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Old 23-03-2013, 09:33
Sandy Nerja
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As the title says - has anyone done this and was it worth the effort?
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Old 23-03-2013, 09:51
Stig
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It depends on the spec of the laptop. Adding RAM might be much more cost effective.
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Old 23-03-2013, 09:53
Sandy Nerja
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It's already got 2gb which is the max. £80 or so for a 120gb ssd hd seems reasonable. It's a Toshiba r500.
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:05
Stig
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For a PC of that age, I'd just start saving for a new one.

£80 is a long way towards £300.
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:10
Sandy Nerja
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For a PC of that age, I'd just start saving for a new one.

£80 is a long way towards £300.
I suggest you look up the spec of the r500 if you think you can get a new one of those for £300.
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:16
flagpole
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I suggest you look up the spec of the r500 if you think you can get a new one of those for £300.
the point being made is that if the specs of your laptop are such that it can only take 2GB of ram then it is low specc'd.

adding an SSD on anything is a great way of improving the performance. but in your case it is difficult to say. it seems unlikely that anything that can only take 2GB of ram will even support things like AHCI
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:17
DeelyBopper
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Some of the sata II ssd's were going for £50 not long ago. On older machines I think they're ideal.

Bought a Sandisk 120GB at that price. Its in a second pc at the moment but will transfer it to a lappy soon.
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:18
Stig
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I suggest you look up the spec of the r500 if you think you can get a new one of those for £300.
I did try and look up the specs of an R500. There are lots of models with similar names, so it looks like a 2007 ultra-portable.
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:21
GetFrodo
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(in reply to Flagpole)

On the other hand, buy a decent SSD now and you can move it to your new laptop when you get round to upgrading.

This route is probably only worthwhile until SSDs are routinely offered with off-the-shelf laptops.
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:22
Keiō Line
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Be careful when removing the back of the r500. There is a "window" in the back cover you use to disconnect a ribbon cable (and reconnect later).

Also the screws are not identical.

The speed increase should be notable, but doen;t expect wonders.

One "gotcha", is the power socket on the r500. It is easy to reassemble it in the wrong position
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:22
Si_Crewe
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I did try and look up the specs of an R500. If yunhave geiven me the specs i wouldnt have had to.

There are lots of models with similar names, so it looks like a 2007 ultra-portable.
The spec's aren't the whole story.

The R500 is a high-end sub-notebook which would probably be very expensive to replace with a modern equivalent and, for some people, portability is more important than outright performance.

*EDIT*
FWIW, my Dell X1 is running XP and used to suffer from a nasty habit of kind of "pretending it was ready to use" after it finished booting up when, in reality, the HDD was still frantically churning away, and the laptop wasn't keen on doing anything for a good 3 or 4 minutes after being switched on.

Since I replaced the HDD with a 30gb SSD the boot up has been quite a bit faster but it also doesn't have as much of the lag after it's finished booting until it's ready to use.

I assume that the issue might be similar to what the OP could be facing with the R500 where, due to lack of memory, the swap-file is forced to work overtime during the boot.
If that IS the case, the SSD might provide a useful benefit.
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:24
flagpole
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(in reply to Flagpole)

On the other hand, buy a decent SSD now and you can move it to your new laptop when you get round to upgrading.

This route is probably only worthwhile until SSDs are routinely offered with off-the-shelf laptops.
the problem with this is as a scheme, with any PC stuff really, is in a year or so the the equivalent is likely to be twice as fast, twice as big and half the price.
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:25
Keiō Line
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(in reply to Flagpole)

On the other hand, buy a decent SSD now and you can move it to your new laptop when you get round to upgrading.

This route is probably only worthwhile until SSDs are routinely offered with off-the-shelf laptops.
Good advice (unless the OP can get a dirt cheap sataII SSD)
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:32
Sandy Nerja
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The spec's aren't the whole story.

The R500 is a high-end sub-notebook which would probably be very expensive to replace with a modern equivalent and, for some people, portability is more important than outright performance.

*EDIT*
FWIW, my Dell X1 is running XP and used to suffer from a nasty habit of kind of "pretending it was ready to use" after it finished booting up when, in reality, the HDD was still frantically churning away, and the laptop wasn't keen on doing anything for a good 3 or 4 minutes after being switched on.

Since I replaced the HDD with a 30gb SSD the boot up has been quite a bit faster but it also doesn't have as much of the lag after it's finished booting until it's ready to use.

I assume that the issue might be similar to what the OP could be facing with the R500 where, due to lack of memory, the swap-file is forced to work overtime during the boot.
If that IS the case, the SSD might provide a useful benefit.
Thanks for that. I have quite a lean install of XP on the machine and it comes out of hibernation very quickly, but can at times do its churning. I am thinking of an SSD to make it even more ultraportable and hopefully quicker and more robust.

