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Solid State Drive in a older PC?

Hello:

Is it possible, (and obviously worth it,) to install a SSD on an older PC. This would be a Dell Dimension 4500, 2.40 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, 1 GB of memory. (The specs say somewhere that the machine can't have more than 1 Gig of RAM.) OS is Windows XP Home.

The existing hard drive is an older one, maybe 6-7 years old. The SMART health is supposedly good, but who knows, it may be time soon to replace it anyway, and a smaller SSD would work fine for the OS and a smaller collection of Apps than I have now... most of which I never use anyway. I have a 2nd hard drive mounted for storage of backups, by Acronis.

I'm looking to perk up this machine's performance, which is somewhat sluggish compared to my Windows 7 laptop. The sluggishness varies: sometimes better, sometimes worse. the CPU goes to 100% fairly often for a few minutes, and then everything slows almost to a stop until it returns to normal.

Another point: I read that I can access the processor's serial number through a change in setup. I'm guessing that maybe that might allow some over-clocking... all in the name of speeding up this old buggy... spending less money than buying a new one.

Thanks in advance.

cnels
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    It should be possible if the unit has SATA ports, but as to whether or not it's worth it on such an old system, I'd lean towards no. Investing any kind of money into a unit that old just wouldn't be a good idea IMO, and especially since it's running Windows XP which lacks TRIM support.

    I'd just do the bare minimum to keep the thing running, and put the rest of what you might have spent in a "new computer" fund.
  2. If the older system will accept SATA drives, yes it could be worth it. The speed increase might help you get a few more years out of it. Keep the drive for the new system.
  3. Best answer selected by cnels.
  4. Thanks for your advice, Scott & PCPcunite. Like putting too much $$ into an old car, (which I've done,) I agree that it wouldn't be a good investment. This machine is 10 years old and usually works fairly well considering its age, but bogs down sometimes when something drives the CPU to 100% for 20-30 seconds. That might be the source of the problem, although I can't seem to figure out how to use performance counters, etc. to trace the problem. Is it me, or is MS's performance logs' and trace logs' use that counter-intuitive? Probably a little of both. :D

    Also, this old Dell has no SATA ports... I didn't know those were necessary for a SSD, although that makes sense now that you pointed it out to me.

    I know the prices for "conventional" HDs have been steadily dropping. I wonder if it might be worth it to install a brand new, smaller 10,000 RPM hard drive to take the place of my 6 year old (but still functioning) 7500 RPM one. I'd restore my latest Acronis image onto the new drive, and away we go...

    Tell me what you think about the new (small, inexpensive) 10,000 RPM drive idea, and thanks for your help.

    cnels
  5. cnels said:


    Also, this old Dell has no SATA ports... I didn't know those were necessary for a SSD, although that makes sense now that you pointed it out to me.

    I know the prices for "conventional" HDs have been steadily dropping. I wonder if it might be worth it to install a brand new, smaller 10,000 RPM hard drive to take the place of my 6 year old (but still functioning) 7500 RPM one. I'd restore my latest Acronis image onto the new drive, and away we go...

    Tell me what you think about the new (small, inexpensive) 10,000 RPM drive idea, and thanks for your help.

    cnels


    Finding an IDE drive at 10.000 RPM isn't that easy. And probably expensive. But 7200 rpm drives are still readily available.
  6. cnels,

    I am new to this forum (just joined today), and I am certainly not an expert, like the responders above. But, it may just be possible to make a SSD run on your machine. You can do a little research to be sure.

    If your motherboard has the small pcie port (about 1.5" in length), you might be able to use the Velocity Solo card. That allows you to install your SSD on the card, plug it into the small port and now you have a SSD connected. There is also an additional interface for a second Sata device on the card. This card, used with the included software, allows you to copy your old HDD to the new SSD.

    The Velocity Solo can be purchased new for less than $50, but better deals on used ones are easy to find on eBay. A friend of mine just got an unused one for $15 just yesterday. This card can be used on newer MB's as well, so when you do upgrade to a new computer, the card will still be very useful. I use mine all the time, and don't know how I got along without it for all these years. Also your new SSD will be a great improvement in performance, and can be used on your new computer when you decide to upgrade. No money would be wasted, as both the Velocity Solo and the SSD can be used later (when and if you decide to buy (or build) a new computer.

    But, as the experts above have said - it might not be worth it to you, when you could use those dollars to invest in a new computer a little later on.

    Mick
  7. I have installed an SSD on a pentium 3. If your board doesnt have any sata port then you can use this --> http://www.addonics.com/products/adsaide.php

    You can use a sata card and plug it in your PCI Slot

    Note: SSD can hog your cpu, it can easily choke by the amount of data SSD can throw to your CPU
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