Which Upgrades Will Improve Your PC or Laptop Performance the Most?



lenovo s2010 touch upgrade SSD and RAM

There are three things that you can upgrade in a Laptop: ‘Storage Drive’, ‘RAM’, and then the ‘software’. But which of these are most effective in improving the PC speeds. Let’s find out!

Which upgrades Improve Laptop performance covers the below Topics:

  • What hardware you can upgrade in a laptop
  • Which hardware upgrade significantly improves system speed
  • Is it worth upgrading older laptops
  • Why you should upgrade your Laptop hardware
  • Does upgrading RAM makes more sense
  • Or Replacing hard drive with SSD will be the right upgrade
  • Or should you upgrade RAM and HDD both to get maximum performance
  • And finally, is it affordable and right to upgrade an impeding laptop?

Before buying my new laptop i.e. Dell 7560, I had a Lenovo S210 Touch laptop which is powered by a Pentium 4 Dual-core 2nd generation processor.

When it was new, it was doing great. And with great here I mean it was working without any performance lag. I was using it for video editing using Camtasia and other normal stuff such as browsing and working on Office apps like Powerpoint and Word.

lenovo s2010 touch upgrade SSD and RAM

But after 6 months and so, I saw a steady decline in the performance. ‘That must be due to a lot of issues with the software’ is what I thought earlier and did a fresh Windows 7 installation.

But that didn’t help as after installing the required software and drivers, the laptop started acting in the same way. I checked RAM and saw that the system was struggling for the RAM as it had only 2GB DDR3 RAM.

So it turned out that not only my laptop’s hardware degraded over the time but it also needs additional RAM even when it’s running Chrome in Windows 7.

However, the processor was the most affected because I have used the laptop on the bed and suffocated it by using it on pillows and beddings. That used to block the ventilation and was causing the processor to overheat which degraded its performance over the time.

Upgrades I did to My Laptop

Since I can’t change processor in the laptop, I bought an 8GB DDR3 RAM. That was a significant upgrade from 2GB to 8GB since it has only one DIMM slot. But guess what, the performance did increase and I wasn’t feeling much lag and programs were quite responsive but the system was still quite slow.

For instance, after RAM upgrade when I ran Chrome, it opened faster than earlier but still took a few seconds to just pop and then load completely. Plus, the boot was too slow and even when the system used to boot completely, it was taking a while before I can use it.

That was the time when I thought of buying SSD and replacing the impeding hard drive with a 128GB SSD drive. So I bought a SAMSUNG EVO 750 SSD for INR 2900 and used the Samsung cloning app to clone my Windows 7 installation along with all programs. I had to shrink C: drive to clone the size of SSD as you need either same or more space on the destination drive to begin cloning.

After cloning, I installed the SSD in the laptop and instantaneously, I saw a huge impact on the performance.

The system boots within a few seconds and as soon as I log in, I don’t have to wait even for a second to open chrome. One click and Chrome pops up like a bullet. You will be surprised to know that this laptop the Lenovo S210 has SATA 2 interface not SATA 3. Thus, read/write speeds are limited to 300MB/s but still, the system performs drastically well.
Now I use this laptop, which I was going to sell for pennies, as a secondary laptop due to it’s smaller size. And the upgrades cost me somewhere around 5500 INR or roughly $77 USD.

I was blown away by the performance increment. It never worked that well even when it was new. So, this concludes that RAM and SSD can increase the life of your laptop for at least the next 1 to 2 years. Meanwhile, you can save more money for the new laptop and buy even better.

It’s just $77 upgrade and I think most people can invest that much. However, if you don’t want to invest and want to see some minor improvement, you may use Disk Defragmenter, Disable unnecessary Startup utilities using CCleaner or Task Manager, keep all software & drivers up to date and install Windows updates as they arrive.

So to conclude this post, storage media and RAM are the two crucial upgrades that can significantly improve PC performance. Mostly RAM is to be blamed. Today, even Android phones are coming with 8 and 10 GB RAM. It’s another thing that Android phones don’t need that much RAM but the point is, Windows does need at least 8GB RAM today. Especially if you run Windows 10.

So go ahead, upgrade, and let me know if that revives your dying laptop.

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Written by Ravi Singh

An Avid learner, a Tech Enthusiast and the Founder of TechPosts. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel for HowTo Video Guides and reviews.

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  1. My laptop is Acer 3000 LC running on mobile AMD sempron Processor with RAM 750 MB. I want to upgrade the RAM and the HDD. The operating system is windows 7 home, upgraded from windows xp home. Please suggest how to upgrade the laptop now running on a 40 GB HDD. The RAM was upgraded to that much only on a windows XP platform & could not be upgraded further. Please suggest if RAM can be upgraded now as it is running Windows 7 home.

    • You can upgrade to 2GB DDR RAM and replace HDD with SSD. That’ll do the job and system will perform much much better. And depending on the kind of usages, such as browsing and office apps, it may last another year or more.
      But before upgrading, check if your Acer laptop has one or two RAM slots. My guess is two and if there are two, get 1GB additional RAM and an SSD. That’s it!
      Good luck!

  2. It has two RAM slots. One RAM can be replaced with a 2GB RAM otherwise one 2GB has to kept. Suggest one model of SSD with capacity so that I can purchase it.

    • Get an 860Evo 250GB or 500GB from Samsung, whichever comes within your budget. The SSD will last very long so even after this system dies, SSD can be used in newer PC or laptop.
      And your system i.e. processor supports max. 2GB DDR RAM.

  3. I am getting 2GB DDR2 RAM from Amazon, not getting 2GB DDR RAM! Will my system support DDR2 RAM? Also I am getting the SSD from Amazon, but I have a question. Does this SSD come with cable so that cloning of the HDD can be done prior to it’s installation? Does Samsung provide necessary cloning software along with the SSD?

    • Only DDR RAM will work. Do not buy DDR2. Also, no SSD manufacturer provides additional enclosure or such cable. You need to buy a SATA2/3 to USB cable or 2.5″ SSD/HDD enclosure separately.
      Cloning software is provided by Samsung and it works like a charm!

  4. I opened the HDD today and seems to have PATA interface and connected to a PATA port & not a SATA. I want to show you the HDD, so that I can decide whether I should buy a Samsung SSD having a SATA interface. I can’t identity whether my HDD on my laptop has a PATA or a SATA interface. If I purchase the SSD having a SATA interface I won’t be able to replace the HDD and connect the SSD internally. In that case I will have to connect it externally with a cable. How can I identity whether my present HDD runs on a PATA or a SATA interface?

  5. The picture shows exactly the left HDD carrying multiple pins and similar to the one I have. Which means I won’t be able to connect SSD internally! I have found two RAM which are DDR type & matching with the specifications you have recommended. Now this puts me in a dilemma because I won’t be able to get SSD connected internally!

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