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laptop upgrade questions

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May 19, 2004 1:32:32 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hi.

I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).

I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.

Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.

In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?

Thanks for any input you might have!

-Casey
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 19, 2004 9:46:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Casey wrote:
> Hi.
>
> I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
> and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
> new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
> maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).
>
> I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
> would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
> it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
> for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
> spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.
>
> Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
> considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
> upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
> RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.
>
> In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
> decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?
>
> Thanks for any input you might have!
>
> -Casey

I can't speak for the programming side of things but I run Win XP on a 5.5
year old Dell Inspiron 7000 with Pentium II 300, 192MB, 4GB on a wireless
network as an occasional surfing/emailing machine for the bedroom. It isn't
quick and the processor is often at 100% just loading new web pages but it
does work reliably and stably. It would probably run a bit better without
Norton AV 2004 hogging all the resources :-)

I have a friend with a Compaq Presario 700UK laptop and that hobbles along
with a Duron 900 and 128MB RAM with 32MB of that shared with the video. That
was how the machine was sold - staggering! I've recommended additional
memory for that one.

Bottom line - I guess you'll be OK but don't expect to be excited with the
performance.

--
Email replies will not be read. Please reply to newsgroup.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 19, 2004 9:46:55 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Tiny Tim wrote:

> Casey wrote:
>
>>Hi.
>>
>>I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
>>and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
>>new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
>>maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).
>>
>>I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
>>would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
>>it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
>>for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
>>spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.
>>
>>Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
>>considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
>>upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
>>RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.
>>
>>In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
>>decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?
>>
>>Thanks for any input you might have!
>>
>>-Casey
>
>
> I can't speak for the programming side of things but I run Win XP on a 5.5
> year old Dell Inspiron 7000 with Pentium II 300, 192MB, 4GB on a wireless
> network as an occasional surfing/emailing machine for the bedroom. It isn't
> quick and the processor is often at 100% just loading new web pages but it
> does work reliably and stably. It would probably run a bit better without
> Norton AV 2004 hogging all the resources :-)
>
> I have a friend with a Compaq Presario 700UK laptop and that hobbles along
> with a Duron 900 and 128MB RAM with 32MB of that shared with the video. That
> was how the machine was sold - staggering! I've recommended additional
> memory for that one.
>
> Bottom line - I guess you'll be OK but don't expect to be excited with the
> performance.
>
I am assuming you know for a fact your machine can handle 512 Mb of Ram.
You need to carefully check the issue of the hard-disk compatibility
with your bios. But if you end up with 512 MB of ram and 40 G of
harddisk space, you will be ok as long as you avoid utilities like
Norton which are notoriously cpu hungry. Pick your AV carefully too and
keep FAT32 instead of the offered NTFS unless you specifically need it.

I personally use every day a 700 Mhz machine with WinXP and 2K and I
consider this is quite satisfactory. Given a choice, stay away from
latest versions of applications; for example, prefer Word97 to WordXP as
an example. If you end up with WinXP, uncheck all unnecessary options
which require horsepower. Some research will help you there. But
overall, you should be ok.

--
John Doue
Related resources
May 19, 2004 9:46:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Thanks, John and Tim!

How would you go about making *sure* that 512 MB would work and that
the BIOS would accept a large drive? For the memory, i have seen both
memoryx.net and 4allmemory.com say the same--that 512 is the max for
my system. I can't find anything authoritative from dell itself,
though, which would make me feel a little better about it. i'm also
not too sure how to go about confirming the bios issue...does anyone
have a suggestion on how to do so (either reading them directly or
going online somewhere?)?

Thanks again for your knowledge!

