John gave his mom an Acer Cloudbook and it's really slow. Can he replace or upgrade it? Leo says that the Cloudbook is part of Acer's cheaper consumer line, and it will likely cost more to repair than replace. And at 32GB, and 2GB of RAM, he'll be better off buying a newer one and spending a little more on their higher end line. Then he could give that Cloudbook to his son and let him play Minecraft with it.
Dennis wants to upgrade his HP laptop. He wants to double his RAM and install an SSD. Will that help? Leo says that if he has a fast enough bus for the computer, an SSD will certainly speed things up, as an SSD has zero latency. Reads are very fast. But he won't get as much as a modern laptop. It'll still be noticeable. And he'll get at least a 10-20% boost by doubling his RAM.
Timothy started a new job and he's using a 5-year-old Mac Pro. Leo says that's not that old, actually. Leo prefers them to the recent models. Tim says that there's not a lot of RAM — only 4GB. Leo says that 4GB is OK for most things he'll do online and for documents. But he recommends running the activity monitor to make sure all the RAM is functioning. Sometimes, though, a program doesn't release the RAM when it no longer needs it, and it may be that is what's happening here. The hard drive may be slowing things down as well.
Jesse wants to know how he can bypass the BIOS password on his laptop. Leo says BIOS is backed up with a battery and he'll need to pop that out and then reset the CMOS memory jumper switch. He could find instructions on iFixIt, or a simple Google search will do. But it may not work.
(Disclaimer: iFixit is a sponsor)
Jack is looking to get a new laptop for music recording. Should he buy an i7? Leo says that an i5 is fine, and he should spend the money on a larger SSD and more RAM. 16GB is good. But after that, the performance slows down when using more RAM, and most applications don't even use it. So he should stick with 16GB. He should get a good screen as well.
Joe needs a high end chromebook with 16GM RAM. Leo says the challenge will be 16GB of RAM. The highest end Chromebooks have about 8GB of RAM. He really wouldn't need 16GB of RAM with a Chromebook because it doesn't have to deal with the requirements of a full Windows system. ChromeOS is very light. Leo recommends taking a look at ASUS.
Paul is going to college to study mechanical engineering and he needs a good laptop that can handle the work load. Leo says ideally, he'll get more bang for his buck with a PC. He'll also get more choices. Also, it's always best to check with the college or university for what they prefer. They may require more powerful hardware and specific software. He'll also want an SSD because it'll boot up faster.
Steve has a 2009 iMac and he's been waiting to upgrade. Now he's ready to get a 27" model, but it says he can only upgrade RAM to 32GB with the midrange models. Steve has read that he can go up to 64GB and it will work. Jason says that the midrange can go up to 64GB, but the lower end is only up to 32GB from Apple. Third party RAMs chips are available, but Apple would rather he spend $200 more to get the next level iMac. He advises buying the iMac with the least amount of RAM available and then upgrade the RAM from a third party. OWC and Crucial are good places to get them.
Jeremy has a Lenovo 11S and the power supply died. So he replaced it along with replacing the motherboard. It runs great, but he'd like to increase the RAM as well. Leo says it depends on the motherboard and the amount of room inside that laptop. Leo says it's odd that he was able to replace it. Laptops are highly customized, so that is likely a problematic endeavor. Laptops tend to not be upgradable by design. Jeremy can check with crucial.com and kingston.com.
Greg is looking to buy a new laptop and wants to know if he can still increase the RAM after he buys it. Can he plug in the RAM he has in his old one to boost the RAM of the new one? Leo says probably not. The form factor needs to be the same, and in most laptops the RAM is soldered in. He may be able to if it's SO DIM compatible, but then there's the speed issue.
Greg should go to Crucial or Kingston and use their RAM Picker to see what he'll need. If it comes up with something similar, then maybe it'll work, but it's not likely.