Upgrade current laptop or buy new for older parents?

Upgrade current model or buy a new?

  • Upgrade ram, replace rust drive with SSD(512gb).

    Votes: 5 100.0%
  • Buy new model.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5
Joined
Apr 7, 2000
Messages
3,696
My parents laptop sucks. It's an older Dell Inspiron 15 3543 with an i3-5005u, 6gb, 1tb rust drive.
ETA:
I have come to learn that this trash-panda laptop only has one SODIMM slot, and can only accommodate 8gb max ram. Which makes things double awkward, because now I'm not sure as to how it gets 6gb of ram.

I am looking at either upgrading the ram and replacing the 1tb rust drive with an SSD(512gb), or buying them a new laptop altogether. If an SSD and some ram will wake this thing up, that would be ideal. Otherwise, I just want to spend my money as wisely as possible.

I'll use the standard form from here on out.

  • Total budget (in local currency) and country of purchase. Please do not use USD unless purchasing in the US:
    USD$600 or less.
  • Are you open to refurbs/used?
    No.
  • How would you prioritize form factor (ultrabook, 2-in-1, etc.), build quality, performance, and battery life?
    Performance>Build>Battery>FF. Performance and build trump other factors, as this will spend most of it's time on a desk, plugged in.
  • How important is weight and thinness to you?
    Weight matters most, the lighter, the better. However, as stated above, it will spend most of it's time on a desk.
  • Do you have a preferred screen size? If indifferent, put N/A.
    15.6", 1080p is preferred, but 1366x768 is also acceptable.
  • Are you doing any CAD/video editing/photo editing/gaming? List which programs/games you desire to run.
    No. This is going to be for surfing/shopping/bill pay, YT/Netflix, other mundane tasks.
  • If you're gaming, do you have certain games you want to play? At what settings and FPS do you want?
    N/A
  • Any specific requirements such as good keyboard, reliable build quality, touch-screen, finger-print reader, optical drive or good input devices (keyboard/touchpad)?
    Good keyboard would be nice.
  • Leave any finishing thoughts here that you may feel are necessary and beneficial to the discussion.
    CPU is the most important thing, I think. I believe it will determine, for the most part, how long this new laptop will last. This i3 didn't perform as well as I thought it would when I bought it, but it lasted a lot longer than I thought it might. I would be looking for a model that has an i5/Ryzen 5/7, or better, as permitted by budget. Also, Windows only; none of that other chicanery, please.
 
Last edited:

Mega6

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
3,535
If you're open to Linux an OS upgrade would suffice. FireFox works fine.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2000
Messages
3,696
As it is for my older parents, Windows is ideal. They aren't going to learn Linux, or put up with much change. Also, I know very little about Linux to help with anything.
 

Kardonxt

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3,425
An SSD and ram will probably be fine assuming the laptop isn't overheating or any other age related problems. I have several 1.something ghz pentium laptops around the house and the fam loves them. They assume they are some high end fancy things when in reality they are were just unusably slow PCs customers didn't want back with a 256gb ssd and some ram added.

If you prefer new, slickdeals has had plenty of 299-399 laptops with ssds and 8gb of ram lately. Any of them would work fine. This for example is a pretty good deal. https://slickdeals.net/f/14698715-g...sd-16gb-ram-win-10-399-free-s-h?src=frontpage It seems like there were a dozen or so options closer to black Friday. They are still popping up at a decent rate if you keep an eye out.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2000
Messages
3,696
It does not overheat, at least not that I can tell. It's just painfully slow, especially at startup, and when loading websites.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
27,985
My guess is that there is some RAM soldered onto the MB and then there is only 1 SoDIMM slot. That's why you get 6GB of RAM. See what size your current stick is. I'm guessing there is 4GB onboard and if you put an 8GB SoDIMM in, you will get 12GB.

My father has been using a Thinkpad with a Haswell generation CPU in it for years. I upgraded the memory and put in an SSD, and it works fine. A 500GB SSD and a DDR3 SoDIMM can't be more than $100.
 

warhol76

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
78
I know it wasn't an option. But, I would suggest an ipad. I bought my older father an ipad and have never looked back. He is happy ad I am happy. Win/win!
 

funkydmunky

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
2,649
My guess is that it is 8GB ram with 2GB shared for GPU. It gives an option of 1 or 2 GB shared memory. I don't think you are upgrading the memory.
If you folks are mild users (Web browsing, YT/FB) then give a fresh install of Windows and an SSD and be done with it.
 

warhol76

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
78
My guess is that it is 8GB ram with 2GB shared for GPU. It gives an option of 1 or 2 GB shared memory. I don't think you are upgrading the memory.
If you folks are mild users (Web browsing, YT/FB) then give a fresh install of Windows and an SSD and be done with it.
I would agree with this though. If you want to stick with what they have. A fresh install of windows 10 on an SSD will make a noticeable difference.
 

pendragon1

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
Messages
26,538
that unit has 4gb onboard and a 2gb stick. you can take it out and add 4gb for the 8gb max. i would start with just the ssd and see how it is. ive worked on a few dells recently that had 4+2gb for some reason and they ran totally fine for normal office/home use. for what your parents are likely to do i bet it'd be totally fine. ssd are the single biggest performance gain ever for "old" systems.
 
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