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Upgrading CPU & RAM on Inspiron 1545. Is it worth it?

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  • Laptops
  • RAM
  • Inspiron
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
September 13, 2013 12:14:16 PM

Hello guys. So I own an inspiron 1545 that's almost 4 years old. I don't want to buy a new laptop until about 4 years from now so I'm looking into upgrading it. Will an upgrade to 8gb of ram from 4 and to the T9600 from the Pentium dual core one be a worthwhile investment to extend the power & life of my laptop? (The ram would cost me 175 on amazon and the processor 30 on eBay)
Thanks.

Edit: Ok, thanks for the input so far but I must clarify some things. I don't have 4gb, I have 3gb of ram. Also, my pc can run 8gb of ram (it has been done) as long as it has 64 bit os, which it does. Normally I have chrome launched with many tabs (30+ lol), rainmeter running, gimp and word open. Idk what type of usage that constitutes as. Whenever I saw my activity, the ram was what ran low (it was used up) while my processor was ok. From the feedback and additional research I've done, I'm considering instead 4gb of ram, a 256 ssd, and the processor (only because it's so cheap). What do yall think?

More about : upgrading cpu ram inspiron 1545 worth

September 13, 2013 12:35:20 PM

Welcome to Tom's!

According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so your plan to increase the ram will not work. While the CPU upgrade will help, I don't think that it will improve much because you can't add more RAM. Sorry!
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September 13, 2013 1:13:07 PM

SSD, the largest speed increase you will see on a lappy that age. Those Dells were known for their slow as **** hard drives. I'm about to try this on my wife's machine, about the same age/config as yours. Minus 2 gigs of ram say.
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December 19, 2013 9:02:54 AM

I own a Dell Inspiron 1545 that had a T4200@2.0GHz.I used a thumb drive with to use READYBOOST,disabled some of the backround programs windows has running that are not needed.How often do you use Windows search?It's a Memory PIG,so I turned it off.My laptop was faster,and after reading about CPU Upgrading on this model I did some research.I purchased the T9600 and installed it.Without changing the FAN I put it thru a stress test twice.It maxed out at 2.925GHz during the test and the temp. never went over 160 degrees.The Max on the chip is 220 degrees as was the T4200.I upgraded the Bios to A14 and turned on Virtualization technology which the T4200 doesn't have,but the T9600 does.I believe it's called SSE2 in Intel terms.So you can upgrade this laptop to a fast processor.I have dual boot on the hard drive-win7HPremium,and win 8.1.Works great no problem with drivers at all.
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December 11, 2014 8:31:16 PM

100%
i bought this laptop 2nd hand and it had the standard cpu, battery and ram, upgraded ram to 4gb (apparently the max but crucial says 8gb, i trust dell)

i got the 8700 as the extra £6-£8 for the 8800 isn't worth it!
upgraded to a 9 cell battery and now its amazing!
starts up nice and fast runs smoothly and lasts for a good hour and a half on battery before i even start to think about putting it on charge.

total cost was around £30 to upgrade it.
the standard cpu is single core!

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January 2, 2015 11:43:48 AM

clarkjd said:
Welcome to Tom's!

According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so your plan to increase the ram will not work. While the CPU upgrade will help, I don't think that it will improve much because you can't add more RAM. Sorry!


I disagree. I upgraded my dell inspiron 1545 to 8gb ram 1TB hard drive and the T9550 processor. I was able to see a marked improvement in downloads and multitasking.
Dont always believe Dell. They are in the business of selling computers.
For $150 I have a computer I couldnt buy for $600
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February 10, 2015 6:48:56 AM

SteveCo said:
11532403,0,42798 said:
Welcome to Tom's!

According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so

I disagree. I upgraded my dell inspiron 1545 to 8gb ram 1TB hard drive and the T9550 processor. I was able to see a marked improvement in downloads and multitasking.
Dont always believe Dell. They are in the business of selling computers.
For $150 I have a computer I couldnt buy for $600
said:


Question to you: was that 8gb ram you installed 1066 mhz? I have a ddr3 8gb 1066 mhz ram upgrade I could install but I think I remember the specs saying it was some mhz lower than 1066 so I'm apprehensive.

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March 12, 2015 11:47:23 AM

Mitch Reeves said:
SteveCo said:
11532403,0,42798 said:
Welcome to Tom's!

