Overhauling my old Toshiba

Discussion in 'Toshiba' started by the3dstig, Jul 8, 2014.

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  1. the3dstig

    the3dstig Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello!

    I have a rather old Toshiba M405-S8003 that I absolutely love. I've had it for years. It started off life as an XP machine and now runs Windows 7 (32bit) very well.

    I use it mainly for Zbrush and Photoshop and aside from losing a part of a menu in ZBrush it runs like a champ for the most part! I can throw about 8 millions polys at before it starts to show its age. In fact, it's usually only when I render in ZBrush that things get ugly. Sadly though, the battery is kaput!

    Batteries are easy enough to get but I was wondering, while I'm at it- could I upgrade other parts as well? I'm absolutely going to get an SSD (that should makes things snappier) but the real question is this:
    If I upgrade the processor can I upgrade to Windows 7 64bit? The current chip is the Intel Core Duo T2400. I'd like to upgrade to a 64bit chip like the intel t7600.

    I'm considering retiring the tablet since I have a monster workstation now, but the times I've really needed to work while traveling this little laptop has been a champ! Not having to carry around a wacom tablet on a plane to work has been a life saver for some crazy deadlines. When considering the potential upgrade cost (around $300) versus getting something new I think it might be worth it if I can install a new processor that will do Windows 64bit.

    Thanks!
     
  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ha ha!

    I used to have one of those M400's. I even found one with the SXGA (1400x1050) screen option. I topped it up to the max 4 Gigs of RAM and was off to the races. It was a solid little performer!

    These days, I have a full Cintiq workstation at home, but my backpack machine, which gets a huge amount of use is another of Toshiba's old TPC line; the mighty Tecra M4. -Which cannot be depended upon without a hardware hack to make the GPU cooling fan work correctly, and it's not got the memory or CPU power of the M405, but it DOES have a gorgeous 14" screen, which I absolutely love. It may be the best computer purchase I've ever made considering the amount of work I've done on it.

    I put in one of those SSD drives. It's not as speedy as a modern computer with SSD technology; the old architecture prevents the full potential of the SSD from being realized, but it still makes for a wonderfully noticeable performance improvement, orders of magnitude above that of an old spinner. No more minute-long wait times. My Toshiba now returns from hibernation in about 10 seconds, and Photoshop boots in about 7. So, yeah, I would highly recommend installing an SSD. It will make you smile as a decade is shaved off your computer's apparent age.

    -Of course, you should also max out the RAM, if you haven't done so already. The M405 can take up to 4 Gigs. I'd do that in a heartbeat, especially if you're thinking of going 64 Bit.

    Because, your existing M405's Core 2 Duo T2400 CPU can run 64bit Win7 with no trouble.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  3. the3dstig

    the3dstig Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've got a beastly workstation too! No cintiq yet...

    I'm looking up deals on SSDs now for my M405 as well as a RAM upgrade.

    I didn't know my current chip could run a 64bit version of Windows! According to Intel's site it's only a 32bit processor (link)... unless I'm missing something which is pretty likely.

    Either way, I'd like to upgrade to the t7600 which is pretty cheap. Ever heard of anyone making the upgrade successfully?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  4. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah. I was reading the wrong specs.

    Core Duo = 32bit
    Core 2 Duo = 64bit

    I've upgraded the Pentium M in my Tecra from a 1.7 Ghz to a 2 Ghz chip. It was very easy; just unscrew the back, pop the clip and swap the chips.

    The M400 looks a little more challenging to take apart; it's one of those laptops where you have to pull the keyboard in order to get at things. But, really, it's just a matter of following the steps and not losing the screws.

    Here's a teardown instruction set for the M400 (with CPU replacement being the focus), which may help you:

    Toshiba Portege M400 Tablet PC laptop disassembly

    I really love these old Toshiba machines. I was just using my Tecra again today at the cafe and got nearly a whole page of comics pencils done. They're just excellent troopers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  5. the3dstig

    the3dstig Pen Pal - Newbie

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    That's what I thought, thanks for the info!

    That guide is going to be really helpful! Since I'll be up radio my ram I might as well go just a few steps further and upgrade the cpu.

    Between that, going to win7 64, and an ssd, I bet this old rig will be better than new! I bought it off of an IT manager for $200 and it's been a solid performer. Aside from the battery dying it's run perfectly since I bought it!

    Thanks again!
     
  6. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, all those upgrades you're planning are going to make for a pretty sweet machine!

    It'll be about double the power of my backpack Toshiba. That's so awesome!

    Best of luck with the upgrade and have fun!


    ~~~~~~~~~~~EDIT:

    I just did some checking around, and while there's no confirmation I've been able to find, it does look unlikely that a 64bit Core 2 Duo chip will work in a machine designed for a 32bit Core Duo even though the socket might accept the physical pin layout. I suspect the MB chipset needs to be designed to handle 64bit from the outset.

    That's a shame. -Still, you'll be able to get the machine up to 3 gigs of ram anyway, and with the SSD it ought to be quite a fine improvement.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  7. the3dstig

    the3dstig Pen Pal - Newbie

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    That's what I suspected, thanks for checking into that!

    Agreed, the new drive and upgraded ram will be a great upgrade... not to mention a working battery!
     
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