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Upgrading Old Laptop :-)

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November 6, 2012 9:29:21 PM

Hi,

I've just added a bunch of upgrades to my ebay basket but thought I'd ask a few questions before I do as I am a little rusty in the tech department!

The laptop I am upgrading is a Dell Inspiron 1300 which is a brand new laptop I bought back in 2005/6 and never used. The current specs are:

CPU: Pentium M 725 [1.6Ghz 2MB Cache, 400FSB]
RAM: 1GB DDR2 [2 x 512MB 400Mhz]
MoB: PPGA478 Mobile Motherboard


Advice on CPU:

I will be upgrading the CPU to a Pentium M 755 [2.0Ghz, 2MB, 400] however, I have come across a Celeron M 2.4Ghz, 256kb, 400 CPU and was wondering if it was worth sacrificing the Pentium cache for a higher Celeron clock?

Advice on RAM:

I was originally going to go for a 2x1GB setup in dual channel, squeezing me out the best performance possible (although not much.) However I have now spotted a 2x2GB kit and was wondering if there would be a draw back of trying to make the laptop process 2GB of data through 400mhz a stick? From my understanding, going with the 2x1GB setup is much more feasible in terms of processing performance?

Are all laptop RAM backward compatible? It's hard to find 400 RAM but there are lots of cheap 667/800 sticks floating around.

Advice on Battery:

The battery only holds around 10 minutes charge so it is pretty much dead. I have found a new 7200mAh battery for a very reasonable price! My question is, does anyone have any experience with cheap, unbranded laptop batteries? (most probbally from China/Hong-Kong.)

Thanks!

More about : upgrading laptop

a b D Laptop
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 11:14:40 PM

Can you upgrade the CPU?

More RAM is always nice

how much for a new battery?

I would be looking at the cost of a new machine vs. the upgrade
November 6, 2012 11:28:01 PM

anonymous1 said:
Can you upgrade the CPU?

More RAM is always nice

how much for a new battery?

I would be looking at the cost of a new machine vs. the upgrade


I suppose £300 should buy me a decent one. Just gift that to my paypal will you? :) 

More ram might be nice but again, the configuration is... well not modern. Would 2GB's (theoretically) running @ 800Mhz be better then having 4GB's (theoretically) running at 800Mhz?

CPU, RAM & Battery will only cost £55 to upgrade. Otherwise I wouldn't have asked!
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a b D Laptop
a c 346 à CPUs
November 7, 2012 1:06:39 AM

ram is cheap.
4gb would be the minimum.

If you really want to upgrade the laptop, replace the hard drive with a SSD.

If you like the display, then upgrading is a rasonable.
November 7, 2012 6:53:51 AM

geofelt said:
ram is cheap.
4gb would be the minimum.

If you really want to upgrade the laptop, replace the hard drive with a SSD.

If you like the display, then upgrading is a rasonable.


Yes but this will be running XP, 4GB is not really 'that' important if it means sacrificing processing speed per GB.

It's currently got a 160GB drive but I doubt you can convert IDE to SATA? If so, then I'm all over it!

The display is excellent, so its definitely a keeper!

Still waiting for some answers to the original questions though.

Thanks!
a b D Laptop
a b à CPUs
November 7, 2012 9:33:52 AM

You can't put that Celeron CPU into the mobo. The Celeron you looked at is socket 478 and the mobo is socket 479.

The 400MHz RAM are DDR1 SODIMM. The 667 and 800 MHz are DDR2 SODIMM. They are not compatible.

The cheap battery is ok. I am currently using a replacement battery which cost around $40 and it is running ok. 4% wear after > 6 months use. The place I bought it from give 2 year warranty on the battery so if it die on me before that, I am going for an exchange.

There are IDE SSD out there but since XP does not support TRIM and the laptop is so old, there is really no point.

BTW, how much are you paying for the upgrade? I'll leave it alone if the upgrade cost more than $75.
a b D Laptop
a c 346 à CPUs
November 7, 2012 12:46:35 PM

The GHZ number is only a partial indicator of cpu processing capability.
The architecture, or instructions per cycle are also very important.
For example, a celeron 2.4 cpu has a passmark number of 242.
A modern G530 @ 2.4 has a passmark number of 2310.



There are some ide based SSD's. Kingspec makes some. They are sold via ebay.
Because they are a niche product, they tend to be a bit expensive. Before ordering, make certain that it will fit in your laptop.

