SSD for Laptop

I am currently going to college for a networking degree. On a daily basis I use my laptop for the majority of my homework. Most of my assignments involve VM's like Server 2003, Windows XP, and CentOS. When I run VM's, my host OS becomes very slow and it is hard to open programs like MS word or Visio. I was thinking that it is because of my hard drive. Would an ssd be feasible in my situation? I have a budget of around 150-175$.

My Laptop Specs:
1.9 GHz Athlon Dual Core
4 GB ddr2 667 4-4-4-12
200 GB 7.2k HDD
Windows Vista Enterprise SP1
VMware Workstation 6.5.3
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  1. Well analyse your performance issue first, is it disk I/O, is it CPU performance or memory bandwidth.

    What exactly is slow, only starting programs or also actually using them?
  2. Sub Mesa is right, use PerfMon to find out where your bottlenecks are when doing typical work on your laptop before rushing out to buy hardware.

    An SSD is going to be very challenging for you to use with multiple virtual machines because of it's small capacity, particularly for the amount you have available to spend.
  3. I have been using Windows 7 Professional and I just switched to Vista Enterprise several days ago. Everything seems to be running better now. I know my processor isn't very great but there isn't much I can do about it.
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