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Laptop Upgrade

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July 21, 2006 1:52:40 AM

I have a Toshiba Satellite a85-s107 laptop and it runs sloooooooooooooooow. It is used primarily for internet surfing. Would upgrading the memory to 512 mb make a significant difference in performance?

More about : laptop upgrade

July 21, 2006 3:40:33 PM

It'll be huge. I have a similar machine, and the increase is great. Very noticeable.

~Ibrahim~
July 21, 2006 4:05:04 PM

Definitely do it, the performance increase will be like a whole new laptop. Also alongside the increased RAM, for further benefit, you should defragment your hard drive if you have not already done so.
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July 21, 2006 4:09:56 PM

Hell Yes!

Why not go to 1GB, Vista will be here soonish....

Does that thing have a celery-m or a pentimum-m. If its a celeron you could put in a Pentium if you are game, I just did my girlfriends compaq like that, much better power usage and battery life also.
a b } Memory
a b D Laptop
July 21, 2006 7:01:20 PM

Oh yes. And, chances are you've got a miserable 4200 rpm HDD in there. Consider replacing it with a 7200 rpm drive, although you will no longer have time to mow your lawn while waiting for Windows to load.
July 21, 2006 7:17:00 PM

Yes, that is the next upgrade for the girlfriends lappy. Hopefully, the noise the hard drive makes won't sound like a lawnmower with the new one.
July 21, 2006 7:20:37 PM

Yonah is a good CPU upgrade, if possible.

Well, won't a 7200RPM drive make more noise? In a computer you don't hear it, usually, because of the case, but laptops have skinny cases.

~Ibrahim~
July 21, 2006 7:27:06 PM

A little bit of whirring is fine, the noise currently is the movement of the drive head, which makes a tick noise typical of cheap 2.5" drives.

I would expect that an 80GB Seagate Momentus 7200 would hold true to seagate's ability to deliver a very quiet drive, but having never heard one its hard to be sure. All I know is its got to be less annoying than at current.
July 21, 2006 7:50:49 PM

Vista wouldn't run properly on a 1.4 GHz Celeron, I don't think that 1 GB of RAM is necessary, 512 MB ok. About the Hard Disk... getting a 7200 rpm is not a great idea... it will drain the battery faster. He said he uses his Laptop mainly to surf, so he doesn't need a fast disk.
July 21, 2006 8:00:11 PM

Quote:
so he doesn't need a fast disk.


True, but we are running out of upgrade options for this laptop. i think the thread has grown into a "what can you upgrade on a crappy laptop" thread.

The best he could do to be prepared for Vista (realistically):
1. Upgrade to Pentium-M 1.8~ +better battery life(speedstep)
2. 1GB Ram DDR333 is plenty, mobo probably won't handle more.
3. Seagate 7200rpm 2.5" Momentus HDD.
4. Wireless Mini-PCI card?
5. DVD-RW if it doesn't have it already??

Not necessary I know but all ideas.
July 21, 2006 8:05:32 PM

You reformant and reinstall OS to have fresh start and should be running like new. I'm with the guys suggesting to 1Gb of ramage upgrade, do so and you'll have noticeable performance increase on your laptop.
a b } Memory
a b D Laptop
July 21, 2006 8:27:32 PM

I just put a 7200 rpm 60GB drive: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
in my ze5375us yesterday. I have not noticed any increase in noise at all. This machine has crappy battery life anyway, so I almost always have it plugged in; I haven't checked the effect on battery life.
Load times have definitely decreased.
July 21, 2006 8:50:54 PM

I agree with Chuckshissle; a Windows reinstall (as long as it's a clean copy; no bloatware) will make your computer SOOO much faster. You wouldn't beleive the amount of crapware that's clogging your hard drive and sucking up your system RAM. I was amazed at how fast my old Dell was when I reinstalled Windows even though it just had 256MB RAM. Upgrading your RAM to 768MB (256MB + 512MB) will make your computer a lot faster for cheap, or you could just go all out and upgrade to a gig.
a b D Laptop
July 21, 2006 9:08:04 PM

More RAM will be the cheapest and best upgrade. Also, if you can, a fresh install of XP does makes a difference.Far as upgrading everything else, not required for just surfing the web.
July 21, 2006 9:48:35 PM

Only upgrade the ram if you don't use the battery feature often. Putting a bunch of ram in your laptop will decrease your battery time noticeably.
July 22, 2006 2:26:59 AM

Thanx for the advice. BTW I'm definitely not going to put Vista on it because I don't want to spend much money on updgrading. It's actually my mom's laptop, but she doesn't take it out much so it's plugged into an outlet most of the time. All I really want is to be able load stuff like ZoneAlarm and IE/Firefox quickly and open folders and files quickly too (I don't actually use that laptop much, my mom does).

My dad is not convince that more RAM will make much of a difference because he said that if it costs less than than $50 for more RAM (512 mb), and Toshiba could get it for a lot less, then why wouldn't they do it in the first place if it costs so little? I'm kinda wondering about that too.
July 22, 2006 2:53:36 AM

Quote:
My dad is not convince that more RAM will make much of a difference because he said that if it costs less than than $50 for more RAM (512 mb), and Toshiba could get it for a lot less, then why wouldn't they do it in the first place if it costs so little? I'm kinda wondering about that too.


