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Dell E1505 (14/17)/6400 -- Upgrades and other Hacks

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February 21, 2009 7:21:45 AM

I have an older Dell E1505. It's got a T2050 Duo Core processor (1.6/533).

Being the hardware hack that I am, I'm always looking to tweak and push what I already own. So, before anyone chimes in with "buy a new laptop" let me take they time to say "Thanks, save it for another thread."

With that out of the way...

I've already dropped in 2 gigs of 667 RAM, which made some nice room to move around in. I've ordered some new & improved hinges because I already have the "wiggle" defect on the screen. It's annoying. I'm running out of things to tweak on this, so I'm looking at the following, and seeking information I can't find anywhere on the net. I figure if we can collectively put all the information here, then those that follow will have an easier time tweaking out what I consider to be a wonderfully ubiquitous piece of hardware.

Now, if anyone has information to the contrary, please correct me. I can't find a set of broad system specs for what this baby will handle, however, I think I've managed to piece together some pieces of information.

It looks like when they designed this board, they did is with SERIOUS mass production in mind. To that end there seems to be two motherboards: With integrated Graphics and Without. This is logical because the less boards you design, the more you can make for less price. Why more vendors don't do this, I'll never know (Asus- take note).

Both boards are otherwise the same. They will handle up to 800MHZ fsb (my bios is showing 800 max) and any of the T line of mobile chips, which is everything from Core Solo to the Core 2 Quad mobile. There are a LOT of chips in this line. If any of them won't work please list the information below. Heat and battery life be damned.

This will also let you run a 64bit core on this system. Again, I haven't found anything to differentiate between motherboards for all the years this system was in production, so I don't see why a 64bit won't drop in. I found a T5200 for $80 that would be the same everything, except Core 2 and 64 bit.

On the RAM front, it would stand to reason that you could go up to 4 gig of DDR2 800.

As for graphics upgrades I've got a GeForce Go 7300. I saw somebody mention a 7900 go so tht might be an option. There are also the ATI options as well. If anyone knows what the best bolt on video is for this board that would be good info.

I've also found that the LCD is easy enough to change. There are several models out there of rez and quality, they all go for around $300. This seems like the least cost effective hack to perform on it. Then again if you score a freebie with a cracked screen, a $300 laptop that's modable isn't a bad find.

Bottom line, I'm really wanting to find a resource, list or otherwise for exactly what CPU's you can run in this thing cause it looks to me like one of the most wide open options I've ever worked with. Hands down one of the best general use laptops I've ever worked on. It's been running every day since 07/06 without problems.

I run the I8kfanGUI.exe program to run the fan at a higher rate. I'd rather burn out a $8 fan than kill the system. Running it high keeps it at a cool 82 degrees.

So, if anyone has definitive Motherboard specs for this system, please post them up.

Thanks
March 2, 2009 5:26:27 PM

I found this today

http://www.getpartsonline.com/index.html

You can upgrade your laptop to do everything but burn Blu-Ray. BR read, DVD burn, cd burn all in one snazzy little upgrade. I got mine with shipping for $112

Bargin


**** Discovered it's a bargain if your system can support Bluray. Not sure on the *nix front what you can get away with for Bluray, but under windows there's some stiff playback requirements.

http://www.cyberlink.com/stat/bd-support/enu/index.jsp

This will let you download an app to run and evalute your system for Bluray.

--S
April 3, 2009 11:05:20 PM

Thanks for this post, good to hear about these options.

I have a E1505 as well. T2400 1.83. One gig of ram. Running Ubuntu.

I find it can be buggy, it as absolutely terrible after about 2 years of XP. Ubuntu has been a big help, but it still has problems. Starts off working well, until it heats up, then it becomes basically useless and needs to cool down and be restarted. Although this is somewhat intermittent, working well when its hot for a while sometimes.

Fan is working. But, probably needs to be replaced. Do you know of any upgrades in this department? I am not worried about power costs, as I keep it plugged in all the time. All my batteries for it are junk.

I am going to upgrade the ram. I read that some the board can handle up to 4 GB of ram. But one needs a 64-Bit OS to use it all.

I am intrigued by your comments about upgrading the processor. Are you sure that the motherboard will allow a chip from the Core Duo 2 series?

Perhaps, most of all, its the hinges that I want to know more about. I have replaced the entire screen mount with another one, but those will be getting scarcer and its not a good solution. This new set is about half dead. Where did you get better hinges?

Thanks again.
Related resources
April 4, 2009 5:25:35 PM

standard_machine said:
Thanks for this post, good to hear about these options.

I have a E1505 as well. T2400 1.83. One gig of ram. Running Ubuntu.

