Don’t Replace an Old Computer, Put an SSD In It

Gandalf_The_Grey

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If you have the itch to upgrade an older desktop computer or splash some cash to buy a brand new laptop to get better performance, you really should start with this cheap 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 around with machine learning or AI artwork engines, or other such demanding applications, it’s quite possible you do, in fact, need new hardware—and certainly a lot more of it than just a simple drive upgrade.

But for the vast majority of people still using computers with mechanical hard drives, an inexpensive upgrade from a mechanical hard drive (HDD) to a solid state drive (SSD) is as good as getting a brand-new computer.

Because for people who use their computers to browse the web, watch streaming video, write reports for work (or sit through Zoom call after Zoom call), and so on, it’s rarely the processor or other hardware holding them back. It’s the read/write speed of the hard drive.

The hard drive bottleneck is what makes your computer feel sluggish while booting, loading apps, saving files, and so on. You don’t need a current-generation i9 processor to get a fast boot or snappy file loads. You need a fast drive.

We really can’t overstate how much life an SSD upgrade breathes into an old machine. Back in 2015, we had a mechanical hard drive failure in a 2013-era Dell Inspiron laptop. We took that opportunity to write a tutorial showing you how to swap the slow mechanical hard drive in your laptop for an SSD.

And you know what? As of this article in September of 2022, that laptop still gets used, albeit not as frequently, for general tasks like web browsing, editing, and so on—because a snappy hard drive is so much more useful for day-to-day basic computer use than a blazing-fast processor.

Older laptops, by the way, are a prime candidate for this kind of project because mechanical laptop drives are typically lower RPM drives (like 5400RPM) to save energy and extend battery life. That’s great and all, but it’s a huge performance hit. Swapping to an SSD will not only improve your battery life but supercharge drive performance in the process.
 

plat

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Plus, SSDs tend to last longer than HDDs as there are no moving parts. Of course, how much longer (if at all) depends on various factors, like amt. of read/write, drive quality, etc.
 

cruelsister

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The reverse switch is also valid. I had a laptop (Dell) which I absolutely hated. Wiped and removed its SSD (recycled all else) and installed it in the Desktop as another data drive. SSD's are indeed the Cat's Meow.
 

cruelsister

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Did you attempt an install via Rufus? The recent versions of Rufus have requirement bypass options built in and can be installed over Win10 without the loss of any pre-existing data (super easy).
 

Malleable

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I like to put Samsung Pros in my computers (work and personal) as both main and storage drives because of their speed and lab tests years ago indicating (at that time) absurd reliability*. The replaced OEM M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs go into a *insert name brand here* USB 3.2 Type-C Tool-Free Enclosure . It's a relatively small, well made aluminum enclosure that not only works great as an external storage drive speedwise but affords me a technologically savvy look when friends drop by. The case does come with a short cable though but at 2.85 ounces I've never had a problem just letting them hang.
*It's just a habit. I haven't had a need to stay on top of this for almost 2 years now which is eons in the computing world.

 
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