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Last post Author Topic: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!  (Read 12293 times)

Darwin

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Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« on: February 06, 2009, 08:42:35 AM »
I'm seriously tempted by some attractive deals on notebook CPU's that are floating around on the web.

Unfortunately, I've discovered that the T5750 (65nm Memron) chip in my Gateway notebook is easily upgraded to a 45nm Penryn chip (T8xxx or T9xxx series). There is something wrong with me... I can't help jonesing for more speed and a larger cache. On paper, going from 65nm to 45nm and newer technology will yield greater battery life and cooler operation = (slightly?) longer hardware life and a 2.0Ghz to 2.4-2.6GHz boost should noticebly improve overall performance.

The reality is that, while I do some amateur level photo editing and vector/raster illustration, my usage of this machine is pretty average: e-mail, internet, and Office applications, and the rational part of my mind (which sadly is quite a small slice of the pie) doesn't quite see how this upgrade will do more for me than lighten my wallet (or burden my credit card  :o) and give me bragging rights ( :)).

Specs on the notebook:

2.0Ghz T5750 (2MB cache 667FSB) - motherboard will limit me to 667Mhz FSB regardless of the chip that I install, and yes I understand that I am limited to 800Mhz chips, so T8100 and T8300 and the T9300 and T9500 - sweet spot would be either the T8300 or the T9300.
7200 rpm harddrive (Sata-III)
4GB RAM at 667 Mhz

This upgrade would cost somewhere between $300 and $450 depending on what chip I choose and where I source it...

So, what do people think?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

app103

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 09:13:42 AM »
How likely is the price to come down within the next 6 months to a year?

If it is likely to drop, then put this thought on the shelf and don't cave into your desires just yet. Revisit the idea in 6 months.

Also, will the new CPU extend the life of the notebook long enough to justify it? If it can add another 3-5 years to the length of time before the notebook becomes obsolete, it might be worth it, if the entire notebook can live that long, too.

If the notebook isn't likely to live that long with or without the upgrade, it's probably not worth it.

Ideally you would want your computer to be able to run whatever is the current OS and software. If it lasts till 2 OS versions from now but can't run that OS that is current then, then it joins my 11 yr old P1 as an official snail. Try to avoid that as much as possible. It's a miserable existence.  :(

When I purchased my new desktop pc back in October, I selected hardware that would definitely run Vista and Win7, and most likely whatever comes after that (and perhaps after that, with some minimal upgrades), with the hopes that it will live long enough to see that.  I got the best I could afford that made sense.

If my PC can live till a Q6600 with 4G ram isn't enough, then I spent my money well.  On the other hand, if it dies shortly after the warranty runs out in 3 years, then I haven't.

Now hopefully I have helped you think with your head and not your heart.

justice

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 09:20:48 AM »
Just follow the "wait x months as a new platform/cpu/chipset will come out that is better" crowd.

f0dder

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 09:30:23 AM »
Yes, going 65->45nm will save some heat and battery... but the increase in clock frequency will even it out. Plus, you're probably not going to take much notice of the additional speed, except if you spend a lot of time using a lot of photoshop/whatever plugins.

I'd say save the money in a savings account... every time you feel tempted to upgrade your current laptop, set aside the money. That way, once it breaks, you might just have enough cash to buy a new laptop, which will be nicer and faster since you get all-new parts.
- carpe noctem

tomos

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2009, 09:50:06 AM »
buy something else for "$300 [to] $450" ??
ouch

you know you could get one of those cheap eee type laptops  - I better go here before I get lynched lol
Tom

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2009, 10:00:31 AM »
i agree with f0dder -- not worth spending the money on the upgrade; save it for a year from today's date and then buy a new laptop.

Darwin

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2009, 11:03:12 AM »
Actually, what app cautions is in line with what the more rational part of my brain is saying: what I've got is powerful enough for either Vista or Windows 7 so I'm probably good for the next two to five years. Hell, my PIIIE notebook still flies with Win2k and Office 2003...

Anyway, thanks everyone. I had pretty much talked myself out of this before posting, but wanted to be sure that my reasons NOT to do it are sound. Right, off to deposit $450 in my savings account  ;D

PS:

buy something else for "$300 [to] $450" ??
ouch

you know you could get one of those cheap eee type laptops  - I better go here before I get lynched lol

No fear, tomos! An eee WOULD be a better use of my money, though I don't need one at the moment (my XP notebook only weighs 3 pounds and runs Office 2007 without drama or complaint).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

tinjaw

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2009, 06:20:41 PM »
When I am in this situation telling me not to buy it doesn't help. So I'll try this and see if it works for you. If it does, then maybe I will try it on myself.

