2017-04-15

Squeeze the most of my HP 530



CASE

Back in 2007 my father gave me a brand new HP 530 for my BD, with the following specs:
CPU: T2300
RAM: 1GB
HDD: 80GB

It had Windows Vista, which was running quite bad. After that I used Ubuntu for a lot of time, and then Windows 7 still runs pretty well. After that I bought quite an expensive HP laptop, but one major difference remained. The HP 530 touchpad is very very comfortable for me. I don't know why they don't manufacture it anymore. So I decided to leave this old machine in my kitchen, and use to browse, movies, and recipes. I used a program to reduce the CPU speed so that the fan is not making so much noise (click here for it), but even on high speed it was pretty slow for some things.
And I decided it is time for an Upgrade


SOLUTION

RAM
According to the HP530 specs, the max RAM is 2GB, so I bought 1 more. One day I had several memory sticks for other machines, so I decided to give it a try.

With 3GB RAM (1+2) - it runs without any issues - I can publish the brands and models if someone is interested

With 4GB RAM - however - it does not start at all. Even if I was able to start it, the 32bit Windows 7 would detect only 3GB without a hack, and 64bit Windows was not an option, because T2300 is a 32bit CPU. So I decided to leave it with 3GB.


HDD
One of the major bottlenecks of the performance was the HDD. I upgraded it to a newer 320GB HDD, but still it was slow.
To resolve this I bought a second hand Samsung 750 SSD, 128GB. It was ~40 euro. It made quite a difference!! You can use the Samsung migration tool to migrate your system, it is as easy as one click.

CPU
I searched the i-net for the best CPU for my HP530. It appears that it is Intel T7200 and T7600. I decided to buy the faster one - T7600 @2.3Ghz (compared to 1.6Ghz for T2300) from e-bay (~19GBP).
I recommend giving your laptop to a specialist, changing the CPU of this model is not an easy task.
With this final change the whole computer is performing really well. It is capable of playing 720p even on low CPU speeds.
Few more notes about the CPU - I used the same program to reduce the CPU speed, this one has 5 or more steps (compared to T2300). Even on 1.3Ghz it is faster and good for me. Bear in mind that T7600 is a bit hotter - 34W (31W for T2300), so you don't want your fan to run like hell. But if you need, you can use MAX speed. Soon I will publish my program for reducing the CPU speed, with explanation.


Others
I also changed the power supply - it developed a very strange problem - it was not able to charge the battery while the computer is running, but only when it is off. Something was gone bad, without any signs, and it reduced its maximum output power. At first I thought it is a battery problem, and I bought a new battery as well. Silly me!




All in all
The price of all these manipulations was quite high, I'd better bought a second hand laptop, but I just love this one so much. Mainly because of the touchpad (one of the buttons broke :( ).
Hope somebody will find it helpful.
Cheers!

6 comments:

  1. Very nice. I also have one. Since 2008. Going like a Boeing. I also run 3Gb, T7200. But need a HDD. My original is showing a few errors now in SMART.
    I decided to change to Linux, since in our hotter climate the processor being taxed by Vista's resourse hungry nature, caused the processor to overheat and cut out. Now with Linux Lubuntu it's running like a boss. 55-60 degrees C only.

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  2. Thanks for your comment Colin. I also tried to reduce the heat, and I came up with a little BATCH script. It is very nice and ready, but still need to test it for the last time before publish it here. I also used Ubuntu on this laptop for several years, but couldn't make it work for me, although I am an IT professional. Seems Windows 7 works better.
    As for the Batch script - it analyzes your CPU-> when it reduces its main frequency when you lower the % utilization in the power settings. As a result it produces several .bat files for every frequency and you can switch. Ubuntu has it built-in, but I could not find a program for Windows.

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  3. I am also at 2Gb and would like to add one, can you please post RAM brand and model?
    Thanks

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  4. Hi, both my RAM boards have Elpida chips. One of them is Genuine Elpida 1GB PC2-5300 at 667Mhz. The other one 2GB has no brand, but has Elpida chips again, and rated PC2-6400 at 800Mhz. So together they work at 667Mhz. CPU-Z cannot recognize them. I got another software - Speccy, it detects them fine, but tells me the Elpida board is PC2-6400 !? So I removed the panel to see them. Cheers!

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  5. I also have one, but I upgraded to 4 gb of RAM where I got some really cheap from China on ebay. The system only recognizes about 3.5 though, but I also have the T7600 CPU (in the mail) which is a 64-bit CPU (you mentioned 64-bit was not an option because of the CPU, which you then upgraded anyway), so I'm curious how it will work then.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I am crious too. But I'll only try to boot Ubuntu 64, because installing 64bit Win does not worth it. It is usually more RAM demanding, for exchange of a very slight performance improvement.

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