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New laptop...Gateway 5300, any good?

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Celeron_Phreak

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
Hey all. I finally have a decent laptop! It's a Gateway Solo 5300. Here's the specs:

P3 900MHz
256MB RAM
8MB Video
10GIG hard drive
14.1" screen
mini-PCI
8x DVD-ROM
external 52x CD-RW USB drive
working battery
Windows XP Pro


It even has composite video out. Now, how well did I do for $425? I really like it and hope to start taking it to LANs when we play Wolfenstein Enemy Territory. I'll need to upgrade the video RAM or something before I play anything like Call of Duty though :(.

~C.P.
 

MoonWolf

Fold For 32!
Joined
Jun 27, 2002
Location
Texas
I doubt you'd be able to upgrade the Video Memory. Thats the bad thing about laptops... there isn't much to upgrade other than RAM and the HDD.

Other than that, you got a good deal :thup: .
 
OP
Celeron_Phreak

Celeron_Phreak

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
Well that stinks. At least it's got mini-PCI. I plan to put a wireless G card in when I've got the $$$. HD could use an upgrade to 20 or 40 GIGs, and another stick of 256MB PC133 sodimm memory at CompUSA is only $100. Hard drive will probably be first, considering I can live with how much RAM it's got and a PCMCIA wifi card.

The external CD writer is a Verbatim VBT522452X, at least that's what the sticker on the bottom says. I was wondering if it might be possible to put a hard drive in the enclosure. Would be great to have when going to LANs and leeching ;)
 

MoonWolf

Fold For 32!
Joined
Jun 27, 2002
Location
Texas
You most likely will not be able to replace a CDROM with a hard drive on that laptop. What you COULD do is get a large external USB hard drive to leech files to :D. As far as the CD burner, that is the fastest model I've ever seen on a laptop.
 
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Celeron_Phreak

Celeron_Phreak

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
MoonWolf, what do you mean by

You most likely will not be able to replace a CDROM with a hard drive on that laptop.

???? I was wondering if I could put a hard drive in the CDROM enclosure, since windows just sees it as a "mass storage device". So it would be an external USB hard drive. The CD burner is external BTW ;).

I'm kinda confused by your post, as I think you might have been a bit confused by my own. My head hurts...... =P
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
Celeron_Phreak said:
The external CD writer is a Verbatim VBT522452X, at least that's what the sticker on the bottom says. I was wondering if it might be possible to put a hard drive in the enclosure. Would be great to have when going to LANs and leeching ;)

Answer is ... probably. Most external drive bays are universal for any/all ide devices. Your thinking about windows seeing it as a mass storage device is accurate.

BTW, check ebay for a memory upgrade, $100 is a lot...
 
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Celeron_Phreak

Celeron_Phreak

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
$100 is a lot for a 256MB stick of PC100/133? I've found PC memory to be a lot more than DDR. Still haven't figured out why. =\
 

MoonWolf

Fold For 32!
Joined
Jun 27, 2002
Location
Texas
HAH! I thought you meant that you were going to stick a hard drive into a CDROM drive bay internally, which is why I said that 52x24x52 was very fast for a laptop. Come to think of it, I doubt they make internal burners that fast for laptops anyway... I skipped over the word "external" in your post for some reason. Had I not skimmed your post and realized the drive was external, I'd have said that it could be done :rolleyes:. Let us know how things turn out :D.

BTW: Love the sig. Have you heard the Paul Oakenfold Remix?
 
Last edited:

Kunaak

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2002
Location
Juneau Alaska
email lonely raven here.
he always has alot of Sodimms for laptops.

I just got 2, 128 meg sodimms from him for $25 shipped.

he had a big post in the for sale area, but that topic was old, but I think he still has some around.
 

MoonWolf

Fold For 32!
Joined
Jun 27, 2002
Location
Texas
For a little over $100 you can get 512mb and for half the price of CompUSA you can get 256mb. Just make sure to check compatibility before you buy.
 
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Celeron_Phreak

Celeron_Phreak

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
Yeah, I only need another 256MB stick, since it already has 256, and it maxes out at 512MB.

Yes, I've heard the Paul Oakenfold remix. I love the song soo much I won't forget it :)

I don't know when I'll be able to get an HD to test the thing out, since I don't have any except for the ones in my main comp ATM. I'm buying my older bro a b-day present here next week, so we'll see how things go.