-Casey

John Doue <notwobe@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<J_Mqc.478$Os6.328@read3.inet.fi>...
> Tiny Tim wrote:
>
> > Casey wrote:
> >
> >>Hi.
> >>
> >>I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
> >>and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
> >>new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
> >>maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).
> >>
> >>I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
> >>would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
> >>it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
> >>for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
> >>spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.
> >>
> >>Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
> >>considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
> >>upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
> >>RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.
> >>
> >>In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
> >>decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?
> >>
> >>Thanks for any input you might have!
> >>
> >>-Casey
> >
> >
> > I can't speak for the programming side of things but I run Win XP on a 5.5
> > year old Dell Inspiron 7000 with Pentium II 300, 192MB, 4GB on a wireless
> > network as an occasional surfing/emailing machine for the bedroom. It isn't
> > quick and the processor is often at 100% just loading new web pages but it
> > does work reliably and stably. It would probably run a bit better without
> > Norton AV 2004 hogging all the resources :-)
> >
> > I have a friend with a Compaq Presario 700UK laptop and that hobbles along
> > with a Duron 900 and 128MB RAM with 32MB of that shared with the video. That
> > was how the machine was sold - staggering! I've recommended additional
> > memory for that one.
> >
> > Bottom line - I guess you'll be OK but don't expect to be excited with the
> > performance.
> >
> I am assuming you know for a fact your machine can handle 512 Mb of Ram.
> You need to carefully check the issue of the hard-disk compatibility
> with your bios. But if you end up with 512 MB of ram and 40 G of
> harddisk space, you will be ok as long as you avoid utilities like
> Norton which are notoriously cpu hungry. Pick your AV carefully too and
> keep FAT32 instead of the offered NTFS unless you specifically need it.
>
> I personally use every day a 700 Mhz machine with WinXP and 2K and I
> consider this is quite satisfactory. Given a choice, stay away from
> latest versions of applications; for example, prefer Word97 to WordXP as
> an example. If you end up with WinXP, uncheck all unnecessary options
> which require horsepower. Some research will help you there. But
> overall, you should be ok.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 19, 2004 11:30:53 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Yes, your proposed upgrade makes sense to me. The CPU isn't blindingly
fast, but it's "fast enough" for most purposes, and would even run XP ok
with 256 meg or more of memory.


Casey wrote:

> Hi.
>
> I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
> and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
> new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
> maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).
>
> I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
> would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
> it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
> for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
> spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.
>
> Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
> considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
> upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
> RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.
>
> In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
> decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?
>
> Thanks for any input you might have!
>
> -Casey
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 19, 2004 11:53:46 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

On or about 5/19/2004 12:46 PM, it came to pass that Tiny Tim wrote:
> Casey wrote:
>
>>Hi.
>>
>>I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
>>and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
>>new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
>>maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).
>>
>>I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
>>would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
>>it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
>>for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
>>spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.
>>
>>Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
>>considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
>>upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
>>RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.
>>
>>In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
>>decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?
>>
>>Thanks for any input you might have!
>>
>>-Casey
>
>
> I can't speak for the programming side of things but I run Win XP on a 5.5
> year old Dell Inspiron 7000 with Pentium II 300, 192MB, 4GB on a wireless
> network as an occasional surfing/emailing machine for the bedroom. It isn't
> quick and the processor is often at 100% just loading new web pages but it
> does work reliably and stably. It would probably run a bit better without
> Norton AV 2004 hogging all the resources :-)
<snip>
I have the same machine, but with 256MB of Ram, but still on Win98. If you have
not already changed your HD to a 5400RPM or 7200RPM drive with a big cache, do
so ASAP. I switched to the Hitachi DK23Fb 40g and it was like a whole new
machine. Also try Avast! instead of Norton.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 20, 2004 12:19:52 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Casey wrote:
> Thanks, John and Tim!
>
> How would you go about making *sure* that 512 MB would work and that
> the BIOS would accept a large drive? For the memory, i have seen both
> memoryx.net and 4allmemory.com say the same--that 512 is the max for
> my system. I can't find anything authoritative from dell itself,
> though, which would make me feel a little better about it. i'm also
> not too sure how to go about confirming the bios issue...does anyone
> have a suggestion on how to do so (either reading them directly or
> going online somewhere?)?
>
> Thanks again for your knowledge!
>
> -Casey

You can get technical specs from Dell here.....

http://docs.us.dell.com/docs/systems/pstar/en/sm_en/ove...

