Why I stopped using the Sony Vaio VPCZ13M9E/B

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by Paloseco, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. Paloseco

    Paloseco Notebook Evangelist

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    Now I have a MSI GT73VR. These are the reasons why I stopped using my beloved Sony Vaio VPCZ13M9E/B. It's a terrible computer as a current daily driver for
    • Very low battery duration, less than 1 hour
    • Very bad performance for nowadays requirements, specially if you have lots of software installed. Playing 1080p 60FPS youtube videos in Google Chrome is not smooth, only feasible if you download the video and play it with VLC or SMPlayer.
    • Does not have UEFI, only BIOS.
    • Doesn't have USB 3.0 or USB-C ports, the fastest ones with ease of access are USB 2.0. Sure, it has a ExpressCard port, but it's very delicate and prone to physical disconnects, and if you connect Buffalo adapters for USB 3.0 ports it requires external power source to drive external hard drives.
    • Due to worn out thermal paste or bad thermal design or both, it currently gets too hot and shuts off when the CPU uses the highest power for a couple of minutes, specially in the summer. That forces me to set the Maximum Processor State or Frequency way below 100%: it works for normal use, except during Windows 10 updates, where the profile does not apply and forces me to put the notebook in the fridge so doesn't shut down every few seconds.
    • Only allows up to 8GB or RAM
    • Internal port is SATA II and not SATA III so can't take advantage of the Sandisk 2.5'' SSD which I have instead of the OEM DVD+RW drive.
    • Sony didn't update the proper hybrid graphic drivers for years, having to use the INF patcher to use the latest NVidia drivers, and even that way a reboot it's required to switch between intel/nvidia cards.
    • Some USB ports got loose and you need to move around the male connector to make it work.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
    jeremyshaw and galaxyge like this.
  2. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

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    Ah, the Vaio Z of your vintage is what interested me in subcompact notebooks in the first place! I worked with a coworker who had one, and it was very impressive to my younger eyes. Such a compact notebook with a screen beyond comparison, GPU, and an optical drive. To boot, it had an user controlled switch that allowed the user to choose between the GPU, IGP, or Auto. By the time I got back to the US, the Vaio Z had disappeared, and was about to be replaced by the joyless ultrabook (though it still had the somewhat impressive dGPU docking addon), forcing me to settle with a Vaio S instead.

    Thanks for the report and memories.

    EDIT: the MSI you chose is a huge laptop! What motivated this massive change; how do you like the MSI?
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  3. senso

    senso Notebook Consultant

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    The video part can be fixed using the h264ify extension, its due to youtube using VP9 encoding that relies on CPU decoding, using h264ify requests the video in mp4 that your GPU can decode in hardware.

    The battery can be replaced.

    Laptops NEED to be properly maintained and cleaned yearly, that is for all and any laptop.

    ODD drives are always SATA2, even in your new MSI laptop, SSD's always go in the internal HDD slot, use the ODD for HDD's.

    8GB of RAM is enough for an internet machine.

    The USB ports can be replaced with new ones that will be thigh and well fitting again.

    All in all, its a pretty old laptop, the fact that its still working today is a statement to the old build quality of laptops.

    With a good cleanup, a repaste, swap the SSD over to the HDD slot, using h264ify extension and a new battery its still a decent portable internet machine, sure, its no workhorse, but its what, almost 10 years by now?

    If you dont need anything Windows specific, using ubuntu would be even better, less RAM usage for the OS, drivers might be easier to work on.
    galaxyge and Paloseco like this.

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