revive and old laptop: dell e6500

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by comp5, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. comp5

    comp5 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi,
    I have the possibility to buy an old pc dell e6500 for 50 euros.
    I think that i will going to install a linux distro.
    What do you recommend?
    Is it worth it?
     
  2. mr_handy

    mr_handy Notebook Evangelist

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    In general, if it runs and is in decent physical condition, EU$50/US$60 (I hadn't realized the exchange rate had fallen that much) seems fair for one of those machines.

    https://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/latit/en/Dell_Latitude_E6400_E6500_Spec_Sheet.pdf

    Especially true if it has the 1920x1200 screen, which was a really good one for the time and there are few enough full 16:10 1920 screens left.

    If you're looking for a general use web browsing machine, or SSH terminal, etc, it should be great.

    Personally, I like the Fedora LXQT spin for low-end machines:
    https://spins.fedoraproject.org/en/lxqt/
    Xubuntu is another good choice:
    https://xubuntu.org/
    as would building out Artix or Arch with one of lxqt, lxde, or xfce. I'd avoid a full-weight Gnome or KDE on that machine.

    One alternative would be to run a LiveCD distribution off a USB stick, and skip installing anything; I have a step-older machine (D630) which I use that way as a serial terminal as USB-serial doesn't always work well.

    Unless it already has an SSD or you go the LiveCD route, I'd put an SSD in immediately. Since it's an old SATA2 system, you're going to be interface limited and if you don't have a spare around I'd just buy whatever's inexpensive for you locally or which seems reliable. A new 240-256GB one can be had under $40 on this side of the Atlantic and would be well worth it.

    How much memory, which processor, which GPU, and what do you plan to do with it?

    Ideally, you want 6-8GB -- 8GB was the maximum on that machine, fairly uncommon and may be expensive to upgrade to. For Linux, rather than windows it might be OK with 4GB but you will need to be a little careful what you do with it -- these days 64-bit Chrome or Firefox can easily use up 2GB on their own. If it's got 2gb or 4gb, getting one 4GB DDR2 DIMM might be more affordable than 2, and you don't see a huge advantage on that generation with dual channel. If it's only got 2GB or less, don't buy it without budgeting for at least bringing it up to 4GB.

    If you do only end up with 4GB total, try to find a 32-bit version of the distro you choose.

    All of the processors will be dual-core, with usable speed if you're patient. The 6MB cache models (T9xxx and P9xxx) will have substantially better performance than the 3MB cache models (it's a bigger difference than the clock speed, which is in a fairly narrow range) and the Pxxxx models are 25-28W rather than 35W which runs substantially cooler. At least over here, P9600s

    GPU support for either the integrated or discrete GPU will be fine. I can't remember if those had the Nvidia-thermal-suicide problem (the D620 and D630 did) but given how meh the graphics performance of either would be by present standards, I'd hope for the Intel.

    Overall dissassembly on them is one of the easiest among Dell models and while I've never done a repaste on them I'd imagine it should be pretty easy -- and it might be worth repasting given the age of the machine if it's never been done. Especially if it has the Nvidia chip.

    Battery life on the E6500 was pretty mediocre even when new, especially if you didn't have the 9-cell battery. There are a ton of aftermarket batteries, mostly very inexpensive and mostly in 9-cell, but I don't have any experience to indicate whether they're any good.
     
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  3. comp5

    comp5 Notebook Enthusiast

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    the laptop has 4 GB ram.
    I found on Amazon this ssd
    Kingston SSD A400 - 120GB
    This ssd will be compatible?
     
  4. mr_handy

    mr_handy Notebook Evangelist

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    It's 2.5" SATA, so it will work. I can't remember how well the E6500 did mounting 7mm drives but you can usually shim with some cardboard -- there's no need to buy an adapter (which is just a 10c piece of plastic.)
     
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  5. comp5

    comp5 Notebook Enthusiast

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    For now i have not bough the SSD yet. Yesterday I successfully installed ArchLinux with Gnome and it works perfectly. The laptop has a resolution of 1440*900 16:10 with a frequenncy of 60 hz.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  6. User32

    User32 Notebook Evangelist

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    Drop in a X9100 off eBay and watch that thing fly.
     
  7. mr_handy

    mr_handy Notebook Evangelist

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    Given how much hotter just going to a 35W T9900 made those machines, I'm not sure I'd want to see 44W in one. Given how inexpensive Sandy Bridge generation quad cores have gotten, if you really need inexpensive performance I'd be looking at something like an E6420 or E6520 or whatever the comparable Precision is.
     
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