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Computers you've owned

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Temetka
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Re: Computers you've owned

#31 Post by Temetka » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:08 am

I just got a new toy a few days ago. It's the machine I have been wanting for a while. If some of you recall I posted about a Latitude E6500 and how much I loved that machine. Well, the other day I got it's big brother, the Precision M4400. Both machines share 90% of the same hardware. The precision sports a more powerful GPU and better LCD options. As I prepare an entry for my blog regarding this machine, I will post what I have so far below.

So I finally got the Precision M4400 I have been wanting for a long time, and it’s everything I thought and knew it could be! This machine even came with the backlit keyboard and webcam! So a few upgrades to make:
• 8GB DDR2 1066 RAM
• 256 or larger SSD (I will probably put the new SSD in the T410 and move the one there to here)
• Quad core CPU or the fastest P series I can find. Although I think the ability to run 4 threads would just be insanely awesome.
• 1440x900 Resolution LCD
• Copper mods for VRAM
I thought the E6500 with a Samsung 840 PRO was fast. I was wrong. This machine blows it out of the water. It was having some overheating issues which I solved by removing the fan and heat sink. Then I blew out all the fan blades and cooler fins which removed a lot of dust. I then applied a fresh coating of Arctic Silver 5 to the CPU and GPU and put the machine back together. So here are my current specs:
• Core2Duo P8600 @ 2.4GHz
• 4GB DDR2 800MHz RAM
• 512MB Nvidia NVS 770M
• 128GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD
• Dual layer DVD-RW
• 1280x1024 LCD
Regarding the backlit keyboard: It is slightly “mushier” than the non-backlit version but, that is fine with me. It took all of 5 minutes to adjust to the feel of this keyboard and I can actually type better on it than on my Thinkpad T410. I think this is because it is a larger keyboard and gives me some more room to work with so my hands aren’t cramped together. I will give it a few more days of testing but this could become my new main rig, even with the slightly heavier weight over the T410. Dell did a remarkable job with this computer and even though it is a few years out of date, it has handled everything I have thrown at it with aplomb. So far I have run furmark for 30 minutes with no problems, played a few flash games on facebook, watched some 1020P content on youtube as well as some HD content from the hard disk. After cleaning the cooling system, the system appears to be very stable. I will of course be doing more stress testing in the coming days ahead to ensure that the machine is performing as designed. If it does (and I suspect it will) continue to remain this stable, then I may have just found my next main laptop. Which is saying a lot because while I go through a few laptops looking for the “one” to hold me over for a few years, that one machine is about to go through hell. It had better perform up to par.

So a bit of an update on my M4400:
I completely re-did the cooling system. Removed the fan and heat sink, cleaned everything thoroughly and blew out all the fan grills and laptop internals. I am not idling between 37-42 degrees celsius and the GPU is idling in the low 40’s as well. This laptop is very powerful for a C2D based system. Now I understand more about why the M4400 is so highly praised. Finally I have a powerful machine with a great LCD that is actually big enough to work on. So now I am debating on the CPU itself. I am torn between upgrading to the fastest P series CPU I can get my hands on or a Q9200 with its awesome 12MB of L2 cache. This machine even games better than my Thinkpad T410 with it’s Nvidia GPU. Maybe it’s the larger amount of VRAM or whatever. All I know is my FPS stay in the mid 50’s to low 60’s compared to the mid 40’s to low 50’s for the T410.
UPDATE: I solved the driver problem with the Nvidia GPU I was having. Basically if I used the stock Dell driver, everything worked great. However if I updated to the latest driver, the machine would BSOD on a consistently regular basis. After a lot of googling and looking around I learned that the latest stable version that works with Windows 7 64-Bit is the 285.62 version. While out of date, it is still newer than the stock version which was reporting as 189.xx. I have done some stress testing with Furmark and youtube and the system appears to be nice and stable. Also with current driver it was reported that the GPU clock would stay locked at 500MHz and not clock down to save power when needed. My system clocks down just fine using the 285.62 drivers, so I am not too sure about why it wasn’t working for other people.
New:
Thinkpad T430s 8GB DDR3, 1600x900, 128GB + 250GB SSD's, etc.
Old:
E6520, Precision M4400, D630, Latitude E6520
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42, T410, X301

aPanzerIV
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Re: Computers you've owned

#32 Post by aPanzerIV » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:23 pm

I could flood this entire page, so I'll just list the notable ones:

1.) Biostar iDeq 210V - Athlon XP 3200+, 2gb PC3200, Sapphire Radeon 9600 128Mb Pro Atlantis, 160Gb Seagate Barracuda 7200.9, Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 x86
It was my first computer, from about 2007 to about 2009 when it got thrown out a window. Pretty sexy looking case too.

