17 March 2010

Making the move to SSD

So I mentioned that I’ve taken the plunge into the world of netbooks.  I have to say, I really and truly love my Asus Eee PC, if for nothing else, the pure raw battery life it gives me (8 hrs+) is amazing!  Of course being an ubergeek when it comes to hardware, I’ve always been quick to jump in and tinker with my iron.  I’ve build my own PCs and servers for decades, so it would come as no surprise to anyone when I say I’ve already been looking at how I can soup up my netbook.
Of course the first way you soup up hardware is to upgrade the CPU.  Since my netbook runs on the Intel Atom 1.6 GHz processor, there probably isn’t much room for improvement there.  The next place we look is at memory.  My netbook runs Windows XP Home SP3.  I thought about dropping Win7 on there, but I had to weigh the advantages against my time for doing that and since I was still on a “trial run” with netbooks, I opted not to spend the time.  Maybe in the future some time, but for now, it does what I need it to do, on the go!  Anyway, having a 32 bit CPU means memory addressing is limited to just over 3 GB.  My netbook came with 1 GB so upping that would certainly help soup it up.  I checked and Crucial has a 2 GB module I can upgrade to for $50.  Sweet!
The next in line for upgrade is of course the hard drive.  Now, I’m not dissatisfied with the 160 GB HDD in my netbook at all.  Truth is that I wanted to get it with SSD, but the only models available has a mere 16 GB of space and that won’t cut it.  I use the netbook for a small amount of very specific, non space intensive tasks and don’t need much storage, but 16 GB just won’t cut it.  Enter Kingston with their SSDNow V-Series 40 GB Drive.  At $85 and with speeds (170 MB/s read, 40 MB/s write) that improve on the platter HDD, it’s an upgrade I’m ready to make.  I’d really want better write performance, but it’ll do since SSD provides awesome stability for on the go usage.  Who knows, if it performs well, I might even consider moving to SSD on some of my other computers.
Stay tuned… I’ll keep you posted as to how my souped up netbook is performing.


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