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 Post subject: 64bit Intel T4400 Processor with No Virtualization (?!?)
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:04 pm 
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I recently bought a refurb 2009 HP G60-637CL Laptop but discovered 64bit Intel T4400 does not support Virtualization or similar high functions(?!?). The motherboard is HP 3612 but I've been unable to discern any specs which might give me some idea what kind of upgrade in processor I might be able to pursue. I've also been told different stories about the max RAM if I wanted to upgrade this too. I only paid $180 end of August via Cowboom but the same now sells between $260-320 due to post tuition income & demand.

I also want to build a multiboot Desktop before the beginning of next semester with all the higher functions, bells, & whistles thoroughly met. I'm able to use Ubuntu 11.10 via Wubi on this Win7 laptop but I don't dare monkey with the partition until I have that Desktop up & running. I can always backup my 120GB files to my Microsoft Certification Student HDD (we're a pretty tight knit IT group here at Truckee Meadows Community College) until then.

My first time all around, I could use some links & insights to figure this out.


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 Post subject: Re: 64bit Intel T4400 Processor with No Virtualization (?!?)
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:25 am 
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Quote:
I recently bought a refurb 2009 HP G60-637CL Laptop...

When asking questions about systems from major OEMs please include a link to the mfr. support page so we can see the complete specifications and documentation for the system. This will make the job of answering questions much easier for those involved.

Quote:
...but discovered 64bit Intel T4400 does not support Virtualization or similar high functions(?!?).

That is true according to the T4400 processor specifications. This would have an impact on the performance of virtualization software, however depending on the OS you would want to run in a virtual machine, it is not necessarily required.

Quote:
The motherboard is HP 3612 but I've been unable to discern any specs which might give me some idea what kind of upgrade in processor I might be able to pursue.

With laptops in general you will only be able to install CPUs that were optional in systems using the same motherboard and BIOS, meaning variations of the same model. Unfortunately even if a suitable processor was offered as an option, the cost of laptop processors is often more than the entire system may be worth.

Quote:
I've also been told different stories about the max RAM if I wanted to upgrade this too.

Once you post a link to the mfr. support page we'll be able to see exactly what type of memory the system supports, the number of sockets in the system, how many are populated to begin with, etc. From there we can determine what upgrade options might be available.

Quote:
...but I don't dare monkey with the partition until I have that Desktop up & running.

That is a good idea! As a rule I would not experiment on a "mission critical" system that I needed to be fully functional in order to do my job. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 64bit Intel T4400 Processor with No Virtualization (?!?)
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:59 am 
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Here's the OEM URL below but you'll find the specs they offer are grossly inane. I'm emailing a detailed 3rd party report via freeware "TOOL BOX (SYSTEM INFORMATION)" download courtesy of iobit.com which I find an easier read than the hexadecimal diagnostics report (I went cross eyed & started speaking in tongues trying to read it) via one of Scott's recommended downloads...(sorry, I forgot who).

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02033062&tmp_task=prodinfoCategory&cc=us&dlc=en&jumpid=reg_r1002_usen&lc=en&product=4125767

I've watched this machine sputter & crash trying to install or operate Virtual Box, Visual Studio, VLC Player, etc, some being related to a hidden incompatibility with 3D. When I do finally get a fully compatible Desktop I'm still left with the problem of erratic video on my laptop which can get pretty rude if it's something I need to watch during class or while on the bus to & from class. I doubt I'll need to spend more than $200 for a new processor but I'm prepared to wait until next summer when prices are at their lowest if that's what it takes to grab the right one at the right price.

PS - the BIOS is an update from 12/15/2010, a year younger than the machine, installed 9/9/11.


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 Post subject: Re: 64bit Intel T4400 Processor with No Virtualization (?!?)
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:59 am 
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Here's the OEM URL below but you'll find the specs they offer are grossly inane...

Thanks for posting the link. I think the specification list and format are fine, however the actual specifications contain several "deal-breakers" that would have prevented me from recommending that system. While this information is too late to help you in this case, hopefully it will help with future purchases for yourself and others. With that in mind, these are a couple things that stand out, and not in a good way:

    Display: 15.6" Diagonal High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Display (1366x768)

The display is perhaps the most important single component, since you will be staring at it anytime you are using the system. Since laptops are used both indoors and out, and in a variety of lighting conditions, the most important thing to look for is a matte display. Glossy displays on a laptop are unacceptable as it makes them almost unusable outside, and depending on the lighting indoors you often end up seeing more of the objects above and behind you than what is actually on the screen. Unfortunately consumers have largely been duped into thinking glossy displays are better, since they show well in a store environment and most manufacturers substitute the term "glossy" with bogus marketspeak terms ("BrightView" in this case) designed to obfuscate the truth. Bottom line: A glossy display is a deal-breaker on a laptop (and for me, on a desktop or television display as well).

