What can I do to upgrade this laptop?
My mom has a Toshiba laptop that is running slow. It starts up slow, loads drivers slow, and webpages take forever to load. I know it is the hardware sense my gaming desktop runs fine on our internet service. The CPU is an AMD E-300 APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphic 1.30 GHz and it has 2gbs of ram. I was just wondering if replacing the hdd with an ssd would help with the slow loading time or if the cpu and ram would bottleneck an ssd too much.
In any case that is an older dual core cpu with no much cache and only 1.3Ghz cpu core speed. Adding an SSD will dramatically increase the speed of any computing device but almost as important is probably the fact that the OS has likely been on there for some time and has built up years of garbage.
I'd recommend going ahead with the ssd and doing a clean new install of the operating system. This will probably gain you a nice speed increase due to those two things, not to mention if there are drivers conflicts, malware or old garbage files on there it will resolve those issues too.
Maybe even just do a clean install first, after backing up all your documents and files like music, office documents, videos, pictures, etc. to see how much of a difference it makes. Most systems that have been on there for years are very slow and when I do a clean install on them speed increases by 25-14%.
The laptop's processor cannot be upgraded, so we can rule that out. Next you should bump up your RAM to at least 4GB, or more if the laptop supports more than 4GB and you're willing to spend more funds. Finally the best upgrade to the laptop would be a SSD; which will improve boot/start-up time, software loading time and in general improve the responsiveness of the laptop.
Replacing the laptop with a SSD will be the most beneficial upgrade, whereas the 4GB RAM will assist with multitasking; considering the OS consumes RAM too, you'll be better off with 4GB for loading office documents, PDFs and the web browser simultaneously. 2GB RAM is satisfactory for Windows 7 if you're multitasking needs are minor, regardless 4GB at minimum is what I would recommend with today's standards.
To conclude, you should install a SSD and upgrade to at least 4GB RAM (if you install more, ensure your OS is 64-bit). The performance gain alone from the SSD should be quite substantial.
All the best.
That laptop will support up to 16GB of RAM but anything over 8gb is probably wasteful unless you use the additional 8 as a RAMdrive. You can get a single 4gb module to go with the 2gb module you already have installed giving you 6gb in single channel mode for 36.99 here:
Or, you can get a 2 4gb modules that will run in dual channel mode (Faster) and remove the 2gb module you have for 74.99 here:
You can get an SSD but since they are not all made equal I'd buy a good one and I recommend getting something made by Samsung or OCZ. Intel makes good one's too but like everything made by Intel, they're expensive. While I trust Kingston for RAM they seem to have a high failure rate on their SSD drives, at least in all the reports I've read, so while they are cheaper they might not be the best option.
Lastly, I would highly recommend doing a clean install, like I said before, when you get the new drive, rather than migrating your existing installation to the new drive.