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Upgrading my Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop?

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Last response: in CPUs
October 29, 2012 6:17:58 PM

Alright, this is an old Windows XP 32 bit 1.8GB RAM laptop, with 120GBs of HDD, I believe 1366x768, don't quote me.

I would like to spend some dough to upgrade it, I tried a pirated WIN 7 os (relax, just seeing if it runs swell enough to buy it) and I was wrong, dead wrong. Could I buy a better CPU for this comp? The current is a AMD Athalon (<---typo?)
II. Dual core.. 1.8 or maybe 1.6GHz, not that bad, why is it so laggy -.- there is NONE, NO! drivers for Win 7, thats why I figured Win 7.. is not going to work? I don't mind Linux or Ubuntu. Fastest and easiest :) 

(I know how to use both win/linux, as I am a very mild coder for linux :p )

In super short: So what options do I have to upgrade my old Dell Inspiron 1501, or am I better off just buying a new laptop?

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October 29, 2012 6:33:43 PM

save the money and buy a new laptop if you want to run Windows7/8

you could try Ubuntu or any other flower of linux, it should run fine
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October 29, 2012 6:51:46 PM

You can get new laptop (with similar crappy screen) running Windows 7 (and probably, Windows 8) for less that $400 (I would say, even $350). Don't spend money on a dead horse.
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October 29, 2012 10:02:22 PM

Hi :) 

I own a laptop repair company....

The ONLY thing you could do is to increase the ram, to 4 gb IF it will take it...

All the best Brett :) 
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October 5, 2013 1:14:48 PM

ttg_Avenged said:
Alright, this is an old Windows XP 32 bit 1.8GB RAM laptop, with 120GBs of HDD, I believe 1366x768, don't quote me.

I would like to spend some dough to upgrade it, I tried a pirated WIN 7 os (relax, just seeing if it runs swell enough to buy it) and I was wrong, dead wrong. Could I buy a better CPU for this comp? The current is a AMD Athalon (<---typo?)
II. Dual core.. 1.8 or maybe 1.6GHz, not that bad, why is it so laggy -.- there is NONE, NO! drivers for Win 7, thats why I figured Win 7.. is not going to work? I don't mind Linux or Ubuntu. Fastest and easiest :) 

(I know how to use both win/linux, as I am a very mild coder for linux :p )

In super short: So what options do I have to upgrade my old Dell Inspiron 1501, or am I better off just buying a new laptop?


Hey I know this post is 1yr later but I will share some of my experience with my Inspiron 1501.
It is advertised as only taking up to 2g of ram. This is a standard by which Dell promoted this laptop back in 06-07. Now I've heard of some running 8g without issues and a stable system. I have updated from 2g to 4g (2sticks of ddr2 Ram for laptop) for about $50, works like a charm, specially with win 7 which dont quote me on this but for stable system the min Ram is 2g, so 4 is twice as much what it needs. My laptop felt a lot more snappier after that RAM upgrade.

The next thing I upgraded was the CPU, mine came with the 1.7ghz Athlon dual core which was not 'horrible' but it could use improvement. Went on Ebay, found a Turion TL-64 2.2ghz dual core which this laptop supported for about $20. I could have spent more money on the TL 68 which is a 2.4ghz but it was waaaay to expensive even though some reviews online said that it was a 30-40% jump from the TL 64, still too expensive and decided to go with $20 cpu instead. This Dell was heck of a lot easier to change the cpu than another laptop I had which I upgraded cpu as well, an HP. I swear, it was cake. I watched this video, which really helped:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4iDXWmpphk
I was up and running with new cpu in about 30mins. Make sure you get some nice high performance thermal paste, huge point. The performance jump was about the same as increasing RAM, things got a bit faster, less lag opening things, switching from videos to windows or other programs.

Now the BIGGEST jump in overall performance, I wanna say it was like 50-70% increased performance was going from HDD to SSD. I cant stress enough how enormously easy it was to do this upgrade, literally 5 mins, 3 bolts and done, new SSD in. Make sure you save all your stuff in external drive or memory bank before doing this upgrade because you are changing the disk completely so new disk, everything has to be put back in. Start up into BIOS, set it for the CDROM to start up new Win 7 install. I have my own copy I bought years ago so it was straight forward for me. Win7 installed fairly fast on the SSD. I went with OCZ SSD in my local TigerDirect shop 128g for about $80(it was on special sale, I know SSD are expensive) Ran all my Win updates. Installed all my programs. Went to Dell.com for the drivers and updates in the support section. Installed the ATI drivers from AMD site. Good to go in about 2hrs back to what it was before all the changes.
Everything came out to be about $130. Was it worth it for me. YES very much worth it. My little Dell now kicks ass, it is very snappy and quick, can watch 1080p videos w/o crashing in youtube, netflix, etc. Granted the integrated GPU that Dell put in the motherboard is total crap so dont expect any major for gaming if that is what you are wanting to do the updates for. But if you are looking to do common things such as watching videos, surfing web, general documenting (word/excel/PP) or any other task which doesnt require a super computer, I'd suggest doing the work and spending about 130-150 bucks, depending what parts to get and how much you willing to spend to make the old Dellita into a snappy and sassy lappie. This little project was hecka fun and relatively cheap for what I got out of it in the end. Good luck to you, hope this helped!!
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November 18, 2015 6:37:52 PM

