How to speed up your computer the right way - get an SSD

Aug 6, 2019

In my last article here on the site, I suggested that running system cleaners, tune-up tools, and other third-party tools for the purpose of speeding up your PC significantly is not advised. While there are certainly some tools that may address certain issues that you may experience, e.g. by running a tool like Throttlestop to prevent CPU throttling, or by removing unneeded programs from autostart or making sure that there is enough free disk space on the drive for the pagefile and caches.

If you want to go beyond that, you probably wonder how to speed up your computer?

How to speed up your computer the right way - get an SSD

Kingston A400 read/write speeds

There are a few different ways to do so. Let's get a few of the complex options out of the way, before I reveal the ideal option.


This isn't recommended for normal users as it is quite technical and because there is a chance that it may damage the computer's hardware or cause other issues such as crashes that may lead to even more issues, e.g. data loss.

It takes time to understand how the processor or video card work, and to find out whether overclocking is even worthwhile. Generally speaking: if you have an AMD Ryzen processor you can overclock it, but if you have an Intel processor it's slightly complicated.

Basically, you will require a K-CPU to overclock, i.e. an i5-7500 cannot be overclocked, but an i5-7500K can be. Find out what you have, do some research about the pros and cons to understand the process and if it's actually worth it. You can overclock Graphics cards more easily. The performance increase that you may get from overclocking may not be huge and you may reduce the lifetime of the component and increase power consumption and heat generation at the same time.


Many people rely on Windows programs for their school/business work and Linux may not be an ideal solution for those. It requires that you install a different operating system on the device and get to learn it. Linux has come a long way from the "installation requires a computer science degree" to how things are today; distributions like Linux Mint, Manjaro, or even Ubuntu offer experiences that are very similar to what you get on Windows.

If you are a home user willing to shift to Linux, you may find that it is lighter on resources and that may lead to better performance when you use the computer. Obviously, you may not be able to run all programs or games on Linux that you ran on Windows, but there is Wine, and Steam maker Valve's continued effort to push Linux.

My advice: try a live USB to see if Linux is your cup of tea before installing it on your main drive. Note that performance is better if you run it from a hard drive and not a USB drive.


A lot of users assume that adding more RAM can help improve the overall performance of the computer. But I would say this is not true in all cases. While you will boost performance by adding more RAM to your system if you have less than 4 Gigabyte installed, you may not be able to see impressive gains after hitting that magic number.

You may need more RAM if you:

  • Play modern computer games.
  • Use the PC to edit videos.
  • Use the PC for audio editing.
  • Use the PC for photo editing.
  • Use real-time streaming applications.
  • Run virtual machines.
  • Use the PC as a development environment.

More RAM does not hurt performance on the other hand and you could use it for other purposes, e.g. the creation of  a virtual RAM disk to move certain caches or applications to the drive.

Tip: check out our overview of the best Ram Disk programs for Windows.

How to speed up your computer - get an SSD

A Solid State Drive is the best way to speed up a computer provided that you don't have one installed already that is not from one of those earlier generations of SSDs.

They are a lot faster than traditional mechanical hard drives and have higher life expectancy as well. The prices of SSDs have fallen considerably over the past year: you can get a great performing Solid State Drive with 120 Gigabytes of storage for about $40 and 240 Gigabyte drives are not that expensive anymore either.

Things you will need

For Desktops
  • An SSD drive, check out Anandtech's overview.
  • SATA Cable - You may have a spare in your Motherboard box or use the one from the old hard drive if you don't want to use it as well.
  • Power cable - Your PSU will have multiple SATA power cables (look for the thin and long flat one).
  • A Phillips head screw driver

Which SSD should I choose?

This is something that really depends on your budget and requirements. If you just want to speed up your PC just go with a 2.5-inch SSD made by Samsung or Crucial or any other company. Crucial is owned by Micron and makes the NAND storage chip in-house. The speeds of each drive differ so take that in your calculations as well.

