Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Best route to upgrade laptop HDD.

Last response: in Storage
Share
October 2, 2013 2:53:58 AM

Hi guys. Was hoping I could get some help with this upgrade debate I am having in my head! I currently have a laptop for school with an Intel i3 330m (sucks I know), ATI Radeon 5650m graphics card and WD Scorpio Black 750GB. Oh btw the laptop uses SATA II. I use this laptop for quite a bit of gaming when I have a light workload or during the summer. The laptop is already pretty old (around 3 years) but I can't afford a new one at the moment. The laptop gets tons of slowdowns that are really starting to annoy me. The laptop actually came with a Scorpio Blue and it died. I got the WD Black because I thought I would see a big performance boost... but I didn't see it. At all. I THINK the reason for that is because of how my HD is set up. It is partitioned like so: 75 GB Windows | 45 GB Ubuntu | 580 GB Storage. I have read that a single drive partitioned like mine will get a huge performance impact because the hard drive would literally be seeking all over the place (the HD is like 80% full) and I think I have confirmed this through the new task manager in Windows 8 (disk shows average response times of a few seconds instead of MS during slow downs).

Anyway thats all of the background. I want to upgrade and I feel like an SSD would be the best way to do it. So what I am wanting to do is get an SSD and use the entire thing for Windows and use my current WD HDD as an external drive through an HDD enclosure. So heres where I get to the questions..

1. Am I correct in my assumptions regarding why the slowdowns occur?

2. If yes to the above, should I even bother with an SSD? Will I see huge improvements by just getting an external drive and transferring everything that is not on an OS partition to the external?

3. If I was to get an SSD, is using an internal HD in an enclosure (I'll be super gentle with it) even viable? Or is it just too sensitive to be used like that.

4. This has been asked 1000x but I have a little spin on it... Samsung 120 GB 840 EVO vs Samsung 128 GB 840 PRO. The spin is, when I do upgrade my laptop I want to take the SSD with me. So the SSD has to last. As much as possible. Now I know the MLC 60 years vs TLC 19 years comparison but those numbers both outlast my needs so what I need is real life expectancy instead of a theoretical. In other words.. I need to know which is more reliable for me. 2 things to keep in mind, the EVO is ~$30 to ~$50 cheaper depending on sale or no sale but the PRO has an additional 2 year warranty. To be honest I don't think I will use it for 5 years but its good to know you have that option.

P.S. The HDD vs SSD part, please factor in that if I stick with an HDD then it will be MUCH better to keep the WD Black in my laptop and buy an external vs buy a smaller WD Black for internal and use current for external. So if I do go that route I will be wasting like 600GB worth of space because my Windows never uses more then that.

Thank you for reading my essay :) .
a b G Storage
a b D Laptop
October 2, 2013 3:35:58 AM

ssd is definitely faster, it will make things snappy.

i am not too sure about using an external hdd, it would be tedious if it was me, if at all feasible.

sorry if i am not much help, this is the main reason i dont like laptops, upgrades are sooo limited. Most of the time, just ram and HDD. It's hot, and if you buy a new one, you wont get to reuse almost everything, no reusing the monitor, case, even the keyboard
m
0
l
October 2, 2013 4:42:01 AM

I hope this help you out a little. First of all I know exactly what you are going through because i did exactly what you are considering doing. So let me go through this 1 step at a time and answer your questions as you posted them.

1. I doubt your problem is as stated above. When i had similar issues with my laptop it turned out to be a crappy Windows Vista (with all of the added bloatware that comes with a new laptop) and the fact that my machine had only 2 gigs of memory.

2. If you have at least 4 gigs of system memory you will see a huge improvement with how your machine responds. This does not do anything thing for your gaming graphics but you will notice improved start up and shutdown times as well as faster loading applications.

3. You absolutely can keep you old drive and use it as an external drive for storing things. The internal drive is just a smaller than your larger desktop drives and when placed in a good enclosure they work just fine and you don't have to handle them with kid gloves. I don't suggest tossing it across the room but it will be just fine for everyday use.

4. If it were me I would not even consider one of the Samsung SSD for your laptop. Although they are amazing drives what you are really paying for is the speed they offer. I would go with a drive that is larger in size and not worry about the fastest drive on the market. Remember you are on SATA ll and you are only going to get so much out of that controller so the Samsung seems like over kill. With that being said, it really depends on how soon you plan on getting a new laptop. A lot of the newer laptops are moving toward the smaller MLC drives so if you don't plan on upgrading for a couple of years yet the laptops you buy down the road might not even take the larger SSD drives. 128 gigs is not a lot of room for a laptop if you are going to be playing games. Most all of your good SSD makers have pretty good warranties and the MTFB is so high that buying the more expensive Samsung just does not seem worth it unless it proves to be the better price to performance winner.

