Upgrades for older HP notebook? Please help

Ok first off let me start off by saying I am a relatively poor college student so please dont give replys like (why not just buy a new laptop) because if I had money for a new laptop I wouldnt be asking this question:)

So here we go. I have this older HP ZE1115 notebook that ive had for a few years and its served me well, but its starting to show its age and getting quite slow. It has the following specs
AMD Duron 1.1ghz
768mb ram
40gig hard drive
S3 TwisterK 16mb graphics
dvd/cd drive
Windows XP pro(fresh install)

Im wondering what would be the best upgrade to do to get some more life out of it, id like to get throughthe rest of the school year without haveing to buy a new computer. Last year I added a 512mg memory upgrade to bring it up to 768mb total from 256mb. This made a night and day differance, it made the computer go from almost useless to useful again! I basically have three upgrades I can ddo and I really just wanna know which will make the most differance.

1. Add more ram for a total of 1gig which is the max for this notebook
2. Upgrade to a faster Athlon cpu
3. Upgrade to a larger faster hard drive

Im leaning in favor of a cpu upgrade, theres a local computer shop that always has a variety of older used cpus, I have bought from him before with good results. I was hoping to find something like an Athlon 1.6. Do you think going from a Duron 1.1 to an Athlon 1.6 would make a significant differance in performance? What would be the most powerful cpu that would work in this computer?? Its a Socket A with the 266fsb.
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  1. well i think from Duron 1.1ghz to Athlon 1.6ghz is a great upgrade for a laptop (if it doesnt cost too much).
    im not too sure abt laptops, but i think the fastest on a Socket A is an Athlon XP 3300+ 2.3Ghz
  2. Oh the ol notebook. I actually ran into this issue a couple years ago. What i found that really worked well is getting a 7200rpm HD like the Hitachi Travelstar series. When i installed this it made a world of difference. Programs loaded faster, Windows was more agreeable etc etc.

    Another thing i did was boost the ram up to atleast 1.5 gb. The ram is probably one of the most important things in a notebook.

    Yeah you could probably toss in a little better cpu but i personally think the aformentioned will give you that little extra you are looking for. The only time processor power becomes important is in gaming and multiple application loading. But when your running a bunch of things at once youll notice most times the cpu is idle or around 10%. So when you boot up and you try to start up your media player, internet explorer, anti virus etc etc then you notice the cpu bottleneck. Otherwise, the only thing you should worry about is the ability to run multiple applications and i think a new hd and ram will help you there.



    Heres a link to the HD. Trust me this thing is one bueatiful peice of hardware. You wont regret it! They have it in 60, 80, and 100 gigs i think. Iv personally got the 60 and iv never looked back.
  3. Moving up to a faster processor would certainly help but also the hard drive as well as you mentioned. Chances are your laptop has a 5400 RPM drive in it and if you were to install a 7200 RPM drive, that would make a difference as well.
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