Upgrade or replace?

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

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Nicias
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:14 am

Upgrade or replace?

Post by Nicias » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:13 am

I have a Asus UL30vt notebook that I've had for about 3 years now. I am considering replacing it or upgrading it. I was mostly satisfied with it, when the hard drive started spitting out SMART constantly. I took the hint and swapped it out for an old 2.5" drive I had lying around. Only problem was that this cost me a lot of space (250gb->80gb) and the old drive was significantly slower.

The options I am looking at are:

1) Save the money for now, and plan on replacing in a year or two.
2) Get a SSD to replace the slower HD.

Some details:
Specs for laptop: http://www.asus.com/Notebooks/Superior_ ... ifications
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SU7300 : 1.4 GHz
RAM: 4GB (non-upgradeable)

Use case:
Linux for web and latex editing, some octave use (but mostly just code testing, I have access to serious hardware for actual work)
Windows (netflixing and GoG playing. Currently working through Baldur's Gate)

I was thinking of getting a ~128GB SSD, leaving about 25% free. Giving me ~96GB of space. I could probably shrink my space I use on linux quite a bit, down to maybe 40gb, leaving 50gb windows 7 and a couple of games.

So my questions:
1) Would the SSD be a noticeable improvement? or should I just wait and replace the whole thing in a year or two?
2) Would 50gb be enough space for windows 7 and a couple of (old) games?
3) What is the safest bet for a SSD in this range? The names I keep seeing on reviews are Intel and Samsung.

Thanks!

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7430
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: Monterey Bay, CA

Re: Upgrade or replace?

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:16 pm

If the existing laptop meets your needs, then, sure, replace the HDD with an SSD. You can always migrate the SSD to the next laptop down the road. You'll notice a significant bump in boot up times and game screen load times. 50GB might be a tad slim for Win7 + a couple of games...sorta depends on how big the games are. (Eg: Guild Wars 2 is ~20GB, Baldur's gate looks like it's 300MB :D). I'm assuming you want to over-provision the SSD to increase the lifetime and improve performance consistancy. Unless you as hard core as the tests done at Anandtech, you can probably be less conservative and do less over-provisioning. I like the Crucial m4 and Samsung 830. Both are getting long in the tooth, but have been pretty stable and provide mainstream performance. Samsung has the 840 and 840 Pro out - the Pro has awesome performance...but it's a new controller, the pre-production firmware has had issues...supposed to be resolved in the production release...but, it's new.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Das_Saunamies
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Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 1:39 am
Location: Finland

Re: Upgrade or replace?

Post by Das_Saunamies » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:20 am

I upgraded an Asus UL30A with a Kingston HyperX 3k 90 GB SSD. It made the thing come alive - I couldn't believe that laptop could ever be considered "fast", but it can be very responsive. The default 500 GB HDD is a huge bottleneck.

I would go with an SSD, something cheap like HyperX 3k or Agility 4 if you won't move it to another machine, otherwise something with better performance. For all I know the m4 can be had as cheap or cheaper than those two, in which case I'd take that or the Samsung 830, which is usually priced low for its performance level.
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD B-G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, MS Sculpt, Logitech G303, Synology DS213j 3+3 TB NAS

Nicias
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:14 am

Re: Upgrade or replace?

Post by Nicias » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:49 am

Sorry for not updating, but I did chose to upgrade. I got a Samsung 830 and it makes a huge difference! Haven't put windows on it yet, but it resumes from suspend in about 1-2 seconds.

Das_Saunamies
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 1:39 am
Location: Finland

Re: Upgrade or replace?

Post by Das_Saunamies » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:51 am

Nicias wrote:Sorry for not updating, but I did chose to upgrade. I got a Samsung 830 and it makes a huge difference! Haven't put windows on it yet, but it resumes from suspend in about 1-2 seconds.
My experience precisely. Boot went from 30 seconds to 3 seconds with Windows 7 HP 64-bit.
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD B-G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, MS Sculpt, Logitech G303, Synology DS213j 3+3 TB NAS

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7430
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: Monterey Bay, CA

Re: Upgrade or replace?

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:10 am

Nicias wrote:Sorry for not updating, but I did chose to upgrade. I got a Samsung 830 and it makes a huge difference! Haven't put windows on it yet, but it resumes from suspend in about 1-2 seconds.
nice :)
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

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