Spoiler
BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT
BUY IT NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE !!!!


gpetrant

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2009, 07:50:19 PM »
I never listen to the rational part of my brain.  For the last two decades it has never told me a single thing I wanted to hear.  Not one.  I won't bore you with the details of how it wrecked prom night for me back in '87.  Suffice it to say she married the guy who said 'golly, I'd love to have kids with you.  No, I don't need to think about it.  My VW Beetle is out back, let's go before I get too drunk.'  Well, from that day forward, I put my rational brain in the doghouse.  So, in summary, Darwin, listen to your other brain.  You're young and got your whole life in front of you.  Don't make the same mistake I did.  Tha...that's all I have to say right now...I...I'm starting to get emotional over my lost youth again...
Shywolf

Carol Haynes

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2009, 07:57:04 PM »
I have a solution ...

  • Keep a wish list
  • when you want to buy something write it down (it is astonishing how quickly the list becomes enormous)
  • don't actually buy anything until it has been on the list for a couple of weeks.

Generally I find that things lose their desire factor if your wait.

Having said that i still buy things impulsively - but I have avoided buying a lot of things that have been dumped onto my Amazon wishlist and have now sat there quite happily for a couple of years!

tomos

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2009, 03:55:52 AM »

NANY 2009 Release: WishList Maker
mind you I'm half afraid to write down all the things I would like ...
Tom

40hz

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2009, 02:15:20 PM »
Got a significant other? They can help.

Back when I was kicking the cigarette habit, my girlfriend offered me an interesting option.

Every time I reached for a cigarette, she'd offer me a kiss instead.

Wasn't long before I quit smoking. (Fortunately, the kisses have kept right on coming. w00t!  ;))

« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 02:18:04 PM by 40hz »

Deozaan

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Re: Please talk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2009, 03:36:51 PM »
Back when I was kicking the cigarette habit, my girlfriend offered me an interesting option.

Every time I reached for a cigarette, she'd offer me a kiss instead.

You know what they say, in order to break a bad habit you need to replace it with a good habit. ;)

Now that's positive reinforcement! :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 12:58:24 PM by Deozaan »

zridling

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2009, 08:17:20 AM »
Darwin, how long do you keep a notebook, 2, 3, 4 years? If it's on the long side, upgrade now. If you're switching to another machine every 2-3 years, always go with cheaper hardware. My favorite machine is not my newest one, but my 2000 machine, still running all original parts. It's slow today, but I got my money's worth.

Darwin

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2009, 09:05:18 AM »
Heh, heh - I still have a BIG soft spot for my Win2k Notebook (RAM and Harddrive both upgraded but otherwise original)  :)

I tend to keep my equipment for a long time - this current generation notebook replaces a 2003 model Centrino.

I'm still struggling with this upgrade, but have decided to bide my time until either prices come down or a killer deal presents itself.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2009, 09:08:26 AM »
Quote
or a killer deal presents itself.

sounds like an excuse to buy something new when you know you shouldn't.

Darwin

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2009, 11:26:43 AM »
Quote
or a killer deal presents itself.

sounds like an excuse to buy something new when you know you shouldn't.

 >:( Am I that transparent  ;D

You're right though - whenever I give this much thought I can't see the point. I guess the sensible thing to do is use it as is until prices come down... a lot and then see if I really need to bother. I certainly don't NEED this now  :o
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 11:28:39 AM by Darwin »

justice

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2009, 04:09:54 PM »
[nevermind]

wreckedcarzz

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2009, 11:48:28 PM »
<semi-on-topic-but-not-quite>

I've been looking to upgrade my aged-quicker-than-expected laptop, but not as drastic in price. Right now I've got a 1.6GHz Celeron D and 512MB DDR RAM, powering Vista Home Premium - the warranty is out and the monitor is half broken off, so at this point breaking it isn't a major issue (its not a goal, though).

HP offers the whole CPU line for the notebook (1.2-2.0GHz I think), and supposedly they are all interchangeable, but I don't know if you can just get the CPU itself from them (eBay maybe). There is 2GB of DDR (the max amount/fastest) for $106 USD from Crucial. I don't know if $180 (guessing there) is worth saving an almost 4 year old notebook, though. It's been through just about everything bad you could do to a computer (dropping 3"-4', landing on monitor, holding by monitor, massive dust buildup, it hit 96C a couple days ago (temporary fan issues), ketchup in one speaker, a dead bug in the monitor latch, barely identifiable volume buttons, 2 motherboard replacements and more reformats than any computer on the planet, the list goes on).

All it is used for now is some light gaming (Trackmania/Halo/Runescape/browser games), typing up reports and browsing the web, but I plan on keeping it around to Windows 7 and beyond, so I'm not sure if I should upgrade it or just hold out on what I have. Thoughts?

f0dder

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2009, 07:55:36 AM »
I personally wouldn't go about replacing the CPU of a laptop, since it's one of those larger surgical procedures - and while it's damn easy splitting electronic equipment to pieces, it can be somewhat of an ordeal to fit the pieces back together again.

