Question Trying to max out my Dell Latitude E6440

horstp

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Jul 17, 2018
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Years ago I was given this model laptop by my employer. Both I and my wife are deeply in love with its keyboard. It's a joy to type on and literally the only laptop keyboard I have ever managed to use comfortably and even type without looking at the keys.

This is why I would like to know from you guys, what would be the most modern build this device can support. Pcpartpicker unforunately doesn't seem to support laptops, otherwise I would have checked there.

So basically my main questions are:

a) What is the best build you can create within the frame of the Latitude E6440 case?
b) Can you build a config that's compatible with Windows 10 or 11?

P.S.: When I bought a replacement keyboard for this laptop a while back, the Amazon entry stated that it is also compatible with following models, if you feel any of these is a better basis for my endeavor, please tell me!
E5430 E6430 E6440 E6430u E6430S E5420M E6420ATG
 

helper800

Distinguished
I am not really a laptop guy, however, building a custom laptop from parts is basically impossible. If you are in need of a laptop upgrade you basically have to buy a new laptop. All of those laptops that share the same keyboard are ancient at this point. I can recommend a laptop I am firmly convinced you would be happy with though. This laptop is completely user serviceable and can actually be built piece by piece and save you some money. For the price you get a fast and light modern laptop with all the bells and whistles for its class. The company behind this laptop is doing some amazing things and I can personally recommend their product based on my own experience with it.

Here is the toms guide review for it if you are interested.
 
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Bob.B

Respectable
Years ago I was given this model laptop by my employer. Both I and my wife are deeply in love with its keyboard. It's a joy to type on and literally the only laptop keyboard I have ever managed to use comfortably and even type without looking at the keys.

This is why I would like to know from you guys, what would be the most modern build this device can support. Pcpartpicker unforunately doesn't seem to support laptops, otherwise I would have checked there.

So basically my main questions are:

a) What is the best build you can create within the frame of the Latitude E6440 case?
b) Can you build a config that's compatible with Windows 10 or 11?

P.S.: When I bought a replacement keyboard for this laptop a while back, the Amazon entry stated that it is also compatible with following models, if you feel any of these is a better basis for my endeavor, please tell me!
E5430 E6430 E6440 E6430u E6430S E5420M E6420ATG
What's wrong with the pc now?
Run this and post a LINK to the results page.
PC Benchmark
 

Bob.B

Respectable
I will do this tonight when I'm done using the pc.

But what do you mean, what's wrong with it? It's working fine, but it's only a matter of time before Windows 7 will have compatibility issues, I assumed.
So you want to update the OS.
Dell shows support for w10.
Perhaps contact dell and see if you can buy the w10 restore media.
 
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Eximo

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E6440, I had a similar model at one point. It was a good typing experience, though up until recently all Dell laptops for me had a weird hitching problem where two to three keystrokes would get skipped. Pretty sure it was graphics related.

Still. 4th generation CPU is getting a little outdated.

You could potentially drop an i7-4600m in there, but that isn't amazing by today's standards. Max out the memory and replace the system drive with an SSD. That would about do it. Give a good cleaning and a re-paste while it is apart.

If you really like that keyboard though you'll probably want something with a mechanical keyboard today. Pretty much all late model laptops use the chiclet style. Totally possible to get used to it, I don't have much issue typing on a later model Latitude. I am oddly a fan of Dell's cheap desktop keyboards for typing (I've had membrane keyboards for so long it is what I am used to) I still have mechanical and pseudo mechanical keyboards that are arguably more accurate and less fatiguing to type on, but I am not a huge fan of the noise, even the 'quiet' ones.
 

horstp

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Jul 17, 2018
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E6440, I had a similar model at one point. It was a good typing experience, though up until recently all Dell laptops for me had a weird hitching problem where two to three keystrokes would get skipped. Pretty sure it was graphics related.

Still. 4th generation CPU is getting a little outdated.

You could potentially drop an i7-4600m in there, but that isn't amazing by today's standards. Max out the memory and replace the system drive with an SSD. That would about do it. Give a good cleaning and a re-paste while it is apart.

If you really like that keyboard though you'll probably want something with a mechanical keyboard today. Pretty much all late model laptops use the chiclet style. Totally possible to get used to it, I don't have much issue typing on a later model Latitude. I am oddly a fan of Dell's cheap desktop keyboards for typing (I've had membrane keyboards for so long it is what I am used to) I still have mechanical and pseudo mechanical keyboards that are arguably more accurate and less fatiguing to type on, but I am not a huge fan of the noise, even the 'quiet' ones.
Cool! This is what I was hoping for. I've never had any issues typing, so I guess that must have been bad luck on your part - or maybe you're an amazingly fast typist and the hardware couldn't keep up. :D

So potentially another CPU may fit? Is it possible to replace the entire mainboard? At the end of the day, all I'm really attached to is the keyboard / basic frame. I'm not even sure I'd give a damn if this upgrade costs me a thousand or two thousand bucks. I just really like the keyboard and believe me, I have used many different laptops (both PC and Apple) and this is the only keyboard I've ever felt could compete with a desktop keyboard (for which I will never abandon my K120 :D).

SSD makes sense, maybe I'll even remove the DVD drive and put a caddy with another HDD/SSD in? Or is there potentially a better use for that space?
 

Eximo

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Ambassador
You could replace the motherboard, but if that one is working, not much point. That might be the best way to get a CPU though.

Shouldn't be that bad.

You can get whole E6440 for under $100...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/294443295928?hash=item448e3024b8:g:KqAAAOSwIF5hXhyW

CPU itself looks to be $75-80

This one looks better than the other two.., quite a few though

https://www.ebay.com/itm/184903701787?hash=item2b0d1e951b:g:MFoAAOSw6r9g1LLv


Any 2.5" SATA SSD should do. 512GB, 1TB. You probably don't need anything in the DVD caddy so it could stay as is, might see if you can find the battery module if you wanted that.

2x8GB DDR3 1600 should set you back around $60 if don't already have 16GB.
 

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