Easy Upgrades: Hard Drive to Solid State Drive


We mentioned in our introduction that the chief complaints with our test laptop were slow boot times and overall slugish performance. Most of the time in the enthusiast world, we try to throw all sorts of benchmarks and tests against a system to really determine its performance. In this case however, my wife doesn’t really care about the read and write speeds of the storage device in her laptop, she just knows that it “feels slow”. So below you will find two images from CrystalDiskMark showing some basic technical performance differences between the factory 5400RPM hard drive that came with her laptop, and the freshly cloned Kingston UV500 that now occupies that space.

As is clearly visible, the SSD simply blows the HDD out of the water in all aspects of the CrystalDiskMark application. For us technical folks, we know that these numbers matter, and that they translate into certain experiences for non-technical users. From a booting standpoint, the factory HDD took right around 60 seconds to boot to the Windows 10 desktop. With the SSD in place, this was cut in half to an average of 30 seconds. That alone is a significant change, but the speed at which applications now open has drastically improved across the board, and both my wife and I feel like this laptop could last us another few years.

Another plus to the change to an SSD that I haven’t experience in years, was the lack of sound from the system. In using the laptop recently for this guide, I was astounded by the amount of sound coming from the internal HDD. That all went away once the SSD was in place, and that silence is something I had taken for granted, having solely used SSDs for the last few years in all of my systems.

Final Thoughts

The goal of this guide was not to benchmark and test a specific product, but rather to go through the process of replacing an existing, and probably aging, hard drive, with a solid state drive. As was demonstrated, this is a fairly easy, and straight-forward process that can bring about significant performance and usability gains. Our example system and use case was chosen because the existing user experience was becoming more and more frustrating, and the ability to alleviate that frustration, while extending the lifetime of the system was an easy solution. This has definitely been the case, and this system is definitely seeing more use since the upgrade has been performed.

While there are many options available, the Kingston SUV500B/960G SSD Upgrade Kit provides an easy avenue for this upgrade process for both laptop and desktop systems. Kingston provides both hardware and software elements in their bundle to make the process as seamless as possible, and offers a five-year warranty to boot. Available for $153 at our favorite online retailer, this kit is definitely worth a look if you are interested in making this upgrade.

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