If money isn't an issue and you have an M.2 slot on the motherboard, you should consider getting an M.2 drive. These are PCIe SSDs which look like a RAM module (thin, long, flat) which you connect to the m.2 slot and screw the other end in place. These have better read/write speeds than a standard SATA SSD, because they connect directly to a PCIe based slot without using cables. You may find that a 500GB SATA SSD is cheaper than a 250GB m.2 SSD. Basically regular SATA SSDs with more storage are more affordable.

If you want the best speeds though, look for an NVMe SSD. They are even more expensive, and connect via the M.2 connector. But since they use the NVMe protocol, they offer speeds which are higher than M.2 which uses SATA.

  • SATA SSD  - Costs less, can get more storage
  • m.2 SSD - Expensive but has better read/write speeds
  • NVMe- The most expensive option, also has the best read/write speeds

For Laptops

This isn't complicated but there are two ways to add a regular 2.5-inch SSD to a laptop provided that you can replace it and that you can open the laptop.

Does it have a drive bay on the back?

Check if your laptop has a drive bay on the back panel. It should be a small rectangular cut-out with a couple of screws. If so, you don't need anything else. Get an SSD and add it to the bay. Some laptops may even have an additional drive bay. You can replace the old HDD with the SSD, and use the older drive in the other slot. There are laptops which have just one drive bay in which case the SSD will replace the old HDD.

Tip: You can get a 3.5-inch HDD enclosure which is basically a SATA to USB casing, that allows you to use the old HDD as a portable drive.

Does it have an optical drive?

If your laptop doesn't have a drive bay but has a DVD drive you can use a caddy and replace the DVD drive with the hard drive. Make sure to choose the right sized caddy. Usually the optical drives have a sticker with their model number on it: search for the information on the sticker and you should get the dimensions, i.e., whether it is a 9.5mm or 12.7mm. You can also search for your laptop's model number + the words SSD caddy (for e.g. Dell Inspiron 5559 SS caddy), and you may run across posts/reviews from other users who upgraded similarly.

Tip: If you want an optical drive, you could consider buying an external DVD drive which connect via USB. It will not only allow you to use DVDs, but also serves as a portable drive which can work with other computers.

Personal experience

I have 2 SSDs (one which I have been using on my PC for a few years). The following is my experience from a few days ago.

I have a 5 year old laptop with basic specs. It is powered by a core-i3 5010 processor, an Intel HD5500 iGPU and 8GB of RAM. I can't believe I used to game on this laptop until I built my PC. I had played many games including GTA 5, Skyrim, Diablo 3, to name a few, on medium settings on this laptop. But it has aged rather badly, especially the HDD which according to CrystalDiskInfo, is failing.

Windows 7 took a few minutes to boot and programs opened with delay. I would have replaced the HDD myself if it was the kind which came with a drive bay on the back panel. This HP laptop opens from under the keyboard, I'd need to open it with a flat prying tool (or spudger) while not damaging the cables that are connected underneath.

But replacing an HDD with a HDD is not a good idea since it's not an upgrade at all. And since I had been using an SSD on my PC, I knew how to fix my laptop's woes. Fortunately, this laptop has an optical drive (DVD drive). So, I bought a 9.5mm caddy for about $10 and a 120GB SSD for $22, installed the drive in the caddy and replaced the optical drive. One screw was all it took for this. After a fresh install of Windows 10, the laptop boots in under 20 seconds (compared to the 3-4 minutes it used to). All programs launch instantly, and it's as if I bought a new computer.

Things to remember

You can clone the Windows installation on your HDD to your SSD using Macrium Reflect Free, Acronis or other backup tools, and have a fully working computer with all your settings and programs in less than 30 minutes. Many manufacturers of SSDs offer tools to copy the contents of a hard drive to the newly purchased SSD as well.

Don't forget to install the firmware updater for your SSD. It's a software from the manufacturer (Samsung Magician, Crucial Storage Executive, Kingston SSD Manager, etc., ) which can also be used to check the SSD's health.

DO NOT defragment your SSD, as it serves no purpose. SSDs function differently, they're essentially a storage chip with a firmware which reads the data. HDDs on the other hand have a mechanical part to read/write data (like a pen and paper). Besides defrag programs write data on your SSD, which is something not recommended.