    Network Card: Integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN

Gigabit Ethernet is the standard today for wired networking, and is especially necessary when sharing files and media on a LAN. As such I would not recommend a laptop without integrated gigE. That brings up another problem: I don't see an ExpressCard slot on that laptop, which means you can't upgrade the system by adding interface cards like gigE, eSATA or USB 3.0. I consider eSATA or USB 3.0 almost mandatory for performance when backing up to an external HDD.

    Microprocessor: Dual Core Intel Pentium Processor T4400

The processor in this case really isn't that bad, but if you did want hardware virtualization (VT-x) support, that one doesn't have it. Now what about upgrades? Normally you can replace an existing processor with another built using the same core die as the original (Penryn) as well as matching the front-side bus speed (800MHz FSB), package type (PGA478) and max. thermal dynamic power (35W TDP). You can see a list of mobile Penryn core processors here, from that list you would filter the selection to those matching the other specs (800MHz FSB, 35W TDP), plus the hardware virtualization technology (VT-x), which results in this list of choices.

Of those, the fastest is the 2.6GHz T9500. Unfortunately that chip is only 0.4GHz (not very much) faster than what you have now, and the cheapest I can find one is for about $130 on eBay.

But here's the real problem. Even though that chip would be the fastest chip that is physically and electrically compatible with what you have now, I doubt it will actually work in the system due to limitations in the BIOS. In modern systems, for a CPU to work it not only must match physically and electrically, but it must also be supported in the BIOS. This is usually not a problem in desktop systems, which normally have a BIOS designed to support all processors that are physically and electrically compatible, but this is unfortunately a big problem in laptops. In other words, unless HP offered that processor in another variation of your system (using the same motherboard and BIOS), it most likely won't work. Unfortunately I can't find that HP offered any such thing.

Bottom line: I don't think you will be able to upgrade the processor from what you have now, but the only way to know for sure will be to actually try it yourself (or find somebody who has). In other words, if you want to take a $130 gamble (with very poor odds for success IMHO) to gain VT-x support and 0.4GHz in processing speed, then by all means try it and let me know what you find!

Some of the problems you have sound like they may be due to corruption in the OS or software that is currently installed. You didn't say how fresh the OS install was, but I recommend reloading the system from scratch and then installing the latest drivers and only the applications you intend on using. The amount of bloatware/trialware that comes on many laptops is insane, so if you do use the product recovery to reload the system I recommend immediately uninstalling all of the unnecessary bloatware/trialware. This should help greatly with overall performance. Let me know if that helps.

Finally, the best recommendation I can offer is that your next laptop be a ThinkPad. They don't have the deal-breaker flaws I mentioned earlier, plus they have a much wider range of documented processor support, such that I have actually upgraded processors in several ThinkPad systems (whether or not it was financially sound to do so <g>). Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 64bit Intel T4400 Processor with No Virtualization (?!?)
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:05 pm 
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I googled privacy screens & protective films for a solution to the glossy screen and was a little disappointed to see the extremely cheap to make films retail for only slightly less than the privacy screens. I hadn't considered it before but my interest in refurbing laptops for the disabled... http://www.new2ucomputers.com/cms/ ...compels me to reexamine my own difficulties using this laptop while waiting for or riding the bus to classes. I'm also curious if there's a chemical degloss without fogging up the surface of say a couple hundred screens at a time for charity.

For my own personal needs, the lack of high-speed data transfer via eSATA or USB3 etc will ultimately prove an intolerable problem for this laptop when I finally get my Desktop in gear. In addition to my need for portability, I've downloaded about 100GBs of MDNAA, Cisco Academy, & Linux giftware for my studies (most of which I've already burned to disk). I'll end up just leaving it all there when I'm ready to reformat & reinstall my OS instead of trying to transfer the morass via slow media.

Otherwise, I bought a better than average pc which had sat in an overstock warehouse for the last two years without any scratch for $180. I can live with that til next summer when I can donate or resell without any hesitation.


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 Post subject: Re: 64bit Intel T4400 Processor with No Virtualization (?!?)
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:02 am 
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I agree at that price you can't argue too much about the missing features! You will easily be able to resell it for about the same money if you decide to move to something better. In the mean time I'd just use it as-is and not spend any money trying to upgrade it. Scott.


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