Sony Vaio X505 going more eXtreme...

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fem
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Sony Vaio X505 going more eXtreme...

Postby fem » Sun Nov 07, 2010 09:16

Hi all,

I created this thread for Sony Vaio X505, even though I clearly understand this is a UX-dedicated forum… hence in the “off topic”.

Just to remind you, the X505 was released in late 2003 by Sony, predominantly for the Japanese market, and appeared in the US in mid-2004, as the X505ZP model (X505VP in UK and Europe), equipped with a ULV Pentium M at 1.1Ghz (1MB L2), 855GM chipset, 20GB hard drive spinning at 4200rpm (Toshiba MK2004GAL, 1.8”, ultra ATA 100, 5mm height), 512MB of PC2100-DDR266 RAM, a 10.4” screen (4:3 aspect ratio), and Win XP Pro. It is a bare essentials computer: two USB ports (not bad for the size), a headphone out, an iLink/power combo port for Sony’s external optical drive (no separate power line needed for DDRW2/3), a proprietary port for an Ethernet/VGA dongle (ala UX), and a PCMCIA port that can accommodate a WiFi adapter, a card reader, or whatever else (e.g., I have an RJ11 Zoom modem card and a LaCie FW800 card). It weighs ~835 grams, is sharp thin (<1 cm in the front to ~2 cm in the back) and – as far as I know – the only fanless laptop to date (uses a heat dissipation sheet). I believe it was also the first to introduce the chiclet-type keyboard. Oh, did I mention it looks gorgeous and really... kewl? :cool: Even by today’s standards. And due to its thinness, I guess, it used to pass the airport X-rays staying unnoticed inside the bag in those early days… oops! ;)

It has been a faithful on-the-go companion for the past 6 years, traveled in many countries, and I only recently “retired” it after getting a ThinkPad X201. I have kept it stock; the only thing is that I use a custom-made nLite-trimmed down version of Win XP Pro (fully functional) so that speed and responsiveness of the system are much improved over stock (not painful by any means). Despite the obvious compromises, I love it! :D

Anyway, let’s get to the point…

After consulting with Anh "The Magician", I just purchased a Toshiba Portege R200 motherboard (and the full bottom case for, eh... bigs?!) from an eBay seller in the UK, with a working Pentium M processor ULV 773 (1.3Ghz, 400Mhz FSB, 2MB cache), which is the top processor that can be fitted in the X505. Anh has already successfully upgraded his X505 to a PM753 (1.2Ghz, 400Mhz FSB, 2MB cache). :eek: Of course… how could he not?! It’d be nice if he could share his experience here, as the X505 is, in many ways, as difficult to upgrade as the UX, and definitely more difficult to crack open!

I have also purchased an SSD (Mach Xtreme Technology, 30GB, 1.8”, 50-pin PATA interface, max read/write 120/65 mbps, 64MB cache and on-board garbage collection) from Germany to swap the internal HD (which nonetheless has proven surprisingly reliable!).

As with the UX, the only thing that cannot be upgraded in the X505 (as of now) is the RAM. The process of the upgrade is similar; however Anh has reasons to believe it is more probable to get the X505 up to 1GB (than it is to get 2GB in the UX)…

So, we’ll see how it goes! OMG, I can't wait! :o

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Postby computercowboy » Mon Nov 08, 2010 22:41

That should be usable if you get the processor AND the memory upgraded. My sister has a T350P which has a 1.2Ghz processor and 1 GB of RAM. It runs XP well. I had a T360P for a while with the 1.2 Ghz processor 1 GB of RAM and I pulled the optical drive out and made it dual SSD. That thing was pretty sweet.

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Postby fem » Mon Nov 08, 2010 23:56

I can imagine... Well, I will send the X505 and the PM773 to Anh now, to get the CPU upgraded, and I will leave it with him for a couple of months (I will be in Europe, anyway, from mid-December onwards) and hope he comes up with a magic solution for the RAM as well in the meantime... :o

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Postby hankit » Fri Nov 12, 2010 08:15

OMG! Superb great news..i have a X505 that i retired after I swap to SZ (RIP)..
It sounds a nice mod just for fun how x505 can come back up

Really hope to see if ram upgrade is possible.!!

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Postby fem » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:41

The 753/773 will also make the X505 run cooler; not only faster. I guess you are familiar with the fact that, under "pressure", the X505 becomes "crazy hot" on top of the KB because the heat dissipation sheet is just underneath - not unexpected, but cooling it down a bit will help; plus you'll get a bit more juice out of the battery.
Also with an SSD and trimmed XP, I expect it to be very usable, not "just for fun" ;)
And if Anh comes up with a RAM upgrade to at least 1GB, it will rock with XP!
And as bigs would say, put Linux on it and it will fly even with 512MB...

Edit: FedEx is talking too long to bring my R200 w/ 773 mobo from the UK (not really, I am just inpatient :o )
Screw iPhone and Blackberry!
Sent from my Sony Vaio UX :p

Vaio UX280P (stock; super mint - for sale)
Vaio UX490N (stock; super mint - for fun)
Thinkpad X201 (for work)
Asus R2H (stock w/ 2GB RAM; super mint - for sale)
Vaio X505ZP (Anh-treated: Pentium M ULV 773@1.3Ghz & Mach Xtreme Technology 30GB SSD; mint enough - for ever)

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Postby hankit » Fri Nov 12, 2010 14:30

Yes! The X505 does do alot of heat..which is one of the things that I expected as the form factor cause most of the issue.