<Quote>
A minimum of 32 megabytes (MB) of synchronous dynamic random-access memory
(SDRAM) system memory, with support for a maximum of 512 MB.
</Quote>

I'm not sure about the max disk size but I'd suggest getting the latest BIOS
from Dell and installing that. Some people recommend the "if it ain't broke
don't fix it" approach to BIOS upgrades but personally I have always kept my
laptops (1* HP, 2*Dell) up to date with the latest BIOS and never suffered
any ill consequences. I figure the upgrade must have been released to fix
"something" so I'll have the fix.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 20, 2004 2:12:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Casey" <cruisingcalvin@yahoo.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:D ff77832.0405190832.2056c456@posting.google.com...
> Hi.
>
> I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
> and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
> new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
> maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).

I had an Dell Inspirion 3500 with 500mHz and 256 MB RAM.

The small cache of the Celeron really hurts perfromance.

My new Acer 800 LCI with 1.3 GHz and 512 MB RAM
is about 6 times faster.


--
Roland Mösl
http://www.pege.org Clear targets for a confused civilization
http://web-design-suite.com Web Design starts at the search engine
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 20, 2004 4:14:46 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

> Hi.
>
> I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
> and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
> new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
> maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).
>
> I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
> would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
> it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
> for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
> spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.

My brother has a 3700 w/P III 450 and 384 MB of RAM. He put in
a 60 gig hd that works fine, so your 3800 should take a 40 gig hd
with no problem. 5400 or 7200 rpm drives may get some warmer,
that's at least the case with the 80 gig hd i have put into my current
laptop (Fujitsu with 5400 rpm). The increase in performance is
very noticeable IMHO, my former hd was a 40 gig/4200 rpm that
wasn't slow at all but the new one is noticeable faster (higer density
per platter plus the 5400 rpm).

>
> Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
> considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
> upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
> RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.

XP likes lots of ram, though the 384 mb on my brothers machine run
XP just fine (he does some foto editing). Anyway, I'd recommend
512 mb.

>
> In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
> decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?

The cpu should do just fine along with the increased speed of the new hd
and the extra ram. Tasks that depend heavily on raw cpu-power may
still take noticeable longer than on a pentium m (the cpu part of intels
cen-
trino bundle). You can get pentium m based machines for a pretty little
money nowadays, so just add the money for the upgrade plus what you
might get for your old laptop on ebay and see how much is missing to
buy a new machine.

>
> Thanks for any input you might have!
>
> -Casey

Greets,

Kai-Uwe
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 20, 2004 7:28:50 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Casey wrote:

> Thanks, John and Tim!
>
> How would you go about making *sure* that 512 MB would work and that
> the BIOS would accept a large drive? For the memory, i have seen both
> memoryx.net and 4allmemory.com say the same--that 512 is the max for
> my system. I can't find anything authoritative from dell itself,
> though, which would make me feel a little better about it. i'm also
> not too sure how to go about confirming the bios issue...does anyone
> have a suggestion on how to do so (either reading them directly or
> going online somewhere?)?
>
> Thanks again for your knowledge!
>
> -Casey
>
> John Doue <notwobe@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<J_Mqc.478$Os6.328@read3.inet.fi>...
>
>>Tiny Tim wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Casey wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Hi.
>>>>
>>>>I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
>>>>and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
>>>>new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
>>>>maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).
>>>>
>>>>I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
>>>>would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
>>>>it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
>>>>for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
>>>>spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.
>>>>
>>>>Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
>>>>considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
>>>>upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
>>>>RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.
>>>>
>>>>In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
>>>>decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?
>>>>
>>>>Thanks for any input you might have!
>>>>
>>>>-Casey
>>>
>>>
>>>I can't speak for the programming side of things but I run Win XP on a 5.5
>>>year old Dell Inspiron 7000 with Pentium II 300, 192MB, 4GB on a wireless
>>>network as an occasional surfing/emailing machine for the bedroom. It isn't
>>>quick and the processor is often at 100% just loading new web pages but it
>>>does work reliably and stably. It would probably run a bit better without
>>>Norton AV 2004 hogging all the resources :-)
>>>
>>>I have a friend with a Compaq Presario 700UK laptop and that hobbles along
>>>with a Duron 900 and 128MB RAM with 32MB of that shared with the video. That
>>>was how the machine was sold - staggering! I've recommended additional
>>>memory for that one.
>>>
>>>Bottom line - I guess you'll be OK but don't expect to be excited with the
>>>performance.
>>>
>>
>>I am assuming you know for a fact your machine can handle 512 Mb of Ram.
>>You need to carefully check the issue of the hard-disk compatibility
>>with your bios. But if you end up with 512 MB of ram and 40 G of
>>harddisk space, you will be ok as long as you avoid utilities like
>>Norton which are notoriously cpu hungry. Pick your AV carefully too and
>>keep FAT32 instead of the offered NTFS unless you specifically need it.
>>
>>I personally use every day a 700 Mhz machine with WinXP and 2K and I
>>consider this is quite satisfactory. Given a choice, stay away from
>>latest versions of applications; for example, prefer Word97 to WordXP as
>>an example. If you end up with WinXP, uncheck all unnecessary options
>>which require horsepower. Some research will help you there. But
>>overall, you should be ok.
Casey,

