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Laptop is sluggish - upgrade or buy new one?

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December 26, 2011 7:11:13 PM

I purchased my Lenovo ThinkPad SL410 in January 2010 (Centrino/C2D T6570 @ 2.10 GHz, 4 GB DDR3-1066/PC3-8500, 500 GB 5400 RPM 8 MB cache SATA II, Intel 4500MHD graphics, Win 7 Pro 64-bit). Within 6 to 8 months of owning it it's performance was noticeably sluggish, especially during startup and coming out of hibernation (I prefer hibernation). Will I get much of a performance gain if I max out the memory (8 GB DDR3-1333/PC3-10600) and install a SSD drive or should I just buy a new, more professional grade, laptop (like the ThinkPad T series)?

Thanks in advance
December 26, 2011 9:32:24 PM

digityzed said:
I purchased my Lenovo ThinkPad SL410 in January 2010 (Centrino/C2D T6570 @ 2.10 GHz, 4 GB DDR3-1066/PC3-8500, 500 GB 5400 RPM 8 MB cache SATA II, Intel 4500MHD graphics, Win 7 Pro 64-bit). Within 6 to 8 months of owning it it's performance was noticeably sluggish, especially during startup and coming out of hibernation (I prefer hibernation). Will I get much of a performance gain if I max out the memory (8 GB DDR3-1333/PC3-10600) and install a SSD drive or should I just buy a new, more professional grade, laptop (like the ThinkPad T series)?

Thanks in advance


Where to start?

Let's start with some basic maintenence:
1) Download and use Ccleaner ( www.piriform.com ) ... FREE
1a)Run the Cleaner section (top icon in the left column, to clear out you cache and temp stuff.
1b)Run the Registry section (second icon in the left column) to clean up the registry. Do the backup it asks when it pops up and clean all issues.
1c) Go to the Tools icon (third icon in the left column), then select the Startup icin in the second column. Go thru that list and see if there are any items you may wish to disable in the startup process (this can all be undone if you decide you have disabled an item you need running), as long as you do not delete it.
1d) after doing these items, reboot your machine.

2) Download and install Auslogics Disk Defrag ( http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag/downlo...) ... FREE
2a) I would suggest a couple of Settings changes (just my recommendation, not required).
2b) Open the program and select (from the menu) Settings>Program Settings>Algorithms Tab
Check the Delete temporary files before defragmenting
Check the Move System files to the beginning of the disk.
Leave the other 2 checkboxes unchecked
2c) Hit OK and proceed to defragment your drive(s).
2d) Reboot your machine again after completion

This should help to a degree, however, realize that many programs have an impact on the startup sequence and how long it takes, as each has to load, hence longer duration for complet boot.

Programs like anti virus, anti spy/malware all take up over head. Personally I use Microsoft Security Essentials to handle all of those and it has not failed in over 2 years that I have used it.

I would suggest running a full scan on your system with the latest definitions of whichever program you use for AV and malware/spyware and make sure all are eliminated if any appear.

Increasing your RAM to 8GB will likely give you some performance improvements as well, and generally one of the lower cost upgrades available.

Good luck and let us know how things work out!!
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a b D Laptop
December 26, 2011 9:48:24 PM

+1 to teleman56

lots of good advice.

i would start with malwarebytes
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December 27, 2011 1:14:08 AM

Thanks for your replies. I think this is more of a wimpy hardware issue than a software issue. My girlfriend's ThinkPad T series performs like a beast - makes my SL series look like a Care Bear. Main differences are a better chipset, beefier CPU, better graphics card and a faster RPM & bigger cache hard drive. I'd imagine upgrading the memory and adding SSD will help close the performance gap
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a b D Laptop
December 27, 2011 3:44:16 AM

If you only experience slowness in starting window in recent months compared with before, it is most likely you have too many start up program and bad registry entry accumulated through usage. Disable program that you do not need from start up when Window start and fix the registry with CCleaner, like teleman56 told you.

If it is still slow, reinstall OS.

If you find that laptop is still slow at staring Window after reinstallation, then upgrade to SSD.

If you find your program or game is running slow (low fps, took long time to complete task), upgrade to better laptop.
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December 27, 2011 7:20:00 AM

Well, I almost religiously use CCleaner, defrag and uninstall rarely used software. I know a fresh Win 7 re-install will help but I'm just too lazy (plus I notice only marginal improvement with fresh re-installs then the performance shortly goes back to blah).

I'm just a lazy tech hoping someone can at least confirm SSDs are worth the extra coin (I surprisingly haven't worked with them yet). I'm in the "throw bandwidth at the problem" kind of a mood
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a b D Laptop
December 27, 2011 7:23:48 AM

Yes, SSD is worth every cent. Owner of 2 SSD. Push the power on button in the morning and when you finish rubbing your eye and stretch your back, the computer is ready to use.
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December 27, 2011 7:55:28 PM

Alrighty! Thanks!
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December 27, 2011 7:57:19 PM

Does it improve application launch times and web page load times too?
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a b D Laptop
December 27, 2011 10:32:36 PM

Application launch- yes.
Web page load time- no (the most important factor here is internet connection speed and the web browser you use).
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