Old decrepit Compaq laptop "optimization"

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by OhSigmaChi, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. OhSigmaChi

    OhSigmaChi Limp Gawd

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    My son goes off to college (or trade school) next year [sniff] and I think he'll probably need a laptop. I have a Compaq presario CQ60-417dx that I've had for nearly a decade (I got it as basically a throwaway comp to take to Iraq).

    Anyway, I've been noodling around on the googles most of the day trying to see what I can make out of this thing.

    Current specs:
    CPU: Intell Celeron M 900
    RAM: 3GB DDR2 PC2-6400
    Mobo: Wistron 3612 w/ Intel GL40 chipset (latest BIOS just flashed)
    HDD: 160GB 5400RPM HP

    So, the most obvious route is to throw in an SSD (I have one, and will do so).

    Anyone have any experience with this platform? I could swap in "upgraded" mobo/CPU/ RAM for like $75, worth it?
     
  2. SticKx911

    SticKx911 2[H]4U

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    There’s a couple people on here that sell decommissioned work dells (sandybridge/ivy bridge i5s) in the low $100 range. If I get more time later I’ll try to look it up, but if you’re looking at $75 to upgrade, I’d spend the $100 to not have to risk a mobo swap in a laptop.

    That said...what does he plan to use it for? I have a laptop I use for work that’s way lower end than that and it does ok for what I use it for. I just know it’s limitations and don’t try and push it.

    Yes, ssd would be great. I would definitely push to upgrade the ram a little if possible. The celeron 900 is slow, but for word and google, it’ll be adequate.
     
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  3. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    a nice door stop maybe.
    like stick said, id look for something "newer" in the fs/ft or on ebay for $100 and then put your ssd in that.
     
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  4. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Whats the specs on the upgrades? Most likely no though.

    Don't send your kid to college in 2020 with a system like that.
     
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  5. OhSigmaChi

    OhSigmaChi Limp Gawd

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    Possible CPU: Core Duo 2 T9500, Mobo with the GM45 Chipset, and 4GB RAM (these Mobos don't seem to support 8GB even though I found a couple of 2x4GB PC2-6400 kits (they are much more expensive though).

    I just did a quick tally on Ebay, and actually looks like upgrading those 3 components would be well south of my original $75 dollar estimate, more like $50. The SSD is a left over sandisk from a yardsale desktop computer I parted out, so it effectively cost me $0.

    Use case is the usual, chrome, google docs/MS Office, he may have to do some emachineshop or fusion360 work, still a maybe, but want it to be possible.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  6. Blue Fox

    Blue Fox [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You have a single core CPU that's more than a decade old and was low end to begin with back then. It's not worth putting a penny into that laptop. Whether you like it or not, it's pretty much a paperweight at this point.

    Go buy a used laptop on eBay for $100 a couple months before school starts so your kid actually has something usable. There's no point in getting anything earlier since it will just depreciate until then.
     
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  7. OhSigmaChi

    OhSigmaChi Limp Gawd

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    The whole point of upgrading it is to ditch the single core celeron for something with a little more pep. The Core Duo 2 T9500s on Ebay are like $5.
     
  8. auntjemima

    auntjemima [H]ardness Supreme

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    Everything in that system will need to be updated. As stated by others, throw away $50 laptops on your local Craigslist will be better.
     
  9. Blue Fox

    Blue Fox [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You would just have a paperweight with a Core 2 Duo and be out of $5 then. It's quite obvious that this is not what you want to hear, but that laptop has been obsolete for quite some time and all the upgrades in the world won't change that.
     
  10. OhSigmaChi

    OhSigmaChi Limp Gawd

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    This is not true, the core 2 duo is a confirmed drop in CPU for this MOBO.
     
  11. ziddey

    ziddey [H]ardness Supreme

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    If you're actually interested in playing with that laptop, I'd go with a cheaper cpu (t8100 is $6.51) and research how to do a fslx mod to overclock it
     
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  12. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    The laptop will still be garbage even with a core 2 duo........

    As others have already said; No it is not worth it.

    Many schools actually list minimum requirements for student PCs. Once your son decides where he is going you should check with them, but I doubt an 11 YO Core 2 Duo will cut it. Normally they want something more along the lines of an i5 with 8gb or equivalent.
     
  13. Spun Ducky

    Spun Ducky Gawd

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    That machine would struggle to even run word at this point. A cheap used dell latitude or thinkpad for 100-300 bucks would be a far better investment.
     
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  14. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Definitely not worth it to upgrade the laptop.

    The only thing you will accomplish by maxing out that laptop and giving it to him for school is frustration at how slow it will be.
     
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  15. whateverer

    whateverer Gawd

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    Intel GMA from that old a system is guaranteed to have no real codec acceleration. And the DDR2 will limit performance of that Core 2 Duo in anything modern.

    Also, it's a USB2 notebook, which severely limits the speeds at which external devices can be connected.

    I'd buy him a cheap notebook for around $350, and just toss that thing in the trash. Ofr ,if that's too much, you can pick up this Haswell refurb for $280:

    https://www.microcenter.com/single_...&MccGuid=c08a8e71-da9e-41fa-a6e6-ccbbcbcda626

    Has 8GB ram, SSD, and Core i5, so will be faast enough for his entire e school time. Also, Haswell means it will have impressive battery life, which is something you will never get out of your old notebook. He can actually take this to class., because it's an Ultrabook. You get six hours of web surfing, and probably four hours of light work:

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-HP-EliteBook-840-G1-H5G28ET-Ultrabook.114717.0.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
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  16. Domingow

    Domingow 2[H]4U

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    So just throwing this out there...but depending on the place you decide to go there might be a computational device included in tuition...Just saying.
     
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