More RAM will make a tremendous difference. Tosiba doesn't do it because that lets them sell the computer for cheaper or make more money selling it for the same price. 256MB RAM is the bare minimum to run WIndows XP; when you start having anti-virus and a firewall, it gets slow as hell.

I still think that you should also try a clean install of WIndows, providing that the computer came with a Windows XP CD. If it didn't, you'll be okay just going through add/remove programs and uninstalling the stuff which you don't want.
July 22, 2006 2:34:50 PM

Upgrade to 1GB and you will wonder how the hell you survived with 512MB.

I'm with ClueLess, they can sell it for less. If you buy on the site, they somtimes will offer a configurator to add RAM.

They sell the bare minimum because some people do not need 1GB and it makes the system more expesnive. Make sure you buy the same speed, pin-size, and possibly same memory timings, but the last part may be difficult.

Notebook memory actually does not consume that much power.

If you are buying online, which usually has cheaper prices, NewEgg is a great store..

~Ibrahim~
July 22, 2006 5:30:44 PM

Quote:

Notebook memory actually does not consume that much power.
~Ibrahim~


If this notebook uses DDR ram (which I think it does), it needs at least a constant 2.5V to keep it powered. Adding another stick of ram will up the power consumption anywhere from 2 to 4 watts, which is the roughly the same increase in consumption as would be experienced by turning the brightness of your TFT display from lowest setting to highest brightness setting. I don't know about you, but running my display at the highest brightness setting decreases my battery time by 20 minutes.


http://www.crhc.uiuc.edu/~mahesri/research/PACS_paper.p...
July 22, 2006 8:05:31 PM

I'd go with a single DDR-333 512 MB stick. Or maybe even a DDR-266 one, Celerons bus is 100 MHz, right?
July 23, 2006 1:50:36 AM

2-4 watts doesn't seem much. On my Dell Inspiron 2200, the laptop runs the same battery life, give or take a minute or to, with the lowest or the highest brightness level..

~Ibrahim~
July 23, 2006 4:42:01 AM

2 to 4 watts is around 10-20% of the total power consumption of your laptop! You and I have almost the same laptop. My laptop is an inspiron 1200. It decreases from 2.5 hours battery time to a little over 2 hours when I change the scren brightness from min to max. That is a VERY big difference.
July 23, 2006 3:24:24 PM

Seriously? What is that then, like 60W?

Well, I haven't seen any battery life decreases when I raise the brightness or any battery life increases when I decrease the brightness. I haven't done this in a like a test, I'm looking at more subjective way. The Power Meter still tells me the same amount of battery life remaining as well..

~Ibrahim~
July 24, 2006 3:02:22 PM

If you'd look at the link I posted and READ it you wouldn't ask these silly questions. Total power consumption of a laptop like his and mine is around 15 watts at idle and no more than 40 watts MAX. 60 watts would be way too high; the power supply for our Inspiron 1200/2200 laptops is only rated to 60 watts max.... and that not only runs your laptop in all scenarios, but charges the battery AT THE SAME TIME.

So, for the last time, a ram upgrade will consume enough power to cut battery life by a noticeable amount. There is no debating this fact. :roll:
July 24, 2006 11:34:35 PM

Well, actually, Microsoft "claims" that adding memory to your computer will lessen the the usage of the virtual memory file, which is on the hard drive, which might balance out what the extra memory takes.

Quote:
Add memory. You can minimize the reliance of Windows on virtual memory and reduce power consumption by adding memory to your mobile PC.


And, uh, here is my link:

Strategies for Conserving Battery Power

It is at the bottom of the page, where it says Additional Power Saving Tips...

~Ibrahim~
July 25, 2006 5:50:19 AM

I could see that making sense on DDR2 ram, as it takes half as much power to run. The power difference between extra DDR ram and a hdd pagefiling like crazy is almost a wash, as it really depends how often and for how long the hdd reads/writes. An occasional pagefile session on the hdd is a lot less power consuming than another stick of DDR ram continuously sucking juice. In terms of performance though, the extra ram system is of course faster than the pagefiling hdd, but the best scenerio for the author of this thread is to clean up the OS so that the system doesn't need to pagefile as often while retaining only 256 mb of ram.
July 25, 2006 2:49:22 PM

I see what you mean that the hard drive won't always be accessing the pagefile, yet the memory will be in constant use....

~Ibrahim~
July 25, 2006 3:38:10 PM

Is the amount of power for the RAM dependant on how much memory or how many sticks of memory?
July 25, 2006 4:14:24 PM

Good question. I'm not sure. I think four sticks of 256MB would consume more power than one 1GB stick , but I'm not 100% sure.

~Ibrahim~
July 25, 2006 5:13:21 PM

There is some discrepancy on this, but from what I've read most recently, it appears to be dependant on the number of memery chips on the ram stick. So, 256 mb of single-sided ram should be less power-consuming the 256 mb of double-sided ram. However, ram sticks that have the same number of chips, such as a stick of double-sided 256MB stick and a double-sided 512MB stick, should consume roughly the same amount of power. It doesn't appear that ram density has much of an affect on power consumption from what I've read. :?
July 25, 2006 6:28:40 PM

I think I get it. The total amount of RAM chips on the memory, instead of the amount of sticks or amount of memory.

~Ibrahim~
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