If you feel like upgrading an older desktop or spending some money to buy a new laptop for better performance, you really should start with this inexpensive upgrade.
You don’t need a new PC, you need a fast drive
Don’t get us wrong: if you want to play current AAA game titles on ultra, play with machine learning or AI art engines, or other such demanding applications, it’s quite possible that you will indeed need new hardware, and certainly a lot more than just a unit upgrade.
But for the vast majority of people still using computers with mechanical hard drives, a cheap upgrade from a mechanical hard drive (HDD) to a solid-state drive (SSD) is as good as buying a new computer.
Because for people who use their computers to browse the web, watch videos, write reports for work (or sit through a Zoom call after a Zoom call), and so on, rarely is the processor u other hardware that stops them. It is the read/write speed of the hard drive.
The hard drive bottleneck is what makes your computer feel slow when booting up, loading applications, saving files, etc. You don’t need a current generation i9 processor to get fast boot-ups or fast file loads. You need a quick ride.
We really can’t overstate how much life an SSD upgrade gives an old machine. In 2015, we had a mechanical hard drive failure in a 2013-era Dell Inspiron laptop. We took that opportunity to write a tutorial that shows you how to swap out the slow mechanical hard drive in your laptop for an SSD.
And you know what? As of this September 2022 article, that laptop is still used, though not as often, for general tasks like web browsing, editing, etc., because a snappy hard drive is much more useful for basic day-to-day functions. a day. use of the computer than an ultra-fast processor.
Older laptops, by the way, are the best candidates for this type of project because the mechanical drives in laptops are usually lower RPM drives (such as 5400 RPM) to save power and extend battery life. That’s cool and all, but it’s a huge performance hit. Switching to an SSD will not only improve battery life, but will boost drive performance in the process.
You don’t need a premium drive to get great results
If you’re building a new PC, by all means buy a really good SSD. In fact, if you’re building a new machine, it’s hard to go wrong with a motherboard that supports M.2 NVMe (the next generation of SSD that has a smaller memory card-like profile and even better performance).
But we’re not talking about performance builds here. We’re talking about replacing a clunky, slow HDD with a reasonably priced SSD to get a huge performance boost from older hardware. And luckily, budget SSDs are more reasonably priced than ever.
You can pick up a 480GB 2.5″ drive for around $30-40. This Kingston SDD line is the preferred choice for budget performance upgrades, with this Crucial option close behind.
You can go cheaper and get a 240GB or even 120GB drive, which will bring your price down to around $20, if you can believe it, but it’s really not worth it. You save $15-20 but at the cost of being stuck with a very cramped drive for space.
Jumping to 480GB or more leaves you room to save larger files, install games on your fast drive, though there are plenty of games that will run just fine on a laptop with a potato processor, and you otherwise don’t feel too cramped.
And if you want to upgrade in both drive quality and size, you can get a 1TB Samsung 870 EVO. Regularly around $100 and as low as $80 when it gets a good sale, it’s a great option for anyone looking to upgrade from a more current laptop rather than upgrading a really old machine.
While you’re at it, feel free to pick up an external drive cage for your old laptop’s hard drive. It may not have been a performance superstar, but there’s no reason it can’t serve a few more years as a redundant offline backup destination.