Upgrading laptop, advice

Okay so my girlfriends laptop is a bit dated shall we say, its a core i3 2GB ram system, and I am looking to upgrade it soon, so I was looking at a SSD and some more RAM.

Now as far as I know the laptop can only support 1066Mhz 8GB RAM tops, and all she does is web browse really, maybe some office documents here and there, nothing too major, so should I just shell out for a little extra RAM, or just get 4GB and leave it there? keep in mind she will use this when she goes to uni.

Also, the SSD I was looking at was a Intel 320 40GB, reason for this is she can use that for her programs, again mainly word, chrome and security programs (Malwarebytes/Avira) and the rest can be backed up onto an external 1TB drive I have, so would you go for this SSD over a standard HDD?


Get a cheap SSD. You won't see the performance benefit of a premium SSD anyways, and in terms of reliability, as she doesn't run a critical linux system, there is no economic benefit anyways.

4GB RAM is more than good enough for standard allround use, even for games (that are 32 bit anyways).

The SSD will make the most difference in performance, so I would get a standard SanDisk 128 GB SSD, which are about 60 USD right now. I use them also, they're dual layer bit depth, pretty reliable, and you don't need more performance for a laptop that still uses SATA and DDR2 memory. 128GB also guarantees that WIndows and basic applications can sit on it, without running into problems (a standard W7 install after updates is easily 60 GB, add a few applications and a few pics and docs, and you're looking at 80-90 GB, which is pretty much the top of safe operation for a 120 GB SSD). A 40 GB SSD will be already too populated for safe operation by just having Windows on it, without updates.

40GB is far too too low in my opinion.  A few things to bear in mind.  You never get the full advertised amount.  Maybe 90%.  Windows itself will take 15-20GB.  When full or near full the performance of a SSD will decrease.  It is therefore best to keep around 10% free.

I would definitely go SSD though, not HDD.  I would recommend the Crucial MX100 256GB.  In terms of bang for buck, it is one of the best on the market right now.  It is £75 from Amazon, at the time of writing.

In terms of RAM, 6GB will probably be more than enough, so yes an additional 4GB will most likely suffice.

I agree a 40gb ssd is a paper weight and cant even find anything lower than 60gb on newegg. For dollars more you can get atleast a 120gb. Don't go with cheap ssd's they can preform worse than mechanicals. I had to replace 15 ssd's recently because my boss bought some off of some super saver website instead of buying my recommendation which were 840 evo's and they sucked big time the WD Blues we replaced them with out performed them noticeably. Go Adata,corsair,kingston, or my fav samsung. Be careful with buying laptop ram, really go and check the manufactures exact specs  laptop motherboards/bioses are really picky with capacity,timings,clock etc. I did a ram upgrade on a laptop a couple months ago that would only allow an exact speed and different sizes in each slot. slot one took 4 or 8gb slot two only took 4gb I bought two 8gb sticks and was unable to use one the max gb was 12.  The best thing to do first is an ssd and a fresh fully stripped windows 7 pro install with all the bells turned off that will give it a lot of pep. I wouldn't spend more than $80 bucks on it its old and you could find a used one with better specs for about what you may pay in ram and ssd. I live in the states if your in europe especially eastern europe buy the ram too I know how much laptops cost there we always have to bring ones for my wife's family since they are mnogo leva in BG! Also get some canned air dust causes processors to get clocked back due to heat dissipation. 

4gb total ram and >200gb ssd. SSD prices are so low now, and another 2gb stick of ram will cost bugger all. Then switch to a 64bit os.