As i stated before, I had a laptop that was almost useless to me but after spending a little money on memory, a copy of Windows 7 and an SSD it has become a real workhorse.

Good luck and I hope I help at least a little bit.
m
0
l
Related resources
October 2, 2013 10:21:21 AM

Cons29 said:
ssd is definitely faster, it will make things snappy.

i am not too sure about using an external hdd, it would be tedious if it was me, if at all feasible.

sorry if i am not much help, this is the main reason i dont like laptops, upgrades are sooo limited. Most of the time, just ram and HDD. It's hot, and if you buy a new one, you wont get to reuse almost everything, no reusing the monitor, case, even the keyboard


Haha no problem and I definitely know your meaning. I have really been wanting to upgrade the processor and annoys me alot that I can't but nothing I can do about it but upgrade the things I can upgrade.

counterc said:
I hope this help you out a little. First of all I know exactly what you are going through because i did exactly what you are considering doing. So let me go through this 1 step at a time and answer your questions as you posted them.

1. I doubt your problem is as stated above. When i had similar issues with my laptop it turned out to be a crappy Windows Vista (with all of the added bloatware that comes with a new laptop) and the fact that my machine had only 2 gigs of memory.

2. If you have at least 4 gigs of system memory you will see a huge improvement with how your machine responds. This does not do anything thing for your gaming graphics but you will notice improved start up and shutdown times as well as faster loading applications.

3. You absolutely can keep you old drive and use it as an external drive for storing things. The internal drive is just a smaller than your larger desktop drives and when placed in a good enclosure they work just fine and you don't have to handle them with kid gloves. I don't suggest tossing it across the room but it will be just fine for everyday use.

4. If it were me I would not even consider one of the Samsung SSD for your laptop. Although they are amazing drives what you are really paying for is the speed they offer. I would go with a drive that is larger in size and not worry about the fastest drive on the market. Remember you are on SATA ll and you are only going to get so much out of that controller so the Samsung seems like over kill. With that being said, it really depends on how soon you plan on getting a new laptop. A lot of the newer laptops are moving toward the smaller MLC drives so if you don't plan on upgrading for a couple of years yet the laptops you buy down the road might not even take the larger SSD drives. 128 gigs is not a lot of room for a laptop if you are going to be playing games. Most all of your good SSD makers have pretty good warranties and the MTFB is so high that buying the more expensive Samsung just does not seem worth it unless it proves to be the better price to performance winner.

As i stated before, I had a laptop that was almost useless to me but after spending a little money on memory, a copy of Windows 7 and an SSD it has become a real workhorse.

Good luck and I hope I help at least a little bit.


Hey counterc. Thanks for your reply. Yes your answer helps but I guess I should have said in my original post that I have 4 GB RAM so it should not be causing any problems for what I am doing since I rarely have very large programs open together. My processor refuses to handle that scenario :p . I'll respond in a similar fashion:

1. I am running Windows 8 although I was on Windows 7 for 2.5 years and like I said above 4GB of ram seemed plenty to me. I thought the extremely high seek times of my HDD (they go from like 0 - 100ms to 10k ms + during a slowdown) was for sure the reason but if it IS the ram than I can upgrade for a lot cheaper. So is there anyway to test that it is actually the RAM?

2. I guess this is irrelevant since you don't think the HDD is the issue. I'll move on.

3. OK great! That makes life easier.

4. Well like I said I want this upgrade to matter in the future. The next laptop will hopefully be SATA III so I am not worried about this not being able to max out the speeds. As for the capacity... I don't usually have more then 3 or 4 games at once because I just don't need it. Once I finish a campaign I get rid of it. For multiplayer I play League of Legends or WoW and soon the new CnC when it is finally released. Because of this I have never used more than 90GB and I'm actually using 50GB at the moment. So if you are saying go for a larger SSD, than i don't need it. I want rock solid reliability which from I've read is what Samsung 840's offer. I just need to know 840 EVO vs 840 PRO. Which is like sturdier is my question. Since I won't need TOP speeds the question I have is if the 2 year extra warranty on the 840 PRO is worth it or if the EVO is just as likely to last 5 years.
m
0
l

Best solution

October 2, 2013 2:39:31 PM

Saurex said:
Cons29 said:
ssd is definitely faster, it will make things snappy.

i am not too sure about using an external hdd, it would be tedious if it was me, if at all feasible.

sorry if i am not much help, this is the main reason i dont like laptops, upgrades are sooo limited. Most of the time, just ram and HDD. It's hot, and if you buy a new one, you wont get to reuse almost everything, no reusing the monitor, case, even the keyboard


Haha no problem and I definitely know your meaning. I have really been wanting to upgrade the processor and annoys me alot that I can't but nothing I can do about it but upgrade the things I can upgrade.

counterc said:
I hope this help you out a little. First of all I know exactly what you are going through because i did exactly what you are considering doing. So let me go through this 1 step at a time and answer your questions as you posted them.

