• This topic has 22 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by DrP.
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  • Upgrading and old laptop ~ worth it??
  • Premier Icon P20
    Full Member

    The laptop is slow….. It’s running windows 10 and hasn’t got that much on it, it’s not been used much since it’s last clean install. It works, but takes awhile to fire up etc.

    Its this: https://www.asus.com/Laptops/ASUS-ZenBook-UX32A/

    so is it worth spending the money £60-£100 on more memory and an ssd to keep it going, or just accept its old?

    Premier Icon scuttler
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    SSD upgrade on a Windows 7 Dell XPS a couple of years back made a massive difference to it. SSD prices continue to drop so start there**, then RAM if you need it but as it’s Windows 10 compatible definitely not worth binning.

    ** Your choice whether you clone the disk or reinstall Windows too for extra funk.

    Premier Icon seadog101
    Full Member

    SSD for sure. Popped one in an old old pentium powered laptop, reinstalled Win10.

    Start up in 30 secs, runs quiet and cool. Apart from weighing a ton and having about 10mins on battery, it’s a great machine!

    Perhaps not that quick for resource heavy work, but does everything else really well.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
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    Yes. 3rd Gen is the oldest stuff we currently upgrade in work. I’m told, and this is only my Techies combined opinion rather than fact Gen3 to Gen7 i-series CPUs are only incrementally better than each other and the real advancement between series was in power consumption.

    DDR3 RAM and SSDs are so cheap now it’s a bit of a no brainer.

    Premier Icon TurnerGuy
    Free Member

    Techies combined opinion rather than fact Gen3 to Gen7 i-series CPUs are only incrementally better

    not sure I agree with that – I have two dells with the same specs but different gen i7s and one is quite a bit faster than the other.

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    It depends what you want to use it for.

    I was recently given (or rather someone dumped on me!) an ancient Samsung laptop which was last running XP.

    It couldn’t even run the Windows 7 update checker tool so was to all intents and purposes useless.

    However, I’ve installed Chromium OS on it and it’s absolutely fine for browsing and light WP duties. If that’s all you want to use it for, you could save yourself £100.

    Premier Icon brassneck
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    If it’s an i5 (of any gen) that’s well worth doing – 8Gb and an SSD would be ample.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
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    not sure I agree with that – I have two dells with the same specs but different gen i7s and one is quite a bit faster than the other.

    They collectively support around 4000 PCs.

    Although I’ll refrain from getting all ranty about what ‘i3 / i5 /i7’ actually means (not much) but when we consider upgrading or repairing a PC we consider, it is going to be usable – that means, will it boot before the user loses their mind, will it run current OS and software without stalling or crashing, more importantly will it run multiple software without stalling or crashing.

    Again, when we talk about software we’re thinking about office suite stuff, adobe PDF stuff and things like that, not the latest CAD software or fancy video editing software.

    So yeah, I can well believe a newer i7 is faster than an older one, but a lot of the time that can be affected by other factors like the rest of the hardware, the age of the drive, the speed and spec of the ram things like that. Often as well, it can be the spec of that particular CPU – after all an ‘i7’ can have 2, 4, 6 or 8 cores depending when it was made and what hardware it was designed for.

    Anyway, you’re right, it’s not as clear cut as I made out, but in short, from someone who’s job it is to advise on this kind of thing – as a rule of thumb 3rd Gen and newer i-series stuff is worth upgrading or repairing if the rest of the kit is generally okay, older stuff, probably not. That’s not to say a Duo Core 2 based computer won’t benefit from a bit more ram and an SSD, it’s just that the benefits will be less, and you might just be investing in something that’s going to fail for a couple of other reasons at any moment. Equally if you’re upgrading hardware to jump from a 4th gen i5 to a 7th gen, don’t be too surprised if the perceived benefit doesn’t match what you’d expect by their benchmark score. (7th to 8th Gen was a bigger leap than average)

    Premier Icon P20
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    Excellent. Thank you all 👍🏻

    Ill give an ssd a go first then maybe try the ram. Any good free software to copy the existing drive ? Or is windows 10 a free download?