According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so

I disagree. I upgraded my dell inspiron 1545 to 8gb ram 1TB hard drive and the T9550 processor. I was able to see a marked improvement in downloads and multitasking.
Dont always believe Dell. They are in the business of selling computers.
For $150 I have a computer I couldnt buy for $600
said:


Question to you: was that 8gb ram you installed 1066 mhz? I have a ddr3 8gb 1066 mhz ram upgrade I could install but I think I remember the specs saying it was some mhz lower than 1066 so I'm apprehensive.

said:


Hi all,
according to Inspiron 1545 Setup Guide (Page 57 - Specifications):
http://downloads.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_l...

Memory:
Connectors: two internally accessible SO-DIMM sockets
Capacities: 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB, and 4 GB
Memory type: 800 MHz DDR2 SO-DIMM
Possible memory configurations: 1GB, 1.5GB, 2GB, 3GB, 4GB, 6 GB, and 8GB
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March 14, 2015 3:58:18 AM

SteveCo said:
clarkjd said:
Welcome to Tom's!

According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so your plan to increase the ram will not work. While the CPU upgrade will help, I don't think that it will improve much because you can't add more RAM. Sorry!


I disagree. I upgraded my dell inspiron 1545 to 8gb ram 1TB hard drive and the T9550 processor. I was able to see a marked improvement in downloads and multitasking.
Dont always believe Dell. They are in the business of selling computers.
For $150 I have a computer I couldnt buy for $600


Couldn't agree more. I have a crappy T4200 and will upgrade to T9550
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March 20, 2015 12:17:20 AM

Hi, looking to upgrade to 8gb ram for the 1545 with the stock T6600@2.2ghz, 64bit os. Haven't done this before. What should I look for when buying it? Any specifications that will be compatible (or more like any I should steer clear of)?

Cheers :) 
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April 2, 2015 3:13:44 PM

Just did a Dell Inspiron 1445.
Went with the P8880 /2.66 had t4300 /2.10 ,
120gb sdd , but only upgraded the Ram to 4gb from 3gb.
Also added 2 usb 3.0 ports with the expansion card.
ALL in all... this upgrade was very simple and cheap
and very good for performance in all areas.
I should get another couple years out of it.
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May 1, 2015 9:33:44 PM

SteveCo said:
clarkjd said:


According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so your plan to increase the ram will not work. While the CPU upgrade will help, I don't think that it will improve much because you can't add more RAM. Sorry!


I disagree. I upgraded my dell inspiron 1545 to 8gb ram 1TB hard drive and the T9550 processor. I was able to see a marked improvement in downloads and multitasking.
Dont always believe Dell. They are in the business of selling computers.
For $150 I have a computer I couldnt buy for $600


Steve,
Please tell us how you made the settings such that the system reads full 8GB RAM.
My system is NOT showing all the RAM though I have installed 8GB ram on my dell inspiron 1545 Intel core 2 DuoT6600 @ 2.20GHz with Win 7.0 Ultimate 64-Bit SP1.

Please advise.

Thanks
Maruthi.
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May 2, 2015 4:10:56 PM

hutson23 said:
Just did a Dell Inspiron 1445.
Went with the P8880 /2.66 had t4300 /2.10 ,
UPDATE I went ahead and went to the T9800 it actually runs cooler the the P8880. I did not expect that but I also ordered the T9600 and it runs cooler than the P8880. Dunno why? Maybe someone could explain that.
120gb sdd , but only upgraded the Ram to 4gb from 3gb. Because of the price of 4 GB sticks of DDR 2 I don't think it's worth it.
Also added 2 usb 3.0 ports with the expansion card.
ALL in all... this upgrade was very simple and cheap
and very good for performance in all areas.
I should get another couple years out of it.


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May 2, 2015 4:19:17 PM

You will get a couple more years out of the laptop.
Suggestions=
Go with the T9800 CPU and yes 4 GB of ram should be enough but you can get 8 GB but it's really not worth it. I have priced it everywhere and 8 GB of DDR 2 is going to cost $100.
SSD is definitely worth the money.
You can also replace the DVD drive with a 2nd SSD. I put in 2 128 GB SSD for $110.
Good luck.
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May 6, 2015 10:23:04 AM

Installed already earlier a 64 Gb SSD which works like a charm. Also did a faster Wifi card and just installed a T9550 (replaced T3000) which works like a charm.

Very responsive laptop now. CPU W7 64bit score went from 4.8 to 6.3 and memory from 5 to 5.8.

Total investment around USD 70-80. Happy :-)
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May 6, 2015 10:31:34 AM

Hello Cinnay and welcome to Toms!

