Dell Inspiron 1520: Viable After Market Upgrades

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Mihael Keehl, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. mumpsimus

    mumpsimus Notebook Enthusiast

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    Looks pretty kid-friendly to me. I turned off chat, and so far nobody's interfered with them in-game.
     
  2. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    Ok, I may give it a shot.
     
  3. lucirz

    lucirz Notebook Consultant

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    hi guys, couple of questions

    1) can someone confirm that you can put 6gb (4gb+2gb) on the inspiron 1520? a single 4gb stick of ram is still relatively expensive in 2018. crazy how cheap 4gb (2gb+2gb) is compared to a single 4gb though

    2) is anyone running windows xp professional x64 bit on this? Is it running smoothly? can you recommend me some drivers for windows xp x64 bit?

    3) anyone knows how to running an SSD on windows xp? make sure everything is running smoohtly and features like trim are enabled?

    4) how do i get bluetooth working on xp? i can't set it up to detect any blue tooth devices...

    THANKS
     
  4. Apollo13

    Apollo13 100% 16:10 Screens

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    1. Yes. @SomeFormOFhuman successfully installed 6 GB of RAM in the 1520 back around 2010, and confirmed that is the limit. The 1720 supports a full 8 GB.

    2. I used to, although I now run XP 32-bit. There were a couple things such as the SD card reader that I couldn't find XP x64 drivers for, and I only had 4 GB of RAM, of which I can use 3.5 GB on 32-bit, so it wasn't really worth the 512 MB. But by and large XP x64 did run smoothly, and I ran it for a few months. Graphics, sound, network - all the basics worked.

    Is there a particular driver you need for XP x64?

    3. If you have a Dell XP install disc, it should already have the SATA drivers installed, and installation should be easy. Otherwise, you'll need to use nLite to slipstream the SATA drivers onto an install CD.

    XP doesn't support TRIM, but the 1520 is also limited to SATA 1 (150 MBps) speeds, so with any modern SSD, the penalty from SATA 1 is going to outweigh the penalty from lacking TRIM in most cases, anyway. I'd recommend a cheap SSD since the 1520 can't take advantage of high-end SATA SSDs (I use an SSD that was passed down from my desktop in my 1520).

    4. In theory it should work out of the box as long as you have the Bluetooth chip and the right driver. But Bluetooth is optional, so if you have a second-hand 1520, it might not have the chip for it. If you pop off the plastic piece with the power button, you should see a rectangular chip just right of the middle of that area, with a connector and a few wires going to the right, and then down to the motherboard, that is the bluetooth chip. If it isn't there, that's why Bluetooth isn't working.
     
  5. firouz222

    firouz222 Newbie

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    I signed in for the purpose of say thanks to all those who have participated in this posting. I bought a near perfect condition, Inspiron 1520 on a whim for next to nothing (having recently completed the upgrade of an Inspiron 1501; I improved it to being merely slow), and this groups of posts is what motivated me to give a major overhaul.

    Besides thanking people who probably no longer watch this, I am very aware that the little comments that people made during the time of this post made all the difference to me. Yes, I read every one. On the off chance that someone is following in my foot steps; here is what I did.

    Processor: Intel Core2 Duo T5450 upgraded to the T9300 - a big improvement (and cooler running), but required me to update the BIOS from v A03 to A09. Because the machine came loaded with Linux Ubuntu, I needed to find someone with a hard drive with Windows XP on it to make the change, as the Dell file is an exe, and things like Wine would not work.

    Hard drive: Immediate upgrade to a Solid State Drive. A slow one is fine because the 1520 does not support the faster SATA speeds anyway. Remember to use the plastic packer on the side of the much slimmer SSD, as it helps seat into the connection and let the screws grab.

    Memory: I have upgraded from 4 GB to 6 GB of ddr2 RAM, a 4 and a 2 stick is as close to the top 7 GB as I got. To be honest, it runs just as well with 4 GB.

    Graphics: My screen is a perfectly good WXGA glossy running at 1200x800. I left that alone, but I was lucky enough to have the OKY768 model with the nVidia Geforce 8400GS, so I upgraded it to the Geforce 8600GT. That made a difference, but given that this is not a modern day gaming machine, the difference was not as huge as I had imagined. Still worthwhile.

    Wireless: It came with a Intel Pro Wireless 3945ABG, and I upgraded it to the Intel 4965 Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini Card. This has three aerials, which the 1520 can use, so it made a huge difference to the effective operating of the machine. Huge. I did it as an after thought because I saw one for $3 out of China on eBay. The posts here really underplayed the importance of the upgrade. I also bought the two aerial Intel WiFi Link 5100 Wireless-N Mini-Card (these come in mini and half-mini, so be careful), for my Inspiron 1501. In the 1520 it was a lot slower that the three aerial card. (Great upgrade for the 1501 though).

    Bluetooth: Came with Intel Wireless 355 Bluetooth. I kept it, as it connects well with my Bluetooth mouse and numeric keypad.

    Operating system: This 1520 came with Windows Vista, but had been replaced by a previous owner with Linux Ubuntu. For my install on the new SSD I used a 64 bit version of MX Linux, but Lubuntu and Mint XFCE, and Solus 4.0 all work fine. I prefer the lighter distros on these older machines because they use less resources.

    I now have a very usable laptop. Not quite up to the performance of a modern duo core machine, but a good solid performer, excellent build quality, and a lovely keyboard.

    Who would have thought that a machine from 2008 would still be in daily use in 2019. Probably not Dell. I really have enjoyed the upgrades, and have moved on to a more challenging upgrade of a dead Vostro 1320.
     
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  6. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    Yes. It's not like back in the day of the original Pentium class machines. Where the jump from p1 to p2 and so on were monumental jumps in speed. Computer technology has plateaued. Stuff from 2005 onward is still quite usable today. With a little update from an ssd and ram increase, you can use them for most things.
     
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  7. mumpsimus

    mumpsimus Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have several people in my family on maxed-out Inspiron 1520s / Vostro 1500s. Every 3-4 years, the graphics cards starts to die, and I set about finding a replacement on eBay. Last couple of times, I was able to find 8600M GT for around $12 (usually from a seller that had several), but this time I was only able to find one for $27, and for the Vostro 1700 (which required swapping heat sinks with the dying card). So it seems we've reached a kind of inflection point with regard to supply/demand in which some of these prices are going to start rising again...
     
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  8. firouz222

    firouz222 Newbie

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    With the age of the machines, the parts are starting to wear out, and used parts become a bit of a gamble. I agree that the costs are starting to rise, and often it is cheaper to just get an entire second machine to take parts from. But that is a gamble too, as the same parts may have failed. Finding just what I want in a small market like New Zealand is problematic. I got my 8600GT graphic card from the US, but only on a second go, as the first seller sent me the 8400GS (they look almost the same...). So now I have a couple of 8400GS cards in store.

    Meanwhile, the Inspiron 1520 I upgraded has had Window 10 successfully installed, and operates well enough. In fact it remains a better gaming machine than my newer rebuilt Latitude E6410, despite the fact that it is theoretically inferior.

    I have a soft spot for the 1520. My son is using it now, and I hope to keep it going for a while to come. I hope you succeed as well. Some machines just are worth the effort.
     
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