Dell XPS - Windows upgrade help

jonezeen

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May 10, 2014
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I was wondering if it would be possible to upgrade my Dell XPS to Windows 7 or Windows 10 (Preferably windows 10)

System Model: MXG061
CPU: CPU: Intel Core(TM)2 CPU T7200 @ 2.00GHZ (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2046MB RAM

This is an old laptop and with the current specs I am assuming that I will not be able to upgrade.
BUT, would it be possible for me to get Win7/Win10 if I were to upgrade some parts?

If so, which parts should I upgrade?
 

mazboy

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Dec 28, 2017
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absolutely. I run Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" with the Cinnamon Desktop on such lowly chips as the Celeron G3900. You can actually run it "Live" without installing it by downloading it from here https://linuxmint.com/download.php and using rufus.exe (from here: http://rufus.akeo.ie/)
(how-to here: https://mintguide.org/tools/317-make-a-bootable-flash-drive-from-an-iso-image-on-linux-mint.html) to get it onto a bootable USB stick. You won't be able to save any of your work, but it will give you an idea of how it works. And it comes loaded with all the software applications you can possibly use, already installed, and presents you with a very Windows-Like desktop.

Software in the download includes music players, GIMP, LibreOffice suite, and much, much more. Plus there are a zillion more "packages" out there to download and try free.

Just don't expect it to be gamer ready...
 

mazboy

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Dec 28, 2017
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This is what Microsoft says your minimum specifications should be: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/windows-10-specifications

You can load Win7 or Win10 on that computer, but I can tell you that it will be desperately slow. I think(?) you can upgrade to 4GB RAM (check with Dell before you do anything like this), and you could replace the (probably tiny) HDD with an SSD to get a little more speed. That would be a pretty big investment in that computer. But if that is what you have to work with, it can be done. You can download Win10 here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 and install it free without a license key. It will run fine, with only a few restrictions. A legal license key will cost you around $90-120. Good luck!
 

13thmonkey

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Jan 10, 2006
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It is a complete reinstall however, there is no upgrade path that leaves things intact. I seem to recall on an XPS M1310 (or whatever it was) I installed 4GB of RAM, don't see why you can't do it.
 

jonezeen

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May 10, 2014
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Thank you guys. I was hesitant but I will definitely get 4GB of ram and an SSD for it. I do not mind doing a complete reinstall (I just hope everything goes smoothly.)

I did the Crucial Compatibility test. http://crucial.com/usa/en/scanview/A589A7A031D926C3

https://www.amazon.ca/Komputerbay-PC2-6400-Notebook-Lifetime-Warranty/dp/B0032CP24W/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1516784459&sr=8-3&keywords=DDR2-800+SODIMM

Is this a good option for the RAM?
For the hard drive, I plan on getting a 250GB Samsung 850 EVO.
 

mazboy

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I can honestly say that I've never heard of Komputerbay...personally, the lowest on the RAM pole I've ever gone is SK Hynix, and I prefer Crucial. On the other hand, it's really, really hard to argue with 4GB RAM for $21!!!

A Crucial MX500 SATA SSD (either a 250 or 500GB) would be a perfect fit for your laptop.
 

jonezeen

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May 10, 2014
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I'm taking a chance with the Komputerbay brand as it is inexpensive and will come this Friday.
Now with the SSD. Is the crucial mx500 better than the Samsung 850 evo? The crucial is $103 while the Samsung is $109
 

mazboy

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The Samsung SATA SSDs are the best on the market, though you do pay a little (sometimes a big) premium for them. If you can get the 850 Evo for only $6 more than the Crucial (they're the same size, right?) I'd definitely go with the Samsung. It's a little overkill for your laptop, but not too much.
 

robert600

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Jan 19, 2012
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Is this the XPS 1710? Is the bios A07?

The nice thing about the SSD is that if and when you decide to abandon this laptop - the SSD could be easily transferred to another more modern computer so you'd still have the use of it. This is not true of the ram. Oh, and I agree ... go with the samsung.

