Which 7200rpm 2.5inch HDD to get for laptop? Or is SSD the only choice?

I have a quad core Llano AMD APU laptop,6gb ddr3 1600mhz ram (CAS 11-11-11-28) with 500gb 5400rpm hdd and find that Windows 8.1 can randomly lag/freeze just browsing the internet, I've scanned multiple times with Malwarebytes and no malware. It's obviously the very slow HDD bottlenecking the pc. I'm impressed with Windows 8.1 though, it boots decently quick even on this old slow turtle 5400rpm hitatchi 500gb hdd

now, a good thing I heard about windows 8.1 is that the key is stored on the motherboard bios, so all I need to do is install windows 8.1 and it's good to go on a new HDD? It's a prebuilt obviously,being a laptop, so I don't have an install disc for the OS. If so, where would I go about downloading Windows 8.1, I heard microsoft offers the download but I looked before and haven't been able to find it.

On my main gaming desktop I have an SSD for the OS and it makes everything snappy, I'm just wondering, at this point in time, is it considered SSD or nothing to have your OS on at this point? The APU isn't that powerful, 2.2 or 2.4ghz quad core with 6620g graphics maybe roughly equal to the hd6670 ddr3 version I'd roughly guess. I do some light gaming on it, I've even turned the resolution and settings way down and could play battlefield 4 although it's really not a fun experience with nintendo 64 graphics at that

SSDs are still expensive. Would a 7200rpm hdd really help the overall snappiness of the OS? I feel cramped even with this 500gb of space on this laptop, only about 160gb left on it.

Thx for any help. I've never done any kind of upgrade like this on a prebuilt. I remember when I custom built my own desktop I had to already save a bunch of drivers like ethernet, INF, usb,etc. to a flash drive. How do prebuilts handle drivers with using a new HDD for the OS? Will Windows 8.1 do all that stuff automatically?
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More about 7200rpm 5inch hdd laptop ssd choice
  1. Best answer
    Here's a list of 2.5 inch laptop drives. You can clone your current drive to a new HDD.
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