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Single best bang for the buck upgrade for your aging computer


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I have two laptops I am testing Windows 10 on, neither set up with any of my personal info or paid for programs. Both are Windows 7 one an ancient Compaq Q60 that has DDR2 RAM and only had 2 GB when I got it. It was so clean and little used I thought it was worth a little RAM so I bought a matched set of 2X 2GB sticks of DDR2 from an eBay seller for 26 bucks. That improved it quite a bit, but it was not faster until all the boot chores finished a couple of minutes after boot powering it on.


I was amazed to see a 250 Samsung very fast SSD with the latest tech 3D etc. for $79.00. I could not resist it so ordered one for it from Newegg. Amazing ten second boots in Windows 7!! The old mechanical 260 GB 4500 rpm drive was the problem!


I have gotten two laptops, the Compaq and a newer Toshiba 17 inch screen laptop, for free in trade for my fixing one computer and setting up another for friends.


I cannot tell you how much difference the SSD makes. They are on sale today again but with all the folks that refuse to buy new hardware but want the speed without putting out another $600-1000.00, increasing RAM to the max, and swapping out your old mechanical drive for an SSD will make a heck of difference for about $100!


Now many folks don't get slow older computers in trade with no real money in them like I seem to always end up with, but it makes sense for those on a budget. All you do is clone your old drive to the new one, and then keep the old one in case the SSD ever fails you pop it back in, and you just add the new files/pics/music that you backed up since upgrading, and you are back in biz in under ten minutes.


Here is that webpage telling about today's sale: http://www.bfads.net/Hot-Deals/Deal/Samsung-850-EVO-25in-250GB-SATA-III-3D-Vertical-Internal-SSD/45385


Or go to Newegg directly here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147372&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-BFAds-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=2187655&SID=ebs4d34d2855283560c71c8ee586492205313332353941sbe


I can't emphasize enough how much difference these make, regardless of where you get the SSD and RAM. They give an extra three or more years on old slow equipment, that is otherwise in good condition. They will not fix an infected system as the infection will go to it when cloned.


I imagine they will be even cheaper this Black Friday. I also expect to see a Surface Pro 4 and possibly a Surface 4 as well.


My advice presumes you have a Windows 7/8/8.1/10 computer. I did not get as much speed out of an older Vista system.


Safe inexpensive computing!

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I bought a 500GB SSD to replace the 500GB 7200 rpm drive in the Windows 7 laptop I am typing on. The machine starts up and shuts down much faster, so I am happy. The drive cost me $170.

It is also the only Windows machine we have left that is not running Windows 10, due to no wifi driver. (Thanks Dell and Broadcom.)

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The Samsung drive I bought now pops up at $150 on sale. But I don't mind that I paid more, since my old drive was using up its reserved sectors and needed to be replaced. Plus I don't buy from NewEgg, unless I am close to my official address. They really do not like alternative shipping addresses. Amazon does not care.

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I know Bill,

I am seeing the 500 GB units for $160 in the Crucial BX and the Samsung 3d system. I knew I should have waited for next month's sales on Cyber Monday but I did that one time and just before I needed to buy the Thailand flood happened and tripled drive prices for a couple of years.

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Like I said, for the "best bang for the buck" for an aging computer an SSD is really impressive so long as you shop for speed and type of memory used. The PCIe and M.2 type drives are around $1169.26 at Wal Mart.: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ocz-Storage-Solutions-Revodrive-350-960-Gb-Internal-Solid-State-Drive-Pci-Express-2.0-X8-1.76-Gbps-Maximum-Read-Transfer-Rate-1.66-Gbps-Maximum/43087775?sourceid=csent02f33ae5e6785145b88b345cc5b853db56&wmlspartner=nextagcom2&affcmpid=4286971960&tmode=0000&veh=cse&nextagid=-8466019612770345601


I doubt they would even work with today's aging computers but in a few years who knows? However I can't see someone who is trying to avoid spending the price of a new system, spending more on just the drive than the price of most systems to put whiz bang tech in old hardware systems. The Mobo for the PCIe one I listed is only $150-$200. Here one is on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157500 The ASRock Z97 Extreme 6 Mobo specs are here, click and scroll down: http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z97%20Extreme6/


My next new tech is being bought next month on Black Friday or Cyber Monday most likely. I am looking at the LG 55" UHD 4k OLED! They have them now at Best Buy and are to drool for. I saw them for the first time today. I have the Lumia 735 Windows phones for me and Lynn and they have only 720P but in an OLED IPS Screen it looks better than any 1080 Phone or screen I've had the pleasure to see in a phone.