If you have an old laptop or desktop that you wish to keep around or use as a spare, get an SSD. You will literally feel the difference the second you start booting from the SSD, it will take seconds instead of minutes.

How to speed up your computer the right way - get an SSD
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How to speed up your computer the right way - get an SSD
How to speed up your computer the right way - get an SSD. A Solid State Drive can transform your slow computer to a blazing fast one.
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  1. Geoff said on August 9, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    For those who stick to the outdated mindset that inexpensive SSD’s are inferior:
    Intel SSD 545s 128GB, M.2 SATA, 64-Layer TLC 3D NAND

    This $28 bargain is hard to search for at Amazon, as they now list products by how much the seller pays Amazon for product advertising. In this case its zero dollars even if its made by Intel!

    1. Marc said on August 12, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Just do not buy the disreputable brands like King* or Silicon Power; they’re usually made of sub-par chips that did not pass QA of other manufacturers. [See elcomsoft’s blog post titled “Why SSDs Die a Sudden Death (and How to Deal with It)”]
      May be good for edge cases when there’s very few writes, otherwise stick to the bigger actors.

  2. intelligencia said on August 7, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Sorry, this will be your last article here at
    You have provided informative and timely subjects!
    where else can you be found on the Internet?
    All the Best in Success!


    1. Lorissa said on August 19, 2019 at 2:50 am

      Huh? Do you read much? Try reading his statement again … perhaps very slowly!

  3. carmicheals said on August 7, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Resurrected a ten-year-old Core2Duo laptop by adding a $20 SSD and Linux MX. It was already maxed out at 4GB of RAM. $20 and a couple of hours of time was well worth the result.,

  4. Sputnik said on August 7, 2019 at 5:26 am

    A couple of years ago I bought a little SSD and was very pleased with the result, an increased rapidity of access.

    After while I acknowledge the fact, through specialized articles, that any SSD doesn’t show any sign of near failure before failing, contrary to the hard drives in general.

    Thus, I bought another SSD, just to reinforce the security of my installation : there is a workable operating system on both of them, using one of them for my main OS and the other one for testing purposes. This way I was protected against the failure of anyone of the two SSDs. If one of the two was to break, I would just have to continue working on the other SSD and be almost OK till the moment I receive another new SSD by mail in replacement of the fautive SSD.

    When I installed the new second SSD, I had the idea to put on the SSD which was mainly serving as testing purposes, the pagefile of my main OS which was on the other SSD. That gave an appreciable boost when working inside my main OS.

    The buying of a second SSD thus has at least two different advantages : it offers a very good protection against the failure of a single SSD and it also allows better overall performances. If more speed is needed, there are the SSD M.2s.

  5. ULBoom said on August 7, 2019 at 2:08 am

    Agreed, SSD’s are the way to go.

    Based on personal experience, I wouldn’t install one that’s less than 200-250 GB. Go for 500 or a TB if possible. I have a 220 GB NVMe in my laptop as the system drive and with the OS and programs that make sense to install in that drive, half of the drive is used. A 120 GB drive would be full.

    Otherwise, the drive is very fast, faster than the second drive, a hybrid platter with a 16 GB cache, no slouch.

    An interesting article about Intel’s Optane by Fred Langa if you’re not convinced an SSD is the best choice
    “Optane disappointment leads to a ‘Plan B’ ”

    scroll down a bit, it’s there:

  6. Yuliya said on August 6, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    While truly faster hardware will make your PC faster (uhm, yeah..), software optimisation plays a big part also. The way I optimize my Windows 7 x64 install boots faster off an 7200RPM WDBlack (less than 10 seconds, maybe anywhere between 6-8 seconds, I don’t have any HDDs in any of my systems anymore though to give an exact number) than Windows 10 Home boots off a Samsung NVMe 970 Evo+ (30 seconds or so; it also took me about 30 extra seconds to decide that I’ll wipe this system and replace it with LTSC instead).
    On systems running Broadwell or CoffeeLake CPUs, so fairly modern.