2.) Gateway MX7118 - Athlon 64m 3400+, 1Gb PC2700, ATI X200M 128Mb, 120Gb Hitatchi travelstar 7200rpm, Windows XP MCE SP3 x86
My first working laptop, ok, the previous one booted once, but only once, Bought it in 2009 for $100, parted it out in 2012 and sold the parts for the same price. Dropped, it, kicked it, spilt crap on it, you name it, didn't even turn it off to do it, it weighed 8lbs and the lesson it taught was not to drop it on your foot.

3.) Custom Build - Pentium D 2.8Ghz, AsRock 775TwinsHDTV, 2.5Gb PC2-4200, MSI Geforce 8500GT 256Mb, 80Gb WD800, Windows XP Pro SP3 x86
First custom build, and by custom build, I mean strip down a buisness computer you wasted all your money on, then buy the cheapest motherboard, case, and graphics card possible. It was slow, overheated, and blew the board in 2 months, but it was a start, albeit a very, very poor one.

4.) IBM Thinkpad R40 - Pentium M Banias 1.6Ghz, 512Mb PC2700, ATI 7500 32mb, 60Gb Hitatchi travelstar 5400rpm, Windows XP Pro SP3 x86
First thinkpad, fell in love with all the features n' all that, had it in 2011, it died the same year from the solder issue

5.) Lenovo Thinkad Edge E425 - Amd A4-3300m, 4Gb DDR3 1066, 500Gb Seagate Momentus 5400rpm, Windows 7 Pro SP1 x64
My first modern computer (<2 years old), I bought this when it came out in 2011 after seeing the build quality of the R40 and R50. This was a massive dissapointlment. Why is this even "thinkpad" branded?

I've owned probably 50-80 computers since 2009. Most of them didn't make it. Notable piles of crap that didn't make it:

1.) Sony Vaio K23 - Pentium 4 2.8Ghz, 512mb PC2700, ATI IGP 340m, 80Gb WD800, Windows XP Home SP3
Litterally broke every week. I sold it for $40 after 2 months, and the only origional components were the screen, casing, and motherboard.

2.) Dell Dimension B110/1100 - Intel Celeron D 325 2.53Ghz, 512mb PC2700, 60Gb Hitatchi Deskstar, Windows XP Home SP3
I've owned 3. They were all free. I keep copper heatsinks, new power supplies, thermal paste, motherboards,ram, and dvd drives for when someone has me repair theirs. The infamous hitatchi deathstar, which comes standard in these, is the hardiest part of the computer.

3.) Asus U46E - Core I5 2410M 2.3Ghz, 8Gb DDR3 1066, Intel HD 3000, 750Gb Seagate Momentus 5400rpm, Windows 7 H-P SP1 x64
This computer that made me realize prettymuch no one makes a reliable consumer anything. Plastic hinges... are you [censored] me??? Bought it in August 2013, screen became loose about a month later, took it apart to investigate in July, screen litterally snapped in half when I opened it. Asus also has a F in the BBB FYI.

4.) Thinkpad E425 - AMD A4-3300m, 4Gb DDR3 1066, 500Gb Seagate momentus 5400rpm, Windows 7 Pro SP1 x64
Very poor build quality, in the 4 months that I owned this, I replaced the a/c module and the ram.The keyboard was shining like a new car by the time I was done with it. I gave it away to a friend who put it on a desk and practicly never touches it. I found 2 E420's at a pawn shop, with new keyboards and loc-tight on all the screws, they stayed there for a looooong time, pretty cheap too. On top of that, it doesn't have any thinkpad features, other than the trackpoint. I should ask that friend if the laptop turned to dust and blew away or not.



So now It's just me, my R60, and a lot of notebookcheck.net browsing history. And some Dell desktop too, but if it doesn't have parts from at least 10 other computers that were free, it doesn't interest me. :D
Current: -R60 14" T-9945, R40 15" T-2897, 600 13.3" T-2645-45U-
Previous: -R40 15" T-2897, R40 P4-M 14", R50 14" T-1859, E425 T-1198-
Non-Thinkpad: HP Probook 6470B, Dell Latitude D610, Dell Dimension E520

Medessec
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Re: Computers you've owned

#33 Post by Medessec » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:16 pm

Oh GOD! I'm so sorry... you had the misfortune and absolute disappointment of owning an Edge-series.