Here is one example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kingspec-2-5-IDE-PATA-SSD-MLC-6...

The speed of ram is not very important to cpu compute capabilities.
If you have restricted ram, you will be doing demand paging to the hard drive, and that looks to your app like a very slow cpu.
More ram is almost always better than faster ram.
If you have a 32 bit os, 4gb of ram will provide about 3.5gb of useful space since some of the ram is reserved for hardware control blocks.

Your cpu was introduced in 2004.
It has gone long obsolete.
If you are concerned about cpu compute power,
it is time to consider a new laptop.
I do like some of the older 4:3 format displays, but if performance is an issue, the cheapest laptop of today will be far superior to yours.
a b D Laptop
a b à CPUs
November 7, 2012 1:18:42 PM

godbrother said:
Hi,

I've just added a bunch of upgrades to my ebay basket but thought I'd ask a few questions before I do as I am a little rusty in the tech department!

The laptop I am upgrading is a Dell Inspiron 1300 which is a brand new laptop I bought back in 2005/6 and never used. The current specs are:

CPU: Pentium M 725 [1.6Ghz 2MB Cache, 400FSB]
RAM: 1GB DDR2 [2 x 512MB 400Mhz]
MoB: PPGA478 Mobile Motherboard


Advice on CPU:

I will be upgrading the CPU to a Pentium M 755 [2.0Ghz, 2MB, 400] however, I have come across a Celeron M 2.4Ghz, 256kb, 400 CPU and was wondering if it was worth sacrificing the Pentium cache for a higher Celeron clock?

Advice on RAM:

I was originally going to go for a 2x1GB setup in dual channel, squeezing me out the best performance possible (although not much.) However I have now spotted a 2x2GB kit and was wondering if there would be a draw back of trying to make the laptop process 2GB of data through 400mhz a stick? From my understanding, going with the 2x1GB setup is much more feasible in terms of processing performance?

Are all laptop RAM backward compatible? It's hard to find 400 RAM but there are lots of cheap 667/800 sticks floating around.

Advice on Battery:

The battery only holds around 10 minutes charge so it is pretty much dead. I have found a new 7200mAh battery for a very reasonable price! My question is, does anyone have any experience with cheap, unbranded laptop batteries? (most probbally from China/Hong-Kong.)

Thanks!



IMHO, you're throwing good money after bad. When you get done you'll still have a seriously outdated machine. The same money put toward something current would be my choice.
November 7, 2012 2:37:02 PM

The oly thing is the battery which is good rest are NOT COMPATIBLE so please dont waste your money on something that will die due to a motherboard faliure in the coming 6 maybe even less months.Your laptop has lived it's prime now it's time to say tata and look for a new one
November 7, 2012 4:09:34 PM

Erm?

The laptop has DDR2 running @ 533Mhz. My mistake for writing 400Mhz.

You say the CPU will NOT be compatible bit it is currently running a Pentium M 725 which is identical to the Pentium M 755 which I want to upgrade to! It also shows as compatible on the Intel website:

http://ark.intel.com/compare/27584,27594

The display is 15.4" widscreen.

And I've mentioned for the second time that all these upgrades will cost £55! Which IMO is excellent.

geofelt, you seem to be the only person to give me some solid advice. So you are definitely suggesting that 4GB will be better? To be "truthful" I have never really used more then 2GB's in my life, which is why I was going to go with the 1x2GB kit to begin with.
a b D Laptop
a c 346 à CPUs
November 7, 2012 5:13:23 PM

Ram is cheap. A 4gb(2 x 2gb) kit is $20 or so. Speed is not that important.
Just verify that the ram is compatible with your motherboard.
Go to a web site like Kingston and enter your laptop brand/model.
They should give you a selection of compatible parts.
Extra ram allows XP to keep more in ram, available for instant reuse.

If your laptop is an IBM thinkpad, it might well worth preserving.

Do some google search for your laptop and ssd to see what others might have done, and if a ssd upgrade is feasible.
I have done several laptop SSD replacements with stunning results. Highly recommended.