    As an extra, for people who are undecided, but still use an HDD, however want to upgrade – SATA SSD is the way to go. You will not notice any difference between this and an NVMe drive when it comes to opening programs, boot times, etc.. general PC usage. NVMe will only make a difference if you’re transfering really large files, as a typical NVMe drive will reach 3,5 GiB/s sequential read/write speeds. Your 50MiB, 100MiB, hell even your worst bloatware out there, Photoshop, which is like 1GiB in size nowadays, will see no difference in boot times compared to a regular SATA SSD, which usually “only” reach like 550 MiB/s.

  7. karamba said on August 6, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    the same thing for years; parts of a PC or laptop are working together.
    Ram is used to be comfortable with apps;
    SSD speeds up boot , shut down ; and disk access time; so there are something like 8 different types, with no average lifespan.
    CPU for all kind of use; ie gaming, using 3d engines need powerful chips, GPU for gaming
    at the end of the day each part as an influence, just keep in mind one can’t do all.

  8. JohnIL said on August 6, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Yep I think replacing a spin drive is more beneficial then adding RAM unless you know for sure you are running short on RAM. I replaced my wife’s slim hard drive in her laptop with a Crucial SSD. Made a world of difference and did the same with a old latitude Dell notebook with a Haswell CPU and that too was a major improvement. So much so I don’t plan to buy anything new for awhile now.

  9. Peterc said on August 6, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Let’s say — “just for the sake of argument” ;-) — that you have a nine-year-old laptop with SATA II drive ports and no M.2 slots. How much of a performance benefit are you going to get out of switching from hard drives to SSDs? Isn’t SATA II the bottleneck either way? I’d seriously be interested in hearing real-world impressions from people with SATA II ports who switched.

    I *do* really want to get a new computer (with modern drive ports and more than two CPU cores and Thunderbolt 3 and hardware AV1 codec support when it’s available, etc., etc.). Accordingly, and out of curiosity, I have periodically checked in on SSD pricing. The last time I looked, I was *blown away* by how much they have dropped! When I first looked at 2TB SSDs, they were something like $2000 a pop. The last time I looked, I found one that was on sale for $350! My 2TB 2.5″ HDDs cost me around $99 apiece, so SSDs are still significantly more expensive, but they’re getting in the ballpark … at least when there isn’t a port bottleneck preventing you from getting the full benefit of the more expensive option.

    PS: Here I was, thinking I take *way* too long to compose and edit my comments, but it turns out I routinely post too quickly! I guess everyone else must be on Seconal… ;-)

    1. Peterc said on August 7, 2019 at 5:47 pm

      I’d really like some responses to this. In real-world usage, how significant is the performance benefit of using SSDs on 3Gb/s SATA II ports?

      1. nab said on August 12, 2019 at 11:59 am

        if you are severely CPU bottlenecked, the SSD won’t do miracles at loading faster disk AND cpu intensive programs.

  10. Emil said on August 6, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Raise the minumum RAM amount to 8 GB, 4 is really not enough with the current web browsers eating it like cookie monster. 4 GB is what current phones tend to have. A new PC shouldn’t have less than 16 to be prepared for the future.

  11. No Magic Here said on August 6, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    @no comprende

    Samsung remains the first corporation to force SDD customer data mining. The ‘magician’ software also stores data to ram first allowing very high test scores (which is seldom revealed). The rule is if a SSD needs rams then localize it WITHIN the SSD.

    Its ridiculous for SSDs to require unique and specialized drivers (per operating system). They are a mature product line and data is data. So its an obvious red flag when they do. Here is their real reason:

    Sony and Sonus now require Internet connection and agreement to partner Google’s totally invasive Terms of Service. Otherwise you can’t use their products at all!

    Lastly increased advertising focus typically leads to reduced performance and consumer experience. The lack of click-bait is instrumental in making Ghacks invaluable!

    1. no comprende said on August 7, 2019 at 10:55 am

      Thanks for the info, that’s sick, ie. no Samsung SSD here.