I find it can be buggy, it as absolutely terrible after about 2 years of XP. Ubuntu has been a big help, but it still has problems. Starts off working well, until it heats up, then it becomes basically useless and needs to cool down and be restarted. Although this is somewhat intermittent, working well when its hot for a while sometimes.

Fan is working. But, probably needs to be replaced. Do you know of any upgrades in this department? I am not worried about power costs, as I keep it plugged in all the time. All my batteries for it are junk.

I am going to upgrade the ram. I read that some the board can handle up to 4 GB of ram. But one needs a 64-Bit OS to use it all.

I am intrigued by your comments about upgrading the processor. Are you sure that the motherboard will allow a chip from the Core Duo 2 series?

Perhaps, most of all, its the hinges that I want to know more about. I have replaced the entire screen mount with another one, but those will be getting scarcer and its not a good solution. This new set is about half dead. Where did you get better hinges?

Thanks again.


Check these guys out:

http://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=32...

They have a decent line of fair priced parts to rebuild the system.

As far as the CPU goes, here's how my logic works:

There are only two motherboards made for this model -- Integrated Graphics and Not Integrated. There are no rev's, versions, list of supported what have you. There are Bios Rev's which can be updated.

If there are no differences in the T line of chips (doubtful) then in theory, any T processor should be able to drop in and be happy on that motherboard. One way to check is go to Dell's refurb site:

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global....

and see what processors they used in your model. I'm seeing T2500, but the E1525 models went up to the T8300. They're essentially the same laptop. I suppose you could go super hacker and drop a 1525 mobo into a 1505 case. That would be fun. ;) 

Back to reality, I'm the type that would try it, as long as the architecture on the CPU's is essentially the same. Remember that when some specs were written for max CPU, the bigger, faster chips weren't made yet. I don't believe there was any change to power or form factor in the T line of chips, however there is a change in the new P line. Check intel for clock speeds, power requirements, etc. etc., and that will confirm this.

As for ram, I believe you are right about the 4gig, however 64bit OS is dependent on your CPU.

If you have heat issues, crack it open and blow it out, and make sure you run your fan on maximum speed. The build in controller NEVER takes the fan to high speed. That's why I run the external application. The site with the hinges has replacement fans.

Any heating issue can be fixed though. It may be redundant, but make sure to blow it out real good and/or crack the case and give it a good cleaning. With no battery pack attached your heat should be lower. Make sure to run it n a surface that rejects heat and lets air flow. If it's on a table, ass some taller footpads to give it a little room. In the old days we'd use a nice piece of aluminum plate on the desk and it would keep it cold all day.

Good luck

--S
January 11, 2010 10:27:48 PM

Have decided on an upgrade to the CPU? Im essentially running the same computer except with a T2400 CPU and have had it since 08/06 with no problems, Im thinking by now you can probably pick up some better cpu's for cheap or possibly even upgrade to a 64bit if possible. By the the way thanks for the link on the screen hinges.
February 14, 2010 12:14:25 AM

jeevsdew said:
Have decided on an upgrade to the CPU? Im essentially running the same computer except with a T2400 CPU and have had it since 08/06 with no problems, Im thinking by now you can probably pick up some better cpu's for cheap or possibly even upgrade to a 64bit if possible. By the the way thanks for the link on the screen hinges.

Finally found the thread I need. Have E1505 also and am upgrading my T1300 to a T2400. Recently upgraded RAM to 2G. My question is: Is the T1300 to T2400 upgrade a simple swap or does the BIOS need updating also. Parts People are a great resource for these laptops and their CPU selections are a great guide to what works in these units. Their prices are a little higher than some of the offerings I have seen on Ebay. I got my T2400 from CKC Computers on Ebay for $36, which for the money is a great upgrade. The "hinge" thing has plagued my unit also and after using some thread locker on the hinge screws and supergluing the metal frame behind the LCD to the plastic cover it sits on, most of the wiggle is gone. The most important area for the glue is above the hinge, especially where the metal is cut out for the antenna wires. Just be careful with the superglue and don't get any on the hinge or somewhere else it shouldn't be! Keep in mind the PartsPeople hinges are stock OEM pulls, not really any type of upgrade, unless your hinges are really shot. Any comments from someone who has done the CPU upgrades would be most appreciated. FYI my research on the CPUs from the Intel Web for those interested revealed the CoreDuos are 32 Bit and the Core2Duos are 64. Thanks, satwilson
February 17, 2010 10:01:39 PM

update: Updated BIOS, Tear down, simple swap, love ZIF, BIOS sees, auto driver install, restart, wayyy!!! quicker, just my cheap fun!!! Hmmmm....T7600
February 18, 2010 7:31:35 AM

I have an E1505.

