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Project E - The Specs

Before we start doing any work on the EEE900, lets take a look at the system specifications and see how we can make them better for the tasks that we will be doing with it.

Processor: Intel Celeron M 900mhz
RAM: 1GB 667mhz DDR2
Hard Drive: 16gb Solid state PCI-E
Cooling: Passive
Wireless: Builtin Atheros AR5007EG
OS: Windows XP Home (Asus Customized)

I know that stats don't see all that impressive, and there are only a few things we can change. First thing the Customized Asus XP Home we want to keep. The reason for this is all of the extra power conservation features, in addition to the removal of extra nonsense that does not belong on a netbook. Next we have the cooling which we can do anything about, and is best that we don't for battery life.

The processor we could change, but I won't. The reason here is #1 it's a royal pain to do so, second it will mess with the thermal properties of the netbook, and finally I think it is sufficient power for the tasks at hand.

The wireless is a standard card that can be replaced, I do not plan on being unable to connect to wireless G networks anytime soon, so for the meantime I will keep the stock card.

Now for what I will change!

The 1GB of ram is nice, but I could use a little bit more breathing room there, especially considering I plan on using some of the ram for a RAM Disk to take some load off the Solid State drive. The system max's out at 2GB of DDR2 667, and I will be using Kingston RAM to replace it.

Next issue is the hard drive. There are a few reasons to replace it, number one is performance. If you do some research online and try to find the specifications on the built-in PCI-E hard drive you will find little to nothing as of this writting. So with the system new and out of the box I ran Disk Mark on it to get me some details.

Performance specification of the old hard drive

Considering a brand new platter based SATA 3G drive gets close to around 100+ on these tests you get the idea here that this drive is'nt exactly fast for a solid state drive. The second issue is I have obviously been using the system, and 16GB is cutting it close for me, so I need more room as well.

I will be replacing the drive with a new Super Talent PCI-E 32GB drive from New Egg. Checking the stats I can expect close to 90mb/s from the drive. I have of course already installed it so here are the results:

New Drive benchmarks

As you can see that is a nice jump in performance from what we had before. In addition we got some extra space.

So we added extra ram at around $20, and a new hard drive for around $70 plus shipping. So for an extra $100 or so we give our system a significant performance boost. I judge this performance on the time it takes windows to start up and open firefox (the most common task on this system). Before the changes it would take around 1 and a half minutes for windows to fully load and automatically open Firefox to With the new drive and ram it now does this task in around 30 seconds, maybe a bit less.

Next update I will be going through the operating system, and program performance tuning/options.

Last Updated: 04/23/2009 01:29 PM

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