Solved Upgrading 8 years old HP Pavilion laptop ZV-6131us

Hewlett-packard / Pavilion zv6100 (ec358ua#...
November 8, 2013 at 06:30:37
Specs: Windows XP Pro x86, 1.989 GHz / 2046 MB
Hello Everybody,

My HP Pavilion ZV-6131us is being replaced and will continue life as my backup machine. However, I will be upgrading the Pavilion with a new CPU, SSD and OS. Currently, the CPU is an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2 Ghz. I've already ordered an Athlon 64 4000+ 2.4 GHz (ADA4000DEP5AS) which is the same as/rebranded FX-53. The 4000+ was an available option to my laptop model's series and I've confirmed it is a viable upgrade.

My questions are:
Do you think the FX-55(2.6GHz) or FX-57(2.8GHz) could possibly work? One of my concerns is that both CPU's operate at 104 watts (the 64 3200+ and 4000+ operate at 89 watts) and while I would purchase a higher capacity power supply, the Pavillion's cooling system may not be up to the task. Another concern is that the vcore in the FX-57 is 1.35/1.4V. All other CPU's mentioned in this post have a vcore of 1.5V. Is the vcore automatically detected and adjusted for, manually set through the BIOS or unadjustable? So what do you think? Would the FX-55 or 57 work in the Pavilion or am I playing with dark powers beyond my understanding?

The Pavilion currently has a 256GB primary HDD drive and a 1TB HDD secondary drive in an optical drive bay caddy. I will eventually install an SSD as the primary boot drive and redirect my profile folder to the secondary HDD. Having an IDE/PATA interface in the Pavilion has limited my choices for an SSD. I am currently considering the 64GB Transcend PSD330 (MLC Flash), Read up to 114MB/s, Write up to 63MB/s ($98) or the 64GB KingSpec (MLC Flash) SM2236 Controller, Read up to 108MB/sec, Write up to 59MB/sec ($81). The differences in price and read/write speeds are not significant to me so I'm leaning towards the Transcend simply because it has the higher specs. Any opinions or suggestions?

Operating System:
I'm currently running Windows XP Pro SP3 32Bit and 2GB of RAM (maximum for this laptop) with an ATI Mobility Radeon Xpress 200 (RS480M) GPU. Because XP support ends Apr 2014 I will be changing my OS to Vista or Windows 7. Reading posts from this forum concerning minimum RAM with windows 7 has convinced me that I should run a 32 bit OS to minimize any potential problems with slow downs caused by my 2GB limit. I am leaning towards Vista Home Premium and cannot see any good reasons why I should consider W7. Am I missing something important? What's your opinion? I should say that I am not biased towards one OS over another (like "XP Forever! or Vista rulez! 7 sux! Or 7's the greatest, Vista should never have been made!"). This laptop will be for emergencies and playing around with. I'm not considering a Linux OS because I feel I'd have to learn too many new ways of making my laptop do what I want it to do. Basically, I'm scared. But I will probably play around with it sometime down the road.

Thanks for your time and advice.

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November 8, 2013 at 12:01:05
what do you use this laptop for?? internet and office?
"I am leaning towards Vista Home Premium and cannot see any good reasons why I should consider W7. "
I thing most of the helpers on this forum would lean toward W7 and have no good reason to consider vista.


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November 8, 2013 at 12:51:17
Hi Larry,
This laptop will be used for web surfing and multimedia (no editing). I'm interested in Vista Home Premium 32bit because this laptop is limited to 2GB of memory and Vista Home Premium 32bit has a minimum requirement of 1GB plus it has Windows Media Center embedded. Windows 7 32bit requires a minimum of 1GB of memory and the 64bit version requires 2GB plus both do not come with WMC. Like I stated above, I have no bias towards one OS over another. It just seems Vista Home Premium 32bit will meet my needs for the next four years. I'm no expert when it comes to features available in these OS's nor their stability or performance in a system limited to 2GB of memory but I am open to suggestions.


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November 8, 2013 at 15:05:13
✔ Best Answer
I have a slightly older Pavilion zv6000 with 2GB RAM running Win7 32-bit. It performs OK but not great (luckily it's just a 2ndary machine). I think you'd be spending way too much on an old machine. Since laptops vary the CPU speed based on load, I see no reason to upgrade the CPU because it doesn't appear you're going to use it for anything that requires it. Adding a SSD is debatable; it will obviously boot quicker, but once again, based on the intended purpose, I don't see it as being necessary. And no matter what you do, you'll be stuck with the outdated X200M Xpress IGP. I would just max out the RAM, wipe the 256GB HDD, then install a 32-bit Windows-like version of Linux such as Mint or Zorin. And there's nothing to be scared of, if you don't like Linux, just wipe the HDD again & install something else.

message edited by riider

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November 10, 2013 at 05:13:05
Hi Riider,
Your opinions are always appreciated and in this case very practical. However, I don't want to be practical this time. I should be able to keep the costs below $200. I'm already at my maximum amount of memory. Is there a noticeable difference in performance between memory manufactures? I currently have RAM modules from Kingston installed but suspect if performance gains were to be had, they'd be too expensive for me to consider in this laptop.


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November 10, 2013 at 06:43:55
I just installed Zorin 6.4 LTS (Long Term Support) on my old laptop & am very happy with the performance. It performs much better than Win7 did & looks almost exactly like it. I had to connect via Ethernet to download the updates & to setup the wireless, but after that it worked like a charm. If you want to spend $200 on a laptop that's probably not worth 1/2 that much, that's your business, but there are other alternatives. I suggest you try the "no money" approach 1st. As for RAM, if specs are the same (i.e., PC2700, CL2.5), there should be no perceivable difference in performance between brands.

In case you decide to take my advice about Zorin, here's what you'll most likely need to do to get the wireless working:

Terminal is similar to using Windows CMD to type in & run commands. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+T will bring it up. Once you open Terminal, enter the following command & press Enter:

lspci -vvnn | grep 14e4

Running the above will tell you exactly which Broadcom chip you have, mine was 14e4:4318. Once I had that info, I knew which commands to run to install the drivers. You'll have to check the list in the above link to know which commands you'll need to run but I'm guessing they'll be the same.

1st, key-in the following command & press Enter (you'll be prompted for a password - use the one you setup during installation). Then wait for the process to complete (it may take a few minutes):

sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source

After it's done it's business, it will stop at the command prompt again, then you can run this command:

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer

Again, it will take a few minutes to finish. Once it stops at the command prompt, simply close Terminal, reboot, & wireless should be working. Click on the network icon on the task bar, find your wireless network, click on it, then enter your passphrase. Done!

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November 10, 2013 at 19:20:54
here is 2 distros that the broadcom wireless will work "out of the box"


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