For our testing we were provided with a 120GB 2.5inch SATA Apex SSD and 4GB of PC2-6400 DDR2 SO-DIMM RAM, from OCZ (obviously), and Intel’s top of the range Intel Core 2 Duo X9100 Extreme mobile CPU, which runs at 3.06GHz.
Fitting the various components is incredibly easy. We started off with the hard drive (or SSD in our case) as this is the easiest part of the procedure. Once you’ve unscrewed and removed the covering panel, you mount the hard drive in its little cradle provided in the box then slot this into position and screw the cradle down. Pop the panel back on and you’re done.
The CPU and memory are housed under a second panel that requires just one screw to be unscrewed and a good tug to remove. To the left are the two slots for the memory while on the far right is the graphics chip; inbetween is the CPU (which we’ve pictured already mounted in its pink socket) and below that is the northbridge.
Adding in the memory is again very simple with not even a screw required to slide the sticks in and push them into their sprung retaining clips. Likewise, placing the CPU in its socket is very easy. Just make sure you’ve got the pins all lined up correctly (and that none of them are bent – something that’s easily done) and it should just slide into place effortlessly.
Being the tinkerers that we are here, we successfully did all this without consulting the manual, but if you’re less sure there’s a very clear How-To Guide on OCZ’s website that even an absolute novice should be able to understand.
One thing the guide does gloss over, though, is how much of a pig the HeatSink/Fan (HSF) is to mount. This one unit covers all three of the aforementioned chips and comes prefitted with patches of Thermal Interface Material (TIM) that need to be aligned with these chips. On top of this you have to hook the cooling-fins under the edge of the notebook chassis to fit it in. It took us about five or six goes before we got the hang of it (which is why we end up adding our own TIM in the video) and even then it needed three takes in our video for me to do it smoothly. In fairness, though, unless you really go at it like a bull in a china ship, no harm should come to any of the components as you rummage around trying to get the HSF to fit.