      It appears as if manufacturers are pushing in the direction where the HW consumers pay for is NOT what we bought, but rather a mere Rights to use the storage capacity of said product, ie. immaterial ownership, whereas the physical case and FW/controllers etc is still owned by the manufacturer.
      And this is coming on a broad front covering many material products in the near future.

      When consumers are pushed in small steps towards where we in the end won’t own the whole HW the we paid for, or any other material products, we are exerted by a technique called “nudging”, ie. we are pushed in small steps towards the scenario outlined above where in the end the consumer does not own anything material and everything has to be connected to the Beast network in order to function. Because the nudging is done in incremental but very small steps towards a Totalitarian goal, we humans are psychologically more easily subverted to accept new draconian terms of use.

      Consumers really ought to be vocal about Samsung’s Magician that it is Not tolerable consumer relations practices.

      It appears Samsung have sided with the dark forces.

  12. Jon Bremont said on August 6, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    You’ll get what you pay for with ssds. So go for a quality samsung. I also recommend Primocache if you want to sacrifice a bit of ram. You can buffer writes/reads to old spindles through your ram (not a ramdisk but caches entire read or writes).

  13. Sunny said on August 6, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    The problem with a SSD Is that you can not securely wipe files like you can with a harddrive.

    PS: This warning is in the installation guide for the Samsung Magician software that checks for firmware updates:
    ‘Firmware Update may fail on Samsung brand SSDs connected to AMD
    Controller. Please retry using default SATA AHCI controller (Microsoft drivers).’


    1. Yuliya said on August 6, 2019 at 11:26 pm

      >The problem with a SSD Is that you can not securely wipe files like you can with a harddrive.
      This is true. But you also can’t wipe a bad sector of a HDD. If you did not fully encrypt your drive, be it a HDD or a SSD, the first thing you took it out of its box, then under no circumstance you should sell it to untrustorthy entities.

  14. RogerW said on August 6, 2019 at 11:39 am

    SSDs are awesome. Too bad my Samsung EVO860 despite it’s great performance is plagued by the terrible AMD SATA controller incompatibility issue that’s affecting it’s 4KQ8 write performance and an increasing CRC error count.

    Anyone know of any fix for this AMD AHCI incompatibility issue besides disabling NCQ (Native Command Queuing) as suggested here?

    1. no comprende said on August 6, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      I read quite recently somewhere Samsung had quality issues with some earlier SSD’s, they simply deteriorate very fast, Samsung should have rectified it by now, but who knows, I would make a backup of the drive and get a new one, but before you do that please search the internet to verify whether you have one of the models affected.

  15. Bobo said on August 6, 2019 at 11:25 am

    The smallest option you should consider is 240GB, they are faster than 120GB and the tiny amount of extra cash you spend is well worth it. Furthermore, try and find one with MLC. They outlast the TLC garbage that the market is overflowed with at the moment. Also, here’s my personal opinion: I use Intel MLC SSD’s only, 520 series (now discontinued, if you find one: keep it forever) they have never ever failed me. Built to last. I stocked up on those bad boys some years ago and at this rate I might never even have to crack open the boxes during my lifetime.. I have had Samsung EVOs die on me twice, and it’s pure horror when you fall for the hype and you get slapped by reality HARD across the face. SSD doesn’t tell you it’s gonna die, it just dies. If you must use Samsung, go for the PRO series with MLC (of course..they use the crap stuff in the bargain series), sure it costs more but is that somehow big news? Same thing applies with SSD as with everything else, there are no good cheap shortcuts.

    1. Anonymous said on August 6, 2019 at 2:53 pm

      Model (car, operating system, browser etc) x is the best for everyone because I have it and it never failed. Model x is bad because…

      1. Bobo said on August 7, 2019 at 7:21 am

        Anonymous gets the last word with his remarkable, insightful, educated and helpful comment. Anonymous once again wins the internet! Well done!
        Reading between the lines that Anonymous is a butthurt Samsung SSD cheapskate series user, mortally insulted and ridiculed by my FALSE, vicious and personal attack. My Samsung SSD had no faults, I was just holding them wrong!
        Much like yourself, on the internet I am never wrong, my opinions are the only ones that truly matter and I always want/get the last word. Endless fun for the whole family!

