Just thinking out loud and looking for advice


Feb 10, 2009
Here goes.

I have an HP DV9700CTO laptop. Following Specs.
17" 1440x900 WXGA LCD
Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo-T9300 @2.50GHz
3GB DDR2 5300
512 MB Nvidia 8600M GS
160GB 5400RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s HDD

I have thought about upgrading to a newer laptop lately and I've listed my personal pros and cons.

CPU-Faster cpu, quad core possibility, lower power consumption
RAM-Faster ram (DDR3), cheaper to upgrade later, more GB's now and future expandability
HD-Newer chipset will allow SATA 2 or 3 HDD's and truly benefit from SSD upgrade
Video-Larger total video card memory, newer tech, directx 11, better cooling/wattage
Led screen-brighter colors, better movie viewing experience
13-15" size, won't have to lug around a heavy 17" or big backpack either
Better battery life
Backlit keyboard

CPU-It's going to be pricey to get something around 2.5GHz+ for my budget ($500)
Might not get better graphics, newer maybe but for price point, probably just integrated and not a dedicated card
Might not have 2 HDD bays
Losing overall performance which i've come to depend on

Photoshop CS5 64 bit
Illustrator CS5
InDesign CS5
Lightroom 3.4 64 bit
Rosetta Stone
Microsoft Office 2010

Perfect World International
League of Legends

I use this laptop with Windows 7 64bit and it's basically my desktop replacement. I have a gaming desktop at home and i use it for video editing and graphic work. Everything I run on it, I have been able to run on my laptop just fine. I don't game that much anymore, so gaming on the laptop isn't that big of a deal, the VC i have now is perfect on medium/high settings and i'm happy with it. I would like a brighter screen, but it's not that big a deal since i can just watch most of my movies with the HDMI out, or just watch it on the 24" LED monitor on my desktop since it's paired with a nice set of speakers. I think the processor speed is just fine. I keep it on power saver/balanced most of the time, but when working it's on high performance. Either way i get about 2.5-3 hrs battery time, but would like more if possible, but not a deal breaker. I want to try the speed of a SSD, but dislike the SATA 1.5 that I have. If there was a mod/cable/adapter to hack my SSD purchase to make it use SATA 2 somehow, i'd be up for it. No luck finding one yet tho.

My upgrade options are:
since nobody has successfully got 6 or 8GB to work.
one 2GB stick of 5300 for about $23
4GB of 6400 for $45
64GB SSD for about $100, I'm only using 46GB now on my 160GB drive so i'll be fine. Only thing is that the SATA 1.5 will be used with the SATA II drive i get. Boot time will be better, power consumption, sound, heat, faster write times, but the saturation worries me.

So the $145 for SSD and RAM is way cheaper than $500 on a whole new laptop, when these upgrades should be sufficient.

Anybody else been in my shoes or contemplating the same upgrades? Did upgrading your notebooks HDD to SSD despite the SATA 1.5 actually increase performance and battery life? Would you choose the 5300 or 6400 ram?

Also of the 3 SSD drives listed, which is best?


I read the Best SSD's for July, and understand they aren't sandforce controllers


Feb 10, 2009
i WAS thinking about upgrading, but that's not the point of my thread at all, the questions are at the end of the post. I didn't really follow the format because it wasn't a thread that I was looking for suggestions on which model to buy because i wasn't looking to buy one at all. Nor was I ever in the market to upgrade my processor, only the items listed at the end of the post. I wasn't upgrading graphics, just the RAM and HDD, but thanks for a reply.