Studio XPS 1640 upgrade to i7 1647 - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

Studio XPS 1640 upgrade to i7 1647


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Studio XPS 1640 upgrade to i7 1647

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I picked up the correct motherboard, base plastic, heat sink and processor to do the upgrade to the quad core processor.  I got everything installed but it seems that the wires going to the mini cards from the  screen are too short!  What do those wires come from in the screen? Ugh, this is the only thing holding me back!  Thanks from any help you can provide!



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  • They are antenna wires.


  • Thanks. Do you know if Dell or some other company sells the antenna for the 1647 with extended wires? Or better yet, just longer wires. I'd like to keep the wires in their intended grooves on the base plastic and not re-route them over other parts on the motherboard.  

  • Hi Grbspltt,

    Could you tell me what steps you took to upgrade the 1640 to an i7 core Laptop?

    I'm considering it myself, but I'm not sure what parts need exchanging

  • The only sure way to do it is to swap BOTH the processor AND the mainboard.  It's been well documented that systems that ship with i3 or i5 CPUs DO NOT work with i7s.

    This is likely to push the cost so high that a new system is a better idea.


  • I know about the i3 / i5 don't play with i7

    but the 1640 actually has a core 2 dual proc, not an i3 / i5

    so in this case the question would be;

    the processor and the mainboard, is that all?

  • You'll need all-new RAM as well - the i systems use DDR-3, while the Core 2 systems use DDR-2.  If you  have a 90W AC adapter, you'll need a new 130W unit.

    I would not count on the two mainboards being a direct swap, so plan on needing the lower plastics (perhaps including the touch pad/palmrest as well as the bottom chassis assembly).

    In other words:  plan on replacing everything except the screen, keyboard and drives.


  • allrigthy then..

    so that's basically not an option

    currently the system is running a T9400

    upgrading to a quadcore Q9100 or extreme X9100 might be a better option

    do you have any idea if such a swap makes sense?


    Is this possible? I don't know, I haven't finished it yet.  The problem I discussed from the original post is no longer an issue since I don't need the mini pci-e slot for the mobile broadband.  The wires for the Bluetooth and WiFi actually are long enough.  My current hold up is the motherboard.  I can't find the motherboard that works with the i7 processor (Dell Part #  0VV228).  Reason why: Dell discontinued the 1645 laptop because of a plethora of driver issues, hardware instability and processor throttling.  They started replacing people's 90w power supply with the 130w that another poster mentioned above.  Well that didn't solve the throttling issues all the time.  So they discontinued using the i7 processor and opted for the current 1647 i5 line using dual core processors.  Which doesn't work for me because I want a quad core processor to speed up my multi-threading applications.  So currently the project is dead and I'll try to sell the stuff off e-bay whenever I have some spare time to get everything in order.

    Other thoughts:  Say you get the baseplastic, the new heat sink, upgraded RAM, motherboard and i5 processor and put it all together.  You'll have to figure out all the drivers to work with the screen, WiFi, Optical Drive, Hard-Drive, Bluetooth, motherboard chipset.  And don't expect to get any help from Dell either, their reps aren't smart enough to figure anything out if you can't supply them the Service Tag #.  I have talked to many a person from India to figure out the part # of the motherboard that works with the i7, and I had to get it from someone on this forum.  Anyways, say you get it all working.  Guess what, you'll still have a Dual Core processor that's only slightly faster than the one you currently have.  If you find the i7 motherboard, and get it working, then you'll have all the problems that Dell gave up trying to fix.

    Bottom line: Do whatever you want to do.  I love a challenge, doing what other people haven't done, and figuring things out even if it means I end up wasting money.  All in all I spent close to $1,000 on this little project.  If it worked I would have had a laptop that would have cost ~$2,400 brand new.  


  • so on the 'just the mainboard' part thats probably a no. :P
    i'm afraid i have enough projects going on as it is.
    so i'll skip on the i-series.

    what do you think about upgrading a t9400 to a q9000 or q91000
    it's still the same socket and according to the intel site they're compatible



  • If it's in the same family, supported by your mainboard's chipset, AND works with the power supply of the mainboard, then go nuts.  I'd look at the top of the line processor offered at the time Dell was manufacturing your laptop, and buy that one.

  • anyone still have the 1640 studio xps and performed upgrades to it?