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Trying to wring faster performance from an old laptop can be like trying to wring water from a rock. It doesn't matter how many startup programs you uninstall or how many times you "optimize" Windows. The choke-hold is that pokey old mechanical hard drive.
Before you chuck the whole laptop, though, consider installing a solid-state drive. It'll make the system run cooler, quieter and -- best of all -- quite a bit faster.
Which drive should you get? Here's a solid choice: the Samsung 850 EVO 512GB SSD for $134.99 shipped when you apply promo code SAVE15 at checkout.
This is a 2.5-inch SATA III internal drive, one that's suitable for desktops and laptops alike. (If you're upgrading a laptop, just make sure you're replacing a drive that's the same size. And if it's a desktop, you'll likely need to spring for mounting hardware -- and possibly SATA cables -- to affix the drive to your case.)
The good news is it comes with migration software to simply your move from your old drive. The bad news is, I suspect you'll need a USB-to-SATA cable so you can actually perform that migration.
Samsung backs the drive with a five-year warranty, which is fairly amazing. Even more impressive: The 850 Evo earned an amazing 4.6-star average from over 17,000 (!) Rakuten buyers.
SSD prices haven't budged much in recent years, and a mere $15 savings isn't what I'd call incredible. But if you're looking to squeeze a few more years out of your current PC, this is a fantastic upgrade option.