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05-18-2010 05:55 AM - edited 05-18-2010 06:00 AM
Not sure whether to put this as a thread by itself or lump it in the upgrade FAQ - mods feel free to move it
Got a now-"old" TC4200 tablet whose performance I'm still largely perfectly happy with. Done a couple basic upgrades on it from stock (512->1024mb RAM, 40->120Gb disk) and now prices have further dropped and program/media file demands slightly increased I feel like maxing it out for it's final year or two before I get round to buying an all singing, all dancing multi-touch Windows 7 replacement.
However, I'm fairly hazy on what the actual maxima are for it, so if anyone knows the answers, please let me know!
Memory: Officially, 2x 1Gb sticks. Which is fine, really, as I've got this far and only just thought about moving up from 1Gb, but it'd be nice to put 4Gb in there and never have to think about it ever again. Has anyone with the relevant resources tried this and found it works, unofficially? (I'm out of warranty now BTW )
Hard disk: This seems to be a point of contention. Does the BIOS (or even the hardware?) have a 28 bit addressing limit ("128" / "137GB"), or have the people running into problems been suffering OS issues instead? If the former, can it be upgraded? I know there's fixes available for Windows.
I did fancy putting a 320Gb WD Scorpio IDE into it (likely the largest 2.5" PATA drive there's ever going to be), as more internal storage is always useful - eg when travelling - even with 2Tb of external. A 128 limit kind of ruins that and means silly things like overlays are required.
However, I could always get a 250Gb and try the "trick" I managed under Win98 with an older desktop machine with a 3.5" 250 drive - partition it out to 50%, then make a second (or in my case, third, as I'll be cloning from a 40+80 setup) partition taking up the rest of the space. Somehow, the start of the last partition being inside the legal area means that the full size of it is still accessible, instead of ~45% of it being lost.
It's annoying because I've got as far as pricing up various options for the memory and disk only to run into a capability wall.
CPU: is this upgradable at all, or soldered in place? Currently I have a P-M 740, which is fine as it runs at high power relatively little of the time. However, for those times when it IS maxed, it'd be nice to have a little extra oomph, e.g. upto the 30% extra cycles/sec of a 780 (2.26 vs 1.73Ghz)... I do some audio and video processing with it, flash-heavy webpages can be a bit ponderous, and the TV tuner/capture card sold with it has never run entirely smooth. Hopefully the cooling system can handle it... I've got NHC installed so the voltages can be tweaked to reduce heat output a little, it's hardly ever gone to the shockingly loud max fan speed, and much of the time it'll be at the exact-same-spec minimum speed. As I'm going to keep the memory dual-channel, there's plenty of spare bus transfer in hand there.
Even better, is the socket late enough to be compatible with the early Core CPUs (Yonah etc), even though they'd be slightly underclocked (to ~80%)?
A different alternative is one of the quicker (ultra) low-voltage parts, if they can handle being run at 533 FSB or there's some way of clocking it down slightly, and I offload my heavier stuff to a newer machine. The 4200 could then make a perfectly nice low-energy browsing and media player station, and a portable beater which isn't such a problem if smashed or stolen.
Finally, does it have any internal mini-PCI sockets or similar that aren't taken up by non-replacable parts? If so, could a better graphics chipset be installed using it? The 945 (915??) is surprisingly good for an early-mid noughties vintage ultraportable setup, but there's a few freeware games-come-toys I'd like to be able to run a little quicker (e.g. Rigs of Rods, Live for Speed).
Or better sound hardware - the built in one is unforgivably noisy, particularly for recording.
Hell, if there's anything that can successfully interface using the Cardbus or USB sockets I'd take a look (or shift, e.g. Wifi to a Cardbus device (got a spare 802.11b hanging around, which is fast enough for my cheap broadband) to free up miniPCI if needed). The only thing I'd be a bit lairy of is going all out for a docking station. Seems rather expensive and messy for little benefit.
So yeah ... I've got plenty of ideas and put some thought into it but I'm missing the essential info. Any help?
Edit: skooting the wordfilter because apparently see-you-emm couldn't possibly be used in a non-naughty fashion 9_9
05-18-2010 06:43 AM - edited 05-18-2010 06:43 AM
Memory-2 gigs is the max. No way around it. 4 would be a waste since it is a 32 bit system and could only ever use 3 anyway.
Hard drive-I have personally run a 160 gig in a TC4200 (IMHO the best pen tablet ever made) so I can say it will do 48 bit LBA.
CPU-its removeable and you can upgrade to a Dothan Centrino of the same fsb. Not sure it is worth it frankly
video-fugeddaboudit-can't be done.
07-10-2010 01:29 PM
Any ide laptop drive will work...they are generic industry standard.
This one from newegg.com for example:
Just remember you have to remove the old drive from the caddy and reuse the black plastic connector that goes over the pins.
07-15-2010 08:54 AM - edited 07-15-2010 08:56 AM
Thanks Huffer ... it's the disk I was most bothered by so that's encouraging. Plus it's been so long waiting to get the answer here, things should have got cheaper.
4Gb wouldn't be so much of a waste, because you at least get the extra 1Gb (further caching opportunities), and it remains dual-channel. It's cheap enough that I wouldn't be too upset by it. Besides, well designed 32 bit systems can go up to 3.5Gb AFAIK, which oughta be enough for anybody
(3.75 would be nice, as then it'd be exactly 1024x that of my first handbuilt PC :-D)
Might give the CPU a go as well, if it's removable like you say. Probably not too expensive on eBay now. Plus I think I might have worn the old one to the point of creeping inefficiency, unless I've somehow burnt out the new battery a whole lot quicker despite it not being used away from AC anywhere near as often. Only getting about 2.5 hours now, instead of 4... May not be worth it, but I find these things interesting.
Shame about the video, but oh well, these things happen. Looks like I can probably get a USB one that's as good, these days!
BTW anyone who's using one of these and feels like they're being left behind by SDHC... HP's upgrade driver does actually work. Not wonderfully reliably (particularly for writing), or at all fast, but it will let you suck the photos off your 4+ Gb cards without having to cart a secondary reader about, as cheap as they may be, or relying on a USB cable and Windows' not particularly brilliant photo wizard. And the little soldier manages to march a little further into the future unharmed...
OK, had to re-edit this because all the line breaks went missing, let's see if it goes too far the other way now...