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Goosed my 8year old tank of a laptop with a new (to it) proc

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In other news, today (besides getting a cool bevel gear cutter) I also received a used Intel i5 2450M processor from an ebay seller for $19. Destined for my tank of a Laptop, an eight year old Acer Aspire 5349-2635 with an equally modest Celeron B815 running two whole cores at the unremarkable speed of 1.6 ghz.

Now this laptop has been running for me an estimated 10,000 hours since I bought it new in 2012. It was a modest performer even by those standards then, and cost me a whopping $275, new, from WalMart. As you can see I'm into power computing  :zap:

Why would I use such pathetic hardware for 8 years. Well I'll tell you. I run Puppy Linux. And that makes it fast. Like maybe 4 times faster than whatever other operating system I could have run on it. In fact I bought it knowing that it was going to run Puppy all its life, and I didn't need more. I have done everything on that computer since, and since it's a very well built 2.5 kg tank, it has held up extremely well. I've replaced one keyboard (completely worn out) One optical drive, and one hard drive (not because it failed, just because it seemed 7 years was asking a lot of a hd.)

Everything I've ever posted here on this forum, done here, at work, and in a lot of other places of interest to me, for the better part of a decade was done with this computer. Word processing, image editing, spreadsheet calculators, 3D CAD, CNC coding, web work, TV, everything.

But it has finally met its match while editing complex videos. Like 100 clip videos. It struggles with those in a 32 bit Puppy with an old video editor program. Using a 64 bit Puppy with newer progs., it does worse. (btw there are different versions of Puppy, I have 4 Puppy OS's onboard this computer, as well as being able to boot into Win 7 -- which I've never bothered upgrading)

So I was considering getting a newer laptop, etc. Then the thought, "Can I upgrade the proc in this thing?" Well, the answer is, yes I can. And so a slight trek down the online CPU rabbit hole netted me archived threads discussing upgrades to my proc in 2012. A search of ebay for the best candidate netted me the i5-2450M at the somewhat reduced price of $19, formerly $225.

True it was still only 2 cores, but twice as many threads, better graphics support, more features and ran at 2.5Ghz vs my former 1.6. A site online allowed me to have a detailed performance comparison report calculated for the two procs. Here it is:

That showed at least double the performance. So I took the plunge. Not often you can double the performance of your laptop for $19. And it got here today!

I'd like to say I simply popped it in and ran, but it really is a tank. I had to take out maybe 20+ screws from both sides of the case just to crack it open. Had to undo half a dozen cables. This thing is on the inside very ruggedly and well built. I remember reading that on Tom's Hardware before I bought it. It's true.

Anyway, got it apart, got the fan and heatpipe assembly out (3 screws), cleaned off the heat compound on the old CPU and the cooler. Released the CPU (one screw) and removed it to a antistatic bag. Replaced it with the new CPU, and locked it in. I took the fan and cleaned it with compressed air (holding the fan still so as not to over rev it). 8 years of dust but it didn't actually look too bad. Then I put new heat compound on the CPU, and reversed all the steps. Crossed fingers and.....

It booted! Yay!

As a test I went into Bionicpup (a 64 bit Puppy) and tried out both Openshot and Kdenlive editors on a video project both had choked on. Both ran smoothly! Woohoo!

I also rebooted into Tahrpup (a 32 bit Puppy) and as expected Openshot 1.4.3 worked well, as it had in that OS, but actually, better, definitely faster rendering, and no stuttering on a complicated (100+ clip) project, which it used to do occasionally.

So, best nineteen bucks I ever spent on a computer!  :thumbup: And I haven't yet received an additional 4 gigs of RAM ($24) I sent for, which will double my also modest memory.

I know all this sounds pathetic to current computer afficionados, but at least it'll provide a chuckle. To me.....:

Happy day!  :ddb:

Very cool Steve.

It is so rare that laptops have replaceable CPUs. Especially the new ones. I took my wifes Samsung galaxy book to add memory, everything inside was almost a single board about the size of a cell phone. The laptop was 80% battery!

If you haven't already, pop a SSD HD into it for even more vroom.


Thanks Eric. Maybe some day on the SSD. What I do miss is USB-3. The USB-2 onboard was fine when data needs were also smaller, but now with terrabyte drives and hi-res video, backups are painfully slow.

I wouldn't be surprised, however, if upgrading might be possible. When the laptop was open, I notice small separate populated modules -- one had two of the usb sockets on it, one was a self contained Wifi module. My wife has a later version of this computer, same case and type, and it has USB-3.

Don't know if, on the other hand for backups, I could connect a second sata drive externally somehow. I should have looked more carefully at the internals. Well, I will when the RAM arrives.

+1 for the SSD.
I've been running an Mint on an EEEPC for years until about 3 weeks ago (replaced by a Ebay Thinkpad13 for 113  :thumbup: )
Apart from the graphic refresh on the proprietary ASUS 10" screen the EEPC was fine, but I'd had the SSD for a couple of years & I'd almost forgotten the improvement in speed & particularly battery life that made.
I do prefer Ubuntu to Mint personally.
I had to set up dual boot on the Thinkpad, since it came with a fresh install of Win10, so I had to go through the full Windows install experience :bang: before returning to sanity with the Ubuntu installation!

Hi Pycoed. I just replaced the old HD this  year with a new 7200 rpm 1 terabyte HD, which seems reasonably fast.

Puppy Linux is unlike Mint or Ubuntu because its full suite of small footprint applications, stripped of bloat, is loaded into RAM at startup rather than piecemeal in use. Applications run even faster than they would if accessed from an SSD. They run at full RAM speed, with zero load or drive access time, in a normal session.

As an example of this unusual quality, you can load the OS and applications off of a thumb-drive, and then remove the drive from the computer, and run all of your programs as if there was no change. The drive is no longer needed. And that initial load time is seconds on my computer.

Data also can be manipulated in memory and the more memory the merrier. Huge non-standard applications beyond the capacity of RAM may use some drive access depending on memory and program size, and I would suspect an SSD would improve things here. Likewise really big datasets.

So, yes, someday, when a 1 TB SSD is economically appealing, I'll no doubt get one. but for now, and most work other than complex video rendering, things are super fast as-is.


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