What to do with a free Dell Inspiron 1500

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maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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I just got back from my aunt's house with the first load of antiques she has given my wife and I from my uncle's estate, and included in those antiques was a Dell Inspiron 1500 model 3543 with the i3 processor. She wanted me to pull any files off of it, then recycle it (or keep it).

I did the first fairly easily - he wasn't a computer guy, so he didn't have a password (local account). He doesn't appear to have used it much as a computer at all, as the only application that showed any sign of use was Chrome. His email address had been inactive since 2017 (when he passed) and Microsoft has, so far, refused to reactivate it. However, my aunt said she wasn't really sure she wanted to see any of that anyway. I packed up the handful of files he had downloaded (mostly statements, pictures of nephews and nieces, etc.) to a thumb drive and now I'm in the process of doing a factory reset.

To say the least, this is NOT a fast computer. It could be, but it only has 4GB of RAM and a 5400RPM HDD - both of which conspire to make it feel crappier than it should be. I do have a spare 7200 RPM disk laying around, and I'm planning on swapping that in to see how much of a difference it makes. The question (for myself) is whether it is worth it to keep the machine and upgrade it to 8GB. It is vastly lighter than my old Inspiron, which is of the classic "NoteBrick" line, which makes it tempting. That i3 is also natively faster than the mobile Core 2 Duo chip (a T7200) as well.

I dunno - the temptation to sink a bit of money into it is strong.

As an aside, https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/I ... 48vsm24957 is hilarious.

EDIT: If any of you have a spare 8GB DDR3L SO-DIMM laying around that you aren't using, I'd be willing to kick a few bucks your way for it.
dv
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SSD. Don't even both upgrading from 5400rpm to 7200rpm, you won't notice the difference.

GL/HF.
I put an old ssd and another 4gb of ram in a similar computer. night and day difference
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Yeah, running a Linux Live CD on it showed that the system itself isn't that bad. It only starts sucking wind when it has to hit the disk. I was impressed by the keyboard, though, so I'm now on the side of upgrade it a bit. It is a very pleasant machine to type on.

If I'm willing to settle for 250GB (which, for the intended purpose, should be fine) I should be able to get it to acceptable levels for about $100.
maurvir posted:
Yeah, running a Linux Live CD on it showed that the system itself isn't that bad. It only starts sucking wind when it has to hit the disk. I was impressed by the keyboard, though, so I'm now on the side of upgrade it a bit. It is a very pleasant machine to type on.

If I'm willing to settle for 250GB (which, for the intended purpose, should be fine) I should be able to get it to acceptable levels for about $100.

256Gb should be fine. I find 120GB to be a painful minimum for Windows, so a smaller OS and a bigger drive should be perfect. And swap space should be fast enough that 4Gb of ram is fine.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Betonhaus posted:
maurvir posted:
Yeah, running a Linux Live CD on it showed that the system itself isn't that bad. It only starts sucking wind when it has to hit the disk. I was impressed by the keyboard, though, so I'm now on the side of upgrade it a bit. It is a very pleasant machine to type on.

If I'm willing to settle for 250GB (which, for the intended purpose, should be fine) I should be able to get it to acceptable levels for about $100.

256Gb should be fine. I find 120GB to be a painful minimum for Windows, so a smaller OS and a bigger drive should be perfect. And swap space should be fast enough that 4Gb of ram is fine.


The drive itself is about $55. A single 8GB SODIMM is about $45. I can get the memory cheaper, but I would make up the difference in shipping. I know from experience that both Chrome and Firefox plow through memory like sushi through a sumo, so the memory upgrade isn't optional.
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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Nope, don't spend the money.
That $100 your spend is half of what a much better laptop with much better specs would cost. I see decent i5 laptops all the time for $200 or less.
That i3 is a slow processor.
dv
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Pariah posted:
Nope, don't spend the money.
That $100 your spend is half of what a much better laptop with much better specs would cost. I see decent i5 laptops all the time for $200 or less.
That i3 is a slow processor.


No it's not.

It's probably an i3-5005U: 2c/4t @ 2GHz.

Mobile i5/i7 CPUs from that generation (and pretty much everything pre-2018) are the same dual core design except i5s get turbo boost and the i7s get extra cache. And even the boost clocks are mostly sub-3GHz.

And 50/50, the theoretical i5 laptop would have not enough RAM or a spinning drive and still need the same upgrades. I'd rather have an i3 with RAM and an SSD than an i5 without.
macnuke Afar
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hunnert bucks to SSD and +RAM.
you LIKE the keyboard.
you know it's not a high speed gamer.

