Update current laptop or buy new one?

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anthonyphamy
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Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by anthonyphamy »

Happy Sunday everyone.

I have a 2012 Dell Inspiron N5110 that is pretty well used. It can't last being unplugged more than 45 minutes, and the laptop hinge comes apart if not opened the right way. I just added Linux to the OS using dual boot and it has helped with the speed and memory usage. However, there is still mild lag when I have a lot of browser tabs open and there is a lot of lag when I play computer games on it.

Specs:
CPU: Dual Core Intel Core i5-2410M
RAM: 6 gb
HDD 500 gb

Would it be worthwhile to improve the laptop with a solid state drive (for approximately $60) and/or add some RAM to 8 gb (for approximately $50)? I found some on crucial.com. I don't mind the nonworking battery as it's plugged in most the time. Or should I wait to buy a new laptop altogether. I am looking at some that cost approximately $700.

Thank you for your advice,
Anthony
rockstar
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by rockstar »

Typical time to refresh a laptop is every 3-5 years. You can't really upgrade laptops like you can desktops. I think, you're due.

You should see good deals coming out soon.
smalliebigs
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by smalliebigs »

Other than RAM, there's little that can be done. A laptop from 2012 is probably 3-4 generations old now, assuming 2 years per cycle. Get a new one :D
02nz
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by 02nz »

With an SSD (and ideally a fresh install of Windows) your laptop would feel pretty much new in terms of responsiveness, but it's at an age where it may no longer be worth it. But prices are rather high right now, because of disruptions to supply and higher demand due to work/school from home.

First decide whether you want a convertible with a touchscreen and 360-degree hinge, or a standard clamshell laptop (with or without touchscreen).

I would look for 8GB of RAM, an SSD (256 GB or 512 GB), and an IPS screen. Some people will say you need 16GB, but even with all the Office applications and a dozen browser tabs open I don't hit 8GB. Whether a screen is IPS doesn't always show up on the specs, but it's a huge difference (vs. cheaper TN displays) in color, contrast, and viewing angles. Sometimes IPS will be listed as WVA (wide viewing angle) and TN as SVA (standard viewing angle).

Processor is way less important than people think - for future-proofing, I'd get an 8th- or 10th-gen Intel Core i5, e.g. 8250U, 8265U, 10210U, 1035G1, or 1035G4. These have 4 cores and are more than powerful enough. Core i7 is almost never worth the price premium. AMD hasn't been competitive with mobile CPUs until the latest Ryzen 4000 series, which are just coming onto the market - any CPU in the series (e.g., 4300U, 4500U, etc.) will serve you very well.
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anon_investor
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by anon_investor »

Definitely look into getting a new one. The fact that your laptop made it 8 years is impressive.
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mmmodem
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by mmmodem »

I’m cheap. I have a 2 year old Celeron laptop with 4 gb ram that is about half the speed of your i5. I upgraded the SSD for $30 to 128 gb. I would not upgrade ram because the cpu is the bottleneck at this point not ram. I would say the same to you. Go with an SSD and stop there. 6 gb to 8 gb will make little difference for you. My laptop works fine for Microsoft office, web surfing, video conferencing, and YouTube videos. I have a dedicated desktop for gaming.

If you decide to upgrade make sure you get a 10th gen Intel processor or preferably a 4000 series AMD Ryzen.
gtd98765
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by gtd98765 »

Agree it's time to say goodbye to the 2012 laptop. If you want to save on a newer used laptop, several people on BH have recommended dellrefurbished.com to get a 3-yr-old laptop coming off a lease. I would definitely go for an SSD and at least 8GB RAM.
runner3081
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by runner3081 »

I will provide a differing opinion. My current laptop is nearly 11 years old with only 8 GB of RAM, an i3 chip and an SSD. It is more than adequate for streaming video, videoconferences and anything else I can throw at it.
mega317
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by mega317 »

To me the hinge is the most important thing here. I replaced and perfectly decent laptop I liked just because of an unfixable hinge issue.

