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Laptop Upgrade Success!

Vaio CW i3 i3-330m i7 i7-620m

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#1 Carrion Crow

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 02:26 PM

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.

 

 

~Technical Crow

 

 



#2 Belross

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:23 PM

Nice work! Without a doubt, upgrading to an SSD is the single most amazing thing anyone can do for a computer. I upgraded my mid 2009 era iBUYPOWER laptop to an SSD about a year ago, and the difference was staggering, it was like using a brand new modern-era laptop.

 

I didn't think to check about upgrading the CPU - I know it's a Core 2 Duo and that's about it. Honestly I'm more restricted by the RAM at this point - last I checked, 4 GB is the max it supports (which it already has) but maybe I'll look further into that.

 

Even though I can squeeze at least another year or two out of this beast, I still have fantasies of buying a new Macbook Pro for the sweet, sweet Retina display, or an Acer Aspire S7 for the low weight and great battery life. My main complaints about my current laptop are A) the battery life is dogshit, literally under 2 hours, and B) it seriously weighs about 10 pounds.


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#3 Carrion Crow

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:12 PM

The one thing that irks me about ultrabooks is the omission of a dedicated graphics chip. It's nice to be able to run 3D apps in a way that doesn't make your eyes bleed.

 

Macs are another whole bunch of issues. They're practically obsolete (in comparison to PCs) by a year by the time they roll out the hardware. There is no way I would buy an MBP without applecare either as it is too large an investment. They seem to have low DIY repairability also.

 

Summary: you better be rich.



#4 Warped655

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 05:18 PM

Yeah I wish I could do something like this to my desktop but its like 7-8 years old now. I pretty much need to spend a grand in order to upgrade, something I feel like I wont be capable of doing in a long long time.


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#5 Carrion Crow

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:45 PM

I hope you're all backed up. With that amount of water under the bridge I would be worrying about my mechanical HDDs falling off the cliff.



#6 Warped655

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:07 PM

ship already sailed. i replaced the hdd 6 months ago or so.

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