Aspire 7720G major upgrade

Discussion in 'Acer' started by ttomorad, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. ttomorad

    ttomorad Notebook Consultant

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    Just wanted to post my Aspire 7720G upgrade adventure. The machine came with Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.00GHz, GeForce 8400M GS (256MB DDR2), 2GB Samsung DDR2 @ 667MHz and Western Digital Scorpio HDD 160GB. At this point my 3DMark 06 score was 1818, I was using Windows 7 Ultimate x64. I didn't write down subscores for Windows Experience Index at the time so I don't know for sure but the base score was about 3.8, a little low if you ask me. I replaced nearly everything there is to replace:

    T7300 @ 2.00GHz => T9500 @ 2.60GHz
    GeForce 8400M GS (256MB DDR2) => GeForce 9600M GT (512MB DDR3)
    2GB Samsung DDR2 @ 667MHz => 4GB Corsair DDR2 @ 667MHz
    Western Digital Scorpio HDD 160GB => 2x Corsair Nova SSD (60GB + 128GB)

    I'm using the latest 1.45 BIOS (MXM Edition)

    So, from very low score of 1818 in 3DMark 06 I now have 5875 3DMarks and a Windows Experience Index of 6.2, CPU & Memory both have a subscore of 6.2, Graphics & Gaming graphics have 6.4 and Primary hard disk scores 7.3 (Windows 7 Ultimate x64).

    The biggest upgrade are the 2 SSD's, Corsair Nova series are great, native support for TRIM in Windows 7 and a fast Indilinx Barefoot controller, with my old Western Digital Scorpio retired I now boot into OS in about 15 seconds.

    And that's about it, I can also say that if you're not sure wich GPU is better, 9600M GT 512MB DDR3 or 9650M GT 1024MB DDR2, go with 9600M GT. I tried both of them and 9600M GT is a little faster, mostly because of DDR3, 9650M GT however runs a bit cooler (55nm), but my BIOS didn't recognize a single MB of GPU memory. Also, if you want to upgrade your CPU, don't go with Extreme series, I tried Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 @ 2.80GHz and it just couldn't work on higher clocks than 1.2GHz, probably because of the 10W larger TDP, my socket couldn't provide enough power for it.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.


    UPDATE (11. 26. 2011.)

    Successfully replaced the old 1440x900 LCD with a brand new 1920x1200 (WUXGA) LCD. It's a cosmetic update but a must-have, everything looks so sharp now.
    Bought a new battery, 5200mAh - 11.1V, and installed a Bluetooth 2.1 module which I didn't get with this notebook, it was just bugging me to have a Bluetooth button with no function ;)
     
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  2. hexxor93

    hexxor93 Notebook Consultant

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    Nice upgrade :D I would love to get a few SSDs for my laptop just too much money :/
     
  3. ttomorad

    ttomorad Notebook Consultant

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    A little too much right now but they're worth it, no more waiting after a simple mouse click, everything loads instantly.
     
  4. mig213

    mig213 Newbie

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    I was just wondering how you managed to fit two internal SSDs in...is it possible to have two internal drives on that laptop?

    Edit: the reason I'm asking is I have an Aspire 5920G, I'm wondering if it has space for 2 hard drives.
     
  5. ttomorad

    ttomorad Notebook Consultant

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    The SATA caddy in my laptop has two slots for 2.5'' disks, one was free. You would have to open it up and see for yourself, but I think most of the Acer models have two slots.
     
  6. alligatorman

    alligatorman Notebook Guru

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    Which GPU driver did you use to get the 9600m GT to work?

    I tried it on my 5720 but it wouldn't recognize.

    Had to settle for a 8600m GT. Maybe it's the bios difference between 5720 and 7720?
     
  7. ttomorad

    ttomorad Notebook Consultant

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    I used 257.21 with modified INF file from laptopvideo2go.com. I had the same problem in the beginning with my original 8400M GS and later with 9600M GT. For some reason the driver doesn't recognize certain mobile GPU's although all of them are supported. As far as I know, with modified INF file any card will be detected during installation.
     
  8. triturbo

    triturbo Long live 16:10 and MXM-B

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    Nice upgrades you have there, I did more or less the same. I still wonder should I pull the trigger on SSD. Well I know that I should, but I wonder which one among the bunch and they are quite expensive right now (I'm looking for good ~120GB one). BTW what happened with your X9000? Was it an ES, or OEM one?

    Sorry mate, we have only one HDD bay, but you can always make the HDD storage using an optical bay caddy conversion :) If/when I get a SSD I'm planing to do it.
     
  9. mig213

    mig213 Newbie

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    Oh, cool! Thanks for the link, I might try that!
     
  10. ttomorad

    ttomorad Notebook Consultant

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    Put every upgrade aside, the SSD will literally bring life to your notebook, you will loose the feeling that you're working on one. I didn't know what to buy also but it had to be the one with native TRIM support and without that JMicron junk controller.

    It was OEM and in perfect working condition, CPU-Z detected it without any problems but the multiplier was "stuck" at x6 giving it a max clock of 1.20GHz when it should be at x14 (2.80GHz). BIOS also recognized it as 2.80GHz CPU but since there was no BIOS update for a full year at the time (and still no new releases from that point) I couldn't be sure what was the problem. I tried reinstalling Windows, tried XP, Vista and 7 with no luck. I contacted Acer and they told me that the motherboard doesn't support that CPU, they didn't explain why but I think it's probably because of the higher power consumption needed for Extreme series. It was actually stupid of me to have Extreme series CPU in this Acer model since there is no chance of overclocking it (BIOS options are so limited) but maybe this experience will help out someone else. Eventually I sent it back due to incompatibility issue and took T9500, at that point I was sceptic at any future upgrade, but everything turned out more than great.
     
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