VGN-FZ: Difference between revisions

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[https://download.vaiolibrary.com/manuals/vgn-fz/vgn-fz_schematics.pdf Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Series Schematics (MBX-165 Foxconn MS90 REV 1.0)]
[https://download.vaiolibrary.com/manuals/vgn-fz/vgn-fz_schematics.pdf Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Series Schematics (MBX-165 Foxconn MS90 REV 1.0)]
[https://download.vaiolibrary.com/manuals/vgn-fz/vgn-fz150e_specs.pdf Sony VAIO VGN-FZ150E Specifications Sheet]


== Downloads ==
== Downloads ==

Revision as of 07:44, 1 August 2022

Overview

A VGN-FZ with its original factory stickers
A VGN-FZ with its original factory stickers
Another VGN-FZ
Another VGN-FZ

The Sony VAIO FZ Series is a range of high-end laptops released by Sony in 2007 and replaced in 2008. It replaced its predecessor, the VAIO FE Series. The FZ was later replaced by the FW Series.

They included features like a bigger 15.4“ screen, better dedicated GPUs and on higher-end models, Blu-Ray drives. Even though most models had a 1080p Full HD sticker, their displays only were 1280x800, and they were criticized for being too low resolution. To truly enjoy the FZs movieplaying capabilities, one was able to use the HDMI port to connect the device to an external monitor, for the ultimate Blu-Ray experience.

The FZ Series also featured a wide range of ports, including three USB 2.0, FireWire, ExpressCard, Memory Stick and an SD Card slot. The FZs biggest drawbacks where it’s short battery life, lasting only 1 hour and 38 minutes while watching DVDs. The other big issue were the 8000 series NVIDIA video cards, which were prone to failure under heavy use (see Problems section below). Today you can easily find many FZs with broken 8400 or 8600 GPUs. Alternativly an iGPU model was offered, which used Intel's GMA X3100 iGPU. These models are rarer to get, but are way more reliable then NVIDIA laptops.

Specs

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T7100, T7250, T7500, T7700, T8100, T8300, T9300, T9500 (not soldered)

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8400M or 8600M GS or GT, or Intel GMA X3100 (IGP is disabled on models with dedicated GPUs)

Display: 15,4“ 1280x800 CCFL

Memory: DDR2 (2 slots, not soldered)

Storage: 2.5" SATA

Problems

The FZ series all have a very unfourtunate problem. Most models contain an NVIDIA 8 series GPU. The NVIDIA 8 series of GPUs are known for their 100% failure rate because of a manufacturing problem from NVIDIA, and the FZ is not an exception to that. All NVIDIA 8 series chips on every single FZs with dedicated GPUs are affected by this problem. You do not have a graphics switch on the FZ, so you always run on the dedicated GPU.

Symptoms of this problem are:

  • black screen when turning on the device (device is not booting up, it has not passed the power-on self-test)
  • artifacts on the display
  • not being able to successfully install GPU drivers
  • unable to boot into Linux (distros with proper GPU drivers)

There is no real permanent solution to this problem. One temporary solution would be a reflow (see our upcoming NVIDIA 8 series reflow guide), one more permanent but still temporary solution is a reball or chip replacement. However, all of these methods requires a precise hot air station, BGA No-Clean flux, and some experience (practicing on a junk board is a good start).

Daily Usage Today

Thanks to its powerful hardware for the time, it is still pretty useful for current day usage. Web browsing and text editing is easily doable on these devices. Older games will also run fine on dedicated GPU models, though modern games will struggle or outright not work. iGPU models will struggle to run old games, but it's better to have a working laptop that is less powerful, than a broken device.

Resources

Sony JP VAIO VGN-FZ Series Presentation Page

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Startup Guide

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ User Manual

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Operation Guide

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Warranty Summary

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Accessories Guide

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Safety Information

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ CPSC Tips on Notebook Computer Use

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Instant Mode Guide

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ HDD Replacement Guide

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Series Schematics (MBX-165 Foxconn MS90 REV 1.0)

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ150E Specifications Sheet

Downloads

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ Recovery Discs

It is highly likely that these discs are model locked. See Compatibility Problems section in the Recovery Discs page.

Follow our guides to download and install drivers.

Sources

NotebookCheck, Sony and Wikipedia