I have been watching this post and now feel like I have to add my two cents haha.

I sold these PC's for Staples when they were new, and I have worked on PLENTY of them since then. For processor swaps on laptops, I have only ever done a few and definitely do not recommend that process to a beginner. Ram on the otherhand is a super simple process, especially for laptops like this Dell.

If this was my PC: Upgrading the RAM would be an OK idea, but your real issue is your HDD speed. I would put a 120GB SSD in the beast and reload my OS, which would make this thing WAY faster than it was brand new. Skip the CPU, skip the RAM.


- Harrison Whitmarsh
Lincoln Nebraska USA
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May 7, 2015 2:34:28 PM

I have this same model and it came with only 2gb RAM stock. I want to upgrade to 4GB... can I just purchase an additional 2gb card and install it in the 2nd card slot (it would obviously be a different brand/manufacturer than the stock)... or do both cards need to be identical in brand - do I need to buy 2 of 2gb cards from the same manufacturer? Thanks in advance!
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May 14, 2015 5:20:58 AM

Hi i have a 1545 with a dual core in it, 3gb RAM and 320GB standard HDD @5400 RPM

I want to upgrade it, and am looking for exact parts to buy, if anyone could link me to an ssd that is compatible as well as RAM to upgrade also, that'd be awesome!

I'm looking at SSD and RAM only at the moment, but possibly processor after that. So any advice would be great!
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July 3, 2015 10:44:12 PM

I was just given an Inspirion 1545 which I upgraded from the Intel T4200 to the T9800, and added 1GB of RAM to the system to make 4GB. It has worked well and was a very easy upgrade. I have also swapped the SATA disk for an 128GB SanDisk SSD. The boot time has been cut into seconds, but I have read that there are better out there. I also put Linux Mint on my system (17.1 - Cinnamon). No complaints so far. For boot time I recommend a SSD. It really makes a difference.

Thanks,
Brad
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July 5, 2015 4:33:59 PM

My brother offered me his old Inspiron 1545 with 3GB RAM, which I snapped up and upgraded with a second-hand Core 2 Duo P9600 and Sandisk 128GB SSD. Found it quite a challenge to get the SSD in HD caddy to mate with the internal SATA and power connector (symptom was BIOS not detecting the drive) - but this was resolved by adding a couple of sticky foam pads to the upper rear side of the drive. Very impressed with the boot times and performance in Windows 10 preview build 10162 - I wouldn't expect to get any more speed from a brand new budget laptop. 3D graphics performance is the only aspect that really shows the machines age, and the microphone isn't good enough for Cortana.
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September 2, 2015 8:34:40 AM

Hi I have a dell inspiron 1545 and have done the following upgrades

1) changed the cpu to intel(r)core (TM)2 duo cpu p8800 2.67.........from T4500
2)change to 6 gb RAM from 3 (replaced the 1 gb stick

These upgrades were very easy to do and took no more than 30 minutes. I paid £35 for the RAM (new) and £13 pounds for the cpu (pre owned). No bios updates were required .I am pleased with the results ,the windows score is still 4.2 because of the graphics limiting the performance, however the cpu performance has increased to 6.3 and so has the Ram performance both from 5.2.

A marked improvement in speed has been noticed and boot up time quicker . Definitely worth the effort and relatively small outlay . Next will be a 120gb ssd probably a Samsung.
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September 20, 2015 2:11:51 PM

clarkjd said:
Welcome to Tom's!

According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so your plan to increase the ram will not work. While the CPU upgrade will help, I don't think that it will improve much because you can't add more RAM. Sorry!


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September 20, 2015 2:23:51 PM

That isn't entirely so. I did some research and if you up the processor to the 9600 which is a higher end processor it will boost the memory type to DDR3 from 2 and if you are running windows seven or above you can have 8GB of memory.
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September 23, 2015 7:14:50 AM

I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop made in 2009 with an Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 cpu (it came with a Pentium Dual Core T4200 but I upgraded that for $20 a couple of years ago. An Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 cpu with 6mb cache is now on order for $7.95), 4gb ram and a 160gb hard drive are currently installed. It will accept up to a T9700 or P9900 Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 8gb ram and a 500gb or 1TB sata hard drive. Check Ebay for some really good parts deals as a lot of these computers are being parted out and sold there. This laptop shipped with Windows Vista just as Windows 7 was coming out, so it was upgraded to Windows 7 for free in 2009. It came with 2gb of ram, but an additional 2gb of DDR2 PC2-6400 800MHz non-ECC 200-pin ram is currently only $10. Check the Dell website and make sure it has the latest bios installed. Check out YouTube for many upgrade videos. The cpu can be changed in about 15 minutes and ram added in less than 5 minutes.

