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Alternate MoBo Upgrades for the i8200


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Hello everyone.

I spent a few hours searching & reading existing posts on this forum before I took the time to register. My reading over those hours answered several questions I had about my new (used) laptop, but one still remains. Before I get into it though, let me provide somebackground info:

I recently was handed down a Dell i8200 from a relative and I've been exploring my options for upgrades. Thus far I've flashed the BIOS to the A11 revision, and aquired an Hitachi 100 GB 7200 RPM drive + Modular HD Bay. I also upgraded the existing system RAM from one stick of 256 MB SODIMM ram to a single 1 Gig stick (btw, a BIG THANKS to various members on this board for their prior posts indicating that this laptop would actually detect and use a 1 GB stick! :) ).

Here's where the problems come -- When I try to use the half gig stick along with the 1 gig stick my machine locks up FREQUENTLY, and often before it has loaded the desktop. I inspected the connectors on the mainboard and was pretty bummed to find that one of the metal pins that the RAM inserts into on the second ram slot (the teeth in the slot, if you will) was broken off. :) This is almost certainly the cause of my woes. To verify that the 2nd slot was the culprit, I ran memtest on each stick of RAM for several hours while they were inserted into the first ram slot (one after the other) and neither piece reported a single error.

So it looks like my best option is to completely replace the motherboard if I really want the 2nd ram slot functional. One gig of RAM is adequate for now, but down the road, if I can pick up a referb motherboard cheaply enough, it might be a worthwile way to keep this thing running. The real question this presents is, what are my options? I've seen Bill and several other forum members discuss the fact that the c840 & the M50 have similar, if not virtually identical motherboards to the i8200, but are these the only other options? If I were to consider picking up another motherboard for this laptop down the road, what would be my ultimate prospect in terms of power and compatibility? I know the best video is the Quatro4 700 GoGL (my machine currently has the 440 Go), but video isn't a major concern for me. I'm looking for a faster subsystem, or a compatible board that might take a newer processor that the 2.6 P4M. My newer RAM supports a max bus speed of 333 mhz. Were any compatible boards made that used this faster speed? I assume that it's unlikely there were many other boards that were actually designed to fit into this i8200's chassis, but I figured I'd ask people far more knowledgable about thie i8200 than myself for some guidance.

Best regards, and thanks for your time folks;


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