SSD + OLD HARDWARE = DECENT PERFORMANCE
If you are trying to breathe some new life into an older PC then a cheap SSD is definitely the way to go. During this little experiment I took a look at how Xubuntu 14.04 ran on my Emachine T1090 while using a cheap KingSpec solid state drive. The Emachine did not originally ship with SATA ports so I used a Syba SATA card to connect the drive to the system. Though the drive was capable of reaching read speeds around 250MB/s and write speeds close to 90MB/s it was limited by the SATA card which was using a PCI interface and thus only able to reach SATA I speeds.
The system was much more responsive while using the SSD compared to when the OS was installed on a traditional spinning Segate hard drive. Instead to taking several minutes for the computer to boot, like it did with the HDD, it only took one minute and thirty seconds to boot while utilizing the SSD. Applications were much faster and generally more responsive as well. Most of the applications I selected took under 10 seconds to open even when I had many running simultaneously. The drive also helped when the system ran out of memory, transfer of data to the swap file was much snappier and instead of grinding to a halt the system just took a little longer to respond.
Throwing in a SSD will not solve all of your problems. I was still limited by the CPU and RAM so web browsing and video playback were painfully slow and jerky. Moving to a lighter web browser did not really help nor did swapping video players make any difference.
Despite the small drawbacks encountered I was still impressed by the system’s overall performance with a SSD installed. On my YouTube video someone mentioned that the system would perform even better with something like Windows 2000 or XP installed. I agree with them, but for this video I wanted to demo the system using a modern / supported OS.
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW FOR MORE!