Replacing Fan on Old Laptop?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Omer D, Dec 28, 2015.

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  1. Omer D

    Omer D Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have an old R500 (6 years). It used to be extremely quiet. For a while now it is noisier - and works all the time to some extent. I am about to send it to IBM technicians to repair something. While they are opening it, I am thinking of asking them to install an SSD and to clean the laptop. Is it a good idea to also have the fan replaced after so long? If I do replace it, could it return to its quiet days?
     
  2. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

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    Thermal paste should probably be replaced. Fan is also probably just dirty and needs to be blown out. You can just try to take a can of compressed air to the fan duct opening and see if that helps out. With that old hardware I wouldn't bother with an SSD. You won't see much improvement in a system with a Core 2 CPU. And to be honest if you put more than $100 in that laptop you're better off putting it towards a new lower end system. Any modern laptop will run circles around that R500.
     
  3. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Yes, I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    @Omer D you will definitely see an improvement with SSD, but this machine is so old it is not feasible to waste money on greedy technicians - do the upgrades and repaste job yourself, it ain't rocket science and there's a service manual available. You should post complete specs of the machine, by the way. @HTWingNut is right that investing more than $100 in R500 ain't wise, but you still can improve your experience dramatically within that sum.
     
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  4. Omer D

    Omer D Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey, my system is already quite responsive for my needs. If an SSD would make it slightly faster it would be enough for me. My main reason for an SSD is the need to move the laptop around without full shutdown. I could transfer the SSD to my next laptop anyway.

    I have a tough time finding a laptop with a keyboard that I like as much. I don't like chicklet, I don't like 6-rows, I don't like no dedicated buttons for touchpad etc.
    All these common sense things that for some reason are hard to find..
    If I could find a laptop with a similar quality keyboard/overall build, I would consider it..
    For now, I'll try to prolong the life of the laptop I have..
     
  5. Omer D

    Omer D Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks! When I opened it last time, I caused the touchpad/trackpoint to stop working so I'm afraid of causing any more damage..
     
  6. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Yes, I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    @Omer D Lenovo X220 can be had for $150; bigger machines with same keyboard e.g. T420 - probably, too; some chiclet keyboards are very good, though. You can move laptop around when HDD's working, just to be careful. SSD, however, will make your machine much faster - nowhere near slightly.

    256GB SSD will cost you less than $80. Buying smaller size just isn't practical - it's usually wiser to buy the biggest SSD one can afford. If you choose 256GB, I suggest getting an mSATA drive and cheap 2.5" adapter to ensure maximum reusability in future e.g. when you change your notebook.
     
  7. Omer D

    Omer D Notebook Enthusiast

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  8. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Yes, I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    @Omer D, yes, it will do. Regarding reusability - if you purchase latest thin and light model - unlikely; otherwise, yes. 512GB m.2 2242 SATA SSD that is potentially reusable in almost every system is worse in every other aspect and will cost you more, though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  9. bennni

    bennni Notebook Evangelist

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    Basically, unless the next system that you buy is an ultrabook, the chances are that a regular 2.5 SATA SSD (Like the one you posted a link to) will be compatible are good.

    Starlight's suggestion is well worth listening to if you're considering a move to a very thin and light/ultrabook system in the future. Judging by the falling costs of SSD drives it may be inexpensive to just buy a fancy M.2 SATA drive when that time comes.

    Definitely clean out the fan and repaste the CPU - get a local computer repair shop to do it for you, if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself. They'll likely charge less than an IBM technician and it should be well within their capabilities to perform. Fresh install the operating system to the SSD and you may well be surprised at how well the system runs. Given the age of the system, I'd be inclined to clean the fan and repaste the CPU myself, as well as install the new SSD - take it slowly and make notes as you do it. Ask a friend who knows their way around a notebook - also check to see if iFixit.com has a guide to help you.
     
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  10. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    The need to move a system around (while it's on/working) is the best reason to have an SSD inside.

    I agree with the rest of the posts too except for the part where mSATA SSD's are suggested (probably won't even work in your system - and even if they did they are much less performant than 2.5" SATA3 based SSD's...) and where it is indicated an SSD will make your computer much faster. That is plain wrong.

    If we disregard startup and shutdown (where it does make a dramatic difference, granted), the system does not get more powerful; it is simply more responsive. There is a difference and I just want you to know the nuance of that before you commit.

    Your computing experience will be vastly improved by an SSD, but it doesn't raise the performance of the system itself (CPU+RAM and, if used; GPU) by one iota.

    Having said the above; I would still recommend a newer ThinkPAD to replace the one you have.

    A client just purchased an E550 with an i7, 16GB RAM, an 960GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD, a Radeon R7 M265 and Win7Prox64 (promptly upgraded /free to Win10Prox64) that will be like comparing a Porsche to a Pinto even if you installed an SSD in your system.

    The cpu is more than twice as powerful, 4x the max RAM of your platform, the SSD (on sale for ~$350 - save almost 50%...) still considered the top of the 2.5" SSD's to get by many (including me) and the battery life easily past 8 hours for light use (an indicated 32+ hours when accidentally left on for most of the day; screen off) thanks to having a platform that is more efficient than it's cpu is more powerful (vs. your current one).

    Top this off with a great keyboard, a great screen (1920x1080), an AC class wireless card and USB 3.0 ports.


    This ~$1K modern, Broadwell based system is an easy upgrade and a far cry from anything you can do to your old R500 (yeah; I had one of those too a long time ago...).

    The problem with upgrading old platforms with new components? No guarantee that something else won't go on them in the next few weeks/months after an upgrade (yeah; happened to a client of mine to the tune of a $2K 'upgrade'). Brings to mind of putting new wine in old wine skins...


    I think you have the info you need to make the best decision for you.

    Good luck.


     
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