motherboard gives you a lot of space and flexibility to upgrade, repair, and replace its components.
On the other hand, laptop motherboards are modular and condensed in design, opposite desktop motherboards.
As you may notice from the pictures, laptop motherboards don’t have a singular design, unlike desktop ones. Each model has very niche designs that will not fit other models.
Changing and upgrading individual components or the whole motherboard is much easier for desktops.
Is Replacing Laptop Motherboard Possible?
Generally speaking, it’s technically possible to replace your laptop motherboard. But that doesn’t mean it’s feasible.
There are lots of factors and “IFs” you need to think about before you can say that a laptop’s motherboard is replaceable.
It depends on
- The brand
- Laptop series
- Specific laptop model
- How the components are arranged
- If the technician can complete the task properly
So although it may be possible to replace a laptop motherboard, it may not be reasonable. But many times, depending on the above factors, it may not be possible for your specific laptop.
But even if it is, you should still consider all the measurements of doing so.
You should consider the price, hassle, and procedure of replacing your laptop motherboard.
Can You Replace A Laptop Motherboard By Yourself?
If you’re totally new to laptop hardware, the answer to this is a hard NO.
Laptops are designed to be compact for portability. Therefore, the motherboard in a laptop is embedded, so you can’t quickly assemble and replace it.
You may have all the necessary tools, a laptop manual, and an expert video guide. But tweaking the most necessary hardware of your laptop by yourself is a whole other game.
Even a tiny mistake can do more harm than good to your laptop.
If you’re considering upgrading or replacing your laptop’s motherboard, it’s always best to consult professional technicians, namely the service center of your laptop brand.
But should you really consider doing that?
Let’s find out.
5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Replace the Laptop Motherboard
1) Compatibility Between Laptop Models
Different laptop models have different motherboards. This variety can be due to design, size, and company specifics.
Example of a Lenovo Motherboard
Example of a Dell Motherboard
Look for an example in the above pictures. You can notice how different a motherboard can be from brand to brand.
In fact, different laptops of the same brand or even the same series can have incompatible motherboards.
Not to mention, many motherboards are made backward compatible. This means newer motherboards are pretty much useless for old laptop models.
2) Cost of Replacing the Motherboard
Motherboards are the costliest part of a laptop. Changing one can cost up to the price of buying a new one. And that excludes the labor cost.
The average service cost for replacing your laptop motherboard can start from $100 and go up to $500 and beyond. This depends on your region, the product, the difficulty, and the technician your hire.
Add to that the motherboard price, and you can buy a brand-new laptop.
3) Availability of Parts
Laptop brands are always bringing out the latest products every year.
It can be a mistake to think that they are officially still selling the motherboard and relevant components after a few years of releasing that laptop.
As you know how incompatible laptop motherboards can be, you need to get the exact motherboard model with the same components your laptop contains.
A lot of the time, it may not be available for sale in your area. If some parts are being sold, other parts may not be.
4) Difficulty to Replace the Hardware
Assuming you find a compatible motherboard for your laptop, it’s still difficult to disassemble the old one and replace it with this new one.
You must match every component positioning, screw position, and notch.
In most cases, the CPU and GPU are soldered into the motherboard. So you need to handle them carefully. However, with the difficulty of removing the soldered parts, it’s only in your best interest not to do that.
Even for experts, it’s still a risky process. So if you send your laptop to the service center, the more complex your inner design is, the more you will be charged for that.
5) The New Motherboard May Not Last Long
After all the hassle you go through and replacing your laptop’s motherboard, there is no guarantee that it will last you even a year.
The new motherboard you’re getting into your device may actually not be ‘new.’ It could be used or refurbished. This only lessens the longevity of your motherboard.
There could be technical faults when replacing the motherboard, causing a significant lifespan.
If all goes okay, the new motherboard may work well for you for 3-6 months and then start wearing off. If this happens, you will need to replace this ‘new’ motherboard with a ‘newer’ one.
Is it Worth Replacing Laptop’s Motherboard?
You may as well be wondering whether it’s even worth replacing your laptop motherboard.
If you have a;
- Mid-range budget laptop ($400-$800)
- Used it for 2-3+ years
- The whole motherboard needs to be replaced
Then it’s not worth replacing your laptop motherboard. You may add some more to the budget and get a new machine.
It may be worth the cost if you have a fairly new high-end laptop and only need to change some components.
Always measure the pros and cons of replacement, repairing, and buying a new laptop. But the general answer is still a no.
This article explains if it’s possible and worth replacing your laptop’s motherboard.
If you’re facing issues with your laptop, the first step is to take it to a qualified service center. Now you know what to do if it’s a motherboard problem and they ask you to replace it.
Review the above checklist and see if you should replace it or buy a new laptop. In our opinion, it’s not worth replacing. But of course, the choice is yours.