Is it worth updating an old laptop or should I buy new?

cakeandacuppa

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Nov 19, 2017
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Hello. I am thinking of buying a new laptop, but can only afford under £300, so I wondered if it would be worth having the old one refurbished or just buy new.

I currently have a Toshiba L450-12X satellite pro, 7-8 years old. It uses windows 7 home and I use open office, no windows 10. It has 1gb ram 160gb hard drive. 512kb processor cache, 2.1ghz processor clock speed, SI-42 processor model number, ATI radeon - HD3200, 1407mb shared graphics, AMD Sempron. Don't know what half this stuff is!

The laptop has trouble buffering/connecting/staying connected to the internet, a short task can take hours or I have to give up. I assume this is down to only having 1gb ram, but I'm no expert. I don't have trouble with using tablets or phones here so I don't think broadband is the problem, except in being received by the Toshiba. I think the hard drive storage wise is fine because I'm not a heavy user, although I do have files of songs and photos but together probably do not exceed 1000. The battery is completely dead so use via mains (battery won't recharge) so obviously that needs sorting and bigger ram needs adding but not sure about processors etc and even though my hard drive seems fine is it the wrong type?

Can anyone tell me if the costs of upgrades would be so much, bearing in mind a local computer shop would have to do the work as I couldn't, that I may as well just buy a new laptop? Would buy for under £300 so storage may be less, but my current laptop is fine to hold my files, songs etc so I'm not worried about that at moment (would need to replace battery still). New one would be mainly for the internet and new docs/songs produced from internet, NO gaming, movie streaming, photo shop etc. Been looking at laptops with 4gb minimum & 64gb, 500gb, 1tb hdd or 128gb ssd (on own not ssd/HDD together, I think!). Also being so untechy could a computer repair shop see me as a soft target and say this and that needs doing when it doesn't and end up costing as much or more than a new laptop. Would only buy from known and walk-inable shops eg Argos, Curry's etc NOT amazon, online small companies etc or get an online refurbished.

Any advice would be appreciated, and quite soon as I was looking if going the new route to get one in the current black Friday deals. If it passes the 24th don't worry you can still advise because even if I buy a new one now it may still be worth having the Toshiba refurbished so my son can have a laptop to himself if he goes to uni or leaves home.

Remember keep it in simple terms for me!

Thanks

 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator
New laptop for you, and add RAM to the one you have to gift to your son.

The problem(s) with your current Tosh is 1GB RAM, and that old slow CPU.
Adding RAM will never make it great. but it will help enough for your son.
 

cakeandacuppa

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Thanks USAFret. Will go new for now then, unless someone advises different - I am in UK so don't know if replacements are cheaper here than USA (am assuming you are in USA from your name). Do you think later down the line it is only the 1gb ram and cpu (& battery) on the toshiba would need replacing? Is the CPU different to the hard drive? Sorry warned you I know nothing!

Thanks
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


In that current Tosh laptop, you can't change the CPU. It is what it is.
You can *probably* add some RAM.
You can change the hard drive, maybe to an SSD, but I'd be wary of putting too much money into it.

The small amount of RAM (1GB) is the main limiting factor on it.
 

cakeandacuppa

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Oh my gosh USAFret, I told you I know nothing! So CPU stays. Maybe I'll get the ram & see then if worth doing hard drive, all later down the line. Would 4gb ram be enough or do I need to go higher?

Thanks again.
 

mjslakeridge

Distinguished
If this is your laptop, then the RAM is expandable up to 8GB. It may be expensive since it is DDR2, and make sure you get laptop RAM, not the larger size desktop ram.

http://www.toshiba.co.uk/discontinued-products/satellite-pro-l450d-12x/

Edit: I see it comes with Windows 7 32 bit, so will support a maximum of 4GB of RAM, unless you have/will upgrade to Win 7 64 bit.
 

cakeandacuppa

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Hi mjslakeridge.

Yes that is my laptop. I would get it fixed at a computer shop because I don't have the ability so I'm sure they'd put the right one in. Good to know that it won't take bigger than 8gb ram anyway.

Thanks
 

cakeandacuppa

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Hi seen your edit. Not really understand the 32/64 bit myself, but if I stick to 4gb ram will be fine then?

Also at any point of upgrading would the Toshiba support windows 10? Or would extra upgrades be needed or just not possible? Fighting against w10 at moment but mast happen at some point! I don't need bells and whistles but my son might in the future.

Thanks
 

mjslakeridge

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4GB will certainly be better than the 1GB you currently have. I am not sure if that old hardware will support Windows 10. It might. Microsoft extended support (security updates) for Windows 7 ends in January of 2020, so that's a little over 2 more years. At that point the computer will be nearly 10 years old.
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


That will almost certainly run Win 10, but no real reason to do it. It's already 8 years old.
I have a similar age Toshiba laptop, happily running Win 10.

As for the RAM...on my Tosh L305, it is very easy to change.
A door on the bottom, held on with a single tiny screw.
Open that up, and the RAM stick is right there.

Just have to get the correct 4GB one for your laptop.
 

mjslakeridge

Distinguished
The primary RAM on most laptops is very easy to change out. We had a Dell laptop that to access the second RAM slot, we had to remove the keyboard, as that is where the second slot was located. Not sure about Toshiba.

You may be better off getting a new laptop for your son, with Windows 10 installed, and add the 4GB RAM stick to the current laptop for you to use. The reason I say this is replacing the battery for that laptop may prove expensive (assuming it is still available). He will most likely need a laptop to operate on battery power at school, while you have been using the charger. Modern laptops will most likely have better battery life than the old Toshiba.
 

cakeandacuppa

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mjslakeridge, I probably would do it that way round with him having the newer one sometime in the future as doesn't need it yet, but I feel out of safety I need to replace the battery now. It is still in the laptop as I wasn't sure I should remove it but the laptop get very hot, but maybe I've got a secondary fan issue & not the battery causing the heat.

Thanks
 

mjslakeridge

Distinguished
If your laptop is getting hot, it may just be dust buildup in the air intake port(s). Especially if it hasn't been cleaned out in a while. I don't know if will operate without the battery installed, but easy to try that. Laptops tend to run hot anyway, since everything is crammed into a small space.
 

cakeandacuppa

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USAFret, my son is 16. We share the laptop but he only uses for homework occasionally. But in the future he may go to uni or just leave home so by then he'd need his own. My current concern is to decide if now upgrading the Toshiba is more cost effective or to get a new one & not bother with the Toshiba upgrade. If it is less to upgrade the Toshiba than buy new (bearing in mind I won't pay more than £300 for new) then I will stick with that & maybe in time buy my son the new one. Hope that makes sense

Thanks
 

cakeandacuppa

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Nov 19, 2017
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USAFret

Those are so much cheaper than I imagined! So if I did buy the ram and am also able to get a battery, price wise it would be better than going for new. So I might try this way first and only buy new if this way fails (due to unseen faults maybe) or when/if a 2nd one is needed.

Thanks for that
 
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