Is it worth upgrading this laptop?

tech3475

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Sep 1, 2009
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I have an old laptop I use when I'm away from home but I'm finding it limited particularly when it comes to VMs (I'm either limited to 1 and/or it's relatively slow even for a VM) and I'm not sure whether it's worth upgrading it or replacing it entirely.

Current spec:
Intel i7 740qm 1.73Ghz
4GB Ram
AMD 5650 1GB
640GB Hitachi HDD

Possible upgrade:
8GB Ram- £60
512GB SSD-£150

My main concern is whether the CPU's age would make it a waste to upgrade it or if I'm better off putting that money towards a new one so I'm wondering what others think about this.

If I do go the replace route I know a desktop is the best option but it might become impractical at a later date so laptops are preferred but from what I've seen can be allot weaker than a desktop build and/or more expensive.

Obviously the GPU is old but I'm mainly doing CPU stuff e.g. VMs.

Thank you.
 

SulliFlux

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Oct 1, 2014
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I would upgrade to a new Desktop when you have the chance, but it might be worth looking into a new laptop, if you travel alot or if its more practical. MSI have some very nice and pretty powerful laptops, but they are pretty pricey. If you really want to indulge yourself, you could look into buying a Razer Blade 14'. They are incredibly thin and they really pack a punch, but again they are quite pricey (aprox 2000 usd if memory serves me correct).
 

Rakeen70210

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Jun 9, 2014
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Yeah personally I would upgrade and get a newer one. That being said, that 740qm cpu that you have is not a bad cpu at all. However if your feeling that your laptop is sluggish for certain tasks such as what you mentioned, then I would look to get a newer laptop with an i7. If you want to wait until 2015, intel will release their broadwell cpu's which greatly reduce power consumption and improve graphics by about 40%. Adding more RAM and getting an ssd isnt worth it right now when any laptop you buy right now will have 8GB of RAM and will have better specs overall.
 

jacobdrj

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Your laptop, depending on the number of VMs you are running, should be just fine with a bit more RAM and a SSD. I run VMs at work, and only have a 2nd gen i5 laptop. When I got it, it had a 500 GB HDD and only 4 gigs of RAM. We maxxed out the RAM at 8 GB and swapped out for a 256 GB Crucial M4, and it has made a world of difference.

Now, would a new dedicated desktop perform better? Absolutely. Would it have been nice had my laptop supported more than 8 GB of RAM? Definitely. However, I worked with what I had and the budget I was give, and I can't complain.

Just save the money you didn't spend on a new desktop in a fund, save up a bit more over time, so that when you do need to spring for one, you will be able to get an awesome desktop to complement your laptop. Something with 32 gigs of RAM and some SSDs for speed and some HDDs for storage space combined. Any intel chip i5 or better will be just fine (as long as it already supports full hardware virtualization). And the graphics will be fine too.
 

tomallen

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Feb 27, 2013
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In my opinion, the RAM and SSD would help tremendously. For VMs, especially the RAM. I've found disk and internet speed to be my biggest bottlenecks. My dad has this fiver year old iMac. I did a fresh install of everything and it's proving that it can still be "speedy" today. With extra RAM and an SSD, I'm positive it would be great besides the graphics. That has an.. i3 I think?
 

tech3475

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Thanks for the responses, I may just save the money and upgrade this machine unless I see something then.

I was speaking with someone today with a newer laptop who was having similar issues to me so the SSD/RAM may help this as I suspected (at least the SSD can be reused and the RAM is cheap enough).

That said, it's a shame that larger capacity mpcie SSDs aren't available as I have a spare slot free (64GB is way to small for my boot drive).

BTW, will it be ok if I put 1600mhz RAM in a 1066mhz board?

Looking around I've read it will either underclock it (fair enough) or potentially cause problems.

Here are the ones I'm currently looking at:
1066:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-DDR3-SODIMM-Memory-Module/dp/B008PK37I4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1412361331&sr=8-4&keywords=8GB+DDR3+SODIMM
1600:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-SODIMM-1-35V-Memory-Module/dp/B006YG8X9Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412361331&sr=8-1&keywords=8GB+DDR3+SODIMM

SSD:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-CT512MX100SSD1-512GB-Includes-Adapter/dp/B00KFAGCUM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412359858&sr=8-1&keywords=512GB+SSD
 

sora

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Oct 30, 2013
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The i3 isn't too bad at all, even though it is kind of old.
 
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