I want to see if I can upgrade the CPU on my HP Pavilion HDX9300 or if it's even worth it.
I have heard that upgrading the CPU on laptops isn't always a good idea because the fans, heatsink, and battery's power draw is greater and thus run higher risk of overheating. I'm just trying to improve the performance and hence the speed.
If it's a good idea, what should I get? If it's not then where should I go in terms of better performance. RAM is maxed out.
First of all, why would you want to upgrade that CPU? It's not so bad. If your system is not running as fast as you think it should, maybe you need to reformat and reinstall Windows, it could be a software and not a hardware problem.
Anyways, that socket is old which means you're limited to CPUs of the same generation so the upgrade wouldn't be so significant and not worth the trouble IMHO. You would get a significant boost by getting an i5 of latest generation, but as I said the socket is not compatible so it's impossible, the only way is to get a new laptop. With this one you're limited to Core2 CPUs only.
When you say your RAM is maxed out, I'm assuming you have 4 GB, right?
If you want to upgrade something it would make more sense to get an SSD. It's the best upgrade you could get if you want to boost performance.
But what are you doing with this laptop exactly? What software are you using and what was the reason to want to change the CPU in the first place?
I formatted it a few months ago. Yes 4GB, I've recently put quite a bit of engineering related software on it: Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor and the works, AutoCAD, MATLAB, Mathcad 15. So 3D object making and animating, programming, that sort of stuff.
I've also been using it for your typical movie and music purposes but it cannot handle more than one task without lagging. Could it be just that I'm running Vista?
Considering your laptop most likely only supports SataII, any modern one will cap it out for you transfer speedwise.
Take your pick of:
- the Sandforce 22xx controller ones.
- Samsung 840 (normal or pro)
- Intel 335 series
I would go with a 240-256GB version.
Of course in the event that you at some point actually replace that one with something a bit more powerful and energy efficient.
Any of the above would still do great with SataIII available on the newer models of laptops ( or desktops for that matter ).
I think your main problem is that the software you're running are simply too demanding for your CPU. So yeah you were right it would make sense to get a better CPU it's likely your main bottleneck. But unfortunately that would mean a whole new laptop. All your software would benefit from a i7 quad-core with high clock speed like a i7-3820QM or i7-3840QM, something like that. Solidworks and Inventor would also benefit from a high-end graphics card. But on a laptop all this is going to be expensive. Getting an SSD will speed things a lot (in term of drive operations) but the CPU will remain a bottleneck no matter what you do..... I would start to save for a new laptop instead, not worth investing money in this one IMHO.
*** Edit: If you want an SSD anyways, here's a very good one (very good performance and 5-year warranty):
- Upgrade to Windows 7
- Keep your PC healthy with software like RegCure Pro / Tune-Up Utilities
- Use light video players like VLC / MPC-HC
- Disable (at your own risk) unnecessary windows services like SearchIndexer.exe (info is available online)
- Only install software you regularly use and keep setups for the ones you might need later
- Partition your disk and keep videos, music etc. on the non Windows drive. In other words dont clutter the C: drive
- Download and install Windows updates manually. If automatic update is on it does a LOT of hard disk I/O which could start when you're in the middle of running heavy software and it also lags a lot if you click Cancel.
- Keep your PC cool. Use laptop coolers if needed.
Following these things my HP 311 netbook with a single core Atom processor does pretty good for its ability like running MATLAB, Photoshop, Eclipse and some games on low like NFS Shift.