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Laptop Replacement/Suggestions Thread: Bring out yer dead laptops!

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Posts

  • JazzJazz UKRegistered User regular
    99% sure it'll be going straight to her, but that thought did occur.

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Not entirely sure if this is the right thread, but it seems a better fit than starting a new thread in Help/Advice. I got an HP laptop (hp 17-X034NZ)for my wife a year ago, but for Reasons(tm) she only started using it this year. On the whole, it strikes me as surprisingly slow at times, though I'm thinking that this is mainly due to the HDD, as the install is relatively clean.

    From what I've read, there's a good chance that it'll perform more smoothly if I were to change the HDD for an SSD, added to which it should be quite easy to clone the current drive.

    My questions are as follows:
    1. I haven't found any specifics on the physical size of the HDD. Am I safe in assuming that 2.5" is the go-to size?
    2. Would I need to think of anything other than a SATA-to-USB adapter and an SSD of the same capacity as the HDD?
    3. As far as I know, some of the HDD is taken up by one or two HP-specific partitions; there's definitely a recovery partition and possibly another one with the software HP included. Do I need to do anything specific with respect to these when cloning the HDD?
    4. Finally, if I did all of this, put in the SSD and it didn't work, I should just be able to put the HDD back in without losing anything other than the half-hour it took to do everything?

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    Not entirely sure if this is the right thread, but it seems a better fit than starting a new thread in Help/Advice. I got an HP laptop (hp 17-X034NZ)for my wife a year ago, but for Reasons(tm) she only started using it this year. On the whole, it strikes me as surprisingly slow at times, though I'm thinking that this is mainly due to the HDD, as the install is relatively clean.

    From what I've read, there's a good chance that it'll perform more smoothly if I were to change the HDD for an SSD, added to which it should be quite easy to clone the current drive.

    My questions are as follows:
    1. I haven't found any specifics on the physical size of the HDD. Am I safe in assuming that 2.5" is the go-to size?
    2. Would I need to think of anything other than a SATA-to-USB adapter and an SSD of the same capacity as the HDD?
    3. As far as I know, some of the HDD is taken up by one or two HP-specific partitions; there's definitely a recovery partition and possibly another one with the software HP included. Do I need to do anything specific with respect to these when cloning the HDD?
    4. Finally, if I did all of this, put in the SSD and it didn't work, I should just be able to put the HDD back in without losing anything other than the half-hour it took to do everything?

    1 -- Yes; all laptop drives are 2.5". Also all SSDs are 2.5".
    2 -- You don't need identical capacity. In fact, you can get a smaller SSD than the HDD but the cloning involves a few more shenanigans (basically you only clone the used space).
    3 -- Depending on the method you use for cloning, those partitions will also be cloned over. If you don't want them, you can clone only the partitions you want.
    4 -- Yes, you can swap them back and it'll be fine.

    Before you get too far down the road, you may also want to check and see if it's programs/apps/processes eating up your RAM that's slowing everything down. For example, a friend of mine installed HP printer management software when he got a new printer, and it ate all the available RAM he had; to the point it would take him about 30-40 minutes to get to a usable desktop. Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and click on "More Details". Sort the "Memory" column and it'll tell you what's eating most of your RAM.

    I understand the allure of having a restoration partition, and I also understand that it's a relatively clean install, but I do recommend you perform a full clean Win10 install, if she hasn't saved a whole lot of stuff on the system yet.

    Thirith
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Cheers. I'll keep those things in mind, and next time my wife's laptop goes *really* slow, I'll check the memory usage first and foremost.

    I had a look at the laptop yesterday, and it's definitely not one where HP decided to make it easy for people to switch the hard drive. There are about 20 individual screws you need to take out just to open it up, and while I haven't found anything on that exact model, the various similar models that they've got covered at ifixit.com make it look like there are tons of fiddly variations. :?

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    The market for relatively thin, light, laptops in decent shells with decent mid tier graphics hardware still seems to be really unsold. Not a ton of options that I've found. But...

    I think I've finally settled on the new Razer Blade 15" as my "one laptop to rule them all" to replace my aging MSI GS60 and MacBook Pro. The model I'm aiming for has a 6-core i7, 16GB of RAM and a 1070 MaxQ. RAM and drive are user expandable. The plan is to stick a 1TB drive in it and dual boot Windows for gaming and Linux for development, replacing my need to own two laptops for travel. I'm going in eyes wide about the fact that I'm paying a premium for fit and finish, just like I did with my MacBook. I've always liked owning laptops that look and feel premium. Plus I subscribe to the idea that these thin and light power user laptops require pretty impressive engineering internally to squeeze it all in there.

