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G55VW Upgrade Guide

Level 15

Hot on the heels of our G75VW upgrade guide, I’ve got my hands on its 15 inch brother – the G55VW – for another upgrade guide. In this article I’ll cover exactly what you can (and can’t) upgrade on the G55VW, so you know exactly how to plan your purchase and upgrades.

Opening it up:
Firstly, flip it over:

Like the G75VW, there is a single access port on the bottom held on by a couple of Philips head screws – grab the right sized screw driver to take them out, and with a little tug lift off the cover.

The G55VW has a total of one 2.5″ HDD bay, one mSATA socket and four DDR3 SO-DIMM slots. The area just opened allows access to two of the DDR3 SO-DIMM slots and the single HDD bay. The mSATA socket and two additional SO-DIMM ports are not user-accessible (if you want to retain your warranty) so should be upgraded by an official ASUS rep or decided on before purchase. If you consider yourself technically capable and don’t care for your warranty they are upgradeable, but I warm you that it’s a mammoth task to get into the inner workings. See this thread on notebook review for more details. The mSATA socket is here and there’s also a standard mPCIe socket used for the WiFi card too.

Both the mSATA and HDD SATA sockets are SATA 6Gbps capable, and both can be tied together with Intel RAID by simply enabling the RAID option in the BIOS.


Alternatively a small mSATA drive can be setup as a caching drive to support the larger 2.5″ HDD, or a larger mSATA drive (128GB are available at the time of writing) can be setup to house the entire OS and recovery partition, leaving the 2.5″ HDD space free for a future upgrade (or left empty to save power and weight).

If your G55VW wasn’t spec’d from the retailer with an mSATA SSD installed, the installed 2.5″ HDD contains your Windows and recovery partitions (if you didn’t know, you can press F9 during boot up to restore the factory default OS), so if you’re swapping it out for another you’ll want to clone its contents via another PC. The connectors for 2.5″ drives are standard SATA power and data, so they will connect to any PC SATA ports or fit in an external SATA drive caddy.

Below is the G55 with the HDD and both user accessible SO-DIMMs removed. The HDD is held in a small, metal case and secured down with three screws. This metal case must be swapped to the replacement HDD before reinstallation.

Officially 16GB 1600MHz memory is supported via 4x4GB DIMMs, although unofficially 32GB memory (8GBx4) can be installed (remember you need to use Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate to take advantage of >16GB of memory). The first two SO-DIMMs populated are installed at the factory/by the retailer in the non-user serviceable area so you don’t have to worry about them, however if you want to absolutely maximize the G55′s memory capacity, it also means it’s strongly advised to plan your needs and arrange your purchase beforehand. For most gamers however, the standard 8-16GB installed is plenty and the two extra SO-DIMM slots (shown above and below) give an extra 8-16GB of capacity on top of the two installed at the factory, which should see you through into the future.

The optical drive can be removed by a single screw at the back if it needs replacing or upgrading, while the battery can be simply unclipped and swapped out without the need for a screwdriver. The standard battery is an 8-cell 74Whr.


Level 10
Awesome info, thanks. To be honest I did a very last-minute rushed purchase when buying a Windows gaming laptop, and I'm so glad I ended up with my G55. 128GB SSD + 750GB, 16GB of RAM (This is insane!), 660 not 650, 1920x1080p in 15", super crisp, nice colours, good forum here, I think I'm still pinching myself...!

Level 13
have fun with it 🙂

Level 9
Has anybody tried putting in a Ivy Bridge 3820qm 3920xm or 3940xm CPU? Temps with that?
I'm sure it takes a lot of work. Maybe that's why I haven't seen anybody do a CPU upgrade with this laptop.

Level 13
@danwat1234, yeah i have done that with 3820qm. the task is easy but you need patience, a lot of patience.

the temperature is relatively high compared to stock cpu (it's no problem with common usage; but when you play games for long hours, it can reach 96c to 100c at room temperature).

Level 9
And probably not able to crunch at 100% on all cores? For instance video converting or distributed computing?

Level 13
@danwat1234, at room temperature you might have problems due to the excessive heat; but in an air-conditioned room, i think it's fine (but i am not sure how long it can stand sorry)

rewben wrote:
@danwat1234, at room temperature you might have problems due to the excessive heat; but in an air-conditioned room, i think it's fine (but i am not sure how long it can stand sorry)

Is it possible to upgrade the GPU, and if so, do you think the 3630QM will be the bottleneck? Also, will the battery provide enough power for, say, a GTX 760M or 770M?

Doubtful that any GPU upgrade is possible even if it uses the same MXM slot. The heatsink pad locations and mounts have to match up. CPU might be possible. Have to make sure the BIOS lets the CPU run on it

Level 13
the gpu is soldered to the board in a g55. there is no mxm slot like a g75.