Cru­cial cuts

Computer Shopper - - LETTERS -

Just a cou­ple of notes on your lap­top up­grade guide (Shop­per 353). It felt a bit like I was read­ing a thinly veiled ad­vert for Cru­cial. While I ap­pre­ci­ate the us­abil­ity of Cru­cial’s soft­ware (I used it my­self many moons ago), for older lap­tops with DDR3 I think it would have been good to point out that buy­ing sec­ond-hand SODIMMs from eBay is likely to be a good bit cheaper.

I did this to build a cou­ple of Franken­stein ma­chines, never had any prob­lems and got these bits dirt cheap. You could use CPU-Z to get the speeds and type of RAM, or bet­ter yet just check the in­stalled type on the flap on the bot­tom (or use Cru­cial’s soft­ware).

Also, with re­gards to in­stalling an SSD on older and un­der­pow­ered lap­tops – I did this on an Asus F551ma out of cu­rios­ity as I had a SanDisk SSD go­ing spare. The speed in­creases were neg­li­gi­ble to the point I re­in­stalled the old 5,400rpm drive and didn’t re­ally no­tice any dif­fer­ence. If me­mory serves, that ma­chine had a Celeron N2840 but had sim­i­lar lack­lus­tre re­sults with an old Core 2 Dell. This leads to the question: is there a cross­over point for CPU spec where an SSD will pro­vide a no­tice­able per­for­mance in­crease where all other things are equal?

On a cau­tion­ary note, it would also prob­a­bly be a good idea to point out that lap­tops with in­ter­nal bat­ter­ies can be haz­ardous. I cut cor­ners on one in­stal­la­tion by leav­ing the bat­tery in place while re­mov­ing the HDD caddy for an SSD in­stal­la­tion. I thought the mobo had to come out to re­lease it and I couldn’t be both­ered. A screw jumped off the end of the old

The main ben­e­fit of an SSD is that it re­duces boot speeds and ap­pli­ca­tion load times. You should no­tice these im­prove­ments. It’s worth point­ing out that an SSD op­er­ates at its fastest speeds when con­nected to a SATA3 port; if your old lap­tops used SATA2, then the speed im­prove­ments wouldn’t be so no­tice­able. SSDs only boost file speeds, and won’t make gen­eral tasks run quicker.


mag-screw­driver and shorted an IC. The re­sult: one dead mobo and one an­gry id­iot.

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