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Upgrading Another Laptop


raymac46
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My son-in-law got his new ASUS Vivobook this week. This machine replaced a 2012 vintage HP Probook 4730s. I brought the old machine home last night and I am planning some upgrades for the grandkids' benefit.

The HP has a nice big 17 inch screen and is a heavy duty "semi-pro" machine. It came with a Sandy Bridge mobile CPU and 4 GB of RAM. Originally it ran Windows 7 Pro but now it has Windows 10 Pro. Its HDD is slow and it takes forever to boot.

It's easy to work on, so last night I put in an additional 4GB RAM stick I have here. That should help. I have ordered a 480 GB SSD and that'll help a lot more. When the SSD arrives I'll put it in and install Linux Mint. The kids do a lot of work in Google Docs so I'll install Chrome for them, as well as Steam and Spotify.

This will give them an additional machine for homework, and maybe they'll have an opportunity to learn more about Linux as they grow into it. I'll give them back their old HDD so if we ever need to reinstall Windows we can do it. Since the parents each have Windows laptops, I thought that Linux makes more sense for the kids. They use Chromebooks all the time at school so this won't be a big deal for them.

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I had Linux Mint running live and it works well. This laptop looks like a good Linux candidate. The wifi is Atheros based. Graphics is switchable between native Intel and an older ATI graphics card. I don't know how well that will work, but Intel is the default and I had no problems getting to the LM desktop. Display is 1600X900.

Linux Mint Live was using about 1 GB of the 8 GB I now have installed. Any slowness/sluggishness will likely be remedied when I get the SSD in place.

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securitybreach

Yeah, the SSD will make a world of difference. I just looked specs because of the odd resolution, which processor did it come with?

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My SIL is a database analyst and he had his own business for a while keeping track of corporate officers in Canadian companies. He got the HP 4730s to give him a big screen to look at spreadsheets and databases. It is a beast though.

Seems to be well designed for maintenance. You just take out the battery and the back panel slides right off. The HDD is screwed onto the chassis in a caddy. The memory slots are easily accessible. Max RAM is 8GB DDR3 and it has that now.

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All set up now. I installed the SSD and Linux Mint plus software. It has made a huge difference. I can boot to the desktop in 20 seconds. Chrome starts up in less than 2 seconds. The grandkids will love it.

 

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securitybreach
8 minutes ago, raymac46 said:

All set up now. I installed the SSD and Linux Mint plus software. It has made a huge difference. I can boot to the desktop in 20 seconds. Chrome starts up in less than 2 seconds. The grandkids will love it.

 

 

It's amazing what replacing a mechanical harddrive with an SSD does. Makes a world of difference :thumbsup:

 

Hint, hint Eric!!!

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It used to be that the first thing you did to boost performance in an older PC was increase the RAM. Now it's to switch the HDD with an SSD. This machine has a nice processor and display, but my SIL was so frustrated with its 3 minute boot time that he was going to recycle it. I am sure that Linux Mint is helping too - even the Cinnamon desktop uses less than 1 GB of RAM - and there's 8 GB to work with now.

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Gave the upgraded PC back today. The kids booted it up, put in their school Google accounts and away they went. My grandson spent a fair bit of time playing Pokemon browser games. They'll have no difficulty at all with Linux. The older laptop is going to be just fine.

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