What to do with a really old laptop ?

ng4ever

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It was used as a Plex server but finally got a NAS!

The old laptop does have 8 GB of ram, 2 TB Hard Drive, and Intel Core i5 2540M or Intel Core i5 3320M forgot which in this one sorry.

Yes I have another but the usb ports do not work so it really can't be used for much :(
 
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That's still a perfectly serviceable laptop. I would say it's still good enough to use for light web surfing and productivity tasks. If it has a dedicated GPU, you could probably run a few games on it. I would say that's a good laptop to take with you on trips where you're worried it might get stolen or something. It's good enough that you won't be suffering too much on the road, but it's not so valuable that you'll miss it terribly if it gets lost or stolen. I mean, if that's your only laptop, you might want a newer one if you find yourself relying on laptops a lot, but other than that it seems fine.

If you have no use for it yourself and you want to do a good deed, I would say giving that away to a poor college student who doesn't have any money left after buying a TI-84 and textbooks would be a very good deed. Someone out there could definitely use a machine like that to get them by for a while.
 

ng4ever

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That's still a perfectly serviceable laptop. I would say it's still good enough to use for light web surfing and productivity tasks. If it has a dedicated GPU, you could probably run a few games on it. I would say that's a good laptop to take with you on trips where you're worried it might get stolen or something. It's good enough that you won't be suffering too much on the road, but it's not so valuable that you'll miss it terribly if it gets lost or stolen. I mean, if that's your only laptop, you might want a newer one if you find yourself relying on laptops a lot, but other than that it seems fine.

If you have no use for it yourself and you want to do a good deed, I would say giving that away to a poor college student who doesn't have any money left after buying a TI-84 and textbooks would be a very good deed. Someone out there could definitely use a machine like that to get them by for a while.

Good idea.

The only bad thing when we went from a 1 TB to a 2 TB hard drive we accidentally bought a SMR drive not a CMR :( You can definitely feel the difference. Slower.

I know a SSD would make a huge difference.
 

michalrz

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Perfectly good machine. Well maybe not perfectly, but like athenian said all it really needs is a SSD. You just can't not have one for the OS and software, end of.
I have used such a config (well, the i5 version) for around 15 months until April this year and it really only gave me problems on really crappy coded ad-laden websites and those where audio/video autoplay is enabled (a mortal sin btw)
Now, if it were a bit older than that, let's say core 2, turion x2 or older I'd probably take out the display and use it for something. There are "universal" driver boards that can adapt a lot of popular matrices into screens, and if not, use the backlight and diffusers as a surprisingly pleasant lamp.
 
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I would hook it up to a 100Hz CRT and a good mouse, and use it to play Quake 3 during family LAN parties. That's what I do with my 10 year old laptop when the whole clan wants to get in on it.
 
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Your right but like I ask myself is it really worth it ?

If you don't want to buy an SSD, there's always ReadyBoost:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReadyBoost

Basically, if the laptop happens to have an SD card slot or a working USB port, you can use any flash storage device you have lying around as cache to avoid having to access the slow hard drive. It was the secret to getting decent performance out of Vista back in the mechanical hard drive era that most people didn't know about. The feature is still available, but between hybrid drives, cheaper SSDs, and stuff like Intel Optane technology, people don't think about it much anymore.
 

pendragon1

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If you don't want to buy an SSD, there's always ReadyBoost:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReadyBoost

Basically, if the laptop happens to have an SD card slot or a working USB port, you can use any flash storage device you have lying around as cache to avoid having to access the slow hard drive. It was the secret to getting decent performance out of Vista back in the mechanical hard drive era that most people didn't know about.
most didnt use it, 'cause it's crap.
 

Jinto

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I'd just ebay it. Often it is better to just sell stuff you don't need rather than try to make use out of it.

Was trying to see what I can use a old Dell laptop for and then realized everything I wanted to do on it could be done better with a RaspberryPi (Home Assistant, Pi-Hole etc). You may be surprised by how much you can get for them. My super old Dell XPS went for $200.
 

KarsusTG

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If it could reliably push 4k, you could mount it to the back of a tv and use it as a HTPC. Wireless keyboard/mouse on the coffee table. I believe steam streaming is still a thing, as well as the xbox streaming. There is always shadow as well, which has been pretty good for my purposes when I needed it.
 

hmz

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The old laptop is like an old phone. I usually recycle it.
 

MooCow

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Maybe keep it at a friend's house. In a dire emergency, if SHTF for you, like if your house burns down, you can head back to your friend's house so you have SOME computer to use.... in case you have to relocate to a hotel or live with .. in laws? LOL?
I wouldn't get rid of it until this chip shortage shit is behind us. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
 

LOCO LAPTOP

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When you said "really old laptop", I can in here expecting to see something with a Pentium 4.
It's true lol. I still use a old 2nd gen i5 Compaq in the garage for car stuff. Until HP ships out the custom built 15t-dw300 11th gen i5 I ordered.
Still got my HP Elitebook 8460p, which is a 2nd gen i7 that I use for on site work from time to time.
 