      2. Anonymous said on August 7, 2019 at 9:22 pm

        @Bobo: I am not _that_ pro-Anonymous, so maybe he will get the last word. You said: “my personal opinion…” – that was right way to say and perhaps you are right anyway. I replied to you but my comment was more general. This site has lot of arguing whos browser is the best. Please do not name-calling me. I do not have Samsung SSD. Thank you for advice about Samsung and Intel.

      3. Bobo said on August 7, 2019 at 7:45 am

        I was actually HOPING to read about people’s own SSD experiences, to broaden my horizons a bit. Like: “this other brand model X has also lasted forever and this brand model X just keeps exploding, so stay away from that”. Because all I got is “choose MLC” and the one I use/recommend isn’t even manufactured anymore =) Would be nice to know what to recommend to friends and enemies of all the stuff that sits on the shelves in stores as we speak. And no, Mr/Mrs/Ms.Anonymous, I don’t want to buy 300 different SSDs to test this myself.

    2. no comprende said on August 6, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      MLC means it has more than 3 layers of memory cells stacked on top of each other as the TLC offers, I have understood the more layers the cheaper it is but the worse quality as they are consumer grade, am I missing something, also do you have any link to back up what you are saying?

      1. Bobo said on August 6, 2019 at 2:50 pm

        I also once was a proud of this magical TLC Samsung SSD, the atrocity called 840. It was pure magic, joy and endless WONDER from start to finish. It was placed in a small netbook I rarely used, at times I only used it once a month to install updates. During that time, while unused and untouched, the SSD magically degraded itself to snail-speeds I can imagine were the norm for HDDs in the seventies. There was an uproar from consumers, obviously. First Samsung called everyone a liar. Then maybe a YEAR later they released a new firmware for that garbage, that didn’t work because the flaw was in the TLC design, no firmware can fix a hardware problem. Then they added an option to their Magician software called “speedupsomethingflashyanddeceptive” that actually rewrites all the data to the disk so it SEEMS that it got sped up, when really it didn’t. One has to rewrite all the data to that supergarbage TLC turd once a month still. And a little freeware program called Diskfresh does the same trick Samsung tried to camouflage as a firmware update.
        That TLC adventure and my 2 dead 850 EVO TLC drives was enough for me to never ever touch a TLC drive again. Plus the fact that my Intel MLC drives worked flawlessly back then, and still do, is all the evidence I need: In my opinion TLC is complete garbage. TLC is a cost-effective solution, and allows the consumer market to be flooded with unreliable drives for less money spent. A good business move of course. Cheap s**t for all, come and get your cheap s**t here!!! Today the TLC drives are probably much better than the 840 Special Superturd Dungdrive, but still, it’s a TLC =) The average consumer won’t notice or’s still lightyears faster than a spinning drive. But if you care about your data, you SHOULD know what’s under the hood in your computer. Don’t fall for marketing, don’t be cheap and save a measly few bucks when it comes to your data. Read up on consumer reviews, they tell you the truth when it comes to reliability. I hereby testify and swear on my living mothers grave that my Intel 520 SSD MLC drives are FANTASTIC, and that my Samsung 840 and EVO 850 were more than terrible. One Samsung needed constant, endless maintenance and the other 2 didn’t last long. Now that’s a catastrophic result for all 3 Samsung TLC drives I have used. That’s all I can say.

      2. no comprende said on August 7, 2019 at 11:33 am

        ok I see you fell prey for the dreaded Samsung SSD’s of the past, well that’s crap and another reason to stay away from Samsung besides the Samsung Magician SW (thanks to the other poster mentioning this) which not only needs an internet connection to perform a FW update but also at the same time collects users HW info and IP address.

        btw, I got things mixed up between TLC vs MLC, MLC has two layers/levels, and not more than TLC’s triple as I wrote earlier, it’s QLC that has four layers, or as Wikipedia states:

        SLC (1 bit per cell) – fastest, highest cost
        eMLC (2 bits per cell) – faster than regular MLC
        MLC (2 bits per cell)
        TLC (3 bits per cell)
        QLC (4 bits per cell) – slowest, lowest cost

  16. Paul(us) said on August 6, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Nice read, Ashwin.
    I agree an SSD is really great to speed things up. And does M.2 drives are unbelievable good for speeding things up. But I still prefer to use a Winchester disk (Western digital Red) when I read and wright a lot.
    The only question I have about those M.2 drive is or I get most value out of main money with a 1 Tb drive or another size?

