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Buying a CPU for a Toshiba Laptop

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July 9, 2012 4:55:19 PM

I'm going to try to upgrade the god awful AMD Sempron SI-42 processor of a Toshiba Satellite L305D-S5974 that I had for a few years to a dual core AMD ZM-82. I did a few hours of googling and learned that the processors were compatible with the computer, but I could not find answers for several other questions I had:

How fast would it speed up the computer, if at all? Toshiba's offical answer was that it was possible but not recommended to change the processor because the performance increase would not be worth the price of the processor; however I found a ZM-82 on eBay for $39, which is much MUCH cheaper than a laptop with a similar processor.

Would I have the modify the cooling system to keep it at a reasonable temperature? Obviously since I'm going to take the entire laptop apart replacing the CPU I'm going to clean every fan and heatsink I see and reapply the thermal paste, but since this computer already runs a little on the hot side (63 degrees at idle, up to 90 under load), would that be enough? Would I be able to replace the cpu fan or any other cooling componet with ones from another Toshiba model that had a dual core AMD? If not how can I keep the thing cool? BESIDES putting the laptop on a A/C vent or buying those stupid laptop cooling pads?

Should I buy the processor used? A used ZM-82 costs half as much as a new one. I've been getting mixed opinions about used processors, but from what I know CPUs are generally very durable, so I think I'll be fine buying used as long as the seller appears to be reliable. Does anyone have any experience with used processors? I want this computer and its componets to last as long as physically possible, and really don't want to disassemble the entire computer again in the near future.

Since I'm replacing a 32 bit CPU with a 64 bit one, would it be worth while to install 64 bit Windows? The most amount of memory the laptop can recognize is only 4GB, so I already know the performance increase isn't going to be great, but my friend has a Windows home premium 64 bit cd that I could borrow from him. I had a Toshiba recovery disk a while ago but I lost it, and ever since I've been running Arch Linux, which is fine but Linux's ATI drivers absouletly suck, and since this computer is probably going to be used by my younger brothers to play games it would be best to have an operating system that they are more familar with, and are able to install/move programs without having to use a command prompt.

Sorry for squeezing so many questions into one thread, but I really would like these questions to be answered before I go through with this. Thanks.
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July 9, 2012 5:01:14 PM

Yes...the ZM-82 x2 will be a LOT faster because it has 2 cores. You will have greatly reduce "stickiness" while trying to do multiple things on ur lappy if u get the ZM-82 :) 

HOWEVER, the ZM-82 is rated at 35W, versus only 25W of ur previous chip, so heating will be an issue....unless u device some new method of improved cooling. Just check if Toshiba released the same lappy design with 35w rated processors or not. If not, u will have heating issues :) 
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July 11, 2012 3:22:15 PM

$hawn said:
Yes...the ZM-82 x2 will be a LOT faster because it has 2 cores. You will have greatly reduce "stickiness" while trying to do multiple things on ur lappy if u get the ZM-82 :) 

HOWEVER, the ZM-82 is rated at 35W, versus only 25W of ur previous chip, so heating will be an issue....unless u device some new method of improved cooling. Just check if Toshiba released the same lappy design with 35w rated processors or not. If not, u will have heating issues :) 


Thanks! I forgot that the ZM-82 drew 10W more power than a SI-42, It makes sense since obviously its dual core, and with more power comes shorter battery life, which I don't care about since its plugged in 24/7 anyway, and more heat.

So now compatibility and performance is not a problem now, its heat, but I think I can deal with that. I might be able to replace the CPU fan or if possible the entire cpu heatsink with one from a L305D-S5934. It has about the same dimensions as mine but has a cooling system designed to keep a RM-70 cool. Not sure if you could simply swap fans like that but hell I can try, I mean the computers obsolete anyway.
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July 11, 2012 4:05:59 PM

Btw please be absolutely sure that the dual core chip is supported k...they are both the same socket chips, but sometimes u may need the latest bios version for it to work :)  See the CPU compatibility list for that mobo if u can find it :) 
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July 14, 2012 4:28:42 AM

I updated the BIOS to the latest version already, in this case v1.8. Do I need to flash the bios AFTER I install the cpu or before? Or does it matter?