As far as Ram goes, assuming you live in the U.S. or in a country where
returns are the norm, the best way to find out is to buy the memory you
need while asking the store about their return policy. If memory serves,
Circuit City's is 14 days, no questions asked.

For the Bios and Hard-drive, the same is not exactly applicable since
brick and mortar shops rarely carry HD for laptops or if they do, they
are yesterday's models at outrageous prices. Still, chech the return
policy of an on-line store, and jump. I personally would only try the
latest bios upgrade as a last resort: my experience is mixed. Nothing
*should* go wrong... you know what I mean...Just weigh the consequences
if something does and it happened to me.

Regards

--
John Doue
May 20, 2004 7:44:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Well, you are on the right track. Adding more RAM is the single most
effective way to improve performance in any computer. Make sure you get the
correct type. There are many different memory chips.

I do not know whether a faster CPU is available for your laptop, but chances
are that the price of a faster one will not be cost-effective because the
cost of the CPU, plus the cost of additional RAM will likely bring you to
the cost level of a new machine - and you will still have inadequate hard
drive storage. I have seen several laptop brands in the $1000 range, and
they include the XP operating system, 512 MB of RAM, a 30 or 40 GB hard
drive, and a speed in the 2 GHZ range.

Hope this helps.

"Casey" <cruisingcalvin@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:D ff77832.0405190832.2056c456@posting.google.com...
> Hi.
>
> I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
> and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
> new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
> maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).
>
> I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
> would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
> it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
> for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
> spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.
>
> Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
> considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
> upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
> RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.
>
> In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
> decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?
>
> Thanks for any input you might have!
>
> -Casey
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 22, 2004 8:43:39 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

You could be better off spending $30-40 to buy a 1-1.2 ghz. celeron
processer.Do a web search-these puppies are really cheap.
"Casey" <cruisingcalvin@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:D ff77832.0405190832.2056c456@posting.google.com...
> Hi.
>
> I have a Dell Inspirion 3800 with a Celeron 600mhz processor, 64MB ram
> and 4.5Gb drive. I am looking into upgrading it instead of buying a
> new laptop (I need to run Visual Studio.NET and and probably XP and
> maybe other similar @#%&*! system-hogging software).
>
> I see that at 4allmemory.com I could upgrade to 512MB of ram, and I
> would need a much bigger hard drive (hopefully the BIOS can handle
> it--I haven't looked into that yet). I could probably get my upgrades
> for 400-500 bucks, which is obviously a lot less than i'd have to
> spend to get a new (albeit better) laptop.
>
> Will I run into problems because of the slow processor? What sort of
> considerations should I take into account? I don't know much about
> upgrading hardware, and I don't want to, for instance, buy a lot of
> RAM if it won't even be effectively used by the machine.
>
> In short, would a 600mhz, 512MB, 40Gb Inspiron 3800 be a stable,
> decent machine that would serve my moderate programming usage needs?
>
> Thanks for any input you might have!
>
> -Casey
!