Laptop Getting Slow - Hardware Replacement Suggestions

nickvonkeller

Estimable
Jan 30, 2015
2
0
4,510
0
My laptop is starting to really drag. I've applied most of the software/clean-up solutions listed online, and now I think it's time for a hardware upgrade (and I'm too poor to just buy a new laptop).

What do you think would have the most performance bang for my buck? Replacing my hard drive with a solid state drive, or doubling my RAM (from 4 GB to 8 GB)? Or something else?

Some details:
I use my computer mostly just for internet, word processing, music, movies. Occasionally I use it for some light Photoshop, or for some relatively simple gaming (we're talking Hotline Miami, not The Witcher)
Specs:
Type: Dell Inspiron 15R N5010
Purchased: (refurbished) January 2011
Processor: i5 – M 460 – 2.53 Ghz
Memory: 4 GB Ram
OS: Windows 7
HD: 500 GB

Thanks!
 

velo3100

Distinguished
Moderator
Could you be a bit more specific? If programs take a long time then the ssd is the best choice but you will have to sacrifice on space as they tend to be more expensive than hdd. Doubling the ram will allow more multi - tasking.

Hope this helps.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Increasing the RAM can help with multitasking since having many programs opened at once increases RAM usage. That basically means less swapping of data between RAM and the hard drive. RAM is pretty cheap; about $40 for a stick of 4GB RAM.

A SSD drive will help your laptop feel more responsive because it allows programs to open and close much fast; meaning much higher read / write of data compared to hard drives.

Sometimes a clean install of Windows will make performance seem a lot better because doing so erases any junk that may be been left in the Windows Registry which can slow down a PC. Of course this means that any important data on the C Drive will be deleted so you should backup that data before doing this step.
 

The Real Jaydax

Estimable
Sep 24, 2014
5
0
4,510
0
Is it running hot? if it is then the processor will start slowing down.
Assuming you have removed spyware/malware and uninstalled from the start menu programs you don't need to start when the machine starts (e.g. Acrobat) then try vacuuming out the vents. If you have a cat, more serious attention may be required.
Only then think about maxing the RAM and installing an SSD.

To give you an idea I'm using a 2008 Dell 1720. I've maxed out it's RAM to 4 Gb, installed Windows 7 instead of Vista Ultimate, Changed one of it's two drives to a 256 Gb SSD and the other to a 500 Gb hard drive. It now runs and boots faster than my wife's brand new 8Gb Windows 8.1 laptop and of course has the wonderful 1920 x 1200 screen rather than my wife's 1920 x 1080 screen. After the fan started clicking it I replaced it - a major dismantling job. I was amazed at the amount of cat hair stuck between the fan and the cooling pipe vents.
 

theXguns

Estimable
Jun 29, 2014
4
0
4,510
0
Well IDK about you but I have an old computer here is the spec
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E8400 6M Cache 3.00GHz
4GB RAM
GTX 9800 vedio card
Before SSD it was really baaaaaad but after SSD it has become really fast now only downside is Processor

So I think you should add an SSD in place of DVD reader look at it in YouTube
 

JohnKau

Estimable
Feb 5, 2015
8
0
4,520
1
There are a couple of things you could do.

1) Get a 128gb SSD and put your OS and frequently used programs on it. (Or a bigger SSD if you have the budget for it)

2) Put your HDD on a optical drive bay HDD caddy and turn your optical drive bay into a HDD solution. (Gotta make sure your caddy fits)

3) Double your RAM to 8GB since you are a heavy multi-tasker.

4) Use a program like Razer Gaming Booster on top of your cleaning programs to reduce running processors when gaming or using photoshop.

5) Get a laptop cooling pad if your laptop is running over 80 degrees celsius and getting thermal throttled. (You might also want to blow out the dust from your heatsink and fan)

Determining which solution will work best for your laptop will require you to look into what is going on when you feel that your laptop slows down. You can download a program like Hardware Monitor to look at your CPU temps. And you can use windows task manager to look at your cpu, memory and disk utilization. The ones that are getting maxed out are most likely the ones that are bottlenecking your speed. So for instance if you find that you are constantly at 80-90% memory usage, a RAM upgrade would be great. If your disk is constantly being used even when you aren't doing anything, you might want to turn off some of the windows file indexing settings, or disable the responsible programs.
 

theXguns

Estimable
Jun 29, 2014
4
0
4,510
0
As I mentioned before about my old desktop one of its RAM was not working so I removed it and now I have 2GB RAM, with SSD I don't feel that low in RAM if the ram got full I will have a 1 sec lag so the ram remove the files to SSD and give me more space so SSD will solve to many problem

The SSD is the only part that will give you great speed of you added it
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
M Laptop General Discussion 1
I Laptop General Discussion 3
3 Laptop General Discussion 3
T Laptop General Discussion 2
G Laptop General Discussion 2
K Laptop General Discussion 2
M Laptop General Discussion 16
Karim2001 Laptop General Discussion 4
R Laptop General Discussion 6
lt24 Laptop General Discussion 2
W Laptop General Discussion 1
M Laptop General Discussion 8
C Laptop General Discussion 1
S Laptop General Discussion 5
I Laptop General Discussion 15
C Laptop General Discussion 8
A Laptop General Discussion 2
N Laptop General Discussion 9
Y Laptop General Discussion 3
E Laptop General Discussion 3

ASK THE COMMUNITY