I have an old IBM T40 laptop which I have put aside because it is so slow. It takes only a IDE SSD which was very expensive in the past.
I might just revisit upgrading it, now that ssd prices are down.
November 7, 2012 5:47:59 PM

You could upgrade the RAM to the maximum supported by the motherboard, and install an SSD if your laptop uses SATA (it may not seeing as it is older). The SSD can also be reused in a new computer when you get one. However, I would not spend money on a CPU upgrade, you will be moving from slow to slow on a 6 year old CPU socket.
November 7, 2012 5:52:38 PM

Thanks again for the reply! You know, I am now sourly tempted to get an SSD! :) 

4GB it is then!

I will run a bench test on the current hardware, and once I am finished with the upgrades, I will perform another bench and post the results!

And just for peace of mind, I removed the CPU cover, removed the headsink and the CPU popped right out.

Personally I think all this soldering business is just propaganda. I am yet to come across ONE laptop I have had that came with a soldered CPU!

I wanted to go for the Pentium M 765 in order to get the best upgrade possible but for a lousy 100mhz increase, I am surprised people want $100+ for them! Ha!

If I am still not happy with the performance then maybe I might just go for an IDE SSD and squeeze another two years out of my baby! :) 
a b D Laptop
a c 346 à CPUs
November 7, 2012 6:05:01 PM

I did some fesearch on my own part for a IBM T40.
It looks like Kingspec, a chinese company produces a number of IDE replacement SSD drives.
I found an interesting review of installation and performance in a IBM T40.
http://www.ocia.net/reviews/kingspecssd/page1.shtml

My laptop must be even older, ir runs windows /ME!
November 7, 2012 6:35:04 PM

geofelt said:
I did some fesearch on my own part for a IBM T40.
It looks like Kingspec, a chinese company produces a number of IDE replacement SSD drives.
I found an interesting review of installation and performance in a IBM T40.
http://www.ocia.net/reviews/kingspecssd/page1.shtml

My laptop must be even older, ir runs windows /ME!


What have you just gone and done?! :D 

I'm DEFINITELY buying it now!
a b D Laptop
a b à CPUs
November 7, 2012 6:43:54 PM

geofelt said:
Ram is cheap. A 4gb(2 x 2gb) kit is $20 or so.

Old RAM is not cheap. It does not go down in price along with new RAM. Its price tends to stay at whatever it was when they stopped making it.

The prices I'm finding for a single 2GB PC2-5300 stick is about $25-$30. So 4GB would run you $50-$60.

godbrother said:
It's currently got a 160GB drive but I doubt you can convert IDE to SATA? If so, then I'm all over it!

There are IDE to SATA adapters, though I'm not sure how well they fit inside a laptop. The only one I've used was for a desktop. They come with a performance price, but none as severe as the drop from SATA to IDE (300-600 MB/s down to 133 MB/s).

If you do find one that fits in a laptop, you'd probably have to go for a 1.8" or mSATA SSD. There's no way you'd be able to fit the adapter in with a 2.5" drive.

TRIM is not as important with newer SSDs. Most of them have garbage collection routines built into their hardware. It's not as efficient nor as accurate as TRIM, but for most purposes are just fine.


I'll reiterate what some others are saying. By the time you upgrade this with RAM, new battery, CPU, and SSD, you'd be more than halfway to the price of a new cheap laptop. I would just use the laptop as-is. Find a cheap replacement battery. Try to live with the RAM as-is or look for an old laptop someone is throwing away and see if you can salvage the RAM. Save up your money for a new laptop. Their price has consistently been going down, and I see no reason for that to stop.
November 7, 2012 6:49:04 PM

Yes, I have seen IDE-SATA adapters and it looks like my laptop will be able to fit the adapter as the standard drive slides quite a bit when slotting it in. So there is a decent amount of space. However, I thought it wouldn't be worth it seen as there have been no credible sources anywhere proving they work!

However its a shame nobody is actually reading my posts. If they did, they wouldn't waste time writing repeated paragraphs.

RAM, CPU and a Battery will ONLY COST £55 TO UPGRADE!

For the LAST TIME!

If a so called halfway laptop will run me by £300, these upgrades will only cost me £55... What part of the maths am I missing here?! Even if you did add in the SSD drive which is definitely tempting, I would end up at around £100 which is 1/3 of what I would call a decent laptop.

So why spend £300 when all I need is £100 to get the performance "I" need? Why buy performance that will go unused, on top of which will devalue like crazy (at the rate new tech is being produced) and I end up selling it for £100 in 2 years time?
!