    Only real fear I have is that according to most reviews it runs really hot. Sometimes uncomfortably hot. Given that Apple (mostly) solved that problem in the latest MacBooks, I'm trying to do some research now to see if Razer had a firmware update or something that drove a better cooling profile. I also wonder if you can tweak the fan profiles in the BIOS to sacrifice some noise for better active cooling under load. I travel with noise canceling headphones, I won't hear it anyway.

    That said, before I pull the trigger, does anyone else have the skinny on more thin and light laptops, with premium finish and decent discreet graphics hardware, that I've missed?

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    I want to say that either Kyle/BitWit or JayzTwoCents recently reviewed the new Blades, but I could be wrong. Maybe check those channels? From what I remember, Razer doesn't lock out their BIOS settings like, say, Apple or HP; so you should be able to do a fair amount of tweaking.

    Related: Can you give me some input on the GS60? I recently recommended a friend check out MSI's newest version of the GS series (along with other brands) and I want to make sure I haven't lead him astray. Reviews I saw on the laptop were quite positive, but obviously none of them discussed any long term use.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    I've liked my GS60 a lot. I actually returned some mid-range Asus who's model number escapes me and got the GS60 instead. I've had no serious issues with it. For the price it's well put together and works well enough. If I had any complaints: I don't like the keyboard much. It doesn't bother me for gaming but it's not great for development. The track pad is predictably disappointing. In the price range I'd definitely recommend it, it's a nice machine. It has served my travel PC gaming needs really well and only recently has the 970M started to really show it's age (Assassins's Creed Odyssey and Origin's brought it to it's knees, even on super low settings). I would imagine your friend will get one with a more modern GPU though.

    I did some research on the Blade's heat. It does get warm, but I guess a lot of the real heat complaints come from people turning on "game mode" which over volts the CPU and GPU but also causes the fans to go nuts and produced a ton of heat. If you just keep it in normal mode it apparently doesn't get that hot, reasonably warm, but not blazing hot. It only really starts to lose boost clock due to thermals if you run synthetic CPU benchmarks and it never really "throttles", just doesn't max boost. In normal work loads and gaming the CPU regularly boosts to 3.8ghz and beyond without much issue. The GPU actually stays in the 70-80C range, which is pretty good for a mobile GPU in that constrained space.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    Basil
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    Can I get a 2nd opinion on this laptop from Dell? Eyeing early Black Friday deals and this seems like a good value, but I'm incredibly rusty on general PC specs these days. Overall, I'm looking for a good budget gaming laptop in the 1K range and this seems on point.

    Specs:
    Dell G5 15 Gaming
    8th Gen i7 8750H
    16GB Ram
    256GB SSD & 1TB 5400 HD
    15.6 inch screen
    Geforce GTX 1060 6GB

    Total: $1,099.99.

    Switch Friend Code: SW-6732-9515-9697
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    The 1TB HDD is a bit disappointing at 5400 RPM, but the rest looks fine. 1060 should be able to drive most 1080p games these days at reasonable settings. As a Dell it should be user upgradable, so the RAM and storage situation can be tweaked later as required.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    Bigity
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    See if you can get some kind of review on the screen. If it's decent, then that's a reasonable price.

    Also for reference, I'm starting to see sales of 1TB (SSD) drives for under $200 US depending on manufacturer; which is an insane price if you compare to last year.

    Mugsley on
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    They'll likely go lower if you wait. A bunch of fab came on line last year, specifically fab that produces the 3D NAND variants that the big players use.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • jkylefultonjkylefulton Squid...or Kid? NNID - majpellRegistered User regular
    Looking for some advice. I'm planning on getting my 12 year old niece a Surface Pro or a Surface Go for the holidays. I imagine she'll just use it for run of the mill computer stuff, and for the stuff they show in the commercials (drawing on the screen with the stylus, etc). Is there a compelling reason to get the Pro vs the Go?

    tOkYVT2.jpg
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    Looking for some advice. I'm planning on getting my 12 year old niece a Surface Pro or a Surface Go for the holidays. I imagine she'll just use it for run of the mill computer stuff, and for the stuff they show in the commercials (drawing on the screen with the stylus, etc). Is there a compelling reason to get the Pro vs the Go?

    If you plan to actually use it as a laptop, instead of just a tablet. The go only has 4 gigs of ram and a mobile processor, while the pro has...okayish specs

    steam_sig.png
  • BigityBigity Lubbock, TXRegistered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    See if you can get some kind of review on the screen. If it's decent, then that's a reasonable price.

    Also for reference, I'm starting to see sales of 1TB (SSD) drives for under $200 US depending on manufacturer; which is an insane price if you compare to last year.

