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  1. #1
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    Hi all,

    I have an old Asus Z71A laptop with a Pentium M (Dothan) 1.73 processor and approx. 500 meg of RAM. I really, really like this old laptop but it's just too slow with current software. I recently reinstalled Windows XP Home from the ground up after a reformat of the HDD. The HDD is 60 gig, 5400 rpm IDE with only 5 gig used.

    I was looking at three possible upgrades to speed it up to an acceptable speed level:

    1. New SSD drive but it doesn't look like the IDE (PATA?) SSD drives are nearly as fast as the SATA. Is that correct?
    2. More RMA.....1 gig max. for this laptop.
    3. Faster processor if I can find one at 2.5mhz.

    Any suggestions or guidance for me?

    Note: I replaced this with a Sony VAI with Vista. I don't like Vista and don't like the keyboard. I'd really like to go back to my old trusty ASUS.

    Thanks,
    BH

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    I would probably rate the impact of the different options by decreasing potential impact like this:

    1. RAM (but at 1 GB it's still not much)
    2. SSD Disk change
    3. CPU change

    I understand being attached to the old PC, but in all of this I would probably suggest that you forget the old Asus, and upgrade your Vaio to Windows 7. With a clean, Windows 7 install (and without the usual load of bloat from Sony), your VAIO will improve a lot in performance, over Vista. I frankly don't think it's a good return on your money to spend much on an old computer (and that Asus likely has a few years, I would guess it is from 2003 / 2004) - please don't be offended if this sounds blunt, it's not meant to.

    I have an oldie too, also a Pentium M (1.8 GHZ), also with a 60 GB disk, but it has the max possible RAM- 2 GB (it's a Toshiba Tecra M4). With Windows 7 it performs quite acceptably for such an old machine. Maybe an option for you? If it doesn't work out, you could always remove Windows 7 and install it on the VAIO. I did that on my old laptop and was quite surprised with the performance difference over XP!

    Regards

    Rui
    Rui
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  3. #3
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    Rui,

    I really appreciate your taking the time to share your experience.

    I have already pretty much decided that if I'm going to be stuck with the VIO I will do the upgrade to Windows 7. Good suggestion to try it on the old ASUS first.

    I tried to downgrade the VIO to XP but the setup disk won't recognize the hard drive. I spoke to Sony and they said that was normal. I'm not quite sure why........perhaps something in the format system or perhaps in the BIOS?

    BH

  4. #4
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    It just occurred to me.....I haven't done this in years...........but do you think I could overclock the thing?
    BH

  5. #5
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    BH,

    I have read other Loungers stating that they had Windows 7 running with 1 GB of RAM, but I am not sure if it will run in a way to "impress you" with only 512 MB.

    About XP not recognizing the drive, likely is because XP does not natively support SATA drives. This arcticle provides more info and a possible solution to that.

    Whatever you do, if you care so much for your old laptop as you seem to, image it before adding W7 to it. That way you will always be able to return it to its current state, if you want to.

    Regards

    Rui
    Rui
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhdavis View Post
    It just occurred to me.....I haven't done this in years...........but do you think I could overclock the thing?
    BH
    I am not informed about the Pentium M's ability to be overclocked. Not sure how easy that would be on a laptop, either. Maybe someone else can offer some advice about that. I would think, though, that with your current setup, the limiting factor is RAM. Any noticeable performance improvement would have to come from going 1 GB, before anything else.
    Rui
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Overclocking a laptop is never a good idea for the obvious reasons:
    1 Most laptop BIOS's are limited and don't alow it for for very good reasons...
    2 Heat build up in a laptop is always a potential problem even without overclocking.
    3 Voltage increases will wear down the battery much faster.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  8. #8
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    My 6 year old laptop runs XP and has loads of stuff loaded - camera, phones, scanner, software, firewall etc. It is slow to boot but once running it's more than sufficient for all that I do. About a year ago it was being very slow and screen refresh was like treacle, so I doubled the RAM from 1GB to 2GB. Now it's fast and smooth, even with the MP3 player going whilst it's being used. At this rate I'll replace it when it dies rather than for performance reasons.

    cheers, Paul

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