Essential guide to desktop and laptop solid-state drives
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Can you just plug a solid-state drive into a laptop and expect better performance? Or is there more to it than that? What do you need to consider? For example, are there any OS features that should be shut off after installing an SSD in a laptop?
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It depends on what you mean by "just plugging in" an SSD. First, you have to clone the hard drive, or at least the boot up image, to the SSD. But since most folks buy smaller SSDs than the HDDs in their laptops, they have to do a couple tasks first:
- Back up all of the data to an external drive
- Erase all of the movies, music, and large files not needed internally so that the data of the HDD fits onto the SSD
Then clone the drive. Instantly, you should see better performance. It will decline somewhat over time and then level off, but it will be much faster than with the HDD.
No OS features need to be turned off to get this boost. However, the OS should work with TRIM to provide efficient use of the SSD. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 work well with TRIM, with the following caveat: Windows 7 supports TRIM for ordinary AHCI drives and does not support this command for PCIe SSDs that are different type of devices, even if the device itself would accept the command. As of November 2011, Intel confirmed that that 7-series chipset with Rapid Storage Technology (RST) 11.2 drivers will support TRIM for RAID 0 in Microsoft Windows 7. Apple only supports TRIM on Apple-branded SSDs.
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