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Asus EEE 1015PX

2014-11-16

Some time ago I bought a little netbook, an Asus EEE PC 1015PX-WMBK. It's small and has decent battery life. The one thing I don't like is the speed. The processor is slow, but I think the real issue is the 5,400 RPM hard drive. Today I bought a solid state drive (SSD) to see if that speeds things up. The netbook is old and doesn't support SATA 3 transfer speeds. Nevertheless, the solid state drive should be faster than the old drive.

2014-11-16.02.EEE.jpg 2014-11-16.01.SSD.jpg

Specifications

$ uname -a Linux eee 3.16-2-686-pae #1 SMP Debian 3.16.3-2 (2014-09-20) i686 GNU/Linux

Next up is the memory. It has 2GB of RAM. That's more than enough for regular application use on Linux. Processor-intensive applications like gaming, graphics editing, and video editing, are best avoided.

$ free total used free shared buffers cached Mem: 2062476 976996 1085480 89416 44720 491140 -/+ buffers/cache: 441136 1621340 Swap: 4172796 0 4172796

The hard drive that came when I bought the machine is around 230GB in size. That's 226GB below plus 4GB of swap above.

$ df --human-readable Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/sda1 226G 9.8G 204G 5% / udev 10M 0 10M 0% /dev tmpfs 403M 6.0M 397M 2% /run tmpfs 1008M 160K 1007M 1% /dev/shm tmpfs 5.0M 4.0K 5.0M 1% /run/lock tmpfs 1008M 0 1008M 0% /sys/fs/cgroup tmpfs 202M 8.0K 202M 1% /run/user/114 tmpfs 202M 16K 202M 1% /run/user/1000

The machine has a four-core Atom 1.66GHz processor. This is relatively slow, as is standard with netbooks.

$ cat /proc/info processor : 0 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 28 model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N570 @ 1.66GHz stepping : 10 microcode : 0x107 cpu MHz : 1000.000 cache size : 512 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 4 core id : 0 cpu cores : 2 apicid : 0 initial apicid : 0 fdiv_bug : no f00f_bug : no coma_bug : no fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 10 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm movbe lahf_lm dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority bogomips : 3333.11 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 1 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 28 model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N570 @ 1.66GHz stepping : 10 microcode : 0x107 cpu MHz : 1000.000 cache size : 512 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 4 core id : 1 cpu cores : 2 apicid : 2 initial apicid : 2 fdiv_bug : no f00f_bug : no coma_bug : no fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 10 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm movbe lahf_lm dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority bogomips : 3333.11 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 2 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 28 model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N570 @ 1.66GHz stepping : 10 microcode : 0x107 cpu MHz : 1000.000 cache size : 512 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 4 core id : 0 cpu cores : 2 apicid : 1 initial apicid : 1 fdiv_bug : no f00f_bug : no coma_bug : no fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 10 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm movbe lahf_lm dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority bogomips : 3333.11 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 3 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 28 model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N570 @ 1.66GHz stepping : 10 microcode : 0x107 cpu MHz : 1000.000 cache size : 512 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 4 core id : 1 cpu cores : 2 apicid : 3 initial apicid : 3 fdiv_bug : no f00f_bug : no coma_bug : no fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 10 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm movbe lahf_lm dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority bogomips : 3333.11 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management:

Here are more hardware details. The only thing of note to me is that the WiFi drivers (iwlwifi i915) are closed source. When I install Linux, I either have to download the drivers separately or install them using a wired network. Once they're installed, the WiFi works fine.