Here's a maybe not-so-good idea. I'm pretty confident that your laptop could support an Intel Core 2 Duo T7600 (this is the fastest cpu for your socket) - it's 2.33 Ghz so about 16% faster - not a dramatic improvement but probably noticeable and win 10 would capitalize on that extra speed. Right now the cheapest one I see on ebay is $20 but I wouldn't be surprised if cheaper ones came up from time to time. Just something to think about.
 

mazboy

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as long as that pig isn't soldered to the motherboard...
 

robert600

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"as long as that pig isn't soldered to the motherboard... "

Any of the older XPSs I've torn apart (only a few) have all had sockets and PGA processors but yes, it would be wise to check first - the one time you don't check would be the time dell would throw in a BGA lol.

Here's a link to an XPS 1710 motherboard (I think that's what he has but I'm not positive). The socket M for the processor can clearly be seen to the right (it's yellow).

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Precision-M90-Laptop-Motherboard-RP445-Tested-Good-System-Board/330529820691?epid=99205352&hash=item4cf51cd013:m:mzwF_Dcfc4-wo20R1WeuNNA
 

jonezeen

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May 10, 2014
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Hey guys. Finally got the parts and installed everything.
I currently have Windows 7 64bit installed on the new SSD. I am having a problem though. My CPU is constantly at 60% CPU usage and it will jump to 100% CPU usage without me doing anything other than running windows update. I am wondering if I did something wrong maybe? Would installing 32bit Win7 be better?
I was planning on installing Win7 and then doing the free upgrade to Win10, but I am not sure if the laptop can handle it.

@Robert600 - I am confident in changing CPU's in a desktop but I am very afraid of installing a CPU in a laptop. I am afraid of breaking something and having the laptop not work at all!

Any suggestions guys?
 

mazboy

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It will seemingly take forever (at very high CPU rates) to get all the updates into your (remember...slow) laptop. there will be much gnashing of fan motors and HDDs (never mind...you have an SSD). You'll go through the same thing when you load Win10. Once the OS is all loaded and installed (it took my old Sony VAIO i3-330m 2+ hours to do the full OS install/update from Win7 to Win10), so have patience.

As for the CPU upgrade. Nah. Probably not worth the time, effort, money, or possibility of a total bork.
 

jonezeen

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May 10, 2014
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Okay. Thanks for the reply. I will update and report back!
edit: Also.. The CPU usage will go down once I install all needed updates, correct?
 

mazboy

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Yes. But with Win10, you're going to have to expect higher CPU usage than you've had before. And lots of fan noise, on and off. On and off...
 

mazboy

Prominent
Dec 28, 2017
54
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absolutely. I run Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" with the Cinnamon Desktop on such lowly chips as the Celeron G3900. You can actually run it "Live" without installing it by downloading it from here https://linuxmint.com/download.php and using rufus.exe (from here: http://rufus.akeo.ie/)
(how-to here: https://mintguide.org/tools/317-make-a-bootable-flash-drive-from-an-iso-image-on-linux-mint.html) to get it onto a bootable USB stick. You won't be able to save any of your work, but it will give you an idea of how it works. And it comes loaded with all the software applications you can possibly use, already installed, and presents you with a very Windows-Like desktop.

Software in the download includes music players, GIMP, LibreOffice suite, and much, much more. Plus there are a zillion more "packages" out there to download and try free.

Just don't expect it to be gamer ready...
 

jonezeen

Estimable
May 10, 2014
11
0
4,560
0
I won't be playing any games at all.
I will mainly be using the laptop to watch youtube videos and play poker.
I will be able to download google chrome and my poker app correct?
 

mazboy

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Dec 28, 2017
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yes to the poker app...uh...this is going to sound stupid but the only browser I use in Linux is Firefox. YouTube vids run just fine on old, dilapidated ex-Win hardware.www.nytimes.com

I went ahead and downloaded and installed Chrome on my main Linux box and it went swimmingly: automatic, installed itself, and all is good. so yes to Chrome.
 
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