    For awhile Dell had some bad screens on the line previous to the G15s. But they corrected that prior to the G series and into the run of the Inspiron Gaming line as well.

    I mean - it's not a nice IPS screen, but it isn't a shit TN screen anymore.

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    What would be a recommendation for like, mid-low end laptops? I generally do my gaming at home on a desktop right now, so it feels silly to shoot for the high-end graphics card laptops. But at the same time I'd love to be able to be able to do work that's no fun with a phone when I'm heading home for the holidays, or head to another room to work at home so I'm not distracted.

    I'm worried if I shoot really really low, like Chromebook level, I'm going to be annoyed all the time, but I don't want to wind up paying premium for something that I don't need to like play Hitman 2 on.

    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    Honestly, that kind of sounds like a chromebook's use case, to me?

    steam_sig.png
  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    My personal opinion, having used a couple of friends chromebooks is that it's a frustrating experience and in no way worth the $100 or whatever savings.

    edit: removed the part where I was a goose.

    Aridhol on
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    Yeah my experience with Chromebooks is that everything I do on them feels like I'm using an elementary school library computer. I'd like to be able to store things on a hard drive, and not be restricted to the Google Store.

    A Surface seems nice, except that I don't really care about the tablet bit.

    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
    Aridhol
  • LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    The surface is pricey. If you need a low/mid-range computer, something that looks good from dell or asus for $500 - $800 is probably your best bet. Keep an eye out for Cyber Monday deals.

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    For a second laptop hard drive to pair up with an M.2 SSD, would a 7200 rpm HDD be decent for gaming, or should I really just pay the premium for a sata SSD?

    Switch Friend Code: SW-6732-9515-9697
  • LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    I think a mechanical disk is fine. You can always transfer whatever game you're playing to the m.2 drive while you're actively playing it and move it off when you're done.

    JazzAridholSpoit
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    LD50 wrote: »
    The surface is pricey. If you need a low/mid-range computer, something that looks good from dell or asus for $500 - $800 is probably your best bet. Keep an eye out for Cyber Monday deals.

    Hmmm yeah maybe I'll do one of the lower end of the Dell things. Are Inspirons alright? They seem to have a ton of coupons.

    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
    Aridhol
  • jdarksunjdarksun Scion of Chaos Registered User regular
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    For a second laptop hard drive to pair up with an M.2 SSD, would a 7200 rpm HDD be decent for gaming, or should I really just pay the premium for a sata SSD?
    I've personally abandoned platter drives entirely, but I only have like two games installed at any time (the game of the moment + Dwarf Fortress).

  • LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    LD50 wrote: »
    The surface is pricey. If you need a low/mid-range computer, something that looks good from dell or asus for $500 - $800 is probably your best bet. Keep an eye out for Cyber Monday deals.

    Hmmm yeah maybe I'll do one of the lower end of the Dell things. Are Inspirons alright? They seem to have a ton of coupons.

    Yup, they're fine.

    Dell even has some mid-range laptops with surprisingly good integrated GPUs: https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/dell-g5-15-gaming/spd/g-series-15-5587-laptop/dncwg5f701h

    Pricier than a low/mid laptop, but it has a dedicated 1060.

    LD50 on
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    For a second laptop hard drive to pair up with an M.2 SSD, would a 7200 rpm HDD be decent for gaming, or should I really just pay the premium for a sata SSD?


    https://slickdeals.net/f/12283417-google-express-new-customers-500gb-samsung-860-evo-solid-state-drive-59-99-free-s-h

    Edit: I'm probably going to buy one out of principle alone, but I've also got some laptops I want to migrate away from spinning drives.

    Mugsley on
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    LD50 wrote: »
    LD50 wrote: »
    The surface is pricey. If you need a low/mid-range computer, something that looks good from dell or asus for $500 - $800 is probably your best bet. Keep an eye out for Cyber Monday deals.

    Hmmm yeah maybe I'll do one of the lower end of the Dell things. Are Inspirons alright? They seem to have a ton of coupons.

    Yup, they're fine.

    Dell even has some mid-range laptops with surprisingly good integrated GPUs: https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/dell-g5-15-gaming/spd/g-series-15-5587-laptop/dncwg5f701h

    Pricier than a low/mid laptop, but it has a dedicated 1060.

    The Dell G5 15 is what I'm looking at buying this week for my first non-400 dollar laptop ever. Overall looks like a really decent gaming lappy for the price.

    Switch Friend Code: SW-6732-9515-9697
    LD50durandal4532
  • LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    Yeah, the dell 'mid-range' gaming laptops have been very solid for the last two years.

    Starting with either the 900 or the 1000 generation, the nvidia 'mobile' gpus have been performance equivalent to their desktop counterparts.

    Aridhol
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    LD50 wrote: »
    LD50 wrote: »
    The surface is pricey. If you need a low/mid-range computer, something that looks good from dell or asus for $500 - $800 is probably your best bet. Keep an eye out for Cyber Monday deals.

    Hmmm yeah maybe I'll do one of the lower end of the Dell things. Are Inspirons alright? They seem to have a ton of coupons.

    Yup, they're fine.

    Dell even has some mid-range laptops with surprisingly good integrated GPUs: https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/dell-g5-15-gaming/spd/g-series-15-5587-laptop/dncwg5f701h

    Pricier than a low/mid laptop, but it has a dedicated 1060.

    Yeah I think I'm gonna go for an Inspiron 15 5000, it seems... fine. And it's like $500 right now.

    Mostly I'm purchasing the portability, having a 1060 is awesome but if I wait a bit to get a big new desktop I can get significantly more bang for my buck. $1100 buys a hell of a desktop machine. And I just don't intend to use it for games. Or even if I did, I've got a backlog of weird low def indie stuff to take a look at!

    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    If any of you go Dell, I highly recommend either reinstalling Win10 via a USB key, or using something like Revo Uninstaller or PCDecrapifier to get rid of the bloat.

    Aridholdurandal4532BasilDoctorArch
  • jkylefultonjkylefulton Squid...or Kid? NNID - majpellRegistered User regular
    I ended up buying my niece a Surface Pro 6 - it went on sale yesterday on the MS website. I hope she actually uses the 2 in 1 functionality.

    tOkYVT2.jpg
    Basiljjae2123
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    So my new Dell G5 will be here in a few weeks, and I have a storage question that I've never experienced before. Normally, when I want to upgrade a hard drive I pick the biggest HD I can afford and chuck it into the machine. But according to Dell the maximum capacity for the G5 is 2 TB for a 2.5" HDD and 1 TB for a 2.5" SSHD. Is this kind of limit normal?

    Switch Friend Code: SW-6732-9515-9697
  • BigityBigity Lubbock, TXRegistered User regular
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    So my new Dell G5 will be here in a few weeks, and I have a storage question that I've never experienced before. Normally, when I want to upgrade a hard drive I pick the biggest HD I can afford and chuck it into the machine. But according to Dell the maximum capacity for the G5 is 2 TB for a 2.5" HDD and 1 TB for a 2.5" SSHD. Is this kind of limit normal?

    Is that a limit or just the max of what they sell?

    76561198017303226.png
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    Bigity wrote: »
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    So my new Dell G5 will be here in a few weeks, and I have a storage question that I've never experienced before. Normally, when I want to upgrade a hard drive I pick the biggest HD I can afford and chuck it into the machine. But according to Dell the maximum capacity for the G5 is 2 TB for a 2.5" HDD and 1 TB for a 2.5" SSHD. Is this kind of limit normal?

    Is that a limit or just the max of what they sell?

    Seems to be a limit. But I definitely could be getting concerned over a Max instead of a limit. I'm getting this from several posts on Dells support forum and from the G series laptop setup guide here: http://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/g-series-15-5587-laptop_setup-guide_en-us.pdf

    Switch Friend Code: SW-6732-9515-9697
  • JazzJazz UKRegistered User regular
    That seems odd that it would have a different spec for an SSHD. I thought that the computer couldn't tell the difference and just treated them the same, but all the clever caching and management was done by the SSHD itself.

    I certainly didn't consider the possibility of a capacity limit when I bought my 2TB SSHD, and (thankfully) the laptop accepted it like any other drive.

    The only thing that would have been an issue is the physical size, since even 2.5" drives come in varying thicknesses despite the obvious space limitations laptops have.

  • LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    It sounds to me like that might be a listing of the configuration options available for that model.

    JazzBigity
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    Well drat, I called Dell to check and they told me it's a hardware limitation. Learn something new every day.

    DoctorArch on
    Switch Friend Code: SW-6732-9515-9697
  • JazzJazz UKRegistered User regular
    That's crazy.

    DoctorArch
  • LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    I don't even know if I believe it.

    Jazzjdarksun
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    I did a quick search on Tom's Hardware but didn't see anything. One person said they were swapping out for a bigger size.

    Mugsley wrote:
    So now I need to get it trimmed and adjusted, and all in.

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    Man i can't believe that my amd helios 500's monitor died, its been like 4~5 weeks since i purchased it

    20181130-205512.jpg

    I have to lug the beast to a service centre tomorrow, if they charge me for this i think i might kill someone tomorrow

    Peas on
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    Basil
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