My "ultimate" Dell Inspiron 8000

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My "ultimate" Dell Inspiron 8000

Postby Zack_H » 2019-9-07 @ 23:21

Very proud of this machine:

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This was the first one of these Dell Inspiron 8000-series notebooks I got. These quickly became my absolute favorite early 2000s PC laptops. They have very high-end specs, and beautiful high-res displays.


If you are very observant, you'll notice that the blue on the setup screen looks very-vibrant; that is because I have installed an UltraSharp panel in this that came from an Inspiron 8200! I found an NOS UltraSharp panel for my 8200, so this 8000 got the old one. The UltraSharp (which is Dell's fancy word for an IPS display), was only offered on the Latitude C840/Inspiron 8200, it was never an option on the 8000.

This screen runs at 1600 x 1200, versus the 1400 x 1050 that the original panel ran at. The 8000 did have a 1600 x 1200 option (which my other has), but it wasn't an IPS display.


I had always wanted to do this, and wasn't entirely sure if it would work, but it most certainly does!


I have also upgraded the CPU from an 800MHz to a 900MHz (not a huge difference, but I already had it on-hand, so why not?).


I also upgraded the ATi M4 graphics card to an Nvidia GeForce2GO from a broken Inspiron 8100.


Also popped on my gray palmrests, which are NOS. Love the removable palmrests on these machines.


For software, I'm running some different stuff than I normally do: Windows Millennium Edition (which is what this machine originally shipped with), and Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 1a. I had vanilla XP on here, but had a few issues with it, so I updated it to SP1a. Runs very good on here, as does Windows Me.


That's all for now. I'll add some more to this later.....
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Re: My "ultimate" Dell Inspiron 8000

Postby Zack_H » 2019-9-08 @ 15:29

Here's a screenshot of Windows Me running on here:

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You can see just how much room you have to work with on this 1600 x 1200 resolution. Absolutely love it. This screen looks better than a lot of modern LCDs I have seen.


Another thing I forgot to mention is that this machine uses a Coppermine Pentium III mobile.


And, also; another upgrade I could do to this machine, since I have an extra motherboard, is upgrade it to an Inspiron 8100 board, which would give me a Tualatin Pentium III m. Not sure if I'll do that or not, because I'm not at all unhappy with the Coppermine 900MHz. It performs very well.

Something else that would be cool is that if I could find one of those QXGA 2048 x 1536 panels that some of the ThinkPads used, and get that to work in here! Those QXGA panels are just unreal.
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Re: My "ultimate" Dell Inspiron 8000

Postby Errius » 2019-9-08 @ 17:56

I have two of these. Very nice machines. The only thing I don't like is the single expansion slot which means you have to choose between installing a Wi-Fi card or an Ethernet card, but can't have both at the same time. (Were combo Ethernet/Wi-Fi Mini-PCI cards ever made?) Currently I have the Wi-Fi card installed and use a PCMCIA Gigabit Ethernet adaptor.

I had to manually install the Wi-Fi antenna as I don't think it comes as standard on the 8000.

I believe the fastest CPU they can take is the 1000/700 GHz Coppermine. The i8kfangui31.exe utility is useful for controlling the fans/temperature.

I also have the removable CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive module.

I'm running Windows 2000 on my machines. (I think I remember trying XP but encountering driver issues.)
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Re: My "ultimate" Dell Inspiron 8000

Postby Zack_H » 2019-9-08 @ 18:19

I don’t think they ever made combo mini-PCI cards, unfortunately. I keep the stock lan adapters in mine, and use a PCMCIA wireless card when I need wireless. Did they ever make laptops with 2 mini-PCI slots? I’ve never seen that before.

Yes, the fastest CPU for these was 1GHz.

I8kfangui is fantastic; I use it on all of my old Dells.

All of the default drivers Windows XP installs seem to work fine, and the Windows 2000 drivers I have tried in XP seem to work also.

I have 98 and 2000 dual-booted on my other one, so I wanted this one to be a little different.
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Re: My "ultimate" Dell Inspiron 8000

Postby Errius » 2019-9-08 @ 18:25

Have you got the sound to work in pure DOS? I think I heard somewhere that the sound chip can emulate a sound blaster. I still haven't tried this myself. I've only ever run ME/2K/XP on these machines.
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Re: My "ultimate" Dell Inspiron 8000

Postby Zack_H » 2019-9-08 @ 18:34

I haven’t tried that either. Would be interesting to see if that would work.
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Re: My "ultimate" Dell Inspiron 8000

Postby Cobra42898 » 2019-9-09 @ 13:08

i had one of these, i think it was an 8100?

it had a 1.6/1.2? ghz speedstep, built in ethernet, 256mb ram, and a 30gb 4500rpm (slow) hdd.

I got it as a hand me down in 06, and ran the crap out of it until what appears to be a mb failure took it out in 2013. still have it tucked away somewhere.

upgraded the ram a bit, and that made a huge difference. That slow slow hdd was terrible though. We used it for audio recording via the Firewire port. we'd stop recording on set breaks, and by the time the break was over, the hdd finally caught up.
my first owned pc with winxp. i was told if i could fix it I could have it. wiped the hdd, fresh xp sp2 and it was fine. Loved playing civ 3 on it.
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Re: My "ultimate" Dell Inspiron 8000

Postby Zack_H » 2019-9-09 @ 15:18

It was probably a 1.2GHz machine, as that was the fastest Pentium III m they made.

The maximum amount of RAM the 8000/8100s can take is 512MB. Mine currently all have 256, but I'd like to upgrade at least my 8100 to 512MB, as I have Windows XP SP3 on that one.

Should be easy to get another motherboard for it, as parts for these are still very plentiful.
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