Current Specs:

T7200
2 GB RAM
GeForce Go 7300.

Hoping to upgrade to at least 3 GB RAM and a better video card.. I know I ordered a 256MB Video Card but Cpu-Z and Nvidia Software show that i only have 128. Could I have been cheated on? Well. I guess my question for this one is that most forums that I read about this laptop is that the maximum ram allowable is 2GB, and I read here that you can go up to 4GB, has that been tested?

Also, I tried installing a 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium and it said that My system is not compatible with the OS. Should I do something with the bios?
February 19, 2010 7:12:04 PM

Ok I think you are on to something here. I am new to improving laptops, but my e-1505 currently has 4gs of ram. It only accesses 3.25 of the 4. This bugs me. My front end bus is 667 and I want 800 but not sure how to get there. So if you can advise please do. Also I am thinking about putting in the t7600 2.33ghz chip. It is a core 2 duo as well. You said that you had heard of someone putting in 5300. What GHZ is that and how did they do it. Also i have the ATI-128 graphics card, i am moving up to the Gforce 7300. The big deal for me curretnly is to figure out how to change the bus speed from 667 to 800. you have any ideas let me know.

Thanks Drew
February 19, 2010 8:29:30 PM

jir0 said:
I have an E1505.

Current Specs:

T7200
2 GB RAM
GeForce Go 7300.

Hoping to upgrade to at least 3 GB RAM and a better video card.. I know I ordered a 256MB Video Card but Cpu-Z and Nvidia Software show that i only have 128. Could I have been cheated on? Well. I guess my question for this one is that most forums that I read about this laptop is that the maximum ram allowable is 2GB, and I read here that you can go up to 4GB, has that been tested?

Also, I tried installing a 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium and it said that My system is not compatible with the OS. Should I do something with the bios?

I have Vista Ultimate and in the control panel/performance info/view and print details screen, the system details reveal that my E1505 (Dell MM061) system (motherboard I assume) is not 64 bit compatible, this was after I had installed the latest (2007) BIOS update, version A17. I have the MD666 motherboard that has the Intel945GM chipset with integrated graphics, but yours has the other version with optional video upgrade slots so may be different in its 32/64 bit capability. As regards the ram-max?, I have always heard 2GB but Nighthawk says that 3.25GB of his 4GB installed is being used so more than 2GB is useful. satwilson
March 4, 2010 3:00:38 PM

FYI, I have 3.25G out of 4 usable on Win7x64. From what I've read (and I have never really looked into what this means), Dell could've enabled AHCI in the BIOS, but never did. If it did, the entire 4G could be usable. Anyone feel free to correct my nonsense!

satwilson said:
I have Vista Ultimate and in the control panel/performance info/view and print details screen, the system details reveal that my E1505 (Dell MM061) system (motherboard I assume) is not 64 bit compatible, this was after I had installed the latest (2007) BIOS update, version A17. I have the MD666 motherboard that has the Intel945GM chipset with integrated graphics, but yours has the other version with optional video upgrade slots so may be different in its 32/64 bit capability. As regards the ram-max?, I have always heard 2GB but Nighthawk says that 3.25GB of his 4GB installed is being used so more than 2GB is useful. satwilson




March 12, 2010 10:32:20 AM

I have been thinking about dropping a better cpu in my e1505 too, but don't know about two technicalities. Do I need to change OS if the new CPU is 64 bit, or is it backwards compatible? And do I need a new heatsink, or will the old one do?
March 27, 2010 3:06:19 PM

I dont think I have been here on this forum before. I can tell you that I have recently upgraded my E1505. T7600 CPU, WD 320 7200 HD, 4GD Ram, X1400 Mobility Radeon (I had X1300 before upgrade)..UJ-220 Blu-Ray Burner, running Win 7 Pro 64. In addition to onboard 350 Bluetooth module, Wireless Card. The system works pretty well, it's fast and stable. I am however, having a problem. I can't seem to play Blu-Ray Disk. I am not sure if this is really a harware or software problem. A year ago or so I had a another blu-ray ROM
but I had to download a player capable of reading the Blu-Ray disc. I used CyberLink PowerDVD. I was indeed able to play Blu Ray DVD's..I did not ulitmately purchase the program because I had no dick to play with it. Now that I'm ready to use it with vigor it appears they have cjanged the program and now my system is no longer compatiable with the program. Any of you brains got any ideas. I would love to hear some!!