There's a lot of students here who own those (particularly young girls, admittedly pretty, but disgustingly preppy and talk about non-productive things too much... who aspire to be journalists for stupid fashion magazines and take English classes) and I've actually had the chance to repair one that was seemingly falling apart. The early Edge-series are just fad laptops... they're hopeless pieces of plastic that are made to give a more open, chintsy look to the otherwise blunt, utilitarian, business-executive flair that the Thinkpad laptop is supposed to have.

Pentium D, 775 socket. Ah... brings back memories for me. A friend of mine had a Core 2 Duo machine and I worked on it with him quite a bit- I remember when we were up all night trying to figure out why the Motherboard kept error beeping and not posting... took us until 4AM for us to find(well... ME to find, really) that a pin was bent in the socket. Straightened it out with a tiny flathead, put it all back, booted up perfectly.

If you enjoyed the R40, then I'm sure you'd love a T43/R52. Figures you have an R60 now... Im' pretty sure you're lovin' it already. The R-series always sends a tingle down my spine though... the R3x was my R-series experience firsthand. God awful.
Trying my hardest to collect Thinkpads, but college and being broke kinda gets in the way. However...
701C, 760, 770, X24, T30, G41, A31p, T43p, T60/61 Frankie, Z61p, X60 SXGA+, W700ds
MEDESSEC

and yes. I am a bit of a lunatic.

aPanzerIV
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Re: Computers you've owned

#34 Post by aPanzerIV » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:44 am

I did in fact own a Thinkpad R50, I got it about a week after the Vaio K23 as a replacement. I was really looking for an upgrade to my old gateway, so I ended up selling it. Bought 3 more laptops before I ended up with an R60 in mid-2012. Went to the U46E and now back to the R60, still looking for a new one...

I really don't know why I keep ending up with R series thinkpads, they just seem to be there when I buy something. I noticed lenovo ended the R series for the R400/R500, then started the budget series again for the L420/L520.

My current choices have cropped up as:

Buying a new:
T440P
T440
L440
Latitude E3440

Or buying a used:
T420
L420
Latitude E6420 ATG

Really looking for a 14" subnotebook with a LV processor and switchable graphics, none of these really match that though. Not only that, but Dell advertises the E3440 with a HD+ screen and switchable graphics, but you can't buy a configuration with any of it!
Current: -R60 14" T-9945, R40 15" T-2897, 600 13.3" T-2645-45U-
Previous: -R40 15" T-2897, R40 P4-M 14", R50 14" T-1859, E425 T-1198-
Non-Thinkpad: HP Probook 6470B, Dell Latitude D610, Dell Dimension E520

pianowizard
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Re: Computers you've owned

#35 Post by pianowizard » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:53 am

aPanzerIV wrote:I've owned probably 50-80 computers since 2009. Most of them didn't make it. Notable piles of crap that didn't make it...1.) Sony Vaio K23 ... 2.) Dell Dimension B110/1100
I had these two, for a pretty long time actually because they just kept going. The difference is that I bought both new, from Sony and Dell. When you buy something used or inherit it for free, how well it works depends on how the last owner treated it. I loved that K23. The 15.4" screen was only 1280x800 but looked exceptionally vibrant, and the chassis was impressively solid as well. I handled it well and still looked new when I sold it in 2009, for $300.
aPanzerIV wrote:The infamous hitatchi deathstar, which comes standard in these, is the hardiest part of the computer.
The nickname "Deathstar" referred specifically to the IBM Deskstar 75GXP drives, most of them made in around 2001. Are you sure the Dell B110 (which was sold by Dell between 2005 and 2006) used one of those?
HP Pavilion x2 12-b096ms (12.0" 1920x1280, Core M3-6Y30, 3.14 lb); Microsoft Surface 3 (10.8" 1920x1280, Atom x7-Z8700, 2.00 lb)
Dell OptiPlex 5040 SFF (Core i5-6600)
Acer ET322QK, T272HUL; Crossover 404K; QNIX QHD2410R; Seiki Pro SM40UNP

aPanzerIV
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Re: Computers you've owned

#36 Post by aPanzerIV » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:04 pm

Two of the B110/1100's I owned had 60gb Hitatchi deskstars in them, the third didn't have a drive at all. All of the ones at school had 60Gb Hitatchi drives, except for the refurb ones, which had 80Gb Seagate drives (and copper heatsinks). The problem is 1 fan and an aluminum heatsink just isn't enough for a prescott. The entire case starts cooking pretty good even if you have the copper heatsink, toss in a cheap power supply and the infamous 1998-2005 capacitor plague and you get an ureliable system. The two I owned, I took the 2.8Ghz northwood out of the K23 and used it in there. I never used them as mains for very long, I gave one away to a friend, sent another to an auction, the third one I shorted out with a screwdriver because I was 10 and (very)stupid. The toshiba DVD drives, not sure if they worked out of the factory. Almost none of them at school worked, and the one on my E520 worked for about a month after I bought it. Replaced the rubber band, cleaned the lense, all that, no clue whats with them.

