Worth upgrading HDD to SDD, HP Elitebook


New member
Apr 29, 2021
I have gotten an older laptop HP Elitebook 6390, it’s pretty darn slow, but just about manages to work as long as I don’t get too crazy with running applications or tabs

I wanna see if it would be worth upgrading from a normal mechanical hard disk to SSD. The HD has been making a lot more noise recently and I think it might be contributing to the system feeling slower than usual but would I be better off saving my money for an upgrade
Hello, welcome to the forum.

Looking up the laptop model - it’s from 2008 with a Core 2 Duo CPU. While an SSD upgrade might help a little, especially if the hard drive is making noises: if you want to continue using the laptop you probably will need a new disk sooner rather than later… it’s now a 13 year old laptop. If I were in your shoes I would be looking to just get a new one, you might be able to get away with putting Linux on it or similar to get some more life from it but nothing is getting away from the computer being ancient in PC terms.
So theres not much hope for this machine I guess

When you say ‘put Linux on it’ this is something I have heard about but never really tried, is it a simple process and what sort of improvement will I get if any
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The problem is that an SSD will help your machine boot faster and will load applications faster but other than that, doesn’t offer much speed benefit. I agree that it makes more sense to use the money you would spend on an SSD towards a newer laptop.
Linux is a little tricky sometimes but it is mostly point and click and works similar to Windows. I would suggest a lightweight system such as Lubuntu. You can download and make a CD or USB of it and install it on the laptop.

This will probably be okay for basic tasks, for example, web browsing and email but wouldn’t hold up much hope other than that. If you’re struggling along with Windows 10 on this laptop though you should find Lubuntu does run faster.

As mentioned though if I was in your shoes I’d be putting the money towards a new machine. Not sure where you are but here in the U.K. you’re looking at around £30-50 for a halfway decent SSD, whereas for less than £200 you could get a Chromebook or Windows cloudbook that will outperform your current laptop in every way.
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I’ve been asked to help advise whether this old laptop is worth upgrading with an SSD and additional RAM drive to speed it up. It is pretty laggy at the moment and is mainly used for internet access. Spec is:

Intel® Core™ i5-520M Processor 3M Cache, 2.40 GHz
2GB RAM (1 Slot Free)
32 Bit Operating System x64 Based Processor
Windows 10 Pro

Would swapping out the hard drive for a 250GB SSD bring a worthwhile performance improvement?

A budget Crucial BX500 240 GB is £28.49 on Amazon at the moment.

What about upgrading the RAM to say 8GB?

From a brief read, it seems if the RAM was upgraded to at least 4GB, it is possible and might be beneficial to upgrade Windows 10 to a 64-Bit Version?
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Upgrading the RAM to 8GB would be pointless unless the OS was upgraded to 64 bit which would mean a clean install with all apps re-installed as well.

Putting in an SSD would make the laptop feel a little snappier but really only speeds up boot time and program loading.

Basically, the RAM and SSD swap would give a performance boost but may not be enough to make the upgrade worthwhile.
I concur with @strollin. Any upgrades you do to this laptop will probably make it just about useful for basic web browsing but it will likely choke on sites such as Facebook or Youtube that are full of rich media and scripts.

An SSD and RAM upgrade will make it a little faster but you probably would be somewhat limited.

The i5-520M is now over 10 years old - potentially it will run okay on a Linux distribution but I wouldn’t really want to run Win10 on a machine of this vintage. I’ve got a Thinkpad that’s about 3 generations ahead of this one (Ivy Bridge) and my ThinkPad is starting to show it’s age.