$ lsmod Module Size Used by ctr 12807 3 ccm 17361 3 binfmt_misc 12733 1 nfsd 236988 2 auth_rpcgss 45794 1 nfsd oid_registry 12387 1 auth_rpcgss nfs_acl 12463 1 nfsd nfs 167879 0 lockd 73471 2 nfs,nfsd fscache 44782 1 nfs sunrpc 211384 6 nfs,nfsd,auth_rpcgss,lockd,nfs_acl i2400m_usb 34216 0 i2400m 94880 1 i2400m_usb wimax 26207 1 i2400m joydev 16847 0 uvcvideo 69805 0 videobuf2_vmalloc 12720 1 uvcvideo videobuf2_memops 12471 1 videobuf2_vmalloc videobuf2_core 39059 1 uvcvideo v4l2_common 12867 1 videobuf2_core videodev 107701 3 uvcvideo,v4l2_common,videobuf2_core media 17842 2 uvcvideo,videodev snd_hda_codec_realtek 57927 1 snd_hda_codec_generic 57963 1 snd_hda_codec_realtek arc4 12480 2 snd_hda_intel 25959 6 snd_hda_controller 26327 1 snd_hda_intel iwldvm 124795 0 mac80211 417369 1 iwldvm asus_wmi 22333 0 coretemp 12708 0 kvm_intel 133460 0 snd_hda_codec 93768 4 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_controller snd_hwdep 12906 1 snd_hda_codec iTCO_wdt 12727 0 iTCO_vendor_support 12585 1 iTCO_wdt iwlwifi 87219 1 iwldvm i915 762405 3 cfg80211 345945 3 iwlwifi,mac80211,iwldvm snd_pcm 78128 3 snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_controller kvm 330217 1 kvm_intel psmouse 84792 0 evdev 17136 14 snd_timer 22010 1 snd_pcm eeepc_laptop 18086 0 sparse_keymap 12730 2 eeepc_laptop,asus_wmi serio_raw 12737 0 snd 55101 19 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hwdep,snd_timer,snd_pcm,snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel pcspkr 12531 0 rfkill 18387 6 cfg80211,wimax,eeepc_laptop,asus_wmi soundcore 12890 2 snd,snd_hda_codec battery 13164 0 drm_kms_helper 44450 1 i915 shpchp 30673 0 lpc_ich 16616 0 mfd_core 12537 1 lpc_ich video 17705 2 i915,asus_wmi drm 203555 5 i915,drm_kms_helper i2c_algo_bit 12647 1 i915 button 12824 1 i915 wmi 17147 1 asus_wmi ac 12627 0 i2c_core 36838 6 drm,i915,drm_kms_helper,i2c_algo_bit,v4l2_common,videodev acpi_cpufreq 17050 1 processor 27590 1 acpi_cpufreq loop 21987 0 fuse 77496 3 parport_pc 26004 0 ppdev 16686 0 lp 12766 0 parport 35213 3 lp,ppdev,parport_pc autofs4 34865 2 ext4 434258 1 crc16 12327 1 ext4 mbcache 17027 1 ext4 jbd2 72879 1 ext4 sg 25573 0 sd_mod 43684 3 crc_t10dif 12399 1 sd_mod crct10dif_generic 12517 1 crct10dif_common 12340 2 crct10dif_generic,crc_t10dif ahci 25003 2 libahci 22574 1 ahci libata 157769 2 ahci,libahci scsi_mod 164132 3 sg,libata,sd_mod uhci_hcd 38948 0 ehci_pci 12464 0 ehci_hcd 64933 1 ehci_pci usbcore 170994 5 uhci_hcd,uvcvideo,i2400m_usb,ehci_hcd,ehci_pci atl1c 39986 0 usb_common 12408 1 usbcore thermal 17343 0 thermal_sys 27122 3 video,thermal,processor

Case Opening

Opening a laptop is slightly tedious. I found directions at Inside My Laptop that were easy to understand, mostly because of the pictures. The tools needed are a small Phillips screw driver and a thin piece of plastic such as a membership card or guitar pick.

Results

I installed the hard drive and have played with it for a week now. Startup time is much faster than before, as expected. Opening applications feels faster to me. Overall, machine responsiveness is pretty good. The only processor-intensive thing I try to do on this machine is bulk photo processing. That's still slow, just like before, which is what you'd expect.

This is my second machine with a solid state hard drive. I don't ever want to go back. The speed gains are too much. The thirty seconds you waste when you turn your machine on, and the few seconds you waste waiting for an application, are times that matter to me. If you're using your machine a lot, that time adds up. Waiting is boring, and that sucks because it's boring, but it also sucks because you lose your concentration and pace. Better to spend the extra cash and get the fast hard drive.

$ df --human-readable Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/dm-1 225G 59G 155G 28% / udev 10M 0 10M 0% /dev tmpfs 401M 6.0M 395M 2% /run tmpfs 1001M 0 1001M 0% /dev/shm tmpfs 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock tmpfs 1001M 0 1001M 0% /sys/fs/cgroup /dev/sda1 228M 49M 168M 23% /boot tmpfs 201M 4.0K 201M 1% /run/user/116 tmpfs 201M 4.0K 201M 1% /run/user/1000