I'm really excited to see how far can I put the X505 up to, I felt bad just letting it sit there and do nothing about it...I tends to do as much as I can for my older Vaio's..they are just too good to let go...

Do you know if the 753/773 is the best we can get on to the x505??

fem wrote:The 753/773 will also make the X505 run cooler; not only faster. I guess you are familiar with the fact that, under "pressure", the X505 becomes "crazy hot" on top of the KB because the heat dissipation sheet is just underneath - not unexpected, but cooling it down a bit will help; plus you'll get a bit more juice out of the battery.
Also with an SSD and trimmed XP, I expect it to be very usable, not "just for fun" ;)
And if Anh comes up with a RAM upgrade to at least 1GB, it will rock with XP!
And as bigs would say, put Linux on it and it will fly even with 512MB...

Edit: FedEx is talking too long to bring my R200 w/ 773 mobo from the UK (not really, I am just inpatient :o )

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Postby fem » Sat Nov 13, 2010 05:43

The Pentium M 773 1.3GHz 2M Cache is the top of the line of Intel’s particular ULV series of processors. According to Anh, you can’t fit anything more than that. The PM753 is 1.2GHz 2M Cache (a step below). Anh has successfully upgraded his X505 to PM753, so he is certain the 773 works as well. Note that PM753/773 are both Dothan, whereas the stock PM 1.1GHz of the X505 (1M Cache) is Banias. The stock consumes 7W, whereas the PM753/773 consumes 5.5W.

The PM773 was kind of "difficult" to find: from vaio TX770 (very expensive), LG TX-ADGAG (impossible to find) and the Toshiba Portege R200 (a little bit expensive but I managed to find a UK seller and got a working mobo/lower case for around $85, which is by far the cheapest one you can find- they still have 2-3 pieces left here).

An SSD is also a must for around $200 (you need a female 50pin PATA / microATA, height 5mm)- not many options with good specs: Mach Xtreme - impossible to find in the US, got mine from a reseller in Germany; Photofast V4 from dvnation).

The only thing that cannot be upgraded as of yet is the RAM... but as I said above, trimming down XP makes the X505 work quite painlessly even with 512MB. Imagine, I have it stock (with the 6-year old 20GB @ 4200 rpm) and it boots my custom (but fully functional) XP in less than 30 sec (between 25 and 30 sec all the time, measured with BootVis). The only thing I start manually after the boot is virus software and LAN/WLAN via custom batch files (I don't connect to the internet about half of the time). I run Office Pro 2003, SPSS 18, Acrobat Pro 8, IE8, and Endnote 11 (simultaneously- but all are custom installations) without much trouble (using around 350MB).

So I believe an SSD and a PM773 will give it new life! :)
Screw iPhone and Blackberry!

Sent from my Sony Vaio UX :p



Vaio UX280P (stock; super mint - for sale)

Vaio UX490N (stock; super mint - for fun)

Thinkpad X201 (for work)

Asus R2H (stock w/ 2GB RAM; super mint - for sale)

Vaio X505ZP (Anh-treated: Pentium M ULV 773@1.3Ghz & Mach Xtreme Technology 30GB SSD; mint enough - for ever)

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Postby computercowboy » Sat Nov 13, 2010 15:10

I'm pretty sure that the 753 was in both the T350P and the T360P, that is a good chip, it was very fast in it's day. I really liked my T360P with dual SSD.
Z1290X: i7 | FHD | 2x Intel X18 RAID0 320GB | 8GB RAM | Carbon | BIOS Hack | nVidia 280.26/3D Vision | Intel 6230 WiFi/BT 3.0HS | Gobi Unlocked | GTExpress WWAN | ViDock4+ GTX570 | DELL U3011 | Ext Batt | Z-Dock & VAIO USB Dock | VAIO BT Keyboard | Razor Orochi
P11SKX/Bl Signature Black Crocodile
P688E/N: Gold | Gobi Unlocked | Ext Batt | VAIO Gold Mouse
UX490N: Core2Duo Mod | BIOS Hack | Broadcom CrystalHD | SIM Unlocked | Ext Batt

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fem
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Postby fem » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:53

I never expected that the X505 would still sell for so much. Over the last couple of months, good condition X505s sold on eBay for $400-600 and one currently open is at $640! Mostly stock, or with an SSD upgrade.

Not that I am interested in selling mine- just saying :)
Screw iPhone and Blackberry!

Sent from my Sony Vaio UX :p



Vaio UX280P (stock; super mint - for sale)

Vaio UX490N (stock; super mint - for fun)

Thinkpad X201 (for work)

Asus R2H (stock w/ 2GB RAM; super mint - for sale)

Vaio X505ZP (Anh-treated: Pentium M ULV 773@1.3Ghz & Mach Xtreme Technology 30GB SSD; mint enough - for ever)

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Postby computercowboy » Tue Nov 16, 2010 21:17

It was $3K about 6 years ago, seems to have held some value!
Z1290X: i7 | FHD | 2x Intel X18 RAID0 320GB | 8GB RAM | Carbon | BIOS Hack | nVidia 280.26/3D Vision | Intel 6230 WiFi/BT 3.0HS | Gobi Unlocked | GTExpress WWAN | ViDock4+ GTX570 | DELL U3011 | Ext Batt | Z-Dock & VAIO USB Dock | VAIO BT Keyboard | Razor Orochi

P11SKX/Bl Signature Black Crocodile

P688E/N: Gold | Gobi Unlocked | Ext Batt | VAIO Gold Mouse

UX490N: Core2Duo Mod | BIOS Hack | Broadcom CrystalHD | SIM Unlocked | Ext Batt


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