I don't see any official documentation that says a ZM-82 is compatible with my computer, however I seen several people replace the CPUs on their Toshiba L305D-S5974 computers with TL-60s and others like it, and they said that the ZMs should work as well. I would be much more comfortable to know that someone out there replaced their SI-42 on their toshiba with a ZM-82, but ZMs and TLs are both Turions, so if it worked with a TL it should work with a ZM, right?


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a b à CPUs
July 14, 2012 5:00:23 AM

You have to flash ur BIOS using the old SI-42 chip, BEFORE u put in the new chip :) 

I can't help you with that, but i have an idea....download CPU-Z and run it. Under the Motherboard Tab, find out the Manufacturer and Model number of your board.
Once that's done, a simple google search should help you find the CPU compatibility list for that mobo :)  All d best :) 

CPU-Z is a free download :) 
http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
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July 16, 2012 4:05:26 PM


CPU-Z doesn't give me a model # for the motherboard. It just says Toshiba motherboard with a 480G chipset, which I already knew.
I'm not too surprised, most cheap laptops don't give a model # for the motherboard.

WOW IM AN IDIOT, they have a part no. on the back of the computer. Googling the part # gives me a bunch of parts for it, including the mobo and its #. Googling the # doesn't give me a straightforward list of cpus that are compatible, but its discription says its compatible with S1G2 socket AMD cpus, which includes the zm-82. Looks like this might work :D 
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July 16, 2012 10:07:42 PM

Intersting question, that is more difficult to decide than desktop PC case.

Evaluate perfomance, heating, cost is only first line from installing and using newer and newer software versions time in a time.

That is more resource eating.

This question open other related:

0.- Updating BIOS

0.a.- Upgrade RAM.

1.- Changing lan boards, like wifi to use newer protocols, ie: 802.11g to 802.11n support.. Change this significatly battery use?

2.- Replace video graphic 3D hardware accelerated ( special laptop version). This is more difficult if could than origintal thread ( Change CPU).

3.- BIOS modding

All of this could be included in a Custom Laptop thread


Any ideas, experiencies, etc?

I use a Toshiba satellite and first laptop for me, ¡ since i started computing in 1987 with a Z80-A and 80kb RAM! :ange: 

Greetings from Spain
:hello: 
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a b à CPUs
July 17, 2012 12:54:38 AM

68flag said:
Googling the # doesn't give me a straightforward list of cpus that are compatible, but its discription says its compatible with S1G2 socket AMD cpus, which includes the zm-82. Looks like this might work :D 


Well then its your call whether u wanna go for it or not :) 
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July 20, 2012 1:47:49 PM

Ok I went ahead and bought the ZM-82. Should be here next week :) 

I don't have many doubts about the BIOS not recognizing the CPU, I'm a little more worried about keeping the thing cool. I don't think it should be a problem after I clean all the vents and everything, but on this laptop I have no control over fan speeds or voltages, and apparently the ZM-82 is a little less tolerant of heat than the SI-42.

What I'm going to try to do once I get inside is to cut some small holes in the plastic at the bottom of the laptop directly over the CPU so I can stick a fan or something there.
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July 23, 2012 9:02:22 PM

Ok, Good news and bad news.

Good news is that the CPU arrived, and looks likes it fits perfectly into the socket

Bad news is that the CPU I bought had bent pins :( 
So i gotta wait another week for the return to process and try this again...
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July 27, 2012 3:44:11 AM

The CPU came in, and it WORKS PERFECTLY. BIOS recognizes it, Windows instantly recognized the new CPU and downloaded the necessary drivers for it, even the little "AMD Sempron" icon that appears at boot changed to "Turion Ultra x2"

I definitely notice the performance boost. Games play MUCH more smoothly, and I don't notice any "sticking" when switching between different applications. Of course its not anything super radical but its pretty good for only $39.

Now next order of business is temperature. So far it looks ok, its hovering at 55C idling right now. Playing Left for dead for a few minutes brings it in the 80s. I'm not a CPU expert (obviously), but are those reasonable temperatures? The Sempron idled @ 70c, and jumped to 90+ under load.

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