Upgrade RAM on old machine or get a new budget laptop?

alodia84

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May 2, 2017
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Hi everyone!

I have an old laptop and I'm thinking if I should simply upgrade my RAM or get a new budget laptop (while I'm saving up for a decent desktop). I'd appreciate any comments, feedback and tips. Here are the details:

CURRENT MACHINE:

Fujitsu Lifebook FMV-C8240
Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 1.66GHz
1G RAM
Windows 7 Starter 32bit
256MB Intel graphics (1024x768 32bit) (GMA 950)

WHAT I DO:
I just mainly use my laptop for Skype calls, Internet browsing, Microsoft Word, organizing photos and videos (on external 1TB and less hard drives and phones - photos and HD videos mostly taken from cellphones), Adobe CS2 light photo editing, HD and SD video playback. I usually run 2 tasks simultaneously (sometimes up to 3 - usually skype while browsing the web and with an open word or notepad application).

Obviously, my current laptop is very slow when multi-tasking. Skype calls usually lags when I access and load a new webpage, then it will eventually pick-up. USB file transfers are quite slow as well compared to new devices. It can play HD videos via VLC though (of course not in it's best HD quality but still it plays smoothly).

WHAT I WANT TO DO:
I will still be doing Skype with web browsing and an open word/notepad simultaneously.
I would still be transferring and organizing photos and videos.
I would want to be able to edit cellphone-taken-photos using Adobe CS2. And trim cellphone-taken-photos using any light video editing software.
Will also payback HD (and SD) videos (movies and cellphone-taken videos).

I'M THINKING OF GETTING:
Lenovo IdeaPad 110-14IBR
Intel Celeron N3160 Quad Core 1.6Ghz (2M cache, up to 2.24GHz?)
Intel HD graphics (I don't know the specs)
RAM could be 2 or 4G
Windows 10 Home

Is it worth it to get the Lenovo Ideapad? Or not much difference if I just upgrade my current RAM to 2G (or 4G if 4G RAM is possible on my old laptop's specs)?

Thanks!
 

GreyCatz

Admirable
Your Fujitsu Lifebook can be upgraded along these lines:

- 4GBs of DDR2 RAM
https://www.offtek.co.uk/fujitsu-siemens/laptop-memory-upgrades/lifebook/lifebook-c-series/lifebook-fmv-c8240-fmvnc5bc3-ram
This link is for reference only.

- A better CPU: Core 2 Duo T7600 @ 2.3 GHz. Do a search on eBay and you'll find these CPUs on sale for around $20.
- The 256MB Intel GMA 950 is a major bottleneck, and there's nothing you can do about that.
- You might consider buying a 64-bit version of Windows 10. This OS is faster than Win7, and the Edge browser uses significantly less CPU power than IE11, Chrome. or Firefox. For your Lifebook, this could be a very useful investment.
- Most likely your motherboard only supports SATA 1, so installing an SSD isn't going to do anything.

Other things you can do:
- If you're going to open the laptop to put in more RAM, while you're there you might un-screw as many components as possible to get to the heat sink and the fan. Remove the old thermal paste and apply some fresh on both the CPU and the IGP. Clean the fan as much as possible. These measures alone will extend the laptop's useful life by at least 1 year.

I don't know about computer prices where you live (the Philippines?), but if you can stay below $200, I'd say that it's worth considering an upgrade. The Lenovo you mention is priced at $300 (₱14,988) and while it does have a better graphics unit, it's not going to blow your mind. You get:
- A slightly better IGP,
- A quad-core CPU that compensates for the modest 1.6GHz speed by executing instructions much more efficiently than a dual-core, and
- The basic 'feeling' of a brand-new machine.

Cheers,
GreyCatz.
 

robert600

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Jan 19, 2012
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I'm not sure of your financial situation but if you do decide to do the hardware upgrades 'GreyCatz' recommends (and i do think they are good ones) ... I just wanted to point out that the ram could probably be found 2nd hand for a good price and ... you can still upgrade from win7 to win10 for free ... since your win7 is 32 bit ... it will upgrade you to 32 bit win10 but from there you can change to 64 bit win10 (again for free). i think switching from 32 bit to 64 bit would result in you losing all installed software though so you might prefer to stay on 32 bit. The only real consequence would be that you'd only be able to use about 3.5 GB of the 4 GB newly installed ram. This might be an argument for when ordering your ram - just order 1 2GB stick (I'm assuming you have 2 slots to hold ram and that 1 of them has your 1GB stick). So that would give you 3GB and a 32 bit OS could use all of it.
 
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