If you want to see what you've got you can get a used ssd that will fit windows for like 10 bucks. Play with a fresh install of windows on that for a few days. you might find it perform significantly better but you'll want to replace it anyway.
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random_walker_77
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by random_walker_77 »

I'd get the SSD and skip on adding RAM. Since you already have linux, do note that the linux lite distro is really good for slower laptops. But your CPU is decent and a SSD should greatly improve your experience. The windows side would likely also see a decent improvement with a clean install, but imaging over to a SSD might be good enough.

For gaming, take a look at Geforce Now. If your network connection (and home wifi) is decent, renting a gaming PC in the cloud might be good enough (and I say this since you're clearly not a hardcore gamer). It's free to try... (a review: https://www.trustedreviews.com/news/nvi ... ce-3931873)
go_mets
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by go_mets »

With SSD, my 9-year old laptop i5-2520 boots into Windows 10 desktop in 25 seconds from cold start.
MathWizard
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by MathWizard »

Because of the hinge, I would replace it.

The battery issue would also be another reason for me.

I replaced the spinning drive in my laptop with a small SSD, but not the RAM, to gain another 2 years, then I replaced it .
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by jabberwockOG »

Replace - 8 years on a typical windows laptop is long enough. Get something new - hopefully lighter, better graphics, and insist on SSD.
CFM300
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by CFM300 »

I'd put the money towards a new laptop. Well, not necessary brand new. You can get a refurbished Dell.

Dell Latitude 14 5000 Series (E5470)
$579

Processor: Intel Core i5 (i5-6300U) 2.40 GHz
Memory: 8 GB
Hard Drive: 250 GB
Display: 14" HD (1366 x 768)
OS: Windows 10 Professional

https://www.dellrefurbished.com/laptops ... 01431.html
jjface
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by jjface »

I use a 2103 i5 laptop sometimes with 4gb ram and ssd. Feels fast to me no need for the latest. I don't game though. A ssd can make a lot of difference and you already have 6gb ram which is okay. I don't think you have to upgrade to a new one but a new one will be nice. Sometimes laptops get so old that they just don't run well no matter what you do. It probably needs a good dusting inside too. I would definitely replace it if the thermals are acting up. A good laptop can be bought for $500-600 quite easily. Even some less than that are decent.
02nz
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by 02nz »

CFM300 wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 11:22 pm I'd put the money towards a new laptop. Well, not necessary brand new. You can get a refurbished Dell.

Dell Latitude 14 5000 Series (E5470)
$579

Processor: Intel Core i5 (i5-6300U) 2.40 GHz
Memory: 8 GB
Hard Drive: 250 GB
Display: 14" HD (1366 x 768)
OS: Windows 10 Professional

https://www.dellrefurbished.com/laptops ... 01431.html
I'm a big fan of used corporate computers (writing this on a Lenovo ThinkCentre I bought second hand), but almost $600 for a 4-year-old laptop with a dual-core processor, low-resolution TN screen, and mechanical hard drive (and a tiny one at that) is extremely poor value, even allowing for Latitude's better build quality compared to most consumer laptops. Dell sometimes has 40% off coupons on these but even $350 for that is too much.
Dominic
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by Dominic »

Laptop improvements have been surprisingly small over the past decade.

SSDs are excellent, of course, and only became affordable fairly recently. CPUs haven't advanced much; most of the upgrades to laptop CPUs have been focused on power consumption and integrated graphics. RAM is a little faster and more plentiful, but it's not a huge difference from your 6GB. There are other nice changes, such as USB 3 (and now C), better displays, touch screens, WiFi cards that support newer standards, and smaller and lighter form factors.

If you can live with almost no battery life and a fragile hinge, an SSD should bring your machine fairly close to modern performance with the exception of having a much weaker GPU. If you're not already using it, Firefox generally uses less RAM than Chromium-based browsers in my experience, so it might help with your lag issues on Linux.