I say spend the hunnert and enjoy instead of the really crappy couple hunnert dollar machines that are probably going to be hit or miss with more misses than hits.
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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dv posted:
Pariah posted:
Nope, don't spend the money.
That $100 your spend is half of what a much better laptop with much better specs would cost. I see decent i5 laptops all the time for $200 or less.
That i3 is a slow processor.


No it's not.

It's probably an i3-5005U: 2c/4t @ 2GHz.

Mobile i5/i7 CPUs from that generation (and pretty much everything pre-2018) are the same dual core design except i5s get turbo boost and the i7s get extra cache. And even the boost clocks are mostly sub-3GHz.

And 50/50, the theoretical i5 laptop would have not enough RAM or a spinning drive and still need the same upgrades. I'd rather have an i3 with RAM and an SSD than an i5 without.

Literally the first result on my local Craig's List:
https://norfolk.craigslist.org/sys/d/vi ... 32667.html

An i3-5005u is pretty much exactly the same power as the C2Quad q8200 I retired 3 years ago because it was too slow with 8GB of ram and an SSD and a dedicated GPU w/1GB vram..

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/In ... 2484vs1040

Quote:
Intel Core i3-5005U is part of the Broadwell generation processors from the vendor and its considered as low-end. It has two energy-efficient cores supporting HyperThreading technology for emulating one virtual core for each physical. Unfortunately it doesn’t support Turbo Boost function and it has base clock of 2.0GHz.


Obviously the i3 is vastly more efficient than my old C2Quad but that is really the only advantage.

Last edited by Pariah on Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:28 am.

maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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The RAM will be a total loss when I upgrade, but the SSD I could use in a future build. The local parts place had a 500GB Crucial MX500* series SSD for $4 more than the 250GB ($66). Not a hard call, as I can carry that SSD forward to a new system. Now, the money I spent on the single 8GB stick of RAM? Yeah, that $45 will probably die with the notebook when it goes, but in the meantime, it should allow Firefox/Chrome a little more breathing room before the machine starts chugging.

All in all, it is actually a very snappy little computer with the new parts. I'm not going to be doing massive compiles on this thing, or running Photoshop, so the 2c/4t model is fine. It is definitely an upgrade over my previous notebook - a Dell Inspiron 1720. That machine only has 4GB of DDR2 RAM. I'm not sure what you were doing with that Q2Q machine, Par, but this machine feels perfectly fast for what I would use it for.

* I would have preferred a Samsung 860 EVO, but the two disks bench almost the same and the Crucial was quite a bit less.
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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maurvir posted:
The RAM will be a total loss when I upgrade, but the SSD I could use in a future build. The local parts place had a 500GB Crucial MX500* series SSD for $4 more than the 250GB ($66). Not a hard call, as I can carry that SSD forward to a new system. Now, the money I spent on the single 8GB stick of RAM? Yeah, that $45 will probably die with the notebook when it goes, but in the meantime, it should allow Firefox/Chrome a little more breathing room before the machine starts chugging.

All in all, it is actually a very snappy little computer with the new parts. I'm not going to be doing massive compiles on this thing, or running Photoshop, so the 2c/4t model is fine. It is definitely an upgrade over my previous notebook - a Dell Inspiron 1720. That machine only has 4GB of DDR2 RAM. I'm not sure what you were doing with that Q2Q machine, Par, but this machine feels perfectly fast for what I would use it for.

* I would have preferred a Samsung 860 EVO, but the two disks bench almost the same and the Crucial was quite a bit less.

I hadn't considered that fact that the SSD was portible to the next machine you get, that does make a difference.
Spend for the ram and be happy, I just like to argue sometimes ;)
dv
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Pariah posted:
dv posted:
Pariah posted:
Nope, don't spend the money.
That $100 your spend is half of what a much better laptop with much better specs would cost. I see decent i5 laptops all the time for $200 or less.
That i3 is a slow processor.


No it's not.

It's probably an i3-5005U: 2c/4t @ 2GHz.

Mobile i5/i7 CPUs from that generation (and pretty much everything pre-2018) are the same dual core design except i5s get turbo boost and the i7s get extra cache. And even the boost clocks are mostly sub-3GHz.

And 50/50, the theoretical i5 laptop would have not enough RAM or a spinning drive and still need the same upgrades. I'd rather have an i3 with RAM and an SSD than an i5 without.

Literally the first result on my local Craig's List:
https://norfolk.craigslist.org/sys/d/vi ... 32667.html

An i3-5005u is pretty much exactly the same power as the C2Quad q8200 I retired 3 years ago because it was too slow with 8GB of ram and an SSD and a dedicated GPU w/1GB vram..

