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Laptop upgrade


Steff
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I have an old Compaq Presario, it must be 10+ years old, that I'd like to bring into the 21st century to give to my neice. It's got Windows 98 on it and I think it still works (don't think it's been turned on in 7 years!). Would it be worth it to update it (vista, office 07, wireless connect, etc..) or should I just look into getting a new one?

TIA, Steff

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QUOTE (Steff @ Jan 29, 2009 -> 08:38 AM)
I have an old Compaq Presario, it must be 10+ years old, that I'd like to bring into the 21st century to give to my neice. It's got Windows 98 on it and I think it still works (don't think it's been turned on in 7 years!). Would it be worth it to update it (vista, office 07, wireless connect, etc..) or should I just look into getting a new one?

TIA, Steff

By the time you buy a new OS, new Office software, and the necessary added RAM to run those things... and, this is assuming the processor is even strong enough to handle it... you will have spent more money than the cost of a decent new laptop. And the machine will be slower.

 

I'd go new. You can get one pretty cheap. Companies like Dell, HP, Gateway, and others have some very good deals right now on laptops.

 

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Jan 29, 2009 -> 09:44 AM)
By the time you buy a new OS, new Office software, and the necessary added RAM to run those things... and, this is assuming the processor is even strong enough to handle it... you will have spent more money than the cost of a decent new laptop. And the machine will be slower.

 

I'd go new. You can get one pretty cheap. Companies like Dell, HP, Gateway, and others have some very good deals right now on laptops.

 

I agree. I have a similar old Compaq Presario, and I updated it a few years ago from 98 to XP. It runs so slow (especially with all the virus software, etc that needs to be on it) that I haven't bothered to use it in months.

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It depends on what you most want from a laptop.

 

Do you want something with excellent performance that runs smoothly and quickly?

 

Do you want something with excellent multimedia features?

 

It also depends on how much you're willing to spend.

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I have all the software already so that's not an issue. Upping the other stuff is what I was wondering about. I would say average usage. She's not into games online or anything like that. Maybe a little music and uploading pictures from her digital camera, but nothing outrageous.

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QUOTE (Steff @ Jan 29, 2009 -> 09:49 AM)
I have all the software already so that's not an issue. Upping the other stuff is what I was wondering about. I would say average usage. She's not into games online or anything like that. Maybe a little music and uploading pictures from her digital camera, but nothing outrageous.

If you already bought or have the software, that is a different story.

 

Now, you want to see if you can even get the laptop up to spec for that software. Check the requirements in Processor speed and RAM for the OS and Office and other software you plan to load. Then check to see how much RAM you can even put on the machine if you want to. If that max RAM and current processor speed aren't significantly ABOVE* the requirements for the OS and Office and other software, then don't bother. If they clear it with room to spare, then go with the upgrade.

 

* You don't want to go with bare min requirements for that stuff. If you do, the computer will be ungodly slow.

 

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QUOTE (BigSqwert @ Jan 29, 2009 -> 09:55 AM)
http://www.crucial.com has a free scanner tool that will "Scan your computer to find out what is already inside your system and get recommended upgrades."

 

This thing doesn't even have a dsl line! Plug it in and dial up... wonder if I even have a cord to do that, LOL. I'm going to send it in to Jim's IT dept and let them work their magic. I was just wondering if it would be worth it to have them bother. Thanks guys!

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QUOTE (Steff @ Jan 29, 2009 -> 10:49 AM)
I have all the software already so that's not an issue. Upping the other stuff is what I was wondering about. I would say average usage. She's not into games online or anything like that. Maybe a little music and uploading pictures from her digital camera, but nothing outrageous.

 

10 years old probably doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for upgrading. You're looking at legacy drivers, which are difficult to update, and a limiting processor and motherboard which won't allow much improvement in RAM or the CPU. It won't be able to run Windows Vista, not unless you enjoy a slow, laggy machine, but XP isn't out of the question. However, it's a risk because finding some of the drivers you're going to want and need will be a trick.

 

Laptop prices aren't outrageous like they used to be, especially if you want a basic unit. A netbook is another option, though the prices have recently jumped. If you can find an Asus EEE 4G, the retail on them is $300 and I can vouch that they are wonderful computers. If you're going new, though, choose wisely. A good pick can last you another 10 years and a poor choice can last you only a month. Sometimes the added $100 on the price tag is well worth it, sometimes it isn't. The best place, that I know of, for laptop reviews is Notebookreview.com. They'll let you in on performance, heat distribution, bench mark tests, etc... things a CNet.com or a Best Buy floor rep won't give you.

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