The K23 was a different story. I ordered a 2.4Ghz processor for it because even with AC5 and a good cleaning, it would overheat with just the 2.8Ghz. It was pretty rough when I got it. It was missing the A key, and someone removed the hard drive, cover, and caddy with a crowbar or something. The screen was pretty good, but the brightness controls never worked for mine, even in the ATI control panel.

The Gateway MX7118 and a HP Pavilion a700n are tied for my longest usage periods, about 3 years. I would probably still be using the Gateway if I didn't find it mysteriously sitting in a puddle on the kitchen counter one day :roll: I threw out the HP because the bios wouldn't detect any other drive than the origional one, and I needed more than 80gb of space (steam folder's gotten a lil fat recently).

My Dimension E520 might break the reccord if it doesn't blow its third board, or if I don't buy a new laptop. The case and heatsink are the only origional parts. Replaced the toshiba drive with a sony one, and put in a coolermaster 500w psu almost instantly upon recieving it. Ram and HSF were next, then the motherboard. Added 2 fans to the back next, Upgraded the cpu to a E6600, graphics to an 8600 gts, then the ram again to corsair xms 4gb(got it for free in another computer), replaced the board again, upgraded the graphics to a GTX 460, replaced the hsf cowl because I screwed it up trying to modify it to fit the card, upgraded the cpu to a Q6700, added another sony dvd drive, and put a new antec 500w psu in for the heck of it. The only issue its given me after the last board is telling me the Q6700 processor isn't supported at startup, but otherwise it works fine, all 4 cores detected and running at 2.67ghz, not overheating, so I could care less about that, now only if I could find a laptop worthy of replacing it (U46E truely was close until the whole plastic hinge botchup)

Took a look at sager today, their NP7338 looks pretty convincing for $1100, but I'd have to give up thinkpad features that aren't on the latest thinkpads anyways, including the trackpoint. BUT, it comes standard with seperate 3.5mm jacks, I7 processor, and a 1080p screen, as opposed to combinded jacks, I3/I5 standard, and 720p screens on similarly priced <14" thinkpads. As an added bonus, it has a caps lock key :lol:
Current: -R60 14" T-9945, R40 15" T-2897, 600 13.3" T-2645-45U-
Previous: -R40 15" T-2897, R40 P4-M 14", R50 14" T-1859, E425 T-1198-
Non-Thinkpad: HP Probook 6470B, Dell Latitude D610, Dell Dimension E520

pianowizard
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Re: Computers you've owned

#37 Post by pianowizard » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:35 pm

aPanzerIV wrote:Two of the B110/1100's I owned had 60gb Hitatchi deskstars in them
I don't doubt that. I am just questioning whether they really were the "Deathstars". Hitachi/HGST and now Western Digital (which bought Hitachi's hard drive division a couple years ago) have been making hard drives called Deskstar since the 1990s, but only a small subset of models from around 2001 were nicknamed "Deathstars" due to their notoriously high failure rates. Considering that the B110 was made 3 to 4 years after 2001, the Deskstar HDDs they used were probably not Deathstars. I liked my B110 very much: amazingly quiet, and the air it blew out was barely warmer than ambient temperature. But, mine had a Celeron D processor; Pentium 4 units would probably run hotter.
aPanzerIV wrote:The entire case starts cooking pretty good even if you have the copper heatsink, toss in a cheap power supply and the infamous 1998-2005 capacitor plague and you get an ureliable system.
As far as I know, the capacitor fiasco affected Dell's OptiPlex desktops, not the Dimensions.
aPanzerIV wrote:The K23 was a different story. I ordered a 2.4Ghz processor for it because even with AC5 and a good cleaning, it would overheat with just the 2.8Ghz.
My K23 came with 2.8GHz Pentium 4, and it never overheated. Again, perhaps your K23 was a dud from the day you got it, because it had been abused by the previous owner for example.
HP Pavilion x2 12-b096ms (12.0" 1920x1280, Core M3-6Y30, 3.14 lb); Microsoft Surface 3 (10.8" 1920x1280, Atom x7-Z8700, 2.00 lb)
Dell OptiPlex 5040 SFF (Core i5-6600)
Acer ET322QK, T272HUL; Crossover 404K; QNIX QHD2410R; Seiki Pro SM40UNP

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Re: Computers you've owned

#38 Post by aPanzerIV » Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:25 am

They probably weren't the real Deathstars, but I am not a fan of hitatchi drives, and like to call them that anyways.

