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Windows 7: How to find the weakest link in my system? Replacing HDD with SSD?

18 Nov 2012   #1
juanantoniod

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
How to find the weakest link in my system? Replacing HDD with SSD?

Hello,

I have had my Toshiba Notebook for about 5 years, and it is still running strong. However, I am going to purchase a new computer after I receive my tax return to 'replace' it.

I would like to know if it makes any sense to install a Solid State Drive to replace the existing HDD to improve performance, and keeping the notebook on hand as a second computer, just in case the new notebook fails. (I don't like the thought of NOT having a computer for any length of time; I am sure that you all can relate to this!)

In order to decide if this upgrade would improve my system performance, I was told that there is a system utility that will list the components on a computer system, and tell you where the 'weakest link' is.

[For example, in this case, if I found out that it was my RAM slowing down the computer, not the HDD, then it would not make sense to change to a SSD. But if it was the HDD that was slowing down the performance than such a change would make more sense.]

Also, I previously uploaded my system info to the forum for my DESKTOP system, and now that I am asking a question about my NOTEBOOK, I would like to know how I can change my profile data to reflect the notebook's specifications.

Thanks, as always! Happy Holidays!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Nov 2012   #2
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

I think the quickest way to see what the "weak link" might be is to run Windows Experience Index. Whatever component scores the lowest will probably be the weak link.

Windows Experience Index - Update or Refresh Score

If you're going to keep the older computer as a spare, how often do you think you'll be using it once you get your new computer? Will you use it often enough to justify spending money to upgrade RAM, hard drive, etc? To me it's like the spare tire for my car. It usually just sits in the trunk collecting dust. On the very rare occasion when I might have to use it, I probably won't drive more than 25 miles to get to a service facility to have the flat fixed or to buy a new tire. I could spend over $200 to upgrade to a top of the line Michelin as my spare - but I seriously doubt I'd ever get enough usage to justify the cost. Only you can make that determination if upgrading your old machine will be worth it.

As far as adding system specs for the notebook, I've seen some Forum members do this:

Make/Model: Sony Vaio VPCEB47GM Laptop / Dell Dimension XXXXXX Desktop
OS: Win 7 Home Prem x86 Laptop / Win 7 Ultimate x64 Desktop

There should be enough room on each line for both machines.

And Happy Holidays to you too!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2012   #3
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

On any modern (and not so modern) the hard disk is THE single slowest component these days, and is the bottleneck of all the computer. No doubt the best improvement you can make to it's to put a SSD on it as a system drive instead of a mechanical disk.
However, the points of marsmimar are very valid, maybe you will not profit a lot from upgrading the old computer since you won't be using it a lot, but putting a SSD on the new one will for sure make a great difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Nov 2012   #4
biznatch

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

A SSD will probably speed it up but is it really worth the cost to put a SSD in a computer that you're only going to use if your main computer fails? I'd rather take the money and put it towards the new computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2012   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Put you old computer away just the way it is. Speak softly to it. Tell it you are just putting it away because it has earned a well deserved rest. It will be there if you ever need it. Don't let it know a new computer is coming to town. Now take the extra money and have the new compute fitted with as much ram as it will handle and the biggest SSD you can put in it. Never let the old and new computer see each other, it will just start a family feud.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2012   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I installed SSDs in a 2007 laptop and a 2007 desktop. It made a significant difference performance wise. I used 60GB and 80GB models. Never ran out of space. Of course, in the desktop, I also had the 320GB HDD and in the laptop (which my wife uses) we added a 32GB stick. She also has an external disk exclusively for imaging.

Bottom line, at todays prices of SSDs I would do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2012   #7
LittleJay

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

With the price of SSDs coming down so much in the last year I decided to purchase one for my old 2006 desktop. It made a big difference in performance and now I actually enjoy booting it up once in a while to use, rather than my new desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2012   #8
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

The fun fact is that the laptop in your specs is the same as the desktop in my specs.
If your specs are correct (although I see HP and not Toshiba as manufacturer), then 2 GB of ram is a bit puny and that's something I'd try to upgrade first (up to 3 GB or even 4 GB). But an SSD is close second. Although it depends, as if that laptops is so old its ports could be SATA I like the ones on my motherboard and a SSD on SATA I is going to be noticeable as far as snappyness of the system, but will feel a bit underwhelming overall.

I'd say to keep the older rig as a backup as-is, without upgrades, or turning it in a media player or home server. I have a netbook that is pretty awesome as home server.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to find the weakest link in my system? Replacing HDD with SSD?




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