How to speed up an aging MacBook with a solid state drive

Handpicked

Nice three-page feature by Ars Technica: How to speed up an aging MacBook with a solid state drive, with good pieces of advice, detailed photos and benchmarks. Particularly interesting since the MacBook being upgraded was an original 2.0 GHz Core Duo (32-bit) white MacBook.

With the Mercury Extreme Pro 3G installed, the MacBook suddenly seemed like a new machine. Boot times decreased from 33 seconds to just over 20 seconds. Logging into my user account, which includes a few small apps that launch at login as well as a cluttered desktop full of performance-robbing file icons, went from 45 seconds to just 10 seconds. Waking from sleep was nearly instant, whereas I was used to watching a spinning beach ball for as long as ten seconds while the hard drive spun up and paged-in virtual memory.

Operations that are largely CPU bound didn’t seem any different, but anything that hit the disk was suddenly much, much faster. Applications that took several seconds to launch before launched almost instantly. Office and Creative Suite apps launched so fast I could no longer read all the various “Loading…” messages on the splash screen. And Safari could load dozens of previous tabs in seconds instead of what used to seem like minutes.

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