I know I know… I talk about being broke and here I am talking about upgrading. Before you slap the screen or hunt me down to slap me, the computer I’m talking about I have had since Feb of ‘07 and I’m not going to replace it. It is the famous (in the tech world) HP HDX Dragon 20” laptop. The thing is, I doubt anybody uses this on their lap, why you ask, because it weighs in at about 16lbs! It’s a 20” BEAST that is really a mobile desktop than laptop. Where am I going with this, keep reading!
Compared to a 16” HP laptop, almost laughable the size difference.
It makes this women look like a child! It really is that huge!
When I first got it I actually brought it back and forth between work and home. That quickly ended, this thing is simply too massive for that. However as a desktop it has been the best computer I have ever owned. Stability is better than any of my other laptops and desktops, including my Mac’s. Acer, Dell, Toshiba all have tried 20” laptops, the only company to build a truly excellent one is HP so this is worth keeping.
Here is the problem though, it IS GOING ON 5 YEARS OLD! It has a Core 2 Duo 2.4ghz, 4gigs of memory (maxed out) the best screen I have ever used on a laptop with a 1980x1200 resolution that is drop dead gorgeous. You see, almost all high end laptops today use a maximum of 1080p for their laptop screens. While this is fine for a TV, us tech guys prefer higher resolutions. I would really like to meet the people who decided what was good for TV is good for laptops. I know why they did it, but I don’t agree with them, I digress.
I have to give Apple kudos for using their excellent 1920x1200 LED screens for the 17” MacBook Pro’s. My 17” MacBook Pro has this LED backlit screen and it’s excellent. Back to the point, the Dragon has 7200rpm hard drives which were fine for 2007, for 2012 they are slow and the system has slowed down considerably. In fact it drives me crazy sometimes. I could format and start fresh, this would definitely increase the performance but the thing that will boost performance more than anything aside from buying a new machine, would be upgrading to a new SSD based hard drive. SSD is an electronic drive uses flash memory, I won’t get into the technical side of it but lets just say it compares to going from a Chevette to a ZR1 Corvette, the performance difference is that drastic.
Since I can’t change out the CPU or add more memory and I don’t want a new computer, I ordered a new Intel 320 120gig SSD drive. I am going to use the 320gig hard drive for storing data and the SSD will be used strictly for OS and applications. I have upgraded several people this way and they all swear their computers are incredibly faster. The response times for SSD' drives are so fast.
For the technical folk out there I didn’t buy a SATA 6Gbps drive because the interface in the laptop doesn’t support it. Also, because of the cost, way too high!
This is what the drive looks like, the bottom picture is of the NAND memory chips. I’ll take some before and after benchmarks and post them next week.