Laptop Upgrade Advice

15
Posted 11th May
Hi,

I'm not sure if this is the place to post this, but I’m sure I’ll soon find out.

My wife and I both have two laptops that are about 10 years old and for some time I've considered upgrading one of them.

My son has now asked if he can use one to stream from his console with a video capture card (he'd also need to edit the videos too) and play the occasional game on (possibly Fortnite and Roblox).

As we've just moved house I'm not ready to purchase a new laptop so would like some advice if I could make one of these laptops capable again or they are a lost cause and therefore should wait until I can get a decent laptop or tower.

Would anyone be able to advice if either of these laptops are upgradable and what you'd suggest:


Mine is the Acer Aspire 8930G and has the following specs:

# Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit.
# Processor: Intel Core2 Dou CPU P8600 @ 2.4GHz

# RAM: 4GB DDR3 (Installed) / 3GB (Total Physical Memory)

# HD: 640GB

# Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9700M GT

*I can’t find the details but the sticker on the laptop says 512MB and after typing DirectX Diagnostic Tool in the Run menu it says Approx. Total Memory 1776MB (so not sure)

# Display: 1920 x 1080 (32 bit) (60Hz)

*The laptop sticker says HDMI out, is that normal as surely any capture card from a console would require HDMI in too?

The DirectX Diagnostic Tool menu also states 3GB of RAM but I believe that bit OS only detect up to 3GB as the control panel clearly state 4GB.

Vista is a big drain but I’m not sure what to change it too?



According to Crucial website the laptop upgrade to:

An SSD drive (I’m unsure if this is additional or replacing existing) the RAM is saying max 4gb however I’ve seen other places say 6gb or 8gb.



My Wife’s is the Packard Bell EasyNote TE and has the following specs:

# Windows 10 Home 64 bit.
# Processor: Intel Celeron CPU B820 @ 1.7GHz

# RAM: 8GB DDR3 (it says slots used 2 of 4)

# HD: 750GB

# Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics



According to Crucial website the laptop upgrade to:

16GB RAM (I presume this would be an additional 2 x 4GB?) and SSD drive (I’m unsure if this is additional or replacing existing)



Since upgrading my wife’s laptop to Windows 10 from 7 it has slowed big time but I can’t find the original key.
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15 Comments
I'm no expert in laptop upgrades and so on, but I had an old laptop with similar specs. I did replace HDD to SSD and it made a bit quicker to load, but in general it doesn't make much sense trying to upgrade laptop that is 10 years old. however, if you decide to do it anyway, exchanging HDD to SSD, upgrading RAM, changing fan and thermal paste is probably the way to start. Upgrading from Windows vista too.

I would rather hunt for a decent deal on a refurbished laptop that is not made of ancient components.
Unfortunately those laptops aren't good enough for what your son wants to do, even if you upgrade them. If your budget is very limited you could get a used tower PC with quad core i5 like this (you would need to install a graphics card for gaming): ebay.co.uk/itm…N=1
Is it the processors that are limiting?

I thought upgrading them to 8gb and 16gb respectively would be good and is the NVIDIA Graphics Card any good?
StevenRogers11/05/2020 19:48

Is it the processors that are limiting?I thought upgrading them to 8gb and …Is it the processors that are limiting?I thought upgrading them to 8gb and 16gb respectively would be good and is the NVIDIA Graphics Card any good?


The 9700M GT is roughly on par with the integrated graphics of 7th gen Core i processors, which struggles to play Fortnite at minimum settings when paired with a substantially better processor than the one found in your laptop.

As mentioned above, your laptops are simply too old to get the results you want even with upgrades. You are better off pooling that money and putting it towards getting a modern entry level quad core laptop.
As others have said, upgrading is a bit of a lost cause now at least for the first one. At least in the conventional sense.
However, all is not lost. There are a decreasing amount of 32bit Linux Distros about, but I would recommend trying a few out from this list itsfoss.com/lig…rs/
I would go for Linux Mint first. I would then search out a second hand video capture card if you really want to do that. Linux itself would cope.
ElGofre11/05/2020 20:35

The 9700M GT is roughly on par with the integrated graphics of 7th gen …The 9700M GT is roughly on par with the integrated graphics of 7th gen Core i processors, which struggles to play Fortnite at minimum settings when paired with a substantially better processor than the one found in your laptop. As mentioned above, your laptops are simply too old to get the results you want even with upgrades. You are better off pooling that money and putting it towards getting a modern entry level quad core laptop.