Thanks
April 1, 2010 12:41:06 AM

andypk said:
I dont think I have been here on this forum before. I can tell you that I have recently upgraded my E1505. T7600 CPU, WD 320 7200 HD, 4GD Ram, X1400 Mobility Radeon (I had X1300 before upgrade)..UJ-220 Blu-Ray Burner, running Win 7 Pro 64. In addition to onboard 350 Bluetooth module, Wireless Card. The system works pretty well, it's fast and stable. I am however, having a problem. I can't seem to play Blu-Ray Disk. I am not sure if this is really a harware or software problem. A year ago or so I had a another blu-ray ROM
but I had to download a player capable of reading the Blu-Ray disc. I used CyberLink PowerDVD. I was indeed able to play Blu Ray DVD's..I did not ulitmately purchase the program because I had no dick to play with it. Now that I'm ready to use it with vigor it appears they have cjanged the program and now my system is no longer compatiable with the program. Any of you brains got any ideas. I would love to hear some!!

Thanks


Oh ok, now I know that it's ok.

I will be purchasing each part separately. And I will change my video card to a 256MB ATI X1400.. Is that way better than the Geforce Go 7300?

Also, I will be getting a new LCD. I found a WSXGA for this one. I was wondering if i need to get the inverter with it or just use my stock? Help on this one.
July 10, 2010 1:34:48 PM

this link is a bnech mark of all the mobile gpus. im glad thier is a 64-bit cpu availabe for this laptop. currenlty i have the

Pentium Dual - T2080 @ 1.73 GHz (32-bit)

x1400 ATI Radeon Mobile (Driver is Omega 3.8.442) im happy with the GPU for now

DVD+-RW AD-5540A - Blue Ray not my thing

1gb RAM (2-512mb) - upgrading soon

80GB Fujistu HDD - im getting a 320 WD in the mail soon. - $40

Battery came with 30 min life - Geting a Cheap New Li-ion for $30

so i paided $250 and adding 70 for new battery and HDD. later i upgrade the CPU to 64 bit. :bounce: 

can any one give me good price / site for the cpu upgrADE?
August 4, 2010 4:05:24 AM

Hi all, Im new here. Last night I tried to put in a T7600 into my 6400, but my laptop does not want to boot up. What could be wrong? I am on the latest BIOS hardware (A17)
Please help!
September 5, 2010 6:49:30 AM

andypk said:
I dont think I have been here on this forum before. I can tell you that I have recently upgraded my E1505. T7600 CPU, WD 320 7200 HD, 4GD Ram, X1400 Mobility Radeon (I had X1300 before upgrade)..UJ-220 Blu-Ray Burner, running Win 7 Pro 64. In addition to onboard 350 Bluetooth module, Wireless Card. The system works pretty well, it's fast and stable. I am however, having a problem. I can't seem to play Blu-Ray Disk. I am not sure if this is really a harware or software problem. A year ago or so I had a another blu-ray ROM
but I had to download a player capable of reading the Blu-Ray disc. I used CyberLink PowerDVD. I was indeed able to play Blu Ray DVD's..I did not ulitmately purchase the program because I had no dick to play with it. Now that I'm ready to use it with vigor it appears they have cjanged the program and now my system is no longer compatiable with the program. Any of you brains got any ideas. I would love to hear some!!

Thanks


Hello I got a quick question when replacing the cpu what did you do with the thermal compound on the CPU itself and the other chip that is soldered into the motherboard? Did you need a new thermal pad for the other chip?I have some artic 5 thermal compound and i am about to upgrade the CPU.
Thank you
September 5, 2010 12:14:56 PM

Hello, i was looking for such a post for long time. I'm a e1505 / 6400 user too. I upgraded it to 160 gb and 2 gb ram. It says in the owner's manual that it won't go higher than 2gb.. Anyone tried 3-4gbs?

I ordered a T5600 cpu and it's on the way home. Now it is T1350. So you guys think i should just swap the processors? or i need some more work on it?

It's quite a change from t1350 to t5600 based on their specs.

thanks and i'll be waiting for answers!
November 8, 2011 3:25:43 AM

I have a e1705 that came with T5600 1.8mhz and X1400 which was bad. I upgraded the processor to T7600 2.33mhz Funny thing happened how i got my Geforce Go 7900 gs. Dell sent me the wrong replacement card after three days of trying to get it to work on the Radeon driver for the the heck of it i installed the Nvidia 7900gs driver and behold it works!!) This card is 100 times better then the X1400. Although it does run much hotter. ( the bottom of the laptop gets really hot!!) I upgraded to 2 gigs of 667mhz ram. Im going to install 4 gigs of DDR2 800mhz ram. Im running windows 7 ultimate 64bit...Ive ran the windows experience index and its at 5.4, I went to Bestbuy and only 2 laptops scored better. Not bad for a 5 year old laptop.
!