    The second question concerns:
    Personally I think that on Windows 10 the software program Lasso works like a charm to make your p.c. more responsive and even almost always, also let him be responsive all the time.
    This because one of the ferry weak sides of Windows programs is that the proprietary algorithm dynamically adjustment of the priorities of running programs is ferry weak.
    Do you Ashwin or anybody else a program who does the same as lasso but is free?

  17. Geoff said on August 6, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Be careful with SSD firmware software as it can be a Trojan Horse phoning your activity home.
    The rule is SDDs don’t need exclusive software always running ‘to check for updates 24 times a day’!
    SSD reviews never mention is data is being cached to ram to goose performance numbers.
    SSDs do need to be trimmed. In Linux i have a chron job running once a day:
    /sbin/fstrim –all || true
    At every boot I check for errors. Only takes a second. Set once:
    tune2fs -c 1 /dev/sda
    Between Two Extremes
    SSD manufactures increase capacity to increase performance and keep prices high. Contrast this to being pressured to store all your data on the cloud.
    Or a HTPC which never stores to SSD as streaming data goes into ram. 2 x 4GB DDR4 3000 is less than $50.
    I’ve converted to $22 120GB SSDs which is still overkill for LibreELEC/Kodi releases

    All the while using 8TB 5400rpm helium HDDs for NAS storage

    The new speedy (but still buggy) Raspberry Pi 4 is perfectly matched with $14 microSDHC

    Dual SSDs
    For faster HDMI 2.0b 4K@60Hz graphics + HDR, I’ve replaced Intel 630 gpu based processors with superior AMD Ryzen 5 2400G + ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming. On sale for $210.
    For the least overall headaches its now economical to dual boot inexpensive SSDs (press F11 at BIOS level) selecting desktop or Kodi HTPC.

    1. thebrowser said on August 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      > Be careful with SSD firmware software as it can be a Trojan Horse phoning your activity home.

      If that is the case since is at the firmware level, could these rogue connections go undetected from network analyzers (at least on the host machine)?

    2. no comprende said on August 6, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      “Be careful with SSD firmware software…”

      ‘I am not sure what this means, in general FW isn’t really something widely distributed by 3rd parties, if anything FW are offered by the manufacturers themselves, are you saying we shouldn’t install any FW or even FW update from let say Samsung if we bought a Samsung SSD, or any other brand?

  18. Nick said on August 6, 2019 at 9:58 am

    This was relevant 5 years ago or so, now everyone has already a SSD, otherwise this would mean the average person keeps his laptop more than 3 years, which we know never lasts that long. Usually people who complain about the slowness of their laptops are hoarders with a desktop full of icons and bloated with unnecessary and redundant software (i.e. multiple antivirus). There is no permanent solution for this type of people.

    1. ULBoom said on August 7, 2019 at 1:46 am

      Really? When we need a new laptop, I try to get one that will last for 10 years. Optimistic? Maybe but a laptop with extra slots, a fast processor and especially, a good display can easily last that long. Fifteen years ago, hardware, software and internet were changing so fast, that wasn’t true. Costs more up front but much cheaper in the long run.

      Some companies (Dell, e.g.) have refurbished units with huge discounts that for the most part, seem to be just returns that can’t be sold as new. Full warranty; no different from a new unit.

      I do wish there were more 17 in laptops available; the extra size makes a big difference. A 4k 17 in display is spectacular.

      The only junk laptop we have is a HP envy which has no frame, just the plastic case. Bought in 2012, by 2015 it was literally held together with epoxy, gorilla tape and hot melt glue. Still works, although it’s garbage. It’s used very carefully for Linux experiments.