What gen would the processor be on the link above. Is there a way of telling.

I built a pc as a teenager, about 15 years ago but too much has changed.
StevenRogers11/05/2020 22:10

What gen would the processor be on the link above. Is there a way of …What gen would the processor be on the link above. Is there a way of telling.I built a pc as a teenager, about 15 years ago but too much has changed.


Which link?

You can tell the processor generation of Intel's Core i3/i5/i7 and AMD's Ryzen R3/R5/R7 bu the first digit in the processor number, for example a Core i5 8600 would be an eighth generation processor or a Ryzen 3200G would be a third generation processor. With the lower end lines like the Celeron/Pentium for Intel and Athlon for AMD, the naming structure is less straightforward, but you should be getting a Core i or Ryzen processor anyway.
Edited by: "ElGofre" 11th May
ElGofre11/05/2020 22:15

Which link?You can tell the processor generation of Intel's Core i3/i5/i7 …Which link?You can tell the processor generation of Intel's Core i3/i5/i7 and AMD's Ryzen R3/R5/R7 bu the first digit in the processor number, for example a Core i5 8600 would be an eighth generation processor or a Ryzen 3200G would be a third generation processor. With the lower end lines like the Celeron/Pentium for Intel and Athlon for AMD, the naming structure is less straightforward, but you should be getting a Core i or Ryzen processor anyway.


M3racer123 but a link to a pc
StevenRogers11/05/2020 22:34

M3racer123 but a link to a pc


So that’s a 9th gen i3.

The higher the gen the newer and more cores & threads?
Is i3, i5, i7 like phones with lite, standard, plus/pro?
And do they directly compare to the AMDs that you mention?
Edited by: "StevenRogers" 11th May
tardytortoise11/05/2020 22:01

As others have said, upgrading is a bit of a lost cause now at least for …As others have said, upgrading is a bit of a lost cause now at least for the first one. At least in the conventional sense.However, all is not lost. There are a decreasing amount of 32bit Linux Distros about, but I would recommend trying a few out from this list https://itsfoss.com/lightweight-linux-beginners/I would go for Linux Mint first. I would then search out a second hand video capture card if you really want to do that. Linux itself would cope.


Thanks for that, would it be pest to partition the drive and keep Vista on too for the drivers and I case I sell on?
StevenRogers11/05/2020 22:39

Thanks for that, would it be pest to partition the drive and keep Vista on …Thanks for that, would it be pest to partition the drive and keep Vista on too for the drivers and I case I sell on?



StevenRogers11/05/2020 22:39

Thanks for that, would it be pest to partition the drive and keep Vista on …Thanks for that, would it be pest to partition the drive and keep Vista on too for the drivers and I case I sell on?



TBH I don't really think it is worth that much other than to someone who would want to invest a little time eeking it out for a specific purpose rather than as an everyday machine. But, yeah, everything has a value and I reckon you could get £50 for it.
Sure, the drive is a reasonable size for it to be partitioned. What really matters though is your data and you should already have at least 2, preferably 3 copies of that data elsewhere. Unless of course the data has no significance or importance.
Installing most major Linux Distros does the partitioning for you if you elect to install linux alongside your current OS. In that way, you have a duel boot machine which will run either Vista or Linux whichever you choose at boot.
By going down the linux route, you are in effect re-purposing the machine. In the main, the machine becomes a teaching machine for you to learn that there is life beyond Windows. The machine is well capable of performing ALL the standard things a PC is used for, WP, SS, browsing, photo editing etc etc. Sure, speed may be slow - but only if you compare with faster machines - if the speed is fast enough for your needs then thats fine.
BTW are you sure it is only a 32bit machine. I had a quick googly on it and its possible it may be 64bit motherboard but running 32bit Vista?
I am a linux hobbyist, converting a number of machines from Windows to linux and I have to say, I now steer clear of Acer laptops only cos they give me the greatest grief - all solvable issues but just a PITB.
Good luck and feel free to ask me anything else.
tardytortoise12/05/2020 07:59

