I recently learnt a few things about my Vaio CW Core i3-330m laptop using the program CPU-Z:
- My laptop processor is a socket 989 rPGA and is thus not soldered onto the motherboard.
- My laptop's chipset is PM55 - not good enough to support SATA3 speeds but will take a SATAII SSD easily.
- My laptop's optical drive can be replaced with a caddy to support more storage.
So understanding the above, I bought:
- A refurbished OCZ Vertex 2 160GB Sata2 SSD ~ £43 (Scan's eBay outlet)
- A HDD caddy to replace my optical drive ~£7 (eBay)
- A Core i7 620M processor ~£60 (Some student on eBay)
- New thermal paste £3 on Amazon.
Today I put the thing all together. I ran a new installation of windows using a programme that saves your previous windows activation to a file. This is crucial if you have a laptop that came with windows pre-installed. You can just re-download the iso for the edition of windows you have from Microsoft and then reactivate when you're done.
I had to open the whole thing but this was easy after seeing a few Chinese tech workshop magicians on YouTube doing mods to replace the power connector. There's about 25 screws worth of work to be done. I had recently cleaned out the fan/heatsink assembly using compressed air and I was surprised how clean it was when I opened the actual casing. No work needed to be done.
The thermal paste that Sony used to put it together could be described as a microscopic blob so I am not surprised the device has been blowing out superheated air recently. As I write this there is cool air issuing from the vent and the battery is draining at a reasonable amount.
The fresh install of windows, coupled with a SSD and a processor that's about 150% of the previous one makes programs such as unity boot up in 7 seconds whereas before I would be waiting nearly a minute. Monodevelop is the worst for this. It was really frustrating. I have my old HDD in the optical drive replacement caddy so if this install goes tits up I can just switch my boot order in the bios (Good for when you have to give a presentation...).
So, for £113 I avoided buying a new laptop and serviced one I bought in 2010 to be actually usable. it feels brand new. I am going to make SO MUCH COOL SHIT SO MUCH FASTER.