Solved! Upgrading Old Laptop

Dec 10, 2018
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Hi there, I'm currently looking at upgrading my mothers old laptop. She has a 2009 Dell Latitude running an Intel i3-2330M 2.20GHz, boasting a lovely 4GBs of RAM and a 360GB HDD.
I've built my own PC before, but I've never messed around with laptops. Since it's relatively old I'm hoping that I can open it up and upgrade some parts.

First on my list I'm looking at swapping out the hard drive for a small SSD of a similar size. She uses cloud storage a lot of the time so a 250GB would do her I'd say.
Is this possible to swap out a HDD for an SSD in this laptop?
Also, is the RAM upgradable?
And at a stretch, can the CPU be swapped out?

Thanks in advance for your kind results!
 
Sandy Bridge was released in 2011, so it's not a 2009 laptop (or your CPU ID is wrong).

SATA SSD on a Sandy Bridge-era laptop should be fine. It'll be either SATA 2 or SATA 3, which really doesn't make much difference for a SSD unless you're doing real time video editing. The main gotcha would be enabling NCQ to eek out a little more speed from the SSD. To do that, you need to switch the SATA ports to AHCI mode. Unfortunately, doing so makes Windows unbootable until you do a repair. So unless the SATA ports are already set to AHCI (or RAID) mode, you'll have to dig up the Windows install DVDs so you can run a repair.

The CPU is listed as a Socket G2. So in theory it should be swappable. However, many OEMs got special CPUs from Intel which were soldered instead of socketed. You'll have to crack open the laptop to confirm it's really socketed. And laptops were CPU-limited by the amount of cooling installed. So a faster CPU may run too hot for that laptop's heatsink and fan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_i3_microprocessors#Sandy_Bridge_microarchitecture_(2nd_generation)_2
 
Sandy Bridge was released in 2011, so it's not a 2009 laptop (or your CPU ID is wrong).

SATA SSD on a Sandy Bridge-era laptop should be fine. It'll be either SATA 2 or SATA 3, which really doesn't make much difference for a SSD unless you're doing real time video editing. The main gotcha would be enabling NCQ to eek out a little more speed from the SSD. To do that, you need to switch the SATA ports to AHCI mode. Unfortunately, doing so makes Windows unbootable until you do a repair. So unless the SATA ports are already set to AHCI (or RAID) mode, you'll have to dig up the Windows install DVDs so you can run a repair.

The CPU is listed as a Socket G2. So in theory it should be swappable. However, many OEMs got special CPUs from Intel which were soldered instead of socketed. You'll have to crack open the laptop to confirm it's really socketed. And laptops were CPU-limited by the amount of cooling installed. So a faster CPU may run too hot for that laptop's heatsink and fan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_i3_microprocessors#Sandy_Bridge_microarchitecture_(2nd_generation)_2
 

robert600

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Saying Dell Latitude isn't really enough info. What is the model #? I've never seen a Latitude that didn't have a max ram of either 8 or 16 so that should be no problem. Neither should swapping the hdd for an SSD.

The processor is more interesting - the 2330M came in 2 versions - a ball grid array (non-replaceable) and a pin grid array (replaceable) - every Latitude I've ever had anything to do with had a replaceable cpu. If that's true with yours I think either a i5 2540M or an i7 2620M would be a good choice. They both turbo to above 3 GHz.

The i5 can be had for $21.00

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Core-i5-2540M-2-6GHz-3MB-CPU-Socket-G2-Laptop-Processor-CPU-SR044/113439893731?epid=109583745&hash=item1a698b68e3:g:haAAAOSwQ5pcDr68:rk:3:pf:0
 
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