Format _C:

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HP Elitebook 8460p, which is a 2nd gen i7
I got a Dell Latitude E6420 at a GoodWill for $25 2nd gen core processor family, I wonder if I can stick a 3rd gen chip in as they use the same socket?
It has 8GB of ram i5-2520M no HDD but I had an 'extra' 256GB SSD laying around, well built and still a decent piece for how old it is.
 

pendragon1

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I got a Dell Latitude E6420 at a GoodWill for $25 2nd gen core processor family, I wonder if I can stick a 3rd gen chip in as they use the same socket?
It has 8GB of ram i5-2520M no HDD but I had an 'extra' 256GB SSD laying around, well built and still a decent piece for how old it is.
nope and that might be one of the higher chips it will take. we have some of those at work. with the 8g and a ssd they are totally usable still.
edit: https://www.dell.com/community/Laptops-General-Read-Only/E6420-CPU-Upgrade/td-p/3883162
 
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I got a Dell Latitude E6420 at a GoodWill for $25 2nd gen core processor family, I wonder if I can stick a 3rd gen chip in as they use the same socket?
It has 8GB of ram i5-2520M no HDD but I had an 'extra' 256GB SSD laying around, well built and still a decent piece for how old it is.

2nd gen quad core + 90W adapter is a common upgrade for Dells of this vintage. There're no guarantees of course, and a mid-level quad would probably yield the best results. I would scour the web for stories from people who've already done it.
 

pendragon1

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90W adapter
forgot that part, its important or the laptop will go into limp mode. been there, done that...
if he has the non-xfr model, he can get the ac and a i7-2760qm. thats the best it can do.
AND the bios will need updating first.
 

Format _C:

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forgot that part, its important or the laptop will go into limp mode. been there, done that...
if he has the non-xfr model, he can get the ac and a i7-2760qm. thats the best it can do.
AND the bios will need updating first.
It is on the newest BIOS that I had to get a battery for it to let me to the update, I have a 130W adapter from a Dell Inspiron AIO POS, also have a few 90 & 65W ones so I'm covered on that part
 

buschman31

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well since its on the topic of older laptop, i acquired three and one of them is a Dell Inspiron 5577. The person said that any kind of tense gaming on it the dedicated gpu would artifact/bluescreen under heavy loads but will normally under light loads or would just switch to the integrated gpu for normal usage. Would tearing it down and repasting both gpu and cpu with better thermal paste help any? can the dedicated gpu be repasted at all?
 

pendragon1

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well since its on the topic of older laptop, i acquired three and one of them is a Dell Inspiron 5577. The person said that any kind of tense gaming on it the dedicated gpu would artifact/bluescreen under heavy loads but will normally under light loads or would just switch to the integrated gpu for normal usage. Would tearing it down and repasting both gpu and cpu with better thermal paste help any? can the dedicated gpu be repasted at all?
worth a try and usually.
 
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well since its on the topic of older laptop, i acquired three and one of them is a Dell Inspiron 5577. The person said that any kind of tense gaming on it the dedicated gpu would artifact/bluescreen under heavy loads but will normally under light loads or would just switch to the integrated gpu for normal usage. Would tearing it down and repasting both gpu and cpu with better thermal paste help any? can the dedicated gpu be repasted at all?

It will probably help a lot. My Inspiron N4110 doesn't have a dedicated GPU, but I re-pasted the 2nd gen i3 with MX-5 and temps went down by 15C on idle and 25C degrees on load.
 

Shadowarez

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does linux still have drivers for older labtop gpus? got a old sony i7 with a nvidia discrete gpu, but had serious issues trying to make it use the built in nvidia gpu, but this gave me idea turn this into a machine for dad who could use it for basic's.
 

travm

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does linux still have drivers for older labtop gpus? got a old sony i7 with a nvidia discrete gpu, but had serious issues trying to make it use the built in nvidia gpu, but this gave me idea turn this into a machine for dad who could use it for basic's.
Linux has all the drivers, forever. Except for the ones it never had.
 

Shadowarez

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ty then i shall embark on this project and see if i cant make this machine viable again. as windows is outa the question.
 
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travm

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ty then i shall embark on this project and see if i cant make this machine viable again. as windows is outa the question.
There are a lot of sacrifices using Linux, drivers for old hardware however isn't one of them also if Nvidia has discontinued their proprietory driver for that GPU, the Nvidia open source drivers will work, but often have issues. Google would be your friend on this.
 

travm

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Shadowarez
If it's for basic use only the open source drivers will almost certainly work fine. It's typically the 3d acceleration that has issues.
Unfortunately most of my hardware is amd and I haven't had a chance to test older Nvidia gear, I do have an old Quadro card on the bench awaiting that, but I haven't gotten there yet.

I have several old laptops resurrected by Linux
 

travm

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very good to know any particular distro im familiar with Ubuntu,Elementary OS,
If you're new, Ubuntu or any of the variants. If you've been under the hood before, I'd recommend giving Arch a go. I believe it will replace Ubuntu as the goto distro in a few years

They are all built on the same foundation. Honestly the biggest difference between the big ones is their package managers and people who maintain them.
 
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