I recently installed, as dual boot, Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.2, 64-bit. The old computer really flies running Linux. Give it a try. Windows 7 (upgraded to 64-bit) takes 30gb and Linux takes up about 10gb of the little 160gb drive. It has LibreOffice installed in both Windows 7 and Linux Mint (Linux Mint comes with LibreOffice and Firefox browser). I downloaded the Linux Mint ISO and created a bootable USB flash drive from the ISO using Rufus. Don't mess around with a DVD install, a USB flash drive will install Linux in about half the time.

I didn't have to add one driver in Linux. All of the Dell hardware was automatically detected and drivers installed. Wifi is working great on the original internal Dell installed Wifi card.

My wife also has a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop made in 2010 with similar hardware upgrades that I installed. That computer is running Windows 10 x64, and really well. It upgraded without any problems.

So those little old Dell laptops have a lot of life left in them.
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January 13, 2016 1:11:33 PM

clarkjd said:
Welcome to Tom's!

According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so your plan to increase the ram will not work. While the CPU upgrade will help, I don't think that it will improve much because you can't add more RAM. Sorry!


Thats not right mate, its only the official version. I am running the 1545 with 8 GB and its working really well!

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January 25, 2016 12:36:33 PM

clarkjd said:
Welcome to Tom's!

According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so your plan to increase the ram will not work. While the CPU upgrade will help, I don't think that it will improve much because you can't add more RAM. Sorry!


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February 3, 2016 5:27:07 PM

I just retired a 7 year old 1545 because of dead spots on the display and sketchy keyboard. Before I retired it, I purchased another from ebay for $25. Before the LCD and keyboard gave up I upgraded to 8GB RAM, 223GB SSD, and a T9600 CPU running Win 10 Pro. It ran beautifully with very quick start up. I had never seen Photoshop start so quickly! Swapped all of my upgrades to the new old 1545 with the same result. Crucial is on point with the RAM and SSD, though I did have a little trouble fitting the drive properly. Anyway, it works and will continue to work. Just for comparison, my wife bought a Toshiba with 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, and duo core processor loaded for $600 brand new. My inexpensively upgraded (6 year old) Dell outperforms hers on every level except graphics and sound. Not a bad deal.
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February 5, 2016 9:18:48 AM

I recently had my ATI card die on my 6 y/o 1545. This laptop has done and continues to do all i need. I bought a referb motherboard on ebay for $75, upgraded to 8 gb ram, and upgraded from the P8600 to the T9900. My next step is to add in a 250gb SSD and use an optical drive HDD caddy to move my 500gb WD so I can run the OS and Programs on the SSD and the file storage on the old HDD where the DVD used to be.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F6K9M4E?colid=1B9ZR...

So far my 1545 barely underperforms my 2 year old desktop at work. although Im upgrading that to an i73770s so that wont last long ;) 
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February 9, 2016 3:47:09 AM

Yeah read that specs wrong. Its ok to put 2 by 4 gb in there. As long as there is 2 slot each can have a 4gb card in it. Unless u have one slot like an older model(1525) than its 4gb total. It caped out at 8gb but 4 to 8 isnt a big change and it's not worth 120$.
Another thing is to consider a cpu upgrade it's easier and better solution because 4gb is enough to run program its 3 more gb than the pc remember the pc only require 1 gb for some to work. I disagreed with the guy who said cpu wasn't a good one because it can run a t9800 cpu which is just as fast as any new cpu.
Update : I found a 500gb Uefi drive sitting in my Hp 2000 so I pull it out to put in my 1545. Why? Because my hp isnt working, it need driver to work and disc for installation. Working on it. Also I found 4gb ram sitting in my sony laptop which fit perfectly. I have 3 laptop only dell is working so I say it's worth the upgrade. Well I have all the upgrade at home. It accept the new drive yes. Currently it's running on window xp dont tell people it can't just because u never done it. I already build several computer so I say it's possible, don't pretend to be a tech if u never fixed a computer.
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February 9, 2016 3:59:10 AM

clarkjd said:
Welcome to Tom's!

According to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&l...
that laptop only supports a total of 4GB of RAM (2x2GB), so your plan to increase the ram will not work. While the CPU upgrade will help, I don't think that it will improve much because you can't add more RAM. Sorry!


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