I also just recently found out that the mobile PIII clock cycles down to 700MHz when on battery power and back up to 900MHz when plugged in. But using SpeedStep lets me control wether or not to let it run at 900 or 700.

----------------------

I opened the thing up to remove the heatsink and put some new thermal paste on it, as I was noticing it was getting REALLY hot when running off of battery power and only at 700MHz. When I removed the four heatsink screws that apply pressure, it was really hard to pull up on the heatsink. I kept trying and eventually came up, but pulled the CPU out of the ZIF socket along with it! I kept shaking the heatsink above my desk to see if the CPU would come off, but no luck. I tried to pull it off....still no luck. I finally gave up and ended up having to pry it apart with a small flat blade screwdriver.

When I did get it off, I noticed the original thermal pad was still on it. Now this was no longer thermal, it was as hard as plastic and wasn't brittle at all. I had to take a sharp exacto knife blade to it and very carefully remove it from the CPU material and the open die. I was able to remove it all from the die, but there's still some on the packaging, but it'll be fine.

Then I went to clean out the heatsink, as I noticed there wasn't much airflow, which was probably another part of the problem. I took some tweezers and pulled out two or three dog/cat hairballs from the fin "ducts" or "tunnels". After that, I cleaned both the heatsink and CPU off with some 91% isopropyl alcohol and applied some AS3 to the CPU die. Put it all back together and started it up.....Oh crap, blank screen!!!!!

Well at the time, I didn't know that the CPU socket was a ZIF socket, since the CPU came out with the heatsink, and I had just placed the CPU over the pin holes, thinking that the pressure of the heatsink (with the four screws down) pushed it into it. WRONG!!!! I did this twice, thinking I messed up the first time, nope. I examined the socket a bit and found a litttle flatblade screw thing that turned. This acted like the handel on a desktop ZIF socket, moving the top plastic piece so the pins can drop into place. I got it all back into place, and back together. This time with my fingers crossed and a prayer in my mind, I started it up one last time. Hooray! It still works!!!!

----------------------


I have one more question (sorry about the long post). Since this laptop uses an FCPGA2 CPU, does anyone here think it'd be possible to use an Intel P4 mini-FCPGA 2 CPU in it? I read somewhere about some guy who has a Gateway Solo 5300 as well and has a P4 1.3 or something in his. I can't get ahold of Gateway to find anything out, so this is my only source of reliahable info :)
 

Cyrix_2k

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Location
Frederick, MD
I forget what socket my Solo 1450 is, but mine has a 1.3ghz celly in it... I think yours has the same board and HSF and basically everything else mine has, so I don't see why it wouldn't work.

BTW, be careful with a power adaptor jack... They love to break. (I've fixed mine like 7 or 8 times :eek: )
 
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Celeron_Phreak

Celeron_Phreak

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
Ok, just learned last night (while the power was off), that my laptop needs a new CPU cooler. Since the fan isn't detatchable from the heatsink, I have to replace the whole thing.

I noticed there are two types of HSFs for the Solo 5300s:

GW SOLO 5300 HEATSINK & FAN : 8005428
GW SOLO 5300 HEATSINK & FAN : 8005115

I don't know what the differance is, but if anyone knows, please let me know too :) From what I can tell, they seem to be exactly the same, as shown here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3494099223&category=31534

I still don't see what good the litttle copper strip is. Is it a heatpipe of some sort? I've never understood how heatpipe's worked in the first place =\
 

Cyrix_2k

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Location
Frederick, MD
Celeron_Phreak said:
Ok, just learned last night (while the power was off), that my laptop needs a new CPU cooler. Since the fan isn't detatchable from the heatsink, I have to replace the whole thing.

I noticed there are two types of HSFs for the Solo 5300s:

GW SOLO 5300 HEATSINK & FAN : 8005428
GW SOLO 5300 HEATSINK & FAN : 8005115

I don't know what the differance is, but if anyone knows, please let me know too :) From what I can tell, they seem to be exactly the same, as shown here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3494099223&category=31534

I still don't see what good the litttle copper strip is. Is it a heatpipe of some sort? I've never understood how heatpipe's worked in the first place =\
Yup, it's a heat pipe
 
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Celeron_Phreak

Celeron_Phreak

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
Hmm. I doubt it would run well without a fan, considering it's running 24/7. It's not very loud, but every hour or so it'll grind for two or three minutes. With the fan on and the laptop running at 700MHz, it idles at 43 C. With it running at 900MHz, it idles around 52 C.