My original goal was to try and build a G73 Republic of Gamer laptop for a budget set at $300, I'm not able to do that because of the ATI graphics card originally used, an ATI Radeon HD5870, which fits the original mobo only. I recently bought a HSF, Heatsinkfan unit sans card for my G73J model, which is only lacking the main speakers, keyboard, hinge cover and left side jack boards thus far, though I did manage to kill a battery I bought used during testing, that was $35 down the drain, give or take. Anyway, the minor boards and ribbon cables have cost me less then $10 USD, whereas big plastic parts for the chassis cost nearly $30 on average, and up to $50USD in some cases. The screens being HD ready and 17 inch are really affordable considering, and for around $75 USD one can be had assembled and ready to screw in place with webcam.
Great Review on this model, many more informative articles on this class Asus exist as well ^
This model is still in existance today encompassing the much beefier nVidia MXM cards for graphics and Haswell processors. They sell for $1000 on the market currently, and the originals as I mention with my budget, about $300 to $400 used.
These use first gen Nehalem Intel Core i7 CPUs. 3 or 4 DDR3 Ram slots and two SATA HDD spaces in the chassis along with USB 3.0 added via one port on Sandy and Ivy bridge G73s.
My graphics card was the best bargain of the lot, the Sandy / Ivy iteration GTX460m nVidia with heatsink but no fan... Now with the original HSF I recently got at auction from of all places; the Ukraine!! I now have both the newer GPU and older motherboard (mobo) running as one unit. Likely due to the mis-match, it only turns on and doesn't properly shut down again, so the power must be cut off at the source, but all the parts thus far are working, If and when we see GTA V for PC, it will be tested on my new platform and I'll post back results, and of course, GTA IV should work fine on it.
With my mobo came the Core i7 at 1.73Ghz per core, but supports HyperThreading and Turbo Boost from what I recall, so for now, good enough until I upgrade to the newer gen looking for Ivy Bridge preferrably
Edited by BlackListedB, 17 June 2014 - 10:56 PM.