questionsshould i upgrade my laptop with a ssd now?

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Yes, it makes sense to upgrade your laptop now. The Samsung deal is OK at about $1 per gig. I have seen some lesser brands for 20% less per gig, but you could do worse than Samsung.

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Newegg today: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147134&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL080212&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL080212-_-EMC-080212-Index-_-SSD-_-20147134-L0F

$100 after coupon. The desktop kit comes with the mounting adapter, etc. which you won't need for a laptop install but can be useful for a desktop another time.

The consensus is that the Samsung 830, Crucial m4, and Intel SSD are the most reliable. Power consumption, the Samsung wins by far. My take - go for it!

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I'm skeptical. I still don't think that an SSD is a true upgrade. I think it has its place in harsh environments but for general purpose use a standard platter-style HDD will be a better choice.

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Bought this from Newegg a few weeks ago.

It is on sale w/rebate for $80. now, I paid $60. w/rebate.

Here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227706

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Thanks guys. I have a new question: Any recommendations for a good HDD (2.5") portable enclosure? I've been trying to find one without many negative reviews of failure/DOA but it seems impossible! I have an eSATA/USB 3.0 on my laptop, so that's a good option.

@narfcake: I need the laptop kit since Samsung SSD's are extra-slim and wouldn't fit perfectly. The bare-bone kit-less SSD is actually $99 on newegg.

@lumpthar: Why don't you think it's an upgrade? I've read about many cases where old laptops seem "new" after swapping out a HDD for SDD.

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Genuine question, prompted by @lumpthar's response: aren't SSDs typically lighter than a HDD? And are faster, resulting in a quicker read of the drive and booting more quickly? I think I'm at the extreme end of worrying about the weight of my laptop (due to a disability), but I can imagine anyone appreciating a reduction in the weight of their laptop, and after moving to a laptop with an SSD that boots instantaneously, I also deeply appreciate the convenience of that.

I think that I may need to replace or augment my 11" netbook with a laptop with a larger screen and an SSD is one of the specs that I'd been seeking: hence my questions!

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@neuropsychosocial: I'm not sure about lighter, but SSD's are much faster than HDD's and also consume less power (so you can stay on that battery longer!)

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@4khaos: Maybe I'm suffering from old thinking, but don't they have a finite number of times that data can be written? Isn't that far less than the mean-time-between-failures for many platter drives?

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@lumpthar: Yes, there is a finite number of cycles, but the same can still be said about platters too.

Having dealt with hard drives even before the days in which the ST-225 was king, I would take MTBF with a grain of salt. I've seen old ST-4096 80 megabyte Seagates exceed its MTBF by huge margins, and ones with 7-digit MTBF fail in an hour. The thing is, the number is extrapolated from lab tests in a perfect environment, and is not a true guarantee of a drive's long term reliability or durability.

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@lumpthar: That's true for really old SSD's, but current consumer SSD's are good enough that you'll be wanting to replace your computer before the SSD fails. It's just as likely that the HDD will fail by that time too since it has moving parts.

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@4khaos: there are lots and lots of enclosures. A search of Meritline for "2.5 enclosure" got 55 hits: http://www.meritline.com/newsearch.aspx?SearchTerm=2.5+enclosure&page=1 Also watch their daily special pages. Enclosures pop up all the time there. Some laptops have space for a second drive so double check that option as well.

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If you can wait a few months it will be cheaper.

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@nortonsark: Thanks a lot! I've never seen that site before, but it has a lot of enclosures I haven't seen yet at great prices.

@jimsace: Besides the fact that all electronics get cheaper if you wait, is there any particular reason to wait a few months?

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Wait? No, not if you need/want it now. Prices are good. Memory prices always fall in the fall with the back to school specials. Since they started those so early this year, I think now is a fine time to buy.
Also, an SSD is NOT instant boot up, that also depends on how many programs are in your start menu. It will be faster than a 5400 HDD. Just don't believe all the hype. I have also noticed a small increase in internet connection speed. I assume that has something to do with the read/write or cache on the HD. Not a big difference, but I noticed it. Going from a netbook with a minor grade processor to something a bit larger with a better processor will also make a noticeable difference. It all depends on what you are doing!

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I'm really uncomfortable with the reliability of SSD drives. I've got a friend who's had 6 SSDs fail in two years - not all the same brand. I upgraded to a Momentus XT hybrid. 750GB, 8GB SSD cache. If the cache fails, it's still faster than my old 5400rpm drive and the drive will still work with NO data loss, and lots more space than an SSD.

My 3 year old laptop feels twice as fast now.

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All drives fail eventually. I have had lots of hard drives fail on me, but so far no SSD's. I strongly advise use of monitoring software to warn you of drive problems. I use Hard Disk Sentinel: http://www.hdsentinel.com/

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@lumpthar: I'm skeptical. I still don't think that an SSD is a true upgrade. I think it has its place in harsh environments but for general purpose use a standard platter-style HDD will be a better choice.

Says a man with a B&W TV.....

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@ddulie: You are almost 2 years late for a response.