Display resolution: HD720 (1280 x 720)
Display colors: TrueColor (24-bit/16M)
Display technology: OLED, ClearBlack
Pixel density: 316 ppi


But the true blacks and color saturation of the OLED is astounding. The OLED 4k 55" I saw today bowled me over.

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Plus I don't buy from NewEgg, unless I am close to my official address. They really do not like alternative shipping addresses.


I have heard others say the same thing. It has never been an issue for me. I have had Newegg ship to me in literally dozens of locations all over the country. I wonder if it could be related to your payment method... :unsure:


Safe Travels...

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I have heard others say the same thing. It has never been an issue for me. I have had Newegg ship to me in literally dozens of locations all over the country. I wonder if it could be related to your payment method... :unsure:


Safe Travels...

Maybe if I had years of records with NewEgg before ordering. Maybe if my first order while fulltiming was not around Christmas, where I was thousands of miles from my billing address. I tried twice over the years to order something when I was not close to my billing address and gave up. The savings are not that much compared to the frustration. Maybe they are better now, maybe not.

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I've had shipping issues with New Egg several times, other times no problem. I can't understand it as I use a MasterCard with the SecureCode external validation, NewEgg is clueless too. I do like them but stick to ordering from them for shipping to my billing address to avoid unpleasant surprises.


The PCIe SSDs (or PCI hosted M2 versions) are getting more and more tempting for an upgrade to an older desktop here, one with a slow SATA chip. I'm watching Christmas season sales approach and prices fall!

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On the Toshiba 17", the newest of the 2 laptops I refurbished I have the Samsung SSD 850 EVO Using 3D V-Nand Technology. This drive was on sale for $79.99 and I could not pass it up. However it has a great SSD tweaking and alignment program called Samsung Magician. It says in the results that despite my tuning it for performance. it cannot do its full speed because the Mobo on the laptop is not a SATA III 6 GBs one but instead is a max a 3GBs Mobo. So this high performance SSD is really a waste in that laptop.


For the other older Compaq Presario CQ 60-615DX with a single core Celeron (reviewed here: http://www.cnet.com/products/hp-compaq-presario-cq60-615dx/ ) I chose a Team Dark L3 SSD which was all that computer needed to actually boot in under 10 seconds.


It is actually pretty snappy since I also maxed out the DDR2 RAM with a matched set of 4 GB DDR2 PC6400 from eBay. The Team SSD was on sale for $64.99 and the RAM was $25.00. So I now have $90.00 in a snappy performing Windows 7 soon to be Windows 10 laptop. It has great sound for a laptop, and the 720p video and graphics are very good. The keyboard is perfect and the touchpad has a scroll touch spot that is easy to use fast. But any expensive SSD is wasted on a six year old computer. What saves this one is the large for its time 1MB L2 cache, compared to the dual core systems with only 512MB of 2009. It looks like new and was well cared for by the original owner. No scratches or damage at all.


The newer Toshiba 17" shows wear on the touchpad, and a few more than normal nicks on the top when closed. The older one will bring $150.00 and The newer one $200.00 When I get to play with one and make $60-$100.00 profit over my parts I am tickled since they cost me helping out a friend's customer who did not want to spend the money for me to clean them up. Heck as slow as the Compaq was, taking several minutes to complete the boot processes to stable, then being OK in response, I would not have from his perspective thought it could ever be brought up to today's expectations. But both are really responsive now, very fast boot times because they have Libre mOffice and Malwarebytes free and image resizer as well as the rest of the free software like CCleaner I use.