1. I doubt your problem is as stated above. When i had similar issues with my laptop it turned out to be a crappy Windows Vista (with all of the added bloatware that comes with a new laptop) and the fact that my machine had only 2 gigs of memory.

2. If you have at least 4 gigs of system memory you will see a huge improvement with how your machine responds. This does not do anything thing for your gaming graphics but you will notice improved start up and shutdown times as well as faster loading applications.

3. You absolutely can keep you old drive and use it as an external drive for storing things. The internal drive is just a smaller than your larger desktop drives and when placed in a good enclosure they work just fine and you don't have to handle them with kid gloves. I don't suggest tossing it across the room but it will be just fine for everyday use.

4. If it were me I would not even consider one of the Samsung SSD for your laptop. Although they are amazing drives what you are really paying for is the speed they offer. I would go with a drive that is larger in size and not worry about the fastest drive on the market. Remember you are on SATA ll and you are only going to get so much out of that controller so the Samsung seems like over kill. With that being said, it really depends on how soon you plan on getting a new laptop. A lot of the newer laptops are moving toward the smaller MLC drives so if you don't plan on upgrading for a couple of years yet the laptops you buy down the road might not even take the larger SSD drives. 128 gigs is not a lot of room for a laptop if you are going to be playing games. Most all of your good SSD makers have pretty good warranties and the MTFB is so high that buying the more expensive Samsung just does not seem worth it unless it proves to be the better price to performance winner.

As i stated before, I had a laptop that was almost useless to me but after spending a little money on memory, a copy of Windows 7 and an SSD it has become a real workhorse.

Good luck and I hope I help at least a little bit.


Hey counterc. Thanks for your reply. Yes your answer helps but I guess I should have said in my original post that I have 4 GB RAM so it should not be causing any problems for what I am doing since I rarely have very large programs open together. My processor refuses to handle that scenario :p . I'll respond in a similar fashion:

1. I am running Windows 8 although I was on Windows 7 for 2.5 years and like I said above 4GB of ram seemed plenty to me. I thought the extremely high seek times of my HDD (they go from like 0 - 100ms to 10k ms + during a slowdown) was for sure the reason but if it IS the ram than I can upgrade for a lot cheaper. So is there anyway to test that it is actually the RAM?

2. I guess this is irrelevant since you don't think the HDD is the issue. I'll move on.

3. OK great! That makes life easier.

4. Well like I said I want this upgrade to matter in the future. The next laptop will hopefully be SATA III so I am not worried about this not being able to max out the speeds. As for the capacity... I don't usually have more then 3 or 4 games at once because I just don't need it. Once I finish a campaign I get rid of it. For multiplayer I play League of Legends or WoW and soon the new CnC when it is finally released. Because of this I have never used more than 90GB and I'm actually using 50GB at the moment. So if you are saying go for a larger SSD, than i don't need it. I want rock solid reliability which from I've read is what Samsung 840's offer. I just need to know 840 EVO vs 840 PRO. Which is like sturdier is my question. Since I won't need TOP speeds the question I have is if the 2 year extra warranty on the 840 PRO is worth it or if the EVO is just as likely to last 5 years.


I'm glad i could help a little. First let me say I did not mean to insinuate that the problem you were having was with a lack of RAM. What I was attempting to convey was that my problem stemmed from a system that was poor to start with and after a few upgrades I was very happy with my laptop. Sorry for any confusion on my part (it was really late when I replied to your post).

As far as your current HDD goes WD black drives are 7200 RPM and are normally pretty good drives. I can tell you that I have several partitions on my WD Black drive and I don't have a bit of problem with slow down and hang up but then again I'm referring to my desktop. So allow me to ask you a few questions about your current drive setup.

a. Did you do a clean install when you got your new WD Black to replace the old one when it died or did you do a data migration?

b. Did you check to see if there were Windows 8 drivers for the laptop or did you just let Windows 8 do its thing and install everything?

c. Lastly, was your laptop showing any signs of the same problems you are having now before you old drive died, or did it just give up the ghost one day?

As far as the Samsung drive goes, if you have your heart set on it and that is the drive you want, then go for it. They are great drives. Just remember drive height is a consideration for some laptops so be sure your new laptop has clearance for your Samsung when the times comes to upgrade. As far as which one to buy, I'd say go with the Pro edition. If you know you want to keep the drive for the foreseeable future than don't skimp and get the best in its class. If nothing else it will give you peace of mind knowing that your data is safe on a reliable drive.

Share
!