Old Laptops Become Usable Again With SSDs

While we continue to covet the latest and greatest CPU and GPU at the top of computer parts most valuable for upgrades, SSDs could actually be the part that most significant in real world gains – especially for one currently sitting with older hard disk drive technology.

SSD maker RunCore had a CES booth with an interesting concept, where older laptops were outfitted with SSDs that transformed them to once-again usable machines. Included in the demonstration were a Dell Inspiron laptop with Intel Centrino, which includes a Pentium M CPU and an Asus Eee PC 900.

Both machines scored fairly low overall Windows Experience Indexes, with the Dell pulling in a 1.0 and the Asus a 2.1, but both scored outstanding hard disk scores of at least 6.8 thanks to the SSD.

Ars Technica described the SSD-equipped old-timers as "running Windows 7 like champions." But of course, such an upgrade would only make sense if the cost of the SSD weren't expensive to the point where buying an entirely new machine would make better sense.

A 16GB RunCore SSD costs $99 while a 32GB is $159. Would you upgrade your older laptop with one of these to give it new life, or would you prefer to put that money towards a new entry-level replacement?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • blackbyron
    I'll wait until SSD provides a lot more capacity with much affordable price just like the regular hard drives.
  • HavoCnMe
    They should of used a DMV center as the testing environment instead of CES. Maybe it could of sparked some much needed updating at most DMV's.
  • At $2 per GiB yes; but, at the current prices that is a definet no... laptop works just fine. Who would not like some extra speed, but not at 500 CAD for a 128 GiB SSD - don't consider 64 GiB SSD a practicle upgrade.
  • seraphimcaduto
    you mean my dell 2650 could come to life again? This would be the 4th time I believe, since I gave up after the 3rd rebuild.
  • Honis
    I'd get a 7200 RPM hard drive with more space for the laptop. At least when it finally gets to the point that I can no longer stand how slow the basic experience is I can turn it into a storage server.
  • alexmx
    so, an SSD is going to compensate the lack of ram and cpu?
  • jeverson
    Well... for $130 I can get a sweet 40Gb Intel SSD. So if I were to invest in a longer lifespan on my old laptop that would be it. Otherwise, that money may be better spent on a new nettop or entry level laptop. Am not really concerned with storage on a laptop/nettop since my desktop is my main PC and all my stuff is stored there. My nettop is mainly just for doing presentations for my business and only has a few docs and whatnot on it.
  • cknobman
    Well my pentium M laptop is an IDE hard drive and not serial ata so i doubt I could find an ssd that would work with it.
  • cadder
    I think most people would want more than a 32GB drive. When the 64's drop below $150 I think this would be a good upgrade.
  • Regulas
    I don't know about Winblows but I will put a SSD drive in my Linux laptop when the original drive dies, by then they may actually be big enough and cheap enough to be worth it.