Can you tell us what decided to do? If you upgraded how does it run or if you decided to buy a new laptop what did you get? I still have a Inspiron 1501 that I left for useless and i recently turned it on and it is eh. I am completely interested in doing the same thing as the last reply suggested exactly except for maybe the SSD switch because expensive.
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March 8, 2016 6:49:48 PM

popo123 said:
Can you tell us what decided to do? If you upgraded how does it run or if you decided to buy a new laptop what did you get? I still have a Inspiron 1501 that I left for useless and i recently turned it on and it is eh. I am completely interested in doing the same thing as the last reply suggested exactly except for maybe the SSD switch because expensive.


Good thread The Dell Inspirion 1501 is an oldie but a goodie with a few upgrades it could run just as well as the average nubies brand new $500 machine.

I know the thread is old but when I went to upgrade my processor I ran into a hiccup..Which processor to use there seems to be so many that will fit this board. there's several Anthalon processors then theres the Turion and all the X64 processors not to forget the Turion ll Ultra which seems like the best bang for my buck but I'm not sure if it will work.

Already running a Antholon X2 1.8 GHz 512 GB Samsung SSD 4GB RAM. This decade old computer is faster than most $800 smart phones would love the best processor I can get for it any one have any ideas thanks Long live the 1501
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March 8, 2016 7:45:11 PM

I still use one of those Inspiron 1501s as my laptop too! I upgraded it from a 1.8GHz single core Sempron64 to a 1.8GHz dual core Turion64x2 years ago (cost around $10 on Ebay at the time). It has 3GB of RAM and runs Vista Home Basic and Debian 8 (Linux). The real problem with it, apart from its piss poor heat management, is that the ATi graphics is super old and has something like 2 shaders.

The highest end CPU you can put into it is a Turion 64 TL-60 (2.0 GHz / 1 MB).

http://commweb-ps3.us.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/...

Having a look on Ebay,

http://www.ebay.com/sch/items/?_nkw=turion+tl-60&_sacat...

Looks like you can get one for less than $10.

With $40 solid state hard drive, 3GB of RAM, and a 2GHz dual core it will feel about the same as a Netbook/Chromebook for browsing and making documents, etc. Anything 3D, even using Blender, forget about it. You're better off to save up $200 for an actual Chromebook.

Ps. The battery was never any good in either of our two 1501s. We bought them in 2007 and had to keep them plugged in almost all the time after only a year. Not the most power efficient machines.

Pps. I made our other 1501 into a frankenputer desktop for the kids, after they spilled milk into and blew the LCD. When I upgraded the kids puter, I used the 1501 as a personal Star Wars Galaxies EMU server. Just had to make a heatsink/fan for it using old Pentium III and Pentium heatsink and a case fan. I glued a small heatsink to its southbridge as well, which meant removing the wireless card, which I wasn't using anyhow. No heat issues with that 1501! :) 
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March 30, 2016 2:40:45 PM

I have spoken to 2 guys who installed a Turion X2 TL-62 @ 2.1ghz and it worked perfectly. Another guy used a TL-64 @ 2.2ghz but had heat troubles.

I got a Turion X2 TL-60 @ 2.0ghz to replace a Semperon @ 1.8ghz. Cost me $10.50 on eBay. :-) 4gig RAM cost me $20.44.
I had a spare 128gig SSD which I got on a Black Friday sale for $70.

Like another member posted....RAM upgrade helped.....cpu to dual core and 200mhz faster helped. SSD REALLY helped!

All in all a cheap upgrade to a free laptop which will be used for school only. No ATI display driver for Win10 or Win7 got a pop up about the display driver was a basic built in generic driver....no problem for what this laptop will get used for.
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April 1, 2016 12:07:23 PM

CanadaKen said:
... No ATI display driver for Win10 or Win7 got a pop up about the display driver was a basic built in generic driver....no problem for what this laptop will get used for.

I managed to install Vista ATI driver on my Dell, you can try too (download most recent driver from Dell site)
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April 1, 2016 1:06:23 PM

Thanks Alabalcho....I will give that a try.

CK
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