OCZ DIY Gaming Notebook 15"

Looking Inside & Assembly

Looking Inside & Assembly

Before we get down to the building of the DIY, it's probably a good idea that we familiarise ourselves with some of the internal components. Turning the notebook upside down, we can see that there are two compartments which can be opened with a cross head screwdriver. The compartment closest to the front of the notebook houses the hard disk along with the Realtek wireless card, and as you'd expect from a modern system, the DIY uses a standard SATA interface that is capable of taking any 2.5" drive including SSD's.

OCZ DIY 15" Underneath OCZ DIY 15" Disk Area

Opening up the second compartment reveals access to the CPU socket, memory slots and various other components. Moving from left-to-right in the image below, we can see two DDR2 SODIMM slots followed by the 478-pin FCPGA CPU socket (pink) with the Intel PM45 chipset positioned just below. Over on the far right is the ATI HD3650 GPU covered with an orange shim and surrounded by three Qimonda memory chips.  

OCZ DIY 15" Inside  OCZ DIY 15" Inside


If you're unsure what parts would be suitable for the DIY, OCZ provides a list of validated components in a PDF file over on their website. OCZ also have a number of guides in both text and video format to assist users with the building of the notebook once you've got all of the parts. However, rather than simply linking to OCZ's guide, we've created our own video of the installation process which can be seen below:

Hopefully the video will convince you to some extent that there really isn't much to the building of the DIY, with probably the hardest parts being the inserting of the CPU and positioning of the cooler. But as always, taking things slowly and using a little bit of common sense should see a completely trouble-free install. Below are a few pictures taken during the install process that will hopefully give you a clearer picture of how everything should look:

OCZ DIY 14" HDD Caddy
OCZ DIY 15" HDD Installed
Now that we've got everything put together (and hopefully working), let's see just how well our system performs over on the next page...
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Most Recent Comments

11-02-2009, 14:18:43

Great video Jim. Nice to see you wore some bling for it

The DIY 15" is a very smart looking unit, it's just a shame they didn't add some form of branding to brighten it's appearence up a bit like you said. A backlit logo would look rather snazzy in my opinion.

The one thing that stood out the most for me is the appalling battery life. Although when gaming at LANs you will have access to mains power when you need it, I would still expect 2 hours minimum for reasonably heavy usage this day in age.

It's good to see the addition of an HDMI out, fingerprint reader, bluetooth included in the price and not optional extras.

Whilst OCZ have made a good effort at bringing an affordable DIY notebook to the market, I personally feel it falls short, even if just a little. I hope they listen to criticism and take it on board as they may be on to a winner if they make a few changes here and there.

Good job on the review as a whole. Quote

11-02-2009, 14:54:43

The idea is nice.

The implementation is fair.

The price is... ok I guess.

I just feel a little short-changed in the amount of things u really can diy with such barebones-notebooks. I know it's not exactly a mobo and a case - and away u go.

Performs pretty well mind, components taken into account, and I'm glad to see some stats there I can compare against the cheap HP I pimped out.

The looks I think are down to the user to mold into their personal tastes. I see people putting stickers/labels over them - to that end a shiny surface is a good 'attacher' but when it comes to taking off the ATI logo, cos u felt embarassed or something, I wouldn't fancy watching jonny scraping at it with an implement.

Don't like the screen size. Very cheap 15" laptops will do x1024 - ok it's squarer, but the key is u've gone over 1080.

Didn't see any emphasis on dvi, although hdmi available, and would be interested in them showing docking options for these so u can be prouder @home with ur build.

Great stuff.Quote

11-02-2009, 17:03:58

Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Don't like the screen size. Very cheap 15" laptops will do x1024 - ok it's squarer, but the key is u've gone over 1080.
If by this you mean support of 1080p video resolution, that's pointless- a 1280x1024 screen is not going to be displaying 1920x1080 anytime soon.

Far better in my opinion to stick with 1280*800 as they have done so that 720p is within easy reach without the screen having to interpolate the resolution horizontally- resulting in horrible scaling in some cases. It also means the 3650 isn't pushing as many pixels during gaming, which should improve performance.

I have to say that was one of the best reviews I've read in ages, as others have said the addition of the video was great, and I think OCZ are really moving into exciting tech, so respect to them for taking the initial plunge into the market.Quote

11-02-2009, 17:06:56

I meant 1050 tbh. Apart from HD considerations, I was thinking more of basic web viewing. For just the likes of games I'm not sure whether I'd prefer to go over 800 dots or not.

800 in height for fps might be ok.Quote

11-02-2009, 17:17:29

I still think we need to hire a woman with bright-red nails to do the video

Great review of a, ahem, different product. It's certainly a strange one. The idea is sound, but the battery life is a killer.Quote

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