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Upgrading cpu in an older laptop? please help

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January 8, 2006 2:33:17 PM

I just got a hand-me-down laptop from my brother for free, and since I dont have my own computer in my room only the family computrer in the basement. I was thinking of using this laptop in my room for a while until I can afford a new one in about 6months or so. The problem is its pretty old a HP Pavilion n5415 with a Duron 900mhz and 256megs. Its a bit slow even on basic things such as webbrowsing and I was thinking I could mmaybe upgrade it o the cheap with another 256meg stick and an Atholon processor from ebay.

Now the question is, what procesors can I use in it?? Is it worth it to spend the $30 or so that a 1.2ghz chip sells for on ebay?? Will an upgrade to 512megs and 1.2 Athlon let me squeeze a few more months of use outof it?? It will be used mostly for basic web browsing, ripping/burning cd's and word processing.

I know its old and outdated, but it was free and I wont be able to afford anything new till the summer so its this or nothing for the next 6months. Is it worth it to put $100 or so into it??

Thanks
January 8, 2006 3:02:21 PM

Hi there,
It's very unlikely that you will be able to upgrade the CPU.
However going from a 900MHZ Duron to a 1.2GHZ Athlon will not make a big difference.
What will make a noticable difference is a faster/biger hard drive and a little more memory.
Good luck
Steve
January 8, 2006 3:12:23 PM

Why do u say it is unlikely?? Its a socket A cpu any socket A processor should work shouldnt it?? I know the Athlon 1.2 will work for sure as the computer was sold with that chip as an upgrade. You dont think it will increase performance at all?? Even with an increase in ram to 512k??
thanks
frank
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January 8, 2006 3:34:32 PM

A memory upgrade will surely help a lot. If you can go for 1Gig. CPU change however will not make a big difference I guess.
January 8, 2006 3:50:22 PM

You may want to open up the laptop you are serious about upgrading the processor. Most laptop processor are soldered to the motherboard. Second check to see what the fastest processor is before you buy if it is a 1Ghz or a 1.2Ghz it would not be worth your time. Ram would help applications open but it sounds like the OS is tired and my need a fresh install.
January 8, 2006 4:17:02 PM

id do a reformat first. itll probably perform way better after. what OS is on it? id try to go for win2k for better performance, if it has xp. right now its probably spyware and virus infected.
January 8, 2006 7:03:40 PM

i personally own a Duron 900mhz with 512mb of ram - windowz xp
runs absolutely great

do a fresh install of whatever operating system you are using - upgrade to 512mb of ram - you wont be sorry - if you can afford definately get a faster hard drive - dont even bother worry'n about the processor - all this has been mentioned before - these guys know what they are saying, definately
January 8, 2006 9:41:41 PM

Hi there,
As Vascular said your CPU is most likely soderd on to the motherboard and that makes it almost imposible to upgrade, besides the Duron 900MHZ is a prety good CPU and not much slower in most applications to an Athlon at 1.2GHZ.
The sugestions others are giving you on a clean install are in fact very valid. Old Hard drives are also very slow and make your system feel slogish.
Good luck,
Steve
January 9, 2006 12:06:56 AM

The CPU isnt soldered on the mobo that I am sure of as I just replaced athe fan because it was very noisey. Also I just did a fresh install of XP pro. SO what you guys are saying is to just add the memory and not worry about the CPU? Even though I can pick up a 1.4ghz Athlon for like $25?? Thanks for all the advice.
January 9, 2006 12:40:49 AM

$25 is to bad at all for a 1400

But you have to know the FSB of the 1400
and the FSB limit of your motherboard

the FSB limit on my motherboard is 200 (100)
and i can upgrade to a 1400 with a fsb of 200 (100)
there is also a 1400 with a fsb of 266 (133)which is not supported by my motherboard

in any case i dont feel its worth upgrading my processor it really isnt gonna help that much

BTW did you notice if the socket was a ZIF type socket if not then its a helluva ordeal to remove the CPU and replace it
January 9, 2006 11:56:23 AM

The motherboard supports the 100(200)mhz fsb, so Id have to find a cpu that matches, if i use a 133fsb cpu it will run slower, correct?? Im going to try the memory upgrade first and see how it works out. Im only going to be using this computer a few more months. I should have something new by the spring/summer, hopefully a new 12in Powerbook.

Thanks for the help guys/gals
frank
January 9, 2006 1:12:54 PM

small senario for ya friend...

i have 3 systems in my home currently...

900 mhz Duron Desktop
2.7ghz Celeron Desktop
1.4ghz Celeron Laptop

the system that actually boots the fastest - and just plain feels faster is the 900mhz desktop
they all have 512mb of ram - all WinXP - the only difference (besides the obvious name brands and motherboard designs) is a 7200rpm drive in the Duron really, the other desktop has a 5400rpm drive, the laptop 4200rpm (i think) slow hard drive speed shouldnt be underestimated

but if yur gonna be upgrading this summer to something new - i would do what yur already thinking of - more memory - do a clean install of the operating system
January 9, 2006 3:04:59 PM

Ok thanks for the advice. Im gonna go get the memory and bring it up to 512megs, in my expereince XP runs much better with 512 over 256. But if I can find the Athlon 1.4ghz for $25 Im gonna throw it in as well, its not hard to change the cpu in this laptop I checked it out already. A 500mhz differance in clock speed and a larger cache should speed it up a bit and for $25 i cant really go wrong.

