Is it worth installing a SSD into an older laptop?

That’s a good question. With the prices of SSD’s coming down, I decided to upgrade an older HP laptop I have.  The laptop is running a dual core AMD CPU at 2.2 GHz with 4 GB of ram and a 300 GB Hard Drive that has a SATA II interface.  I am also running Windows 10.

Since this is an older laptop, I didn’t expect too much with this upgrade as I figured the older dual core CPU and only have 4 GB of ram were going to keep things running slow.

I have always noticed the boot time to be very slow and it’s slow loading programs.  I seem to always be waiting on the hard drive to read or write the files I am working with.  So, I ran the ATTO Disk Benchmark and found my maximum write speed was around 66 MB/s and the read speed was around 78 MB/s.  Not that great.

So after looking at several SSD’s I purchased the Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 2.5” 240GB SSD.  While this SSD is a SATA III device, it is fully backwards compatible with SATA II and SATA I.

Mushkin Enhanced Chronos SSDThis Mushkin SSD has a maximum sequential Read that is rated at up to 555 MB/s and a maximum sequential write that is rated up to 535 MB/s when using an SATA III connection.

I made a backup of the hard drive using Macrium Reflect and a WinPE boot disk direct from Macrium Reflect.

Once that was completed, I installed the Mushkin SSD, which was very easy.  Next, I booted from the WinPE boot disk and restored all of the partitions on to the SSD.

Once that was done I rebooted the computer. It booted at least 60% faster. Nice.

Next, I opened up several programs and right away I noticed how much faster they loaded.  I was impressed, I didn’t expect it.

Then I ran the ATTO Disk Bench test. Here were my new results:

Maximum Write Speed 241 MB/s
Maximum Read Speed 274 MB/s

That’s over 3 times faster than when I was running with a hard disk.  Now remember, the laptop only has a SATA II interface, so these read and write speed are excellent for a SATA II interface.

I did the upgrade to this laptop back in September of 2015.  I have to say by just adding a SSD to this laptop, it has given it a new life.

Now some of you might be thinking, “Why not just buy a new laptop?” Well, for what I use the laptop for, which is editing web pages, email, surfing the web, editing photos, some light video editing with Sony Vegas Movie Studio and a few other things, just by adding the SSD to it, it is running so much faster, that for what I am doing with it, I just didn’t need a new laptop.

Sure, there are a few times when I am using Sony Vegas Movie Studio, that a more powerful CPU would make rendering faster, but most of the time, Movie Studio runs just fine for what I am doing with it.

The cost of the Mushkin Enchance Chronos 240 GB SSD was $79.00 at the time I purchased it.  This is a lot less than the cost of a new laptop.

If you have an older laptop or desktop and you notice the hard drive light is always on, you might want to try swapping out the hard drive with an SSD.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how you can breath some new life into an older computer.

Please Note: SSD prices are always changing, both up and down. Mostly down.