Since you've only got 512meg in the laptop and running Vista (:o :o :o) I feel pretty confident in saying that you will feel a pretty big performance boost by replacing the 512meg stick with 1 or 2 gigabytes. I dunno if I'd spend ~$100 on memory for an old and semi-broken laptop, but if you plan on using it for a while (and you use it regularly) it'd probably be money well spent. Forget about CPU upgrade though, unless it's supercheap and you don't mind potentially trashing the machine :)
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2009, 09:29:51 AM »
Wouldn't you be better off buying a new cheap laptop. OK it will cost you more but there are loads of cheap laptops about these days and they will all improve your experience of Vista enormously (esp. if you go for 2Gb of RAM). I wouldn't bother with upgrades for a 4 year old laptop - it is only a matter of time before it will need uneconomic repairs such as replacing the keyboard, screen components or even a BIOS battery. It recently took me ages to track down a laptop BIOS battery for a DELL computer that was about 4 years old for a client - I ended up, with their permission, ordering the battery from Singapore and it cost around £30 (UKP) - which is about $45. They wanted to extract a little more life from the laptop so they were happy to pay £30 for a battery that should have cost £2 but the nature of these things is that components become unavailable and expensive over time.

f0dder

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2009, 09:53:04 AM »
Carol: £30 for a BIOS battery? W-T-F?

You're right about a new laptop being a lot better investment than just a 2gig memory stick, but (at least here in .dk :)) ~$100 doesn't get you very far. A netbook-style thing (which you aren't going to game or run vista on) would be at least $500, and you'd need at least $666 for a decent (albeit relatively low-end) laptop.
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2009, 10:30:09 AM »
Agreed. Updating the CPU on an old notebook is not ECONOMICAL (doesn’t seem that econonical on a new one, either!) as the ROI is very low. Example, when my now 9 year old notebook was two or so years old, I really wanted to upgrade its PIIIE 600Mhz CPU to something faster. Unfortunately, the BIOS limits the computer to no more than 800MHz. Even on that equipment, I’d never notice the difference in speed, and the price was astronomical. FWIW it’s still running that PIIIE chip and runs like a champ. My son and I played CFS on it last night - great fun!

In my case, I was curious about the effects of a 30% increase in processor speed combined with reduced battery wear, lower operating temperatures, AND more advanced processing capabilities/features... (SSE4, for example) on relatively current equipment. This particular Gateway is CPU upgradeable and will accept any compatbile chip - there are literally thousands of forum threads devoted to documenting the upgrade to various newer chips, so I’m not worried about the surgical aspect in my case. However, as many others have noted in this thread, I am unlikely to notice the difference (only my wallet will know!). To wit:

I finally played with a friends T8300 machine (2.4Ghz) running similar equipment to mine (15.4” WXGA monitor,7200 rpm harddrive, 4GB of RAM and 256MB dedicated video memory) except downgraded to XP Pro 32-bit. I really didn’t see any difference worth spending several hundred dollars and voiding my warranty to obtain. I expect that having several hours compare, say, editing video on it and on my machine might reveal major advantages but I don’t edit video... To be honest, I much prefer my setup - I run Vista 64-bit with all graphics options enabled and it is beautiful and SNAPPY. His machine is for some unfathomable reason set to 1024x768 and Windows Classic and looks NASTY. My five year old XP machine is set to Windows Classic as well, but is running its 14.1” monitor at native resolution and looks fine.

So, as I’ve stated in the past, I *know* that in my case this is a severe expression of upgradeitis and I started this thread so that people with more self control and a firmer grasp on reality could line up to kick me in the ass for contemplating a fairly silly expenditure. Thanks guys (send bags of peas, please)!

Brandon - you will notice a huge, HUGE difference in performance if you upgrade your RAM - far more so than in going from 1.6 to 2.0Ghz processing power. Another very effective speed boost comes from going to a 7200 rpm harddrive. If you’re ruinnig SATA in your notebook, the prices have come down a lot and the capacities are competitive. A four year old notebook is worth simple upgrades but not, as I hope I have noted effectively, major upgrades such as to the CPU. Of course, if  your notebook is in bad condition as you say, maybe it IS time to upgrade the whole thing. Note, though, that you can things like monitor hinges and casings on eBay quite cheaply. I recently replaced the LCD in my Win2k machine for $45 courtesy of eBay...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2009, 12:35:16 PM »
Carol: £30 for a BIOS battery? W-T-F?

It was a Dell laptop and they had chosen to use a rechargeable button battery that was not available in Europe or the US (even from Dell). The problem was that the battery design had changed over the years. When the computer was new it was a plain button battery but by the time it needed replacing all the batteries of the same size came with 'legs' welded on which couldn't be removed without damaging the battery. The only place I could find a 'legless' version was from Singapore and they were horrendously expensive (mainly because they used UPS to deliver and refused to consider any other method of delivery - that was about 80% of the cost).

It was a choice between buying a battery from Singapore or buying a new laptop.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Please tallk me off the ledge... Intervention needed!
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2009, 12:36:20 PM »
If you’re ruinnig SATA in your notebook

Now that would be naughty ...