Otherwise, 8 years is a long time for a laptop, so there's no shame in getting a new one. Look for an IPS display, Intel Core i or AMD Ryzen CPU, 8GB RAM, and 256+ GB SSD.
CFM300
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by CFM300 »

02nz wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 11:34 pm almost $600 for a 4-year-old laptop with a dual-core processor, low-resolution TN screen, and mechanical hard drive (and a tiny one at that) is extremely poor value
You're probably right, but the drive is an SSD.
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TexasPE
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by TexasPE »

If you are comfortable taking the laptop apart,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WldeVVjpRK4

eBay has a new upper and lower case set for $40 - free shipping. This should address the hinge issue. New battery is $15. Add an SSD and for ~$125 and 2-3 hours of your time you will have a renewed laptop, without the hassle of migrating all your files and applications to a new machine.

Typed on a 2012 Gateway NV57H - which I have maintained/ upgraded by adding an SSD, battery, and a used upper frame cover for hinge. If you are unsure about the difficulty, see the video above before you decide to proceed.

YMMV.
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill (?)
MarkerFM
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by MarkerFM »

I have a 2014 Dell laptop. I upgraded to SSD a few years ago and it made a big difference. I also upgraded the RAM. It felt a bit laggy to me on some websites, so I ordered a new Dell. After messing around trying to get rid of crapware and getting the settings I like, I realized it wasn't much faster than my old one. And, it wasn't running any anti-virus software at that point so would be a bit slower with that. Also I had a lot more work to do to get software I use loaded. So, I sent it back. I realized I could add a bit better RAM, so I ordered that for the old one and it helped a bit.

If I were you, I would add the SSD, upgrade the RAM, get a new battery and also a new case if that bothers you.
ScubaHogg
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by ScubaHogg »

My previous Mac I updated both the ram and the ssd. Got about 3 more good years out of the computer for not a lot of money. I don’t know how difficult that would be with your laptop, but might be worth a try.
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stan1
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by stan1 »

You'll get different opinions, but in my view an 8 year old laptop is end of life and I would buy a replacement that brings in new RAM, SSD, display, battery, video processor, power supply, etc. I would not put hundreds of dollars into an 8 year old computer.
tibbitts
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by tibbitts »

I've bought refurbed laptops, replaced hinges, covers, batteries, fans... whatever. No more unless it's really trivial. Unfortunately laptop prices have seemed to greatly increase lately so you'll probably pay over $1k for anything reasonable, but time to pay up and move on to a new, not the typical "refurb", model. In the past I've bought pre-owned from Dell that were just new returns, but mostly refurbs are just old beaten-up used computers.
mhalley
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by mhalley »

You might get by with the upgrades, but the mechanical failure of the hinge puts It into replacement mode for me.
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Kenkat
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by Kenkat »

TexasPE wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 7:50 am If you are comfortable taking the laptop apart,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WldeVVjpRK4

eBay has a new upper and lower case set for $40 - free shipping. This should address the hinge issue. New battery is $15. Add an SSD and for ~$125 and 2-3 hours of your time you will have a renewed laptop, without the hassle of migrating all your files and applications to a new machine.

Typed on a 2012 Gateway NV57H - which I have maintained/ upgraded by adding an SSD, battery, and a used upper frame cover for hinge. If you are unsure about the difficulty, see the video above before you decide to proceed.

YMMV.
I would also say the hinge is a dealbreaker but for someone comfortable with electronics, this is an intriguing option.
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yangtui
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by yangtui »

I am currently typing this on an 8 year old refurbished HP laptop. It came with a dual core i5 and 8 gigs of ram. I put a 500 gb SSD in it 3 years ago. Upgraded to Win 10 the end of last year when MS stopped supporting Win 7. It runs incredibly well for what I need it for. If you throw in a 60 dollar SSD and do a fresh install of Win 10 your laptop should run really well. I just bought a refurbished desktop for $150 dollars that I plan to put another $150 into. After my upgrades it should be able to run pretty much anything I throw at it.
RomeoMustDie
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by RomeoMustDie »

Your laptop is holding on to its last bit of life.

