Back in 2010, a Dell 1564 was acquired. It was about £400 new.

It was a relatively lowly model, with an Intel Core i3-330 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. It's served us well, although eventually the battery life started to fail, the keyboard lettering was wearing out and the left trackpad button became intermittent. Then, the screen started to develop a nice green vertical line whenever the lid was moved, so that was probably damaged too. To be fair, a 15" inch laptop screen will probably bend if you close it using the sides of the monitor, rather than the middle - so take note, those with plastic laptops..... and in early 2022, the whole machine starting making what can only be described as "fzzt" noises and dying - so in June 2022 the motherboard got replaced too....

When this 'project' started, it was 2015. the author could have just bought a new laptop, however, they really like the form factor and 'heft' of this laptop:

  • 15.6" screen

  • Full keyboard with number pad

  • Solid (albeit gloss plastic) design (metallic wrist rest)

  • SD card reader

  • 4 USB ports (2.0, not 3.0 or 3.1, it's a 2010 model remember?)

  • HDMI and DSUB monitor outputs

So I decided to give it a new lease of life. So far, this has entailed:

Easy Upgrades

Note: (No case removal required - all parts user accessible with simple removal of 3 screws)

  1. High capacity battery upgrade - Longer battery life with a built in stand (which helps cooling) - but does add weight

  2. RAM upgrade - 4GB to 8GB (sadly that's max the machine can take, due to the Intel chipset, but it's enough)

  3. WiFi upgrade - replace the 802.11g WiFi card with an 802.11n (Dell 1520) card for faster WiFi

  4. SSD upgrade - replace the 500GB drive with a 240GB HyperX Savage SSD. Never used more than 100GB anyway!

    1. In June 2022, the Hyper-X was moved to an alternate laptop, as it was quicker than the LiteOn SSD storage it contained. The LiteOn SSD has now moved to the Dell :)

  5. BIOS unlock - Use a modded BIOS to gain some more features (via BIOS-MODS.COM)

  6. Windows 10 - the free upgrade from Microsoft. With the CPU, RAM and SSD, it flies!

Hard(er) Upgrades

Note: (Case removal/disassembly required)

  1. Bluetooth upgrade - some 1564s came with Bluetooth (Dell Bluetooth 365 card). Mine didn't, so it's got it now.

  2. CPU upgrade - Core i3 330 to Core i7 620 - which means proper hyperthreading and more speed!


Note: (Not upgrades but still require disassembly!)

  1. LED screen replacement - fix the broken one

  2. Keyboard replacement - get some letters back!

  3. Top panel replacement - includes a new trackpad

  4. Motherboard (also comes into the "Hard(er) Upgrades" section really!)

Still on the list is a BluRay drive (maybe a writer) but that's seriously all that can be done!

Total cost for this insanity? £303.52 - which probably could have bought a new laptop, but that wouldn't have been as much fun :)

If anyone out there knows how to get i8k fan drivers running on Windows 10, please let us know!