PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/Laptop Dell DV5T-1000US



I have a DV5t laptop a few yrs old - as far as hardware goes, what could I do to speed it up?

I have a few ideas:

- I have 4GB RAM in it, but if go to 64bit, instead of the 32bit that I now have, I think the dv5 will accept 8GB. So, I could do that.

- I replaced the 5400 rpm HDD with  a 7200rpm.
Should I still replace that 7200 with a SSD?

- ?'s about solid state - If I curr. have SATA, do I just get a SATA SS drive? Are they (SSD's) all SATA? Or, how do I go about that? I don't know how the solid state drives connect to the laptop.

- Do you know about the best/fastest/most reliable SSD out there right now?

- Does it make a  huge difference to put the SWAP File on another drive, say an external? What if the external is slower than the internal SSD - still a benefit?

- In your opinion, what's the best brand of RAM?
I've used Mushkin, Crucial/Micron, Corsair, Kingston. Some seemed better than others, but I can't remember which was better. In your opinion, what do you like?

- I'd appreciate any other quick hardware tips.

- One more thing: I have a 17" Dell laptop, a couple of yrs old, that a friend gave me, bec. the monitor is COMPLETELY dead. Is there anything that I can try (sensor, wiring, etc.), before having to buy a whole new monitor (which I doubt I would do)?

I appreciate your time & help!


It's actually an HP DV5T-1000US, not Dell, but not a big deal.
Unfortunately that laptop can't handle more than 4GB at all, regardless of whether or not you installed a 64-bit Windows. However, 64-bit Windows 7 would still be a bit better because it utilizes more of that 4GB than 32-bit does. Of 4GB of RAM a 32-bit OS only actually uses 3.5 of it.

Bumping the hard drive up to 7200 RPM will definitely make a big difference in speed, especially if the current drive is the original, simply because drives start to get slower with age.

SSD laptop drives are all SATA connections so one would at least physically connect. What I can't answer is whether or not it would work. The BIOS in your laptop may be too old to recognize an SSD, honestly don't know without trying.
That's a 5 year old laptop so it's a good chance the system wouldn't recognize an SSD but maybe that's something you could take into a shop locally and check. Maybe someone would have an SSD you could borrow to at least see if the system 'sees' it.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with an SSD even if it does work. That's a 5 year old laptop and spending $200-$300 on an SSD is kind of overkill for an older dual-core Pentium laptop. You'd be better off saving that towards a new laptop.

I wouldn't recommend moving the swap file to an external drive since it would cause issues using it anytime the drive wasn't attached. At best, if Windows 7, what you could do is get a USB thumb drive and configure it as a ReadyBoost drive. That is essentially an extra 'swap' file that Windows 7 uses to speed up booting and processing. I'd say to just go with a 7200 RPM drive and call it good.

RAM anymore is pretty much 'you get what you pay for' as all the brands are about the same quality for the same price. My personal preference is Kingston, but that's just a preference. Both Micron and Crucial are good brands also. I've actually never heard of Mushkin so can't say one way or the other there. Since you're already max'ed on what that motherboard can handle that won't make any difference anyway.

As far as the Dell laptop with the burnt out LCD, sadly there's really nothing you could do beyond trying to find a replacement screen off eBay and replacing it. At best, beyond that, you could connect it to an external LCD and kind of using it as a desktop instead. Once LCDs die, they're done. There's nothing an end user can do to fix one.

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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Mike Rigsby


Areas of expertise: PC Hardware, Peripherals, Barcode Scanners, Printers, and Applications, Networking, Microsoft Applications. I am good at researching issues and have a lot of contacts in the IT industry. So, if I can't directly answer a question I can likely find the answer. Areas I won't be much help in: Apple Computers, Linux, older Networking technologies like Token Ring, or Thick/Thinnet.


I'm currently a Network Administrator for a contract circuit board manufacturer in Oregon, USA. I've been working on PCs from a hobby standpoint for better than 25 years. I've been doing it professionally for 4+ years.


A+ Certification, Network + Certification, MCP, MCDST, MCITP

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