That means you can shop around and look for a deal in anticipation of it dying completely.

My recommendation is Lenovo.

:beer
Topic Author
anthonyphamy
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by anthonyphamy »

Good evening everyone. Thank you so much for the great insight, feedback, and advice. I truly, greatly appreciate it.

After reading everyone's comments, I decided that I will try to upgrade the HDD to a SSD, as a trial as well as a fun project. I found some fairly reasonably priced SSDs on crucial.com for $30-50. Does anyone have any experience with that website, and recommend it, or a different source?

I do agree that the laptop is on its last legs and will keep an eye out in the next year or two depending on how the SSD transfer improves the speed. For now, I'll play around with my current laptop, make some cheap investment upgrades (eg, SSD and possibly a bottom case cover to fix the hinge, although this particular laptop model looks pretty intensive to take apart) for fun and the experience. Then opt for a new laptop, likely Lenovo in the future when the current demand decreases a little due to all the work from home.

Side note, I am playing around with Linux Mint for fun, and having a difficult time installing Starcraft II on it. It's more difficult but kind of fun trying to do things via Linux. I must say that Linux does speed up things by a fair amount.

Thanks again,
Anthony
02nz
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by 02nz »

anthonyphamy wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 10:58 pm Good evening everyone. Thank you so much for the great insight, feedback, and advice. I truly, greatly appreciate it.

After reading everyone's comments, I decided that I will try to upgrade the HDD to a SSD, as a trial as well as a fun project. I found some fairly reasonably priced SSDs on crucial.com for $30-50. Does anyone have any experience with that website, and recommend it, or a different source?

I do agree that the laptop is on its last legs and will keep an eye out in the next year or two depending on how the SSD transfer improves the speed. For now, I'll play around with my current laptop, make some cheap investment upgrades (eg, SSD and possibly a bottom case cover to fix the hinge, although this particular laptop model looks pretty intensive to take apart) for fun and the experience. Then opt for a new laptop, likely Lenovo in the future when the current demand decreases a little due to all the work from home.

Side note, I am playing around with Linux Mint for fun, and having a difficult time installing Starcraft II on it. It's more difficult but kind of fun trying to do things via Linux. I must say that Linux does speed up things by a fair amount.

Thanks again,
Anthony
Crucial is very good. I've bought lots of RAM upgrades from them and also their SSDs, never had a problem. They're a brand of Micron, one of the largest chip makers. I think you'll be amazed by the difference in responsiveness with an SSD, especially if you do a clean install of Windows - it makes a far bigger difference than CPU.
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tennisplyr
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by tennisplyr »

I have your Dell and got tired of it freezing and crashing. Got a nice Lenovo SSD laptop at Costco on sale for ~$400.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.
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tvubpwcisla
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by tvubpwcisla »

Can you give to a family member or friend to help them out? I would do that and then go and get a new one.
Stay invested my friends.
ubermax
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by ubermax »

Wife and I both have Lenovo ThinkPad T series models - contrary to the "rule of thumb" suggesting that a laptop generally needs to be replaced every 2-3 years , my first one was replaced after 8 years and my wife's is 10 years old now but will be replaced shortly - needless to say we've been happy with the reliability of Lenovo in general and in particular the ThinkPad line .

Similar to the way we buy tires , we don't buy the cheapest but in return we get great mileage , reliability , and the latest and fastest processors .

Lenovo is currently introducing their new ThinkPad lineup , e.g. the ThinkPad T14s but is offering pretty good pricing on the T470s and T490s which were the slim 14" models for 2017 & 2019 respectively .

I would say give Lenovo a look online !! we've been happy !!!
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

I just bought a new HP Laptop from Walmart and really enjoy the speed from the solid state drive. I paid 500 for the laptop.

