Can I Upgrade My Asus Eee PC 1015PEM To A SSD?
I have been hearing some buzz about Solid State Drives(SSD). They're basically flash drives that replaces your Hard Disk Drive(HDD). Supposedly, by simply upgrading your HDD to an SSD, it will give you the best performance increase out of any other upgrade. This includes RAM. Wanting to learn more, I crawled onto Wikipedia and YouTube to gather my data. After I transferred this data into my brain, it was processed and I was sold. It was true. An SSD will make everything perform better on my netbook. Boot up, and opening programs will be faster. Battery life will also improve. Basically, whenever you see that hard drive light blinking, the HDD is spinning. Spinning takes energy.
How exactly does an SSD work and how does it compare to an HDD?
Overview Of SSD
SSD's by definition, are storage mediums that have no moving parts. SSD's include all flash storage media such as SDHC cards, MircoSD cards, and USB thumb drives. The SSD we are talking about is a little different. It has a different type of controller than a standard USB drive but they are inherently the same. A SSD primarily will benefit mobile devices the most. Since SSD do not have moving parts, they require less energy. This is very important for people with laptops and netbooks. The iPad also has a SSD. Power consumption can also benefit on trending devices like tablets. Power consumption can mean a few things. Of course battery life will improve but heat is also decreased. Since there is no moving part, friction is out of the equation. Friction creates heat.
On HDD, there is a head and a spinning disk. The disk holds the data. The head is in charge of reading and writing the data. HDD have been around for many years. Recent improvements consist of more storage space and better performance. Usually, a HDD spins at 5400 RPM but higher performance HDD spin at 7200 RPM. HDD are ideal where power consumption is not a big issue. HDD are great for static computers like servers, desktops, and desktop replacements. Basically, if you have a computer that is always plugged in, an HDD is fine. Since HDD have been on the market for a long time, they are also much cheaper than SSD. The capacity of HDD is also much greater. It's not uncommon to find a 500GB or 1TB HDD for under $200.
In terms of sheer performance, SSD is a significant improvement over HDD. Since SSD is flash memory, accessing and writing data is much faster than HDD. If you visualize how your USB drive works, it feels electrical. You plug in your USB thumb drive and your computer access the data with no moving parts. Move some files, delete some folders. It's done. Lets visualize how a HDD works. You plug in the power of an external HDD, and connect it to your computer. The disk spins and the head moves in order to access and write data. Since there is moving parts, the disk needs to spin and the head needs to move in order to access data. On a SSD, data access is much faster. Especially on a fragmented HDD, the head will move to various opposite sides of the disk through your daily use. This creates a bogging effect. As CPU's and RAM reach a relative peak, data access and HDD becomes the bottleneck of your computer. With an SSD, boot up and opening programs becomes much faster than HDD.
Let's say you're like me and you're interested in upgrading to a SDD. Bottom line, how much? You can get a 64GB SSD today for about $100. Crazy, I know! Only 64GB? Yeah, 64GB is nothing compared to the storage you can get from a HDD. For $100, you can easily go to the store and walk out with a 250GB HDD. SDD's are extremely expensive. They are not very cost effective. However, the benefits for me outweighed the flaws. Yes they're expensive but they will make my netbook run faster and improve its battery life. I've made up my mind. I'm going to upgrade my Asus Eee PC to a SSD.
How hard can it be right? Just take out the HDD and replace it with the SSD. This is where my heart sunk. After another look, There is no compartment for the hard drive. I see one for the RAM but the hard drive compartment is missing. I did a quick search. Oh no! There is no easy way to replace the hard drive. Someone performed this task on YouTube and it looks way too complicated. You need to remove the keyboard and dig into the device in order to access the HDD. What the heck? Why would you do this Asus? You made it easier to upgrade on preview Eee PC models. Why change a working formula? One of the biggest appeal of the Asus Eee PC line is it's ease of use and ease of modification. The Eee PC line have always accepted Ubuntu well. This community of Linux users loves to tinker and modify things. Why make it harder for us?
Asus 1015 P.I.T.A
I sat back chair for a minute thinking and weighing my options. On one hand, I could say, “Fuck it, I'll do it anyway. I'll install that SSD!” On the other hand, it is a fairly new netbook. I've only had it for a few months and I don't want to break it. Then I weighed in some more thoughts. Do I really need a SSD on this netbook? Sure it will make it run faster but it's not like I'm going to be gaming on this thing. Yeah, it will improve the battery life but the battery life is pretty good as it is. I get a good 6-8 hours on a single charge. Then, I looked into something that did it for me. Price. $100 for a 64GB SSD is very expensive. Yes, I don't really need that much memory on a netbook but that means I have to give up this 250GB HDD. In terms of storage space, it's a downgrade. I also considered price of the netbook plus the upgrade. I bought this netbook for $368. Add $100 on top of that and it becomes a $468 netbook! This is where I decided to kill my dream. I can't justify spending $468 on a netbook. All of these little upgrades add up and it becomes rather pointless to modify this thing. I could add a SSD, more RAM and that will tip the scale at $500. a $500 netbook with integrated graphics? No thanks. When it comes to technology and gadgets, I'm weak. My impulses get the best of me and I say, “I deserve it!” We all have our Kryptonite. I think Asus was telling me not to buy a SSD. They probably knew their demographic so well, they said, “Adroit Alien is going to want to upgrade to a SSD. Let's make it so hard for him. We'll be doing him a favor. We'll save him money!” Thanks Asus! Always thinking of the customer. So to answer the question, yes you can upgrade your 1015PEM to a SSD. The real question is, are you willing to pay the price and dissect your netbook? My answer was a sad, "No." What do you think?