So… Its been a few days.
I’ve run into a bit of a dilemma with the Vostro Laptop. Originally I thought this was the configuration with the Nvidia 8400m. Turns out that isn’t the case. After opening the back of it to replace the 10 year old thermal paste that was on this old CPU (runs much cooler now, by the way) I recognized there was only two chips. One for the Intel 965 and the T5870 CPU. There was another spot next to it that had nothing soldered to it.
That’s where the 8400 GS was supposed to be.
Although this is a slight dilemma, it isn’t a game changer obviously. The main issue with this is that the driver support for the Intel 965 is terrible for Linux and pretty much every operating environment. The hardware isn’t great either and it makes boot times for this machine obnoxiously long. Though that isn’t helped by this disgusting HDD I currently have installed in it (I replaced the 320gb Hitachi drive with a 640gb one).
Another change that i’ve done along with swapping hard drives is actually upgrading to 4gb of ram (it had 3gb before) and I reinstalled Linux Mint 18.3. This time, instead of the main distro I installed XFCE because its not as resource intensive. This helped out a good bit.
The only other upgrades i’m interested in doing is upgrading the HDD to maybe a cheap 60 or 64gb SSD for the boot times and I’ve read that a Core 2 Duo T9300 will work in this machine. I see a few of those on ebay from China for about 10 dollars and that might be an interesting upgrade but I don’t think the CPU is the main bottleneck here.
I still love this machine, I have a battery on the way and that should be here tomorrow so perhaps I can use it somewhere that’s not near an outlet because currently the battery will only last 10 minutes before the laptop shuts down.
I am learning a good bit about Linux as I go though. The main thing being installing programs, the terminal is actually not a bad way to do things but it’s quite different than Microsoft’s way of installing software.
Still, ill try to keep this blog up to date with my experiences using a 10 year old laptop in 2018. I’ve typed the last two blogs on the Vostro and its serving me just fine. It should be something that I can take with me and not worry about dropping it or throwing it out the window. Its much different than anything else I’ve used.