Turns out, I can only get expedited replacements if do the return as a refund, and then order new items. Otherwise, I have to wait three to five business days from date of physical return to get a replacement shipped out to me.
Unfortunately, the CPU can only be returned for a refund within seven days of purchase... and waiting for the video card alone has pushed me beyond that window.*
So I've taken the CPU off the RMA and am just returning the mobo for now. I should have the new one in a couple of days.
Here's hoping it's the motherboard... otherwise, I'm going to be without my computer for quite a long time!
Btw, I hate my laptop. With a passion. It's like computing in a vat of tar.
c l i c k c l i c k c l i c k c l i c k
* I've been defenestrated!