Is it worth upgrading an 8 year old laptop (Sony Vaio FW270J)? How much is too much to do such upgrading?

krm27

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Jul 28, 2014
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I have an eight year old Sony Vaio FW270J. It has served me well for eight years. I replaced the hard drive a few years ago with something similar to the original. The specs are:

Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 (2.26 GHz)
4 GB Memory 320 GB HDD 5400rpm
Intel GMA 4500MHD
1600 x 900
BD-ROM

It can play bluray, and has HDMI to connect to my TV so it can function as a "relatively" full service bluray player. It came with Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, but I have upgraded to WIndows 8.1, and it seems to run pretty well.

I've been getting problems on reboot, saying it needs to repair the C:drive. I ran a program I found online for checking a hard drive, said I had no errors. But I still reformatted the drive, reinstalled the operating system, and it ran good for a few weeks, but I had another issue with it saying it needed to repair the C drive, and it took a few hours to sort that out.

Since this seems to be a hard drive problem, I thought about replacing the internal hard drive, and upgrading to an SSD while I'm at it (250-500gb). And then I saw some of those sites that tell you want upgrades are compatible with your laptop say that I can upgrade the ram to 8gb (though the official specs say its 4gb max, not sure which to trust). This may be $250 or more in upgrades. Would that be a waste, like remodeling a house that's about to burn down?

I guess my main question is, does this computer have a fundamental bottleneck somewhere, that cannot be upgraded, and that makes it obsolete or nearly so, such that these sorts of upgrades are a bad idea, or I can just get better for the same money I'd spend upgrading this?

Thanks!
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator


An SSD even on a first gen SATA port will still be a lot faster than a spindle hard drive. The original drive is a 5400 rpm one and it already had issues which makes it run slower than a new one, just those facts would make an SSD faster even if the interface was limiting the speed to a 5400 rpm drive, which is won't.

If there are no space issues, $50 on a last year model 128 gig SSD will make the system run pretty good. For general use the RAM amount is fine. As long as the system is in good shape with no heat or screen issues, SSD is a cheap upgrade.
 

Rabmac

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Nov 29, 2015
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Personally I would not spend that much on an old laptop. With regards to getting an SSD, if you have SATA III in your laptop (doubt you will) then you could try buying a SSD (can always transfer to new machine if it does not help). If you only have SATA II I would not bother.


You could also just buy a new HDD as they are not that expensive these days, which is probably what I would do if it did not have SATA III.

Obviously this is a just a matter of opinion and others may disagree.
 

garrett1986

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Jun 8, 2010
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if the laptop meets your needs for programs/gaming yes any ssd in a decently recent laptop is worth the upgrade. just dont go crazy maybe spend $150 tops, go for capacity over raw speed, any SSD is so much faster than a traditional hard drive that considering 500mb/s to 550mb/s is superfluous.

but other then an ssd and maybe throwing in some cheap extra ram i wouldn't put to much money into it.
 

Rumbletum

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We have an Acer laptop of similar age. Last year the HDD started to fail and I had a similar debate about what to do. An SSD was an attractive option, but considering what we use the machine for i.e. surfing the net, emails and viewing films either on the device or TV (via HDMI), with limited low level gaming, I opted to install a new similar HDD. So the decision revolves around use of the device. Personally if you want a significant increase in capability go for a newer machine.
 

dish_moose

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Any ssd will make a noticeable speed improvement even if it is sata II. There are many lower performance drives that will fit your needs. An eight year old laptop has served you well, and like an old car, you have to expect other problems to crop up (battery, psu, fan, heatsink paste...). Sometimes the best plan is to just let go.
-Bruce
 

snowctrl

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Sep 10, 2013
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This laptop only has the original SATA, not SATA II, so I would not bother putting an SSD in it, unless you have one spare to try, since it will not give you much of a speed increase - the SATA port will limit severly the SSD.

Upgrading to 8GB RAM may give you a small speed boost in more demanding tasks, but I would say better to put your money towards a new system.

8 years is a long life for a PC.... I'd say this laptop has served you well!!!
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator


An SSD even on a first gen SATA port will still be a lot faster than a spindle hard drive. The original drive is a 5400 rpm one and it already had issues which makes it run slower than a new one, just those facts would make an SSD faster even if the interface was limiting the speed to a 5400 rpm drive, which is won't.

If there are no space issues, $50 on a last year model 128 gig SSD will make the system run pretty good. For general use the RAM amount is fine. As long as the system is in good shape with no heat or screen issues, SSD is a cheap upgrade.
 
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