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SSD for my aging laptop, or "build" a new laptop with SSD? (1st-time builder)

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February 14, 2013 8:14:02 PM

Hello,
I have an older (heavier!) HP G62-435x laptop. I upgraded to 8gb RAM about a year ago, and now I want to buy a 256gb SSD because the prices have come down so much!

My question is: should I buy the SSD for my current, aging laptop (SATA 2, USB 2.0, AMD Turion II P540 Dual-Core, AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Graphics......) OR...... should I try to "build" (or buy if not $$$$) a new laptop to get my other hardware up-to-date 1st, and then do a RAM + SSD upgrade?

I hope my question makes sense. In other words, I know a SSD will boost my aging-computer's performance big-time, but I'm wondering if it's time to replace the rest of my aging system so I'll have a more "balanced" machine.

I'm a pretty savvy guy - I've done all my prior RAM and HDD upgrades myself, and I think I could probably "build" a new laptop with TigerDirect or another part supplier if I wanted to.

Does anyone have any ideas for how I can get the laptop I'm "looking for" at a good price?

I'm not a gamer, I just like a fast, efficient laptop without shelling out all my $$$$.

Thank you tomshardware.com community!!

James
February 16, 2013 6:03:57 AM

Mine is a 15.6", and like like to stay the same size, or go down to a 14". The 17's are a little to bulky - I'm a law student and am switching classrooms and moving around quite a bit during the day.

I've done some research since my post and it seems that laptop "builds" are rare. It's probably tough to change the components and still get everything to fit in the small space.

Would a better route be to purchase a used laptop & make an SSD upgrade?

Thanks for taking the time to reply.
-James
a b D Laptop
February 18, 2013 5:41:29 PM

generally speaking you wont be "building" a laptop. at most typically you only upgrade ram or the hdd. laptop components are often paired together to work properly. even if you could upgrade components driver support would be almost nil.

a ssd would boost performance in your older laptop but not as noticible as in a new sata 3 laptop. you could always upgrade now and buy a laptop in the future using the same ssd drive in the new laptop. for non demanding tasks your old laptop is likely fine.

if you want to upgrade to a new laptop i would suggest a 1080p screen, i7 (or i5), graphics card instead of integrated (if you use any demanding tasks or games), 6gb ram hdmi output and sata 3 with a normal hdd (typically 5400rpm). i would then buy a samsung 830 250gb (not 840 256gb) or similar ssd which will lower your boot times down to around 9 seconds and speed up performance noticibly.

i have an asus k53s which doesnt have a 1080p screen but is much more usable with a 830 instead of the old 5400rpm drive it comes with (5400 drives use less power which is why they are used instead of 7200.2 or 10k drives). my laptop is definitely more powerful then some other models but still is nowhere near desktop specs. i'd recommend something along the same lines as what i have but with a better (1080p) screen if you can afford it.
a b D Laptop
February 19, 2013 3:08:59 PM

for office work you dont need the latests and greatest per se.

a speedy processor (i5 or i7), 6gb of ram, ssd drive and a fair gpu (or even integrated) is more than enough.

a faster cpu is going to improve system speed and can help if you use any demanding apps (as a lawyer student you shouldnt have many of these).

more ram is not going to do all that much unless you have demanding tasks (again, for a lawyer probably not an issue)

a gpu over integrated solution is going to give you better gaming performance and video performance (but again, you get the point). i would suggest this though but its really optional at best for a working laptop.

an ssd is going to give you the largest boost in performance. a 5400rpm drive can take 20-30 seconds to fully start up. an ssd drive can be up and running in less than 10. it takes me longer to start the wifi up on my phone (which i link the pc to) then to start, log in and get on the internet on my pc.
!