Thursday, January 11, 2007

Why the Dell 1501?

The Dell 1501 are the newest Dell laptop and the only one to feature AMD processors. It's aimed directly at the budget laptop market and offers a lot of bang for your buck. My model only cost me US$630 and is the standard Dell baseline configuration except for the DVD burner upgrade. It's a solid PC if all you want to do is surf the net, write email, word processing and light gaming. What sold me was the integrated ATI X1150 graphic chipset. If I'm going to have to have an integrated graphics card it's going to the X1150. It's outperformed all others in it's price range.

Here are my Laptop specs:
Mobile AMD Sempron 3500+ Processor (1.8GHz/512K)
ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 256MB HyperMemory (integrated)
512 MB of 533 DDR2 RAM (1 Dimm)
60gb 5400 RPM SATA hard drive
DVD+/-RW with Dual Layer DVD+R write capacity
Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini Card (54Mbps)

The only things that I plan on upgrading is the memory. 512K is NOT enough, but I was damned if I was going to pay Dell to upgrade it for me. For the price of Dell installing another 512K, you can buy a 1GB stick and install it yourself giving you 1.5BG. The 1501 runs Ubuntu extremely well, everything except WiFi work right out of the box. If you are thinking about a budget notebook for Windows, Ubuntu, or Linux in general it's a great little machine.

Next Up: Getting Ubuntu to Install
edited by pHreaksYcle


wj said...

how well does the 1501 play 3D games? Thanks!

redDEAD said...

Thats is such an open ended question it depends on what you want to play, how good is "good" for you and what are the specs of your Dell 1501. I play mostly scumm games, snes games, rrootage and solitaire on my machine. I think the Dell 1501 suites my gaming needs. But is it a gaming laptop? Nope, it's a budget laptop. Can you run some nice PC games on it and get solid performance with a nice RAM upgrade? Sure.

wj said...

Oh! The RAM upgraded is needed as the ati graphics card uses shared memory.

"Can you run some nice PC games on it and get solid performance with a nice RAM upgrade?"

Just to clarify... are the nice PC games you are referring to 3d games like tremulous or republic commando?'


Dream Magoi said...

I just ordered the 1501 from Dell. Like you I chose to upgrade to the DVD Burner and will be getting my own 1GB SoDimm Chip to pair with the 512.
I decided not to get the glossy trubrite display because I heard that makes it more difficult to read text. Do you think that is a good move? I can still change my order if you think it wasn't.
Also, I was wonder what the native resolution is for the display. It looks like 1400 x 800 but maybe I'm mistake. Also, does the ATI video card ONLY use system Ram or does it have a bit of its own memory too?

Thanks for the guide on ram upgrading, I'm always paranoid about getting the exact right type of ram. Also thanks for the dual boot guide and others. I thought Ubuntu was neat but didn't plan on using it. But because of this guide laying everything out I'll definately give it a try.

Pete S said...

I got the 1501 and upgraded the processor to AMD's dual-core offering and got 1 GB of RAM. Sadly, the laptop came with Vista. It will play next to nothing, but Counter Strike, and I blame the OS entirely. Anyway, I'm thinking of putting Feisty on it, but I'm not sure how well it's supported.

redDEAD said...

Read this article: I think the dell 1501 works well with feisty. Plus you can return your copy of Windows and get your money back.

bsholler said...

Hi i got a 1501 a month ago, about, with 2gb ram, with the standard graphics card the ati 1150 or what ever (intergrated) im wondering if there is any room to but a new or better graphics card into the 1501 or am i stuck with the ati 1150

redDEAD said...

yeah you're stuck with it

Lawrence said...

How were you able to "return" your copy of windows? I have heard of rare cases where people have won in court, but that required some leg work. For example, not agreeing to the windows license agreement, not installing vista when it boots up, and keeping meticulous records.

redDEAD said...

I never returned my copy, I keep it for running xp in vmware. I hear all you have to do is not register xp, call Dell and return the unopened disc. Let me know if you figure it out.

doublel said...

Called Dell. No go on the "refund/return" on windows vista. It's a very complicated documents, court, etc. Like I mentioned before, a few rare cases have won. What's worse is that vista auto-installed from the hard drive when you first boot it up, so it doesn't even come with a cd anymore. which makes it more of a pain to setup a vmware/wine within linux.

thanks for setting up this very useful page.

Drew said...

You have a few typos in this post.