notebook needs some speed

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by abducens, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. I have a Dell 8200 that is very slow, no heavy user stuff just basic computing. It has a 1.7 P4 with 256mg memory.

    Memory is my first try, I was planning to get a 512 bar to replace one of the 128 in it now, giving me 640.

    Is it true for XP that memory in the 512 range is more than enough and that you get very small improvements by going much higher?

    Also have seen higher rated processors on ebay, a p4 2.2 was $125, or is that something to stay away from?

  2. MarkB


    Memory is usually a worthwhile upgrade. Depending on what you're running, a jump from 256 to 512 could help. The processor upgrade probably isn't worth it, not a significant increase.

    More importantly, it's very rare to see a notebook that will take a processor upgrade. Also keep in mind that the chips for notebooks are different than for desktops.

    Most likely there are some other things slowing you down. What programs do you have running in the background, like startup applications?

    What's your OS? There may be some services running which you don't need.

  3. Definitely do the memory upgrade.

    Also, make sure your hard drive is properly defragmented - including the directories. A fragged HD on a notebook can be a real killer - and it will exponentially reduce your performance if you're also short memory.
  4. omcate


    Be careful. Some of the old Dell notebooks can only take 512 MB of memory. My Inspiron 7500 is a good example.

    :eek: :eek: :eek:
  5. nitro


    You are right that some notebooks are bound to the CPU they came with. However, that is usually because the CPU is already the max the chipset/motherboard/BIOS can take.

    I am not sure what you mean by "upgrade," but as long as the Notebook's BIOS and chipset supports the CPU speed and type, you can upgrade the CPU within those bounds.

  6. MarkB


    Oh nitro,

    By upgrade, I didn't mean an add on or anything like that. I meant swapping the chip for something faster. Was just trying to warn abducens to check the feasibility before going ahead and getting a new processor. And I thought it more important to check into other reasons why the machine might be slowing down, software and OS related, before making the not so great jump in processor speed which he was talking about.

    This from someone (me) who's backup TS2000i platform is a laptop with 128 megs of ram, 4.3 gig drive, and it's a PentiumII 300, running 98SE! But I keep it maintained flawlessly, and it's yet to crash.

    Thanks for clarifying nitro,

  7. DaveN



    Yes, this is impressive! I have a 266MHz Toshiba that I keep as a backup machine on my network, although I have to admit, I've never dared put my TS2k on it. It's great to hear that you've been successful running it!

    That laptop used to have Win98SE. I did a clean install of Win2k Pro a couple of years ago, and it seemed to really speed up the machine. In the next couple of weeks, I'm planning on a clean load of XP Pro to see how that affects the performance. The speed improvement is probably more related to doing the clean installs though.
  8. MarkB



    You may find a 266 runs XP a little on the slow side. I'm sure you know how to tweak XP; it'll sure help to eliminate any nonessential services. Then you'll just have a prettier Win2000 :)

  9. DaveN


    I do, but what a pain in the butt.... Since it shares the same underlying structure as Win2K, I really don't expect much. I'm going through the hassle just to keep it on a common OS with the other three computers on the network. That way, I can reuse all my patches, and make the same changes/updates, etc.
  10. MarkB


    Well it doesn't take too much time, or butt pain, to twiddle around with services in msconfig for a bit. Worth the time for sure, since it's pretty easy to know right at the outset what you need and what you don't need.

    Good luck with it, let me know if I can help in any way.

    #10     Aug 23, 2003