The Data Hog: 500 Gb To 2 