TBH I don't really think it is worth that much other than to someone who …TBH I don't really think it is worth that much other than to someone who would want to invest a little time eeking it out for a specific purpose rather than as an everyday machine. But, yeah, everything has a value and I reckon you could get £50 for it.Sure, the drive is a reasonable size for it to be partitioned. What really matters though is your data and you should already have at least 2, preferably 3 copies of that data elsewhere. Unless of course the data has no significance or importance.Installing most major Linux Distros does the partitioning for you if you elect to install linux alongside your current OS. In that way, you have a duel boot machine which will run either Vista or Linux whichever you choose at boot.By going down the linux route, you are in effect re-purposing the machine. In the main, the machine becomes a teaching machine for you to learn that there is life beyond Windows. The machine is well capable of performing ALL the standard things a PC is used for, WP, SS, browsing, photo editing etc etc. Sure, speed may be slow - but only if you compare with faster machines - if the speed is fast enough for your needs then thats fine.BTW are you sure it is only a 32bit machine. I had a quick googly on it and its possible it may be 64bit motherboard but running 32bit Vista? I am a linux hobbyist, converting a number of machines from Windows to linux and I have to say, I now steer clear of Acer laptops only cos they give me the greatest grief - all solvable issues but just a PITB.Good luck and feel free to ask me anything else.



I stand corrected. From what I have checked many buyers are prepared to spend over £200 for this machine. ebay.co.uk/itm…wYC
tardytortoise12/05/2020 07:59

TBH I don't really think it is worth that much other than to someone who …TBH I don't really think it is worth that much other than to someone who would want to invest a little time eeking it out for a specific purpose rather than as an everyday machine. But, yeah, everything has a value and I reckon you could get £50 for it.Sure, the drive is a reasonable size for it to be partitioned. What really matters though is your data and you should already have at least 2, preferably 3 copies of that data elsewhere. Unless of course the data has no significance or importance.Installing most major Linux Distros does the partitioning for you if you elect to install linux alongside your current OS. In that way, you have a duel boot machine which will run either Vista or Linux whichever you choose at boot.By going down the linux route, you are in effect re-purposing the machine. In the main, the machine becomes a teaching machine for you to learn that there is life beyond Windows. The machine is well capable of performing ALL the standard things a PC is used for, WP, SS, browsing, photo editing etc etc. Sure, speed may be slow - but only if you compare with faster machines - if the speed is fast enough for your needs then thats fine.BTW are you sure it is only a 32bit machine. I had a quick googly on it and its possible it may be 64bit motherboard but running 32bit Vista? I am a linux hobbyist, converting a number of machines from Windows to linux and I have to say, I now steer clear of Acer laptops only cos they give me the greatest grief - all solvable issues but just a PITB.Good luck and feel free to ask me anything else.


That’s right it 64 bit processor but vista 32 bit.
tardytortoise12/05/2020 08:10

I stand corrected. From what I have checked many buyers are prepared to …I stand corrected. From what I have checked many buyers are prepared to spend over £200 for this machine. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Acer-Aspire-8930G-18-4-Core-2-Duo-P8400-4GB-320GB-HDD-Nvidia-GeForce-9600MGT/193436618382?hash=item2d09b88e8e:g:qMUAAOSwOINeowYC


I’ve seen the parts go for a lot too, however I couldn’t be bothered to do that.

I think if it was a cheap laptop I’d definitely get rid, but it’s a beautiful laptop with it’s big screen and full sized keyboard.

Plus I’m a bit sentimental it as it’s from my uni days.
It’s a shame I could replace the mother board and give it a fresh lease of life.
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