I probably didn’t get the best laptop for the money but I love it.

I recommend new rather than refurbished.
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Topic Author
anthonyphamy
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by anthonyphamy »

Good morning everyone.

Thank you for the further advice and suggestions. I am further convinced to keep an eye out for a Lenovo, specifically a ThinkPad to replace this laptop. I will proceed with getting an inexpensive SSD from crucial.com, to see the impact of of the performance, but moreso for the fun and curiosity of taking apart a laptop. I think it would be a fun experience, with low consequences. If the SSD does help improve the performance, I do think it is a great idea to donate to family/friend who may need it as suggested.

Thanks everyone for the thoughts and input. I greatly appreciate this supportive forum.

Thanks,
Anthony
researcher
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by researcher »

rockstar wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 8:34 pm Typical time to refresh a laptop is every 3-5 years.
This rule of thumb must have been created by the same people who buy new $1000 cell phones every year or two.
cyclist
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by cyclist »

It's all about how you feel about investing the time. Replacing batteries and upgrading to SSDs is not typically very challenging.

I'm typing this on a 7 year old HP laptop that I got for a song from DW's former employer. Maxing out the RAM, upgrading to SSD, and later replacing the battery resulted in a perfectly functional machine. The screen is substandard but we use these with docking stations and external monitors 98% of the time.

Cyclist
rockstar
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by rockstar »

researcher wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 1:03 pm
rockstar wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 8:34 pm Typical time to refresh a laptop is every 3-5 years.
This rule of thumb must have been created by the same people who buy new $1000 cell phones every year or two.
Technology moves pretty fast. My laptop is four years old, and it doesn't have usb-c. If you want to keep up, you need to upgrade. Otherwise, buy a desktop and build your own. That is much cheaper to keep up to date.
random_walker_77
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by random_walker_77 »

rockstar wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 11:30 pm
researcher wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 1:03 pm
rockstar wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 8:34 pm Typical time to refresh a laptop is every 3-5 years.
This rule of thumb must have been created by the same people who buy new $1000 cell phones every year or two.
Technology moves pretty fast. My laptop is four years old, and it doesn't have usb-c. If you want to keep up, you need to upgrade. Otherwise, buy a desktop and build your own. That is much cheaper to keep up to date.
I'd argue it doesn't move as fast as it used to. Once upon a time, CPUs got tremendously faster every 18 months, and a 4 year old CPU was so slow it was unusable. Now, single-threaded CPU perf (which is what matters the most, for most people) hasn't changed all that much in 8 years, though power efficiency has certainly improved a lot.

For most, usb-c is arguably a small change. The potentially faster 10Gb vs 5Gb transfer speed rarely matters for most users. The higher power delivery can matter more. And if it's just about connecting for charging, inexpensive 25 cent micro-usb to usb-c adapters can go a long ways.

SSD's make a huge night-and-day difference, but that's an easy upgrade.

The part that changes the most year on year is probably the GPU, but many users don't really care.
rockstar
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by rockstar »

random_walker_77 wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 9:22 pm
rockstar wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 11:30 pm
researcher wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 1:03 pm
rockstar wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 8:34 pm Typical time to refresh a laptop is every 3-5 years.
This rule of thumb must have been created by the same people who buy new $1000 cell phones every year or two.
Technology moves pretty fast. My laptop is four years old, and it doesn't have usb-c. If you want to keep up, you need to upgrade. Otherwise, buy a desktop and build your own. That is much cheaper to keep up to date.
I'd argue it doesn't move as fast as it used to. Once upon a time, CPUs got tremendously faster every 18 months, and a 4 year old CPU was so slow it was unusable. Now, single-threaded CPU perf (which is what matters the most, for most people) hasn't changed all that much in 8 years, though power efficiency has certainly improved a lot.

