Seperis (seperis) wrote,

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this is not a tragedy, more a moment of silence

Just a warning, sort of--I'm sad to say that Adam the laptop has either a.) a fan issue or b.) a motherboard issue (secret answer c.) IDEK but I've taken it apart enough to narrow down the options).

For about two months, I've had a combined overheating issue with severe system slowdown and keyboard lag. Serious keyboard lag; I type fast but even when typing slow it's occasionally noticeable. Since this is a clean hard drive I just bought, partitioned, and installed everything on myself, I know it's not extra processes and I ran Hijack-This and malwarebytes and McAfee all three, so it's not a virus or malware. CPU started peaking at 92 C and autoshut down commenced a few times, which freaked me out. At first, a cool-down and a laptop cooler seemed to help, but now even those aren't working and the vent is very, very hot. I can clean and reinstall again, but I'm pretty sure that's not the problem. I'm down to restarting every day to clear the cache and get some speed back and even that's not helping once Firefox is open.

So it's the fan or the board, and the fan sensors show it's running correctly, so it's most probably the board. Which may not be a disaster itself, if I could like, solder well enough to do simple fixes, but I can't, and that's assuming I can track down the problem accurately enough to do that. The other possibility is the heatsink or replacing the thermal paste, but okay, now we enter territory I've only observed and never actually had to do. I've been playing with my old Inspiron 6000's motherboard and while I can see what to do there, I'm not sure I can do it without wrecking the board.

There's also this; I use my laptops as a desktop replacement, it goes everywhere with me, and I use the hell out of it. So it's not exactly beyond the realm of possibility that yeah, it's basically worn out. I can do replacement and repair on everything but the board, and a replacement board is about half the price of a new laptop, and if I got the new board, I'd have to remove the CPU and basically practice my skills at putting a chipset on a board and starting from scratch. Which I seriously would love to do, but not with my only working computer; the netbook can't handle most of my programs and Child's computer wasn't configured for hard wear.

It's not like I didn't see this coming; I put off buying a new one to get Mom's desktop, Child's laptop, and netbooks for my sisters. So. Yeah.

So Adam will be retired.

Luckily, I still have extra money from my debt payoff I was saving for January and official computer buying month, so I ordered a new laptop, tentatively named Sherlock, but I need to meet him first before I'm sure. So if I don't answer email or post for a few days, I am not a.) dead, b.) in the hospital with pneumonia, or c.) just really hate you, Adam is just being antsy or possibly burned out. I'm putting my netbook back together for emergencies, but I'm in a key soldering moment and it kind of hurts. I think it should be okay, though; when Sherlock gets here, I'll transfer everything, back it up, and break Adam down to see if I can track down the exact problem and how to fix it.

OTOH, the new processor is an i7 and I won't say I cried when I configured it, but it was a very close thing. The RAM is twice the speed of my current RAM and the laptop holds 8G. God. I was torn between this and the Alienware 15x, but okay, call me shallow, but I loathe the design even if it had a faster processor. So I went with the Dell Studio XPS 16 (yes, I actually do need to buy stock in Dell at this point).

This is Sherlock.

I'm aware this is only interesting to me, but seriously, I had so much fun putting it together. I spent days doing the configurations before I found one I liked.

SYSTEM COLOR Obsidian Black High Gloss Finish
PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i7-840QM Quad Core Processor 1.86GHz (3.2GHz Turbo Mode, 8MB Cache)
OS Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
MEMORY 8GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
HARD DRIVE 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
OPTICAL 8X DVD+/-RW Slot Load Drive
WIRELESS CARDS Intel 6250 Wireless-N w/WiMAX (2x2) Mini Card
HD DISPLAY Edge-to-Edge FHD Widescreen 15.6 inch WLED LCD (1920x1080) W/2.0
Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card
VIDEO CARD ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5730 - 1GB
BATTERY OPTIONS 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
SOUND OPTIONS Soundblaster X-Fi Hi Def Audio - Software Enabled
CONNECTIONS 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 2.0/e-SATA, HDMI, VGA, 54mm Express slot, 8-1 Media Card Reader

Compare to Adam:

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo, T7500, 2.2GHz , 4MB Core
OS Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
HARD DRIVE 320GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
OPTICAL 8X DVD+/-RW Slot Load Drive
WIRELESS CARDS 1390 Dell WLAN MiniCard (g)
HD DISPLAY 15.4 WSXV LCD (1680X1050) no webcam
Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card
CONNECTIONS 4 USB 2.0, 1 DVI, VGA, , Firewire, S cable, ethernet, 54mm Express slot, 8-1 Media Card Reader

The processor alone makes me ridiculously happy.

I ended up opting out of blu-ray because a.) there are TVs here with blu-ray and b.) I almost never watch movies on my computer since I have a convenient TV unless they are downloads. If it turns out I really need one, I'd want an external anyway.

The only thing I really wish (other than convincing them to give me the i7-940XM processor (2.13GHz (3.33GHz Turbo Mode, 8M Cache)) God, want) is that I could have opted out of the DVD and gotten a second bay for another hard drive. I need to check the connections, but I think I can remove it if what I think is a second sata connection is on the board. This is mostly because if I'm counting correctly, the next generation of solid state hard drives should come out around Black Fridayish, and that means the current 256G's will go down to something human and I can shift the 500G to the second bay and install a 256 solid state and basically have a really creepy tech orgasm.

Okay, and I kind of wish this had waited until 2011 for USB 3.0 to become an option. I get I can upgrade it myself, but that requires soldering and I'm not really very good at that yet with something that is going to keep me from new shoes until like, February. OTOH, the e-Sata makes up for a lot, since I can transfer all my files from Adam to Sherlock (yeah, I like that name) faster than USB.

...I'm totally boring everyone, aren't I?

In memorial:

Darcy, HP Desktop (1997-1999)
Schindler, Dimension Desktop (1999-2003)
Brian, Dimension 2400 Desktop (2003-2005)
John I, Inspiron 6000(2005-2007)
John II/Adam, Inspiron 1520 (2007-2010)
Sherlock (2010-)

Notes: I had just purchased the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice for Darcy. Schindler was named because it was bought when Schindler's List premiered on network television without interruption. Starting with Brian, there's a surprising correspondence on the names and what fandom I'd just started in. SGA was very special in that I started watching while I had Brian and lasted through the beginning of John II. If I'd waited six more months, John II would have been named Fraser.

Anyway, it's supposed to be here by the 24th, so I'll post a review of my experience with it. It will probably be something like "WHEE SPEED FAST PRETTY SHINY SPEEEEEDDDDD". As one does.

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Tags: crosspost, my relationship with electronics
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