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Upgrading an older HP laptop, can it be done??

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February 21, 2006 1:35:28 PM

OK so I got a hand-me-down HP pavilion N5415 notebook computer. Its a Duron 900mhz 256megs 20gig system and its in mint shape and it was free, so I cant complain, especially since its the only computer I have at the moment. It will be used as my desktop i dont need it to be portable. So I did a fresh install of XP pro and set it up for the best performance, but its still it pretty damn slow. I only use it for the basics but its still painfully slow with more then one application open. So Id like to do any upgrades I can to get it to perform better.

First off I want to upgrade the memory. It only has 256megs which ive found to be the absolute min. for runnin XP. But when I look up the memory upgrades onnline I get two differant stories. One says this notebook maxes out at 1gig and others say 512megs. WHich is it?? Id like to add as much memory as possible, if I could get a gig in there I think it would help alot. But if I cant is an upgrade to 512megs gonna do much??? Where could I get the memory cheap???

Next thing id like to upgrade is the cpu. It is not soldered to the board so it can be replaced quite easily. Its a socket A 100mhz fsb, so I could upgrade the Duron to a faster Athlon. My question is, if I will be using the computer as a desktop from the AC power, can i just use a regular cpu or do i have to use a mobile Athlon?? Whats the fastest socket A Athlon with a 100mhz FSB I could use?? Im thinking something like an Athlon 1.2 or 1.4 . What do you think??

So I would be upgrading
Duron 900 -----> Athlon 1400
256megs------->512megs

How much better performance can I expect?? I dont need it to be super fast, just not sloooow like it is right now. And these upgrades would only cost me around $100 or less if I shop around on ebay. Is it worth it??
Thanks

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February 21, 2006 1:46:33 PM

According to the manual on HPs site for that machine, you can install two PC133 RAM modules @2X256 configuration bringing total RAM to 512.

Bringing the RAM up to 512 will certainly make a difference. I'm not sure if upgrading the processor will justify a performance increase or not. Try the RAM first and see how that goes.
February 21, 2006 2:58:43 PM

Are you sure its PC133 ram?? BEcause the cpu is a 100mhz fsb chip wouldnt that mean PC100 memory? Why is it that you dont think a cpu uipgrade would increase performance?? Wouldnt increasing the clock speed by 500mhz and having 4x the cache make a significant differance?

thaNKS
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February 21, 2006 3:04:53 PM

The 133 RAM can be used. Most 133 RAM modules are backward compatible for 100/133 use so it should not be a problem.

As far as the processor goes, I said I wasn't sure if an upgrade would justify a performance increase. Usually by upgrading RAM in a machine, especially one that has too little already, will certainly be enough to make it run much faster.
February 22, 2006 5:10:16 AM

Quote:
OK so I got a hand-me-down HP pavilion N5415 notebook computer. Its a Duron 900mhz 256megs 20gig system and its in mint shape and it was free, so I cant complain, especially since its the only computer I have at the moment. It will be used as my desktop i dont need it to be portable. So I did a fresh install of XP pro and set it up for the best performance, but its still it pretty damn slow. I only use it for the basics but its still painfully slow with more then one application open. So Id like to do any upgrades I can to get it to perform better.

First off I want to upgrade the memory. It only has 256megs which ive found to be the absolute min. for runnin XP. But when I look up the memory upgrades onnline I get two differant stories. One says this notebook maxes out at 1gig and others say 512megs. WHich is it?? Id like to add as much memory as possible, if I could get a gig in there I think it would help alot. But if I cant is an upgrade to 512megs gonna do much??? Where could I get the memory cheap???

Next thing id like to upgrade is the cpu. It is not soldered to the board so it can be replaced quite easily. Its a socket A 100mhz fsb, so I could upgrade the Duron to a faster Athlon. My question is, if I will be using the computer as a desktop from the AC power, can i just use a regular cpu or do i have to use a mobile Athlon?? Whats the fastest socket A Athlon with a 100mhz FSB I could use?? Im thinking something like an Athlon 1.2 or 1.4 . What do you think??

So I would be upgrading
Duron 900 -----> Athlon 1400
256megs------->512megs

How much better performance can I expect?? I dont need it to be super fast, just not sloooow like it is right now. And these upgrades would only cost me around $100 or less if I shop around on ebay. Is it worth it??
Thanks


Well the upgrade of RAM to 512 Megs will be more than sufficient as the upgrade to 1 Gig wouldn't really benefit THIS laptop.

However the laptop has a bottle neck a hard disk spinning likely between 4200 RPM to eventualy 5400 RPM.

I believe you will feel a differnce should you upgrade also the hard disk to 7200 RPM Travelstar 7K100

I do not think that it is really economically advisable when you can buy now new laptops for less than 500.00 after all rebates (Toshiba, HP with Intel Celeron 360 with L2 1024 Kb), and WiFi.

Laptops are built diferently than desktops and it is not always possible to upgrade CPU.

I took a part several HPs Omnibooks and was able to play with their CPUs however they use for cooling heat pipe and replacing CPU need exact format of the existing CPU. So here the answer is that you need CPU with EXACT configuration and physical dimmensions with no exception. Using CPU with higher heat dissipation might rezult in failure of your notebook, as laptops are very sensitive to heat.

So I wouldn't advice to play with any components of laptop inside cthe case, unless you are ready to buy new one.

Also opening the laptop case you might damage (brake off) the plastic snaps which would result in ratling case after re-assembly.
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