This unit has been tested partially as a factory unit and partially as a modified unit. I tried my best to wait until the end of the review process to modify the unit but this was beyond my control when my Windows partition became unbootable and inaccessible via Linux. I could not find the cause of the problem as my Recovery partition worked properly. I used the Vaio Rescue/Recovery feature from the ASSIST button but took hours to reach 50%. This is where I decided to attempt the modification I will detail later in this review.
Ironically, it started with the PlayStation 3. Initially wanting to buy a PS3, I heard about the free PS3 offer that Sony was honoring with the purchase of a new laptop. I have been considering getting a new laptop, since all of my previous laptops were used goods, except my netbook. I knew that I would be limited to Sony Vaio laptops and so I made a decision to buy the cheapest unit I could afford, which happened to be the Vaio T.
At the time of my purchase, I considered the Vaio S but the MobileTechReview’s overview of the Vaio T sold me on its portability and work-centric setup. Although, I did end up installing Fallout: New Vegas, strictly for real-world benchmarking of course. I have also brought the Vaio T with me to a conference where I was able to utilize its very quick boot from sleep and hibernation features. This is with the laptop’s factory setup. The problem I had with laptops in the past is that they not only booted too slow but provided very little processing power for basic to mid-range tasks like video processing using Microsoft Movie Maker 2.
Why the Vaio T?
The HP DV9000 Series is a feature rich laptop with 17″ screen, two hard drive slots, 2 RAM slots up to 4GB, Media Center Remote, Keyboard with number pad, poor cooling, and overheating components. In all seriousness, this laptop is quite remarkable with the right modifications to enhance cooling of the critical components: CPU, GPU and Northbridge. The overheating issues must be understood to solve the problem.
I’ve compiled a list of flaws in the design of this computer (BOLD items will be fixed in this mod)
- Primary hard drive is next to the GPU (the hottest component in the computer)
- Secondary hard drive acts solely as an external drive
- Heatsink configuration allows heat from the CPU to travel over the Northbridge.
- Northbridge is offset from the height of the CPU
- Cheap thermal pads are used to replace thermal paste
- GPU does not have its own fan for cooling
- GPU does not have thermal paste on it; instead a metal sticker (?) is used for cooling
- CPU fan gathers dust in the vents and line of lint is created in the back of the vent.
The list goes on but these are the major issues I’ve noticed.
Before we begin, I must say that any information used here to perform modification to your computer is the choice of the user. Be aware that I cannot take responsibility for any damages incurred by following my modification. I can assure you that these modifications where done several weeks prior to me posting this for confirmation that they work.
This modification was done to a HP DV9500/9700 laptop. There may be subtle differences between the different models in the DV9000 series. Make sure you do enough research to confirm that we have laptops with the same layout. This modification was done to a Intel-based version. The AMD version has 4 mounting screws over the processor. This may yield different results so be aware of this.Â
After almost 2 years of using the Treo 800w, I’ve finally upgraded to my ideal device. The Treo 800w was a great device from a hardware layout perspective. It was quick, customizable and accessible with the multiple buttons and instant-access keyboard. The problems, battery life, lack of a headphone jack and buggy software, though outweighed the many benefits. My cousin recently got a HTC EVO 4G so I took the opportunity to utilize his Touch Pro 2.
I found out a week ago that the Treo 800w has a USB Host port. A USB Host port allows you to connect devices to it and use these devices like you would with your laptop or PC. This is quite remarkable seeing as most phones or mobile devices are USB slaves (they can only be connected as a device or charged through any USB port they have). I found this out by reading here…
I then purchased the 3.5mm USB Sound Card located here:
I used an extra Treo 800w headset I had to add the microUSB side of the headset to the USB Sound Card. The result is the following:
I’m back again. I was able to stop by the Sprint store and check out the Palm Pre Demo Unit. Check the youtube videos here…