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/In ... 2484vs1040

Quote:
Intel Core i3-5005U is part of the Broadwell generation processors from the vendor and its considered as low-end. It has two energy-efficient cores supporting HyperThreading technology for emulating one virtual core for each physical. Unfortunately it doesn’t support Turbo Boost function and it has base clock of 2.0GHz.


Obviously the i3 is vastly more efficient than my old C2Quad but that is really the only advantage.


The PCMark benchmarks are... not great. (They don't really isolate the CPU, so cheap hard drives or slow RAM will actually negatively impact scores.)

Check geekbench. The i3 is about the same speed for multithreaded, but the individual cores are significantly more capable. (Which will tend to offer better usability for office tasks.)

This is not a CPU I would kick out of bed for eating crackers.

edit: and if that i5 Dell is the model it looks like, it's a first or second generation i5 that's probably slower than the i3.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Ok, so, after completely trashing the drive that came with it while attempting to clone it... (Yes, I'm a knucklehead) I decided to do a fresh install of Windows 10 to the entirely blank SSD. That, and the extra 4GB of RAM, made this thing run like it was brand new. It boots in seconds. Literally, I turn the power on and see the spinny thing for about 4 revolutions and then the login screen appears.

Good call on the SSD. :up:
dv
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Miata
Is
Always
The
Answer

But, you know, solid state drives.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Update:
I finished installing all the Dell drivers, including the Intel storage management engine. After wading through all the larger updates, I cleaned the disk and trimmed it. It now boots in under 5 seconds. I see the spinny thing once and it is at the login screen. :eek:

However, I have two powerful computers already and my wife still has an ancient Sony VAIO from yesteryear, so this new machine is going to her. It is a ridiculous upgrade over the Sony, yet still has a DVD drive on the side. She's pretty excited about it, so extra win all around. :up:
dv
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The T7200 in your NoteBrick is "powerful"?

What the hell are the specs on that VAIO? :eek:

:squint:
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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dv posted:
The T7200 in your NoteBrick is "powerful"?

What the hell are the specs on that VAIO? :eek:

:squint:


Lol, no. :lol:

I was referring to the two desktops. The Windows machine has an i7-3770, 32GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, while the Linux machine has an i5-2400 with 16GB of DDR3-1867 RAM. When I leave the house, I'm generally content with my Android tablet. The NoteBrick hasn't left the house in ages.

I honestly don't recall what was in the Sony, except that it wasn't worth it to upgrade. It was never a very snappy machine, even when it was new. I did max the RAM out at the time, though. (I think it has 4GB?)
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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maurvir posted:
dv posted:
The T7200 in your NoteBrick is "powerful"?

What the hell are the specs on that VAIO? :eek:

:squint:


Lol, no. :lol:

I was referring to the two desktops. The Windows machine has an i7-3770, 32GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, while the Linux machine has an i5-2400 with 16GB of DDR3-1867 RAM. When I leave the house, I'm generally content with my Android tablet. The NoteBrick hasn't left the house in ages.

I honestly don't recall what was in the Sony, except that it wasn't worth it to upgrade. It was never a very snappy machine, even when it was new. I did max the RAM out at the time, though. (I think it has 4GB?)

Man, Intel sure sold a lot of those 3770's.
I am planing on bumping my i7 3770 PC from 12GB to 16GB. I can use the 4GB I will be taking out of my PC to bump my wife's to 12GB.
Upgrades for everyone! :)
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Ok, I was wrong. The Inspiron 1720 has a T7700, while the VAIO has a T6600. They are virtually identical, with the exception of the T7700 supporting virtualization instructions and the T6600 supporting SSE4.1 instructions.
dv
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maurvir posted:
Ok, I was wrong. The Inspiron 1720 has a T7700, while the VAIO has a T6600. They are virtually identical, with the exception of the T7700 supporting virtualization instructions and the T6600 supporting SSE4.1 instructions.

Well, if you were having any marriage problems, it sounds like we may have found both the cause, and the solution. I hope she likes it.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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dv posted:
maurvir posted:
Ok, I was wrong. The Inspiron 1720 has a T7700, while the VAIO has a T6600. They are virtually identical, with the exception of the T7700 supporting virtualization instructions and the T6600 supporting SSE4.1 instructions.

Well, if you were having any marriage problems, it sounds like we may have found both the cause, and the solution. I hope she likes it.


:lol:

Well, it DOES explain why she prefers to use her iPhone as a web browser!
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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Making sure your wife has a nice fast, stable computer is a super good husband move. It makes her happy and also stops her from complaining endlessly about her wasteful computer.
Ever since I set my wife up with her i7 3770 tower she never complains, ever. When she does start complaining I can toss an SSD in it. :)
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What to do with a free Dell Inspiron 1500