I bought this laptop in late 2009. I was considering upgrading the RAM and moving to a SSD. These upgrades would run about $160 altogether. Would it be worth it? I'd be moving from 4 GB to 8 GB? Also how big of an impact will moving to a SSD give over the standard HD? I plan on playing some older games such as L4D 1/2, SimCity, KOTOR 1/2, Mass Effect series, etc.
A SSD has faster read / write speeds compared to a HDD which means the laptop will feel more responsive because programs will load faster. It will not have any impact on game performance other than shorter lags in games where it loads the portions of the map while you are playing like in Far Cry games or Elder Scroll games.
8GB of RAM can slightly improve performance, but you will likely not be able to tell the difference. Having more RAM means less disk caching (read / write to the HDD).