Update Dell 3531 Inspiron 15 Laptop

EVO850 250gb SSD for Dell Inspiron 15
EVO850 250gb SSD for Dell Inspiron 15

I couldn’t resist.  I went ahead and swapped the spinner for a solid state hard drive.

(HERE is the original review)

Big, BIG, improvement in speed.  I could finally use my laptop the way I use the desktop.

It was ok for a few hours.  Then I ran into the RAM memory limit, with the operating system (Win 8.1) closing down windows every now and then, typically webpage tab(s), again owing to the way I use a computer.

Some might say that I could simply increase the size of the page swap file.  Yes, and I did do it and yes it does ‘solve’ the memory issue.  For those unfamiliar, the page swap file is what the operating system uses as ‘hard drive RAM’.  This activity results in a lot of read/write cycles on the hard drive.  Not much of an issue with spinner drives but it can be a problem for solid state drives.  Solid State Drives have a finite limit of read/write cycles.  It’s way up there in number but still, there’s a limit.  One interesting way to differentiate cycles between SSD models is actually to look at the warranty, some are five years, others are two years and the really expensive ones are 10 years.  The cycles directly correspond to the warranty time.

So I finally got the 8gb RAM stick (THIS) and swapped out the 4gb RAM stick.  The 3531 uses one stick.  Fortunately the 8gb stick is only $60 bucks or so.  I often maxed out the 4gb.  My usage pattern seems to touch on 6.5GB according to the Task Manager.

Another speed ‘improvement’ of sorts, specifically when web surfing, is to activate the ActiveX Filtering.  In IE tap on the Gear graphic, mouse down to Safety,  and tap on ActiveX Filtering.  What this mostly does is stop the webpage from taking over your computer in order to load those infuriating sidebar videos lol.

This Celeron processor model, with an SSD and 8gb, has the speed feel of an i3 chip model.  All told, given the original price, this is now an $410 laptop.  The SSD was $110 and the RAM, $60.

It appears that the 3551 is the new version of this laptop, as of 7-9-15.  Of course the EVO850 250gb is now $97 and the 500gb is $162.  But that’s going to always happen and there will always be something better/faster/cheaper.  I knew that when I bought the parts.  If I didn’t I would continually be waiting and never actually have the components that would be useful.

Yeah, just do it 😀

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Author: Dan Passaro

Carnegie Mellon BSMechE changing the science and military fiction author dream into reality.

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