These five upgrades are a little risky and time-consuming, but if you're up for a challenge, you could end up with the coolest PC on your street.

We're all seeking the fastest, best looking and highest spec PCs on the planet. So if you're fanatical about PCs and you fancy a challenge, then we've put together a list of the five scariest upgrades that no sane user should ever try. They're certainly not for the faint-hearted and you'll be taking a risk if you try and implement them.

However, they offer genuine benefits and will certainly provide you with a challenge along the way, which may even result in ensuring you own the coolest PC on your street. So if you like to walk on the wild side, grab your screwdriver and follow along.

Replace your laptop's LCD screen

Want better screen resolution, or maybe a glossy display instead of a matte one? Subbing in a new LCD panel for your old one is a bit extreme, but possible. This upgrade is one of the trickiest and most time-consuming laptop surgeries you can perform, with little guarantee that the new screen will work as it should. Still, if you do your homework in advance and select the right hardware for your machine, the payoff can be spectacular.

According to replacement-LCD supplier ScreenTek, upgrading a screen can, unfortunately, be a matter of trial and error. Whether a higher-resolution screen will work on your notebook depends on many factors, including the laptop's video card, cable, and firmware. And of course, the new display must fit in the space available.

Before you purchase a replacement, it's a good idea to talk with a sales rep at ScreenTek or a similar LCD reseller to see what screens are available for your notebook.

To replace the LCD on our Dell Inspiron 1505, we first had to remove the laptop's hinge cover and keyboard, by taking out screws from the bottom and rear of the machine; then we had to unplug the antenna and video cables from the motherboard. Those steps allowed us to remove the LCD assembly from the laptop's main body. Taking off the small rubber bumpers on the front of the screen revealed screws beneath. We removed the screws and then pried the bezel away from the screen, gaining access to the bare LCD beneath. We had to work slowly: It's easy to snap the plastic on the bezel during this part of the disassembly.

Brackets on each side of the LCD hold it in place. After removing the screws and unplugging the cables, we finally took out the bare LCD and replaced it with the new one. Then we simply reversed the disassembly process to put everything back together properly.
Prior to reassembly, plug the cables in and boot the machine up to ensure that it's working correctly. If you don't get a picture, check that the cables are properly seated, and try again. If it still doesn't work, your notebook simply may not support that display resolution.

NEXT PAGE: Lapping your CPU

  1. Time consuming and insane but a good challenge
  2. Lapping your CPU
  3. More instructions for lapping your CPU
  4. Push your RAM to its limit
  5. Strip your PC naked
  6. Water cooling
  7. More tips for water cooling

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