I remeber when i upgraded my old p3 machine from 500 to 933 it made a big differance in speed. In fact the family still uses this computer its a P3 933 768megs ram and a 80gig 7200rpm hard drive with ancient Sound Blaster awe64 and ATI Rage3d 16meg cards. Its plenty fast for the basic web browsing and word processing mom and dad use it for. It runs far faster than this laptop which is running the same clock speed, so either the p3 is faster than the Duron, or the larger 768megs of ram and faster 7200rpm HD make a big differance. Just goes to show that one, clock speed isnt everything and two you really dont need much more than a 1ghz 512meg computer for basic uses.
thanks for all the help you guys/gals are great!!
January 9, 2006 3:07:52 PM

One more quick question. I have heard that the Duron is a great overclocking chip, could i do a small overclock on it? How would I go about it, the Bios has no fsb, multiplyer or voltage ajustments??
thanks
frank
January 9, 2006 4:22:19 PM

UPgrade your RAM from 256MB to 512MB and you will notice a much bigger impact in performance than going from 900mhz to 1200mhz.

Quote:
I just got a hand-me-down laptop from my brother for free, and since I dont have my own computer in my room only the family computrer in the basement. I was thinking of using this laptop in my room for a while until I can afford a new one in about 6months or so. The problem is its pretty old a HP Pavilion n5415 with a Duron 900mhz and 256megs. Its a bit slow even on basic things such as webbrowsing and I was thinking I could mmaybe upgrade it o the cheap with another 256meg stick and an Atholon processor from ebay.

Now the question is, what procesors can I use in it?? Is it worth it to spend the $30 or so that a 1.2ghz chip sells for on ebay?? Will an upgrade to 512megs and 1.2 Athlon let me squeeze a few more months of use outof it?? It will be used mostly for basic web browsing, ripping/burning cd's and word processing.

I know its old and outdated, but it was free and I wont be able to afford anything new till the summer so its this or nothing for the next 6months. Is it worth it to put $100 or so into it??

Thanks
January 9, 2006 4:41:10 PM

Quote:
One more quick question. I have heard that the Duron is a great overclocking chip, could i do a small overclock on it? How would I go about it, the Bios has no fsb, multiplyer or voltage ajustments??
thanks
frank


There are software programs that let you do this. However is is unadvisable since laptops do not have large coolers or even space for that matter to dissipate the heat.
January 9, 2006 5:18:33 PM

What programs could I use?? I know CPUCool but I cant find the PLL so I cant use CPUCOOL any other softwares thatr could be tried??
January 9, 2006 5:40:40 PM

if i were in yur place and could do it i would get the better chip for $25 - just remember the multiplier might be set (unchangable without unlocking it) on the new(er) CPU - so if its a 133mhz fsb chip thats 10.5 x 133 - and if your motherboard is 100mhz max, 100 x 10.5 = 1050

thats really not much of a speed increase - the extra cache may still help n what not

BTW the software overclocking stuff isn't all that ... i got my 900mhz to 910 and it crashed...
January 9, 2006 11:28:24 PM

What software OC did you try?? I tried CPUcool on a P3 800 and got it to 825 which really isnt much lol.
January 10, 2006 8:13:45 AM

i'd get a 512mb stick over a 256. Reason is when u get a new laptop with 512mb ram u can reuse the 512mb stick to get 1gb
January 10, 2006 3:00:17 PM

im thinking this laptop uses PC 100 SDRAM

which isnt gonna make the move into any new laptop =)

oh and the software i used came with my gigabyte motherboard - cant remember what its called - i would look it up but im lazy
January 11, 2006 3:20:41 PM

My laptop only supports 2x256megs ram although I have read people who tried 2x512 and it worked?? But im not gonna go out and buy the 2x512meg sticks only to find out they wont work. So Ill settle with 512meg total and im gonnna spend the $25 or so and get the 1.4 Athlon chip I think the combination of the memory and cpu upgrade should give a pretty nice performance upgrade. Maybe I will be ablke to hold out another year before I buy a new laptop. Only problem is that this laptop is a bit bulky. Im looking to buy one of the little 12in notebooks like an Ibook or Vaio.

i actually did a fresh install of XP on thee laptop and got everything all optimized and its running much faster. It is now faster than my familys p3 933mhz 765megs desktop system which is making me think that the desktop needs a fresh install as well. But the Windows disk I have is SP1 and I have SP2 on the computer, so it wont let me install it for some reason it says the version on the disk is older. How do I get around this??
Thanks
January 11, 2006 7:26:41 PM

choose boot from CD in the BIOS - boot from install CD - and pick the option to format the drive (this of course will give you a completely wiped out Hard drive) but it will be a clean install - thats what a clean install is

if you are installing over top of an OS without formating thats not a clean install
!