    2. Yuliya said on August 6, 2019 at 11:21 pm

      >more than 3 years, which we know never lasts that long
      My Asus laptop, from 2008, sporting a Core2Duo P8700, 4GiB of RAM and a NVIDIA 9600, currently running Windows Server 2016 off a Samsung SSD would like a word with you.

      1. Bobo said on August 7, 2019 at 7:31 am

        Hear, hear! My Fujitsu Siemens S7210 is 11 or 12 years old, runs Windows 7 on Intel 520 SSD and is just lightning fast. Love that old clunker and will never ever get rid of it.

    3. Cigologic said on August 6, 2019 at 9:48 pm

      > Nick: “now everyone has already a SSD, otherwise this would mean the average person keeps his laptop more than 3 years, which we know never lasts that long”

      I wonder if you realize you are speaking from a place of privilege ? There are many people in this world who don’t even have a home PC, much less an SSD. Many also don’t even have homes, much less a PC.

      And you must have been overclocking & overheating (or abusing ?) your laptops to the extent that their lifespans never exceed 3 years. Manufacturers must be very pleased to have customers like you. Poor planet Earth though … Perhaps you might consider being kinder to your laptops, & donate them (in working condition) whenever you decide to upgrade to a newer/ better machine.

      My 10-year old laptop (which is also my first & only PC to date) with 5400 rpm HDD boots to Win 7 x64 desktop in 20 seconds, & shuts down in less than 10 secs. There is no space to hold an SDD, & neither do I feel a compulsion to get one. Though with all this neverending SSD speake, I wonder if my laptop were to run on SDD, would it perhaps cold-boot to desktop in 2 secs & shut down in 1 sec ?

    4. seeprime said on August 6, 2019 at 4:14 pm

      You are overgeneralizing. My shop works on PC’s. Most of the repairs are for laptops that are more than three years old. The fix is often to replace a slowly failing hard drive (very spotty, low data transfer rate) with a new SSD. Image and restore to fit. This will happen less over time as many new laptops come with SSD’s. Most under $500 still use hard drives, which really makes an otherwise nice machine run like a snail.

    5. jern said on August 6, 2019 at 3:47 pm

      I use a mid-2010 Macbook Pro – constant use and it works perfectly – with a new SSD drive. Of course I don’t use it as a door stop or throw it at flies that bother me. Maybe your view of what constitutes an “average person” is different than ours.

    6. Peter said on August 6, 2019 at 12:32 pm

      Never lasts 3 years? I realize you’re generalizing, but my old reliable workhorse for writing is a 10-year-old Dell Studio 15 1555. I put in an SSD years ago and it’s plugging along just fine, thank you very much.

  19. Klaas Vaak said on August 6, 2019 at 9:46 am

    A good article, Ashwin.
    1 point: defragmenting an SSD is considered not good, it is better to “Trim”.

    1. ayew said on August 6, 2019 at 10:50 pm

      Defragging flash memory such as a SSD is wholly useless as there is no moving drive head. Recording data sequentially does not change read/write performance.

    2. Horst Fuchs said on August 6, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Defragmenting an SSD with Windows “Optimize Drives” will not defragment, but instead execute the trim command on the SSD which is equally beneficial.

  20. John C. said on August 6, 2019 at 8:27 am

    My cousin gave me a computer with two, 2tb hard drives installed in it. Unfortunately, they’re both 54k rpm instead of 72k, and the computer was very slow as a result. I put a 500gb SSD in it as the main drive and WOW! Yes, I fully agree with Martin. This is definitely the way to go. Incredibly fast boot time and file operations in general.

    1. anonymous said on August 6, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      @John C: You meant 5.4k (which is a strange spelling) is 5,400 rpm and 7.2k is 7,200 rpm.

      1. John C. said on August 7, 2019 at 8:20 am

        You’re right. Sorry.

    2. Klaas Vaak said on August 6, 2019 at 9:45 am

      @John C.: not Martin but Ashwin ;-)

      1. John C. said on August 7, 2019 at 8:20 am

        You’re right. Sorry.

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