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    TBH if it’s only got 1GB of RAM as per the link I’d be tempted to do that first. Though the price of SSDs has tumbled dramatically.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Full Member

    Excellent. Thank you all 👍🏻

    Ill give an ssd a go first then maybe try the ram. Any good free software to copy the existing drive ? Or is windows 10 a free download?

    It’s usually better to complete a fresh install of Win10 – you’ll need a USB drive to create an image and somewhere to store your data to transfer it back (if you want to) and you’ll need to reinstall any software you have – if you have any bought software you’ll need to know the log-in / license codes. Win10 will auto-activate.

    If you prefer you can clone – EaseUS or Acronis have good cloning products, I think they have a free version for home users.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
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    TBH if it’s only got 1GB of RAM as per the link I’d be tempted to do that first. Though the price of SSDs has tumbled dramatically.

    I haven’t noticed that, the link is possibly a bit out, they often lump a load of similar models together.

    Most ‘shipped’ with 4GB, 2 onboard and soldered and 2 removable. Crucial list 10GB max, which is slightly more than you probably need. 8GB is pretty standard for current devices – you can decide if you want 6 or 10 (assuming I’m correct above).

    Premier Icon scuttler
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    You can buy some SSDs with SATA/USB adaptor included in a ‘starter kit’ (or buy separately) which makes cloning and data transfer easier. Exactly how you do it depends on whether you’re cloning or reimaging but without some USB-ness your options to setup are more limited. Most of the drive manufacturers (ISTR I bought Samsung EVO) include cloning and data transfer software that is crippled to only work with their drives so you probably won’t need to get anything else.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Yeah, if it’s already got 4GB I’d do the SSD first fo’ sho’.

    Premier Icon P20
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    Ah, sorry, forgot to state it’s 4gig ram. 2 of which isn’t removeable according to crucial device scanner. So presumably I could add a 4gig or 8gig chip? States max of 10

    Premier Icon ji
    Free Member

    I recently added an SSD and maxed out the RAM on a 2012 Samsung Elite book laptop. Runs really well now for usual home stuff (Office, web browsing, occasional photo editing, Minecraft etc). Well worth the few quid it cost

    Premier Icon P20
    Full Member

    Update!

    not a good one though ☹️

    So I bought 8gb ram and a 480gb Kingston ssd. Went together nicely. Fired the laptop up, loaded the initial screen then nothing…… blank screen. Keyboard would light when firing up and hdd light came on but nothing from the screen. Somehow I’ve killed it. It’s been checked by a local repair place and it’s dead 😱

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Where are you geographically?

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    Put original memory in, leave new SSD, and try again !

    Premier Icon sobriety
    Free Member

    If it’s still dead after that then put the original HDD back in and see if it fires up.

    If it’s dead then, then yes it’s probably dead.

    But there’s a good chance that it doesn’t like the RAM or the bios doesn’t like the new SSD, I’ve had some fun and games with that in the past.

    Edit: And as Cougar said, where are you? There’s plenty of folk on here who do this kind of stuff for a living/are talented amateurs who enjoy a challenge that someone may well be able to assist you if they’re local…

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    To answer the original question – most of the stuff you do and most of the time you spent waiting for a PC is it loading stuff from or saving stuff to disk. CPUs have always been far faster than hard drives (and still are) so the disk is the bottleneck. So, making the disk 10x faster makes the whole machine 10x faster (almost). The only times it doesn’t are when you are doing things that focus on the CPU which is mostly either games or stuff like video or image editing.

    Therefore, it is nearly always worth upgrading an old system with an SSD and it’ll fly, far quicker than a modern system with a normal HD in almost all situations. As said, we have a 10 year old laptop with a 2 core Celeron and SSD and it’s really quick.

    Premier Icon P20
    Full Member

    I tried the various combinations of old and new hdd and ram. Nothing. It’s dead. The shop tried (local independent) various and was baffled.

    I’ve bit the bullet and bought a new laptop

    Premier Icon DrP
    Free Member

    When I was at Uni I used to understand all ‘this’..used to build and upgrade computers etc etc!

    Now it all seems like a foreign language… I can see why my grandparents wince and cower at the idea of owning a PC!

    DrP

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