Computer wrenching: Laptop HDD upgrade to SSD/M.2???

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by TeneRay, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. TeneRay

    TeneRay Bitch, I'm fabulous

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    I picked up an Asus gaming laptop a year ago since my old one was on its last leg but this "performance" laptop has been slow as dogsh*t (I've had 3 Asus laptops and always had great experiences with them and the best customer support to back). Apparently this 'pooter has the processing power but is limited because of the garbage 8GB ram and HDD (I think the HDD has issues because I can hear the clicking noise that's often associated with a dying HDD). Well, I'm upgrading the RAM but I'm corn-fused on the HDD. I know Sata SSD has been around for quite some time now but I just discovered my laptop supports M.2. I had no clue what this was 10 minutes ago. I found some info on the YoosToobs but still not sure how it works. I found which style my laptop supports but can I ditch the HDD and just use the M.2 if I get a big one or do I still need a HDD/Sata SDD and still use the M.2 to load the OS? I don't mind having an Sata SSD and M.2 but not sure if that's necessary?
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  2. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    M.2 will be faster, the trick will be getting the OS installed. SSD will almost certainly work. Your call there, I simply can't tell without trying to do an install. And you'll see a few hybrid SSD/HD things around, forget those, not even worth space in the garbage can.

    And yes the SSD OR M.2 will boost performance considerably. If cost is not a significant part of the total cost, throw both in, you'll almost certainly be able to use the M.2 as storage even if the install on that doesn't work.
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  3. TeneRay

    TeneRay Bitch, I'm fabulous

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    I did some more digging around and I think I figured it out.

    Install the M.2, clone the HHD to the M.2 with whatever software, switch the boot drive in the BIOS, and cross your fingers. Then if it boots from the M.2, swap the HHD to the Sata SSD.

    It's been a while since I messed with computers and the stuff evolves exponentially but I think I got it now.

    I think I'll just save a little cash and go with 500GB each. 1TB each is pretty insane. Hoping this helps my CAD and video editing programs.
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  4. Granitic

    Granitic Backcountry rider

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  5. TripleTriples

    TripleTriples Been here awhile

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    That's exactly what you want to do. Macrium Reflect is a decent too for that, and it's free.

    I think you'll find that the spinning disk is your largest bottleneck. The developers at Microsoft assume that most PCs will have one and base their work on that fact.

    Another 8gb of ram wouldn't hurt, but will only help if you're actually using what you've got now.
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  6. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    My tiny understanding of these things is that the M.2 operates directly with the CPU on the motherboard, rather than going through an interface like SATA. It's solid state memory, like an SSD, but things happen quicker because of its direct connection. There has to be an appropriate socket on the motherboard.
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  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Been here awhile

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    M.2 is a memory form factor, but the data interface can be either PCIx or SATA. If it's an older laptop, it is likely to be SATA. If it is standard SATA, there are 1 TB SSD's selling for under $100 right now.
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  8. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Definitely worth using an SSD.
    My out the ark XP machine was transformed. Was much faster than what I have now with a much faster processor. Tomorrow may be the day my partner upgrades the drive. We seem to be finding a bit of a fuck up in the process.

    I looked on line an SSD using regular SATA has IIRC 400 mb/sec speed, compared to at best a tenth of that for a HDD.
    An m.2 is about 10 times faster again. And up.*

    You know it makes sense.

    * all figures are from my vague and floppy memory - actual performance may be better.
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  9. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    You don't have an offboard back up? Shame on you.

    I have an SSD in my 2009 13" Macbook. Made a huge difference in speed. Boot time was reduced by at least 50% if not more. Quiet smooth and reliable. Been a few years and no issues. Install went easily. No doubt you should do it.
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  10. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    get the biggest and fastest drive the motherboard can support.

    then you can clone the old HDD to the new SSD. I don't know what windows users use to clone hard drives, I would boot a Linux live CD like gparted or knoppix and clone everything, then test boot the new SSD before tossing there old HDD in the garbage
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  11. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    btw I just updated from a 500gb SSD to a 1tb SSD last night. took about ten minutes to clone the drive over, man these things are fast !
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  12. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    $114 at best buy last night, cheaper on Amazon
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  13. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Before you rush out and spend quite a bit extra on a huge drive, take stock of your storage needs. The computer I just threw away, the XP one I bought in 2007. It got used for work and endless surfing and archiving email groups. I had all my CD's ripped on to the first HDD also.
    When I got nervous and swapped in the SSD a couple of years ago, I had used 19.something Gb. Out of a "ridiculously small" 250Gb HDD.
    I guess many will have lots more memory intensive stuff and use up a lot more, but if your computer activities are not using much of your storage, just buy the best value device.
    For a while the "cramped" 250Gb like I had, then 500Gb's became the thing. Looks like 1Tb is becoming standard, my partners new 6months ago came with one - those sizes are the ones to go for and will likely be cheaper than larger or smaller ones. What ever suits your needs and pocket. And you can always update and expand later - my partner has a not too expensive 3Tb external HDD that gets used for back up.

    Apart from the SSD, the upgrade that made the most difference was being able to get FTTP at 300Mb/s rather than the 16Mb/s before. Our neighbours scoff and call us snobs for paying extra, but for us worth it for the massive increase in stability, maybe even over the increase in speed over the old copper landline.
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  14. TeneRay

    TeneRay Bitch, I'm fabulous

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    I just ordered a 1TB M.2 and 32GB of RAM. I'll upgrade the HDD to Sata SSD later.

    This is good an all but I would still like something more than DSL for my internet service, lol. Living in the sticks has it's downfalls if you want to be connected. Someone buried fiber lines along the road last year but who knows when they'll make it to the houses. Cable seems to be hit or miss in our area.
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  15. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    The EU gave BritTelecom lots of cash to install fibre so it could be available to every house/business. Speeds ended up capped to 300Mb/s. Several other adjacent counties got the cash too.
    Several layers of service available. We have max speed but no tv or additional services.

    Most houses in our street cannot get even a decent mobile signal.
    When we first arrived, no businesses had internet because the service was so bad, 1 to 2 Mb/s - so no card transactions. That was a bit of a culture shock, having to carry cash money. Cheques here were phased out years ago by the banks.
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  16. TeneRay

    TeneRay Bitch, I'm fabulous

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    Ho-lee-fook.

    Much faster. Booted in just a few seconds. Had no idea why opening my browser was so damn slow but now it's just click and boom, loaded. Fusion360 would take minutes to load. I'd have to open it and walk away to wait for it to load. I think it just took not even 10 seconds and it was done. I'll give Davinci's Resolve a go later. That was unbearable but I have a good feeling now.
    #16
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