You guys already know, but for other readers here, I think the more expensive SSDs are a waste with a SATA or SATA II chipset. They will not run any faster on SATA and SATAII chipsets, that a non techie user could perceive, than the cheaper Team SSD with a three year warranty. Of course, as with any SSD, it is wise to keep a clone just in case which I have done with their original slooooow hard drives. Then if they do die unexpectedly I can pop in the clone until the new SSD comes in under warranty. I have never kept any computer more than three years max anyway. The exception will be the Dell Venue Tablet that is under warranty until 2017 as is the Dell 2720 AIO. I stopped doing system images of Windows 8 drives instead making sure I have all the Windows keys and codes to get a new drive's OS copy to be activated.


The reliability is moot when yours is the one in a million regardless. I am seeing the same boot speeds from both and both are very snappy and fast feeling. It makes no difference what the tests say if they feel great they are.


I already have a 256GB Crucial BX100 in the SH's desktop, my 2720 comes with a 32GB boot SSD dual system backed up by a 2 GB hard drive. our Tablets both have SSDs and the ASUDS TA200 has a slooooow Kingston 100GB SSD I tried out two years ago and will never use that brand again. IT was no faster than the hard drive perception wise. But again the rest of that system is 8 GB RAM and quad core 3.1 Ghz plus i5 turbo processors. The Kingston SSD took away. It and mine are both Sata III 6GBs chipsets.


So I would advise folks to just get a drive wire. I like the Apricorn wire and enclosures for others and use the drive wire myself because they allow unlimited downloads to the latest versions of their cloning software online with it.



Another solution are the external USB 3 drive docks, and the very interesting new Hub I just got from Newegg. It is a powered or not USB 3 three port hub, and on the side it has a pop off cover hiding a SATA I/II/III 2.5 adapter! You just plug the 2.5" drive into it and it reads it just like the drive wire or the external docks. This has the added advantage for my tablets to power USB devices without using the tablet battery up, and as well can attach and external drive to it too! It is tiny for what it does. It's wall wart power supply is bigger than the hub/drive adapter itself. Check it out here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182366&cm_re=rosewill_hub-_-17-182-366-_-Product


The drive manufacturers also offer variations of commercial cloning programs free like their version of Acronis. But today it just is easier to clone and replace, rather than image and restore.



I'd wait another month or two as the black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are coming up in about six weeks. I am waiting until then or just after the first of the year to buy a 60 inch 4k UHD smart TV. Likely the LG with the great upscaling engine. 4k streaming is becoming a reality! I will be busy in November as our Lumia 735 phones will likely both get the Windows 10 mobile upgrades, and we will be looking to see if Continuum software and docks only work with the new flagship 950 and 950XL phones.


The tech really is achieving economies of scale fast these days.


As far as Newegg, guys maybe it is just me but I never had an issue with them stationary, and today they try to beat Amazon usually getting things to me in two days. Back in the 90s and until we came off the road in 2003 we used TigerDirect more than any other. And only in the last 12 years have we really become almost 100% online shoppers. I actually hate going to the stores except for the fact that they have returns and sales too. Here we only have one Office Max, two Office depots, and two Best Buys. I don't count Walmart as we no longer shop tech there.


Have a great day guys!

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Nice, Derek


Frankly, aging hardware is non-tech centric. As the MB gets older so does the compatibility. No UEFI, NO SATA III, No USB 3.0, jada, jada, jada....


I get tired of working around these growing limitations to my productivity. It is not my goal (anymore) to live on the bleeding edge but I have to feel that the technology has finally almost caught up with my visions of what I would like to be able to do.


What I find most uncomfortable about evolution is that there are going to be extinctions. Only in tech is the process of evolving fast enough that we can actually see and feel the changes in 1 lifetime. To me, that is both exciting and depressing. I know what I paid for extinct tech but had I not spent the money I would not have the skills I now have. Those skills are worth a lot more than I invested.


Still, it would really be nice to upgrade this 2006 desktop. Laptops don't really fit my physique (straight keyboards) and small screens. I would love a sharp virtual monitor for everything.... maybe Google will hear me.


The best upgrade I did to this sata II MB was to put a Samsung 840 EVO 245gb SSD on it. Split off a small second partition to run Opensuse and the rest is Win 10. It did more for my productivity than all the other upgrades combined. When I do move to a current tech MB I already have the drives I will want to use. Meanwhile, I still do a lot of windows shopping.