The northwood 2.8Ghz chip ran quite a bit cooler than the prescott 2.53Ghz one, its a common modification in optiplex series to swap the prescott cpu to a cedar mill or northwood. Now I never had a capacitor issue myself, but a couple systems at school had bad VRM capacitors. A power supply in an sff optiplex even caught on fire one day, that was pretty fun.

Duds, I can believe in that. No reason why any computer should eat that many parts.

Speaking of reliability, I'm also looking at the Thinkpad L412, its a bit cheaper than most 1st gen i5 systems like the T410, which is odd, are there any notable issues with them?
Current: -R60 14" T-9945, R40 15" T-2897, 600 13.3" T-2645-45U-
Previous: -R40 15" T-2897, R40 P4-M 14", R50 14" T-1859, E425 T-1198-
Non-Thinkpad: HP Probook 6470B, Dell Latitude D610, Dell Dimension E520

pianowizard
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Re: Computers you've owned

#39 Post by pianowizard » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:39 am

aPanzerIV wrote:They probably weren't the real Deathstars, but I am not a fan of hitatchi drives, and like to call them that anyways.
But do you buy them new? Just like for laptops and desktops, if you get a hard drive that has already been used, you really can't reliably evaluate how good the brand or the model is, because the previous owner could have mistreated it.
aPanzerIV wrote:Speaking of reliability, I'm also looking at the Thinkpad L412, its a bit cheaper than most 1st gen i5 systems like the T410, which is odd, are there any notable issues with them?
You have come to the wrong forum to ask this question, because few people here consider the L Series real Thinkpads. Some of the L Series may actually be quite good, but since very few forum members own them, or have used them, or pay any attention to news about them, I bet no one can answer your question. But in general, I think as long as one is careful, most (though not all) laptops could last for many years. So, if you come across an L412 with a price and features that you like, just go for it.
HP Pavilion x2 12-b096ms (12.0" 1920x1280, Core M3-6Y30, 3.14 lb); Microsoft Surface 3 (10.8" 1920x1280, Atom x7-Z8700, 2.00 lb)
Dell OptiPlex 5040 SFF (Core i5-6600)
Acer ET322QK, T272HUL; Crossover 404K; QNIX QHD2410R; Seiki Pro SM40UNP

Temetka
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Re: Computers you've owned

#40 Post by Temetka » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:01 pm

Just throwing this out there: I have neer had a DeskStar drive fail me. Ever.
New:
Thinkpad T430s 8GB DDR3, 1600x900, 128GB + 250GB SSD's, etc.
Old:
E6520, Precision M4400, D630, Latitude E6520
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42, T410, X301

aPanzerIV
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Re: Computers you've owned

#41 Post by aPanzerIV » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:04 am

None of the three I got were new, but I did know the origional owners.

My grandparents owned the first one I had, it didn't have a hard drive when I got it, and I blew it up with a screwdriver. I then tried to take the cpu out and put it in my dimension 4500, blowing it up too in the process.

The second one I got was from my mom's boss, who wanted me to fix it. These people did not take care of it at all. The OS was corrupted by viruses, if the drive wasn't already screwed over. I waited for it to boot for a while, about an hour, so I just left it on overnight and it eventually loaded all 12 billion crapware installed. I got a screenshot of malwarebytes, never seen a system that screwed before:
http://i.imgur.com/yJ2gI.jpg

The third one I got was an 1100 from school that had a bad fan. We literally use them for everything, no telling what it was used for(some of them had paint on them, a few had a local pc repairshop's sticker on them). I took the drive out and swapped it for a 160gb. I was going to use it for an xbox softmod upgrade later, but the pcb died and nothing would detect the drive.

I then bought 250gb hitatchi and seagate drives off ebay (bad decision I know), both died within 3 months.

Moral of the story for me: Buy hard drives new.

MOD edit: picture WAY TOO BIG, removed img tags. Please read the Forum Rules, Section 5.

EDIT: Whoops, sorry about that.
Current: -R60 14" T-9945, R40 15" T-2897, 600 13.3" T-2645-45U-
Previous: -R40 15" T-2897, R40 P4-M 14", R50 14" T-1859, E425 T-1198-
Non-Thinkpad: HP Probook 6470B, Dell Latitude D610, Dell Dimension E520

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