For those that don´t know the R500 has a transflective screen that makes it usable in direct sunlight, plus weighs under a kilo. A replacement at the same spec would be considerably more than the cost of an SSD drive. It is not used for anything that needs any kind of processor power.
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Old 23-03-2013, 15:24
max99
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As long as you know how to actually replace the drive and clone/reinstall the software, then the only issue is cost. If that's not a problem, then there's no real reason not to go for it. You'll benefit from a lighter machine, better battery life and it'll possibly be quieter. There'll obviously be a big performance boost, but how much you notice it will depend on your usage. If, for example, you spend 99% of your time in a browser, it won't matter a great deal.

One thing to bear in mind, there can be a question mark over SSD reliability, so if you do go for one, ensure you're even more careful with your backup routine.
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Old 23-03-2013, 15:35
Sandy Nerja
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Be careful when removing the back of the r500. There is a "window" in the back cover you use to disconnect a ribbon cable (and reconnect later).

Also the screws are not identical.

The speed increase should be notable, but doen;t expect wonders.

One "gotcha", is the power socket on the r500. It is easy to reassemble it in the wrong position
Thanks. I have taken it apart a few times as I needed to replace the keyboard - its really because I have done it a few times already that I am thinking about upgrading the harddrive.
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Old 23-03-2013, 15:39
Sandy Nerja
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As long as you know how to actually replace the drive and clone/reinstall the software, then the only issue is cost. If that's not a problem, then there's no real reason not to go for it. You'll benefit from a lighter machine, better battery life and it'll possibly be quieter. There'll obviously be a big performance boost, but how much you notice it will depend on your usage. If, for example, you spend 99% of your time in a browser, it won't matter a great deal.

One thing to bear in mind, there can be a question mark over SSD reliability, so if you do go for one, ensure you're even more careful with your backup routine.
I'm thinking of cloning the existing hd to the new one, so it should just then drop in as a replacement. Re backups pretty much everything is in the cloud these days, so no realy issue there, but I was thinking of using the old hd as an external drive/backup.
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Old 24-03-2013, 02:54
Loobster
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I am thinking of an SSD to make it even more ultraportable
Huh? How does replacing a 2.5" drive with another 2.5" drive make it 'more ultraportable'?

and hopefully quicker and more robust.
Robust? Only time will tell. Quicker? Undoubtedly.
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Old 24-03-2013, 03:10
Si_Crewe
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Huh? How does replacing a 2.5" drive with another 2.5" drive make it 'more ultraportable'?



Robust? Only time will tell. Quicker? Undoubtedly.
An SSD uses less power than an HDD, thus increasing battery life and portability and the faster start-up time means it's more convenient so switch off and on a portable machine as required.

An SSD is likely to be more robust than a HDD in the event of an impact and that can become a bit of a "double-whammy" with a sub-notebook, which is likely to spend a particularly large part of it's life in environments where it might have a rough time compared with larger laptops.
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Old 24-03-2013, 08:20
Sandy Nerja
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An SSD uses less power than an HDD, thus increasing battery life and portability and the faster start-up time means it's more convenient so switch off and on a portable machine as required.

An SSD is likely to be more robust than a HDD in the event of an impact and that can become a bit of a "double-whammy" with a sub-notebook, which is likely to spend a particularly large part of it's life in environments where it might have a rough time compared with larger laptops.
Exactly. Lower power consumption, quieter, lighter and no heads to crash. The machine has a utility that parks the heads if it detects movement - that will be the first against the wall when the SSD is installed.
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Old 24-03-2013, 08:33
archiver
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Bear in mind that Windows XP isn't SSD friendly, so if you need to partition it - use Windows 7 or Vista.

You may also need to take care of running TRIM.exe periodically. There are sure to be utilities to take care of that...
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Old 25-03-2013, 08:01
Sandy Nerja
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Bear in mind that Windows XP isn't SSD friendly, so if you need to partition it - use Windows 7 or Vista.

You may also need to take care of running TRIM.exe periodically. There are sure to be utilities to take care of that...
Thanks for that. I am thinking maybe I should upgrade the machine to Windows 7 at the same time.
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Old 26-03-2013, 15:14
TonyOther
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As the title says - has anyone done this and was it worth the effort?
Yes, I've done it. I added a 128gb SSD hard drive to a Macbook and another to an 11in Lenovo. It does speed things up quite a bit, especially booting up and closing.

The work replacing them was very easy because both are accessible, but I held back from installing one in a Macbook Pro because getting at the hard drive is a little more complex. I would trust myself to do it, but as the SSD would not be crucial, I decided not to risk screwing something up just for the hell of it. But, yes, it is worth it.
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Old 29-03-2013, 02:20
Loobster
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Just FYI, overall power consumption is about the same between an SSD and 2.5" spinny drive. Heat production is definitely less with SSDs though. But that just tells you the drive innards actually use more power to make the device operate.

I guess there is not enough feedback yet on whether SSDs are more robust against droppages etc, although in theory it should be correct that they should resist such events better.
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