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I feel much the same way. I got the 2720 last year because it had it all, and was a refurb at 1/3 of the price from Dell with their renewable 1 year same as new warranty. My SH's desktop is a year older but again has all the tech save UEFI. Hers has the Crucial BX100 250 GB SSD which was a pleasant affirmation of the reviews.


I agree on the extinction but never has it been so rapid. Folks miss the fact that DVDs even BDs have gone the way of the floppy drives and media and cassette tape. With the exception of the M-Disc ( http://pinoytutorial.com/techtorial/m-disc-price-specs-and-release-for-october-can-hold-your-files-forever/ ) and the lesser known Archival Disc system by Sony ( http://www.archivaldiscplayer.com/ ) aimed almost exclusively at Enterprise, disks seem to be all but gone. I have a pancake stack of 100 DVD-R disks that I doubt I will ever use. Thumb flash drives are shuttles only for me not storage, and many folks who are non tech oriented and lost in discussions of etched versus dye life spans in discs and the volatility of SSD on fail ( No disks to read out of the case forensically in a clean room) begs a human proof archival system. Pushing off responsibility for our data onto large corporations who claim to maintain redundant physically separated magnetically/SSD based server storage with tape backup isn't the answer either. An EMP is the most likely doomsday scenario, which would bring civilization as we know it to a grinding halt. Hard drives would be wiped as well as their control boards. SSDs same thing. M-Discs are attractive because recovery of data only requires the remanufacture of player/readers. They are etched. Odds are lots of CD DVDs would still work given a new player/reader.



I'd not get one if I did not have a new mobo and turned up the RAM. It would make sense to put the mobo in the old case and use the old optical and hard drive/s for additional storage. I will likely be trying one out with a new desktop a couple of years down the road as I would love the new USB-C with 3.1 like Apple is using and will be in PCs soon too. USB-C is the connector that works both ways so it is never upside down. The Specification for the faster than USB 3.0 is USB 3.1 at 10GBs and is not tied to the new USB-C connector. You can deploy the new 3.1 without bulky hardware like for smartphones and other mobile uses. This will be super confusing for many. http://www.extremetech.com/computing/197145-reversible-usb-type-c-finally-on-its-way-alongside-usb-3-1s-10gbit-performance They will also have USB-C on one end of connectors with a regular USB 3.0 connector to "adapt" them to older machines. A perfect example of not being bleeding edge but slowly gathering the peripherals for the chipsets. So like Budd, I am waiting for the standards to settle down some. SSDs are getting cheaper by the month anyway. I would recommend one for any SATA 2 or 3 machine if one is not ready for a whole new machine yet.


Perfect example. I have a thunderbolt connector on the back of my 2720. Never used it, never will. The dang cables and drives are three times the price of the same USB 3.0 devices. I can wait for the standard that gets the economies of scale in the Windows/Linux world, where the prices are based on billions of users not a few million.

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I really suspect that a big reason that the tech is advancing so fast, now, is that drivers are usually available very quickly. Back when, the implementation of new tech was usually stalled and frustrated by the lack of entry drivers and reliability. So many of the drivers worked in very narrow implementations because they used hardware and software loopholes to make their own product shine at the expense of the usability of the rest of the system.


Today, the OS does a much better job of protecting itself from varient drivers so what first comes out usually works pretty well. That takes the public skepticism out of adopting the newest stuff and makes new adopters much bolder than in the past.


I also think that the concept of public betas has really helped smooth out the new product wrinkles. If is it called beta you don't really expect it to be perfect. Yeah, I know, there are a few abusers that present alpha releases as betas but that's on them. The rest get a pretty good exposure to a wide variety of environments to help stabilize formal releases and updates. Win-Win.

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My best upgrade ever is............L##ix.....


Try this boot speed ..........old (12 yrs) cheap ($120 new) compaq Vista laptop that takes 13 min to boot in Vista or........Eleven SECONDS in L##uxxxxxx.........


It's fun to see how fast a old cheap no frill machine can be with a REAL system in command.........


Ok I admit it's not fair to compare the "W" the the "L" system.........sorta like bringing a knife to a gunfight.......


Drive on.......(Don't forget the ..........."L" system.......when things get ......old)

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