Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

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old_noob
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Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by old_noob »

I have an Acer Aspire AOD270 netbook with an Atom N2800 CPU (1.86ghz, dual core) and a 5400rpm HDD. Now that a 128GB SSD is available for about $20 US, I've been thinking about getting one for this machine and eking a couple more years of useful life out of it. However, the extremely low power of the CPU concerns me. I've heard it compared to a calculator and that is probably not much of an exaggeration. So my question is, will a cheap SSD make a meaningful difference or will I be throttled by the processor? If an SSD won't help much, it can live out its days as a full time monitor for the wifi cameras in the barn and kennel, but I find this little laptop extremely handy for travelling even with the occasional frustration with its slowness. Opinions?

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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by Pjotr »

In this case: won't help much, I expect....
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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by MurphCID »

Pjotr wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:21 pm
In this case: won't help much, I expect....
I will disagree with Sensei here, I think it will help some.

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absque fenestris
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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by absque fenestris »

Hi old_noob

You can try out a new SSD in your netbook or use it in a newer device or externally - so no value loss (...$20...)

The question is: how much RAM has the netbook installed - there are apparently versions with 1 or 2 GB RAM.

With 2 GB RAM + new SSD, you should definitely be able to run Mint 18.3 (Xfce or MATE). Certainly not a racehorse, but it works...
(see my Acer Netbook in the signature)
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

old_noob
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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by old_noob »

MurphCID wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:30 pm
Pjotr wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:21 pm
In this case: won't help much, I expect....
I will disagree with Sensei here, I think it will help some.
Can you define "some"? 25%, 50%...

old_noob
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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by old_noob »

absque fenestris wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:01 pm
Hi old_noob

You can try out a new SSD in your netbook or use it in a newer device or externally - so no value loss (...$20...)

The question is: how much RAM has the netbook installed - there are apparently versions with 1 or 2 GB RAM.

With 2 GB RAM + new SSD, you should definitely be able to run Mint 18.3 (Xfce or MATE). Certainly not a racehorse, but it works...
(see my Acer Netbook in the signature)
Well, I have 2 other devices the SSD could go to so at a $20 price the major cost is the time required to install it. But I like fiddling with stuff anyway...

I have 3GB of usable RAM - 4 installed but the processor will only use 3. Currently running 19.1 with no issues other than super slow boot times and poor performance from Libre Office.

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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by sgtor »

How fast is your SATA version? that will be the real factor. I did the research on this a few years ago before I bought my ssd drive. I forgot the exact commands I used so I had to look it up again.

Code: Select all

sudo apt install hdparm

Code: Select all

sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda | egrep "Model|speed|Transport"
Source:https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-com ... ink-speed/

So I think most SSD drives are 6Gb/s unless newer ones are faster now, you wont get that speed, you'll only get the fastest speed of your SATA version. My SATA is only 3Gb/s but I still went ahead because 3Gb/s is still faster then my HDD was.

The actual speed of doing things on my computer is a little faster and smoother but not a whole lot, for me it was worth it though. I think with your laptop it probably won't be noticeable. The real speed increase though is boot time. I went from 1m30s to 20s boot time. Yours won't be that fast with your dual processor but I think it might be a bit faster. You can also add in the benefit of no hard drive failures due to knocking or shaking your laptop by mistake so consider that as well. For $20 why even ask, just do it. lol

Lastly though please tell me where I can get an SSD for $20? Or was that just hyperbole?

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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by old_noob »

sgtor wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:49 pm
Lastly though please tell me where I can get an SSD for $20? Or was that just hyperbole?
If you are in the US, ebay, Newegg, Amazon or plenty of other places... prices have plummeted in the last few months, especially for smaller capacity (<256G) drives. Can't comment on other locations but I suspect they are fairly cheap just about everywhere. Even the very good Samsung drives are affordable now.

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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by sgtor »

old_noob wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:02 pm
sgtor wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:49 pm
Lastly though please tell me where I can get an SSD for $20? Or was that just hyperbole?
If you are in the US, ebay, Newegg, Amazon or plenty of other places... prices have plummeted in the last few months, especially for smaller capacity (<256G) drives. Can't comment on other locations but I suspect they are fairly cheap just about everywhere. Even the very good Samsung drives are affordable now.
I just did a quick search and yeah, wow that is super cheap. Here in Canada it's about $31 for a 120GB at walmart but that is still super cheap. I may just grab one for my old laptop for that price.

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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by rene »

Warning; the AOD270 has GMA3600 graphics for which only ever (32-bit) Windows 7 and binary Linux drivers that were compatible only upto Ubuntu 12, i.e., kernel version 3.2 were released. This is to say that for example your HDMI port won't work after installing Linux, but also that e.g. video acceleration isn't available --- which given the puny Atom N2600 CPU is not something to shrug off; the machine will graphically basically limp along on anything but Windows 7 32-bit.

But that said, boot- and load-time will with an SSD improve approximately as dramatically as with any other HDD upgrade; the CPU may be puny but not anywhere near the point of throttling it. So if you insist (and certainly if you gave it 2G rather than 1G) ...


old_noob
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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by old_noob »

Good articles. I ran MX for awhile on the notebook and may go back to it, or Peppermint. I like having Mint on everything but MX does seem to boot and open apps about 10-20% faster.

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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by lsemmens »

For $20, it's a cheap test, if it works GREAT, if not, then all you have lost is a bit of time, and you have a SSD for another, more powerful, machine that will see an advantage over a platter.
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old_noob
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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by old_noob »

Okay, I finally did this, had some store credit at Best Buy for a gift return...

The process was incredibly easy. It took all of 10 minutes, including giving the insides a little cleaning. Mint 19.3 XFCE installed without a hitch, in about 1/3 the time it took with the original HDD.

It now boots in 20 seconds instead of 1min40s. Powers off almost instantly, less than 2 seconds. Opens Thunderbird twice as fast, Libre Office almost 3X as fast. Haven't fooled with it for long but battery life appears improved by about 25%. Definitely worth the (small) cost and hassle. The feeble CPU is still very noticeable but overall a significant improvement. And I have another spare drive for backups now.

On the downside, I spent a big chunk of today setting up my shiny new Windows work laptop :x

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Re: Is an SSD worth it for an old netbook?

Post by RollyShed »

I upped the RAM to 2GB and fitted an SSD to our eeMachines Netbook. Partly the SSD because it is our travelling machine and if dropped, as long as the screen survives it should still work. A spinning mechanical HD might not.

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