For most, usb-c is arguably a small change. The potentially faster 10Gb vs 5Gb transfer speed rarely matters for most users. The higher power delivery can matter more. And if it's just about connecting for charging, inexpensive 25 cent micro-usb to usb-c adapters can go a long ways.

SSD's make a huge night-and-day difference, but that's an easy upgrade.

The part that changes the most year on year is probably the GPU, but many users don't really care.
I use GPUs for machine learning. With usb-c I can connect to an external GPU, so I'm looking at laptops. Right now, I leverage the GPUs on Kaggle, or I use DASK to optimize my CPU usage.

I haven't had a laptop without a SSD in almost a decade.
02nz
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by 02nz »

random_walker_77 wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 9:22 pm
rockstar wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 11:30 pm
researcher wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 1:03 pm
rockstar wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 8:34 pm Typical time to refresh a laptop is every 3-5 years.
This rule of thumb must have been created by the same people who buy new $1000 cell phones every year or two.
Technology moves pretty fast. My laptop is four years old, and it doesn't have usb-c. If you want to keep up, you need to upgrade. Otherwise, buy a desktop and build your own. That is much cheaper to keep up to date.
I'd argue it doesn't move as fast as it used to. Once upon a time, CPUs got tremendously faster every 18 months, and a 4 year old CPU was so slow it was unusable. Now, single-threaded CPU perf (which is what matters the most, for most people) hasn't changed all that much in 8 years, though power efficiency has certainly improved a lot.

For most, usb-c is arguably a small change. The potentially faster 10Gb vs 5Gb transfer speed rarely matters for most users. The higher power delivery can matter more. And if it's just about connecting for charging, inexpensive 25 cent micro-usb to usb-c adapters can go a long ways.

SSD's make a huge night-and-day difference, but that's an easy upgrade.

The part that changes the most year on year is probably the GPU, but many users don't really care.
+1. My ThinkPad X220 from 2011 had an i7-2620M processor, single-threaded Passmark score of 1453. Almost a decade later, Intel's latest and greatest i7-1065G7 scores 2517, or about 73% higher, the kind of jump that in the 1990s would have come in just a couple of years. That's CPU performance alone, and the perceived difference in responsiveness is much less if both systems have SSDs. Of course on benchmarks or applications that can make use of the newer CPU's quad cores, there will be a bigger difference.

For the OP, the biggest difference in upgrading to a newer laptop is likely to be the display. The old Dell likely has a lower-resolution TN display. The better laptops today (around $600 and up) generally have IPS displays, with vastly better color, contrast, and viewing angles. Much more important than processor for most people. This can be a little hard to find in the specs - sometimes the manufacturers call it WVA (wide viewing angle) instead of IPS.
toast0
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by toast0 »

If you're having fun messing with it (and it's clear that you are!), upgrading to an SSD will definitely get you some more life out of the system you have. If you've got 6GB, and the system max is 8GB, I don't think it makes sense to upgrade that. 6GB is probably ok anyway. Investing a small amount of money into this to get some fun, and a little more life out of it, seems like a good bargain.

There are some exciting laptops coming out now, although availability is spotty. The Ryzen 4700U processor is 8 cores and not too expensive, one example laptop with it, 8GB ram, and an SSD comes in at $650, the Acer Swift 3. One negative is a lot of today's laptops have soldered ram, and sometimes soldered ssds, so what you get is what you get, there's no chance for late in life upgrades.
michaelingp
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by michaelingp »

anthonyphamy wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 10:58 pm
After reading everyone's comments, I decided that I will try to upgrade the HDD to a SSD, as a trial as well as a fun project. I found some fairly reasonably priced SSDs on crucial.com for $30-50. Does anyone have any experience with that website, and recommend it, or a different source?
I've used Crucial a lot and have always been happy. I did get a bad SSD once, and their customer service was exemplary. I don't think their parts are any better than anyone elses (and about the same price) but they do a great job of getting you the right parts, and any accessories, instructions and software you need (like cloning software).

Personally, I'm with the "get a new laptop" group. I have a 12 year old Dell Inspiron N5030 and I upgraded to SSD and more memory a few years ago. One thing I like about it is that it has a lot of ports, including HDMI. It even has VGA which is handy if you have an ancient projector that you're not ready to upgrade. I've been using it as a spare and for testing but really I wouldn't want to use it for my main laptop unless funds were really tight (in which case it would be fine, just a little slow).

Be careful buying a new laptop that it has the kind and number of ports you need. I wouldn't like having to buy a $90 docking station for a $400 laptop just to get the number of ports I need, but that's sort of where we are.
random_walker_77
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by random_walker_77 »

rockstar wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 9:55 pm
random_walker_77 wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 9:22 pm
rockstar wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 11:30 pm
researcher wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 1:03 pm
rockstar wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 8:34 pm Typical time to refresh a laptop is every 3-5 years.
This rule of thumb must have been created by the same people who buy new $1000 cell phones every year or two.
Technology moves pretty fast. My laptop is four years old, and it doesn't have usb-c. If you want to keep up, you need to upgrade. Otherwise, buy a desktop and build your own. That is much cheaper to keep up to date.
I'd argue it doesn't move as fast as it used to. Once upon a time, CPUs got tremendously faster every 18 months, and a 4 year old CPU was so slow it was unusable. Now, single-threaded CPU perf (which is what matters the most, for most people) hasn't changed all that much in 8 years, though power efficiency has certainly improved a lot.

For most, usb-c is arguably a small change. The potentially faster 10Gb vs 5Gb transfer speed rarely matters for most users. The higher power delivery can matter more. And if it's just about connecting for charging, inexpensive 25 cent micro-usb to usb-c adapters can go a long ways.

SSD's make a huge night-and-day difference, but that's an easy upgrade.

The part that changes the most year on year is probably the GPU, but many users don't really care.
I use GPUs for machine learning. With usb-c I can connect to an external GPU, so I'm looking at laptops. Right now, I leverage the GPUs on Kaggle, or I use DASK to optimize my CPU usage.

I haven't had a laptop without a SSD in almost a decade.
Rockstar, for you, I'd totally agree on upgrading and staying on the leading edge. If you're using GPUs for machine learning, you're in the top 0.1% of power users. Unless you truly need the portability of an eGPU, I'd even suggest getting a desktop tower and throwing multiple GPUs in there for max perf per dollar spent. USB-c doesn't give you the bandwidth, and external GPUs are kind of an awkward solution in my opinion.

For the original poster, I think the SSD is a reasonable upgrade that will probably keep them going for quite some time (especially if they also fix the hinge).
02nz
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by 02nz »

michaelingp wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 7:20 pm Be careful buying a new laptop that it has the kind and number of ports you need. I wouldn't like having to buy a $90 docking station for a $400 laptop just to get the number of ports I need, but that's sort of where we are.
Ironically it tends to be the cheaper laptops ($300-500) that have the most ports - USB-A, HDMI, SD card reader, sometimes Ethernet. Premium laptops in the $1000 range often have just a couple of USB-C ports in an effort to make the laptop as thin and sleek as possible.
rockstar
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by rockstar »

02nz wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 4:26 pm
michaelingp wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 7:20 pm Be careful buying a new laptop that it has the kind and number of ports you need. I wouldn't like having to buy a $90 docking station for a $400 laptop just to get the number of ports I need, but that's sort of where we are.
Ironically it tends to be the cheaper laptops ($300-500) that have the most ports - USB-A, HDMI, SD card reader, sometimes Ethernet. Premium laptops in the $1000 range often have just a couple of USB-C ports in an effort to make the laptop as thin and sleek as possible.
I prefer to use a docking station with my laptop. I love Thinkpads, and a docking station with two monitors is a great setup.
backpacker61
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by backpacker61 »

anthonyphamy wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 10:58 pm Side note, I am playing around with Linux Mint for fun, and having a difficult time installing Starcraft II on it. It's more difficult but kind of fun trying to do things via Linux. I must say that Linux does speed up things by a fair amount.
I'm running Linux Mint (with Xfce desktop; lighter weight than Cinnamon or MATE) on a netbook about the same vintage as your laptop. The CPU isn't even 64 bit. I'm not a gamer at all, though.

You might try a lightweight distro like that to extend the useful life of your laptop.
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? | 'Ride,' Pleasure said; | 'Walk,' Joy replied.” | | ― W.H. Davies
Topic Author
anthonyphamy
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by anthonyphamy »

Good morning,

Again, thank you everyone for all your time and advice. I wanted to give an update as well seek more expertise if willing.

I recently inherited a Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM (approximately 2 years old) with Intel Core i3-7100U, 4 gb RAM, with working laptop hinge :D as my daily driver. I upgraded the HDD to a SSD for $25. I was curious how many more years I can expect from this CPU? I currently have 4 gb of RAM and will add 4-8 gb RAM more depending how many more years of life I can get out of this laptop.

I use this laptop mainly for web browsing, Microsoft office, light gaming (ie, Starcraft 2), and potentially coding in the future if I enroll into a coding program.

I will eventually add dual boot to this laptop as well, likely with Linux Mint Cinnamon once version 20 finalized.

I appreciate all you're expertise, thoughts, and time.

Thank you in advance,

Anthony
wfrobinette
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by wfrobinette »

go_mets wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:56 pm With SSD, my 9-year old laptop i5-2520 boots into Windows 10 desktop in 25 seconds from cold start.
Wow that's slow.
wfrobinette
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Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by wfrobinette »

anthonyphamy wrote: Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:39 am Good morning,

Again, thank you everyone for all your time and advice. I wanted to give an update as well seek more expertise if willing.

I recently inherited a Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM (approximately 2 years old) with Intel Core i3-7100U, 4 gb RAM, with working laptop hinge :D as my daily driver. I upgraded the HDD to a SSD for $25. I was curious how many more years I can expect from this CPU? I currently have 4 gb of RAM and will add 4-8 gb RAM more depending how many more years of life I can get out of this laptop.

I use this laptop mainly for web browsing, Microsoft office, light gaming (ie, Starcraft 2), and potentially coding in the future if I enroll into a coding program.

I will eventually add dual boot to this laptop as well, likely with Linux Mint Cinnamon once version 20 finalized.

I appreciate all you're expertise, thoughts, and time.

Thank you in advance,

Anthony
The question to ask is what are you doing with the laptop? If its docs and web browsing it should last until it breaks.

Frankly if that's all you are doing I'd be looking at a chromebook or surface and going cloud for most software.
02nz
Posts: 5681
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

Post by 02nz »

anthonyphamy wrote: Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:39 am Good morning,

Again, thank you everyone for all your time and advice. I wanted to give an update as well seek more expertise if willing.

I recently inherited a Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM (approximately 2 years old) with Intel Core i3-7100U, 4 gb RAM, with working laptop hinge :D as my daily driver. I upgraded the HDD to a SSD for $25. I was curious how many more years I can expect from this CPU? I currently have 4 gb of RAM and will add 4-8 gb RAM more depending how many more years of life I can get out of this laptop.

I use this laptop mainly for web browsing, Microsoft office, light gaming (ie, Starcraft 2), and potentially coding in the future if I enroll into a coding program.

I will eventually add dual boot to this laptop as well, likely with Linux Mint Cinnamon once version 20 finalized.

I appreciate all you're expertise, thoughts, and time.

Thank you in advance,

Anthony
Adding RAM will help, 4 GB is too little for Windows 10. With an SSD that computer should run pretty well for the purposes you describe; as long as you keep the system free of junk and bloat, it should be good for at least another 3-5 years, if not longer. The CPU is dual-core and it does not have TurboBoost (cannot go above its base clock speed like most newer CPUs can), but CPU speed doesn't matter as much as people think.
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