More laptop fixups

As I mentioned the other day, I recently acquired a hand-me-down laptop. My sister-in-law bought herself a shiny new Dell and gave me her old Compaq Presario R4000 with the dead battery.

So I'm currently in the process of fixing this system up. So far I've just wiped the drive, laid down a fresh install of Windows XP SP3, and installed the drivers and some standard applications. It's actually not a bad little system - Athlon XP-64 processor, 80GB hard drive, DVD burner. Hardly state of the art, but it beats the pants off my old Dell Inspiron B120.

Aside from the battery (which is gonna cost me about $75 to replace), there's only one problem: memory. The system comes with 512MB of RAM, which was fine for the time, but is a little small now. The problem is that the system has two 256MB RAM modules - one of which is under the keyboard, which is really annoying. And they're not especcially cheap modules, either - it takes DDR PC2700 sticks, which go for about $40 per gig on NewEgg. By way of contrast, I recently got another 1GB stick of DDR2 PC5300 to max out the RAM on my Dell, and it only cost me $12 with free shipping.

So I'm debating how much to get now. In better times, I'd just spend the $80 and max out the memory. But times are tough, and it's an old laptop, and I'm already spending $75 to get a new battery. So maybe I'll just stick to 1GB, or perhaps even half a gig. It wouldn't be quite so annoying if they'd just used 1 stick in the first place. As it is, I'm going to lose half the existing RAM if I upgrade either DIMM slot, so I'm not going to get out of this as cheap as I'd hoped.

Either way, it'll still be nice to have another laptop around, so that Sarah and I aren't fighting over the one. And even if I max out the RAM, it's still way cheaper than getting a new system, so it's still a win-win situation.

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Comments #

    Why would you buy them from newegg?

    There is one thing I always buy straight from manufacturer (besides capacitors for motherboards since no local electronics store carry capacitors of any significant variety, not even Radio Shack or Circuit City, making their names plain wrong at best (local meaning 200 mile radius from where I keep my computers/home)). That one thing is RAM. If you plan on buying Crucial, get it from Crucial. Some of the best customer service I've had, and they're all up in Idaho, so if you're based in the usa, you're more likely to get great service and intelligible English speaking support for the lifecycle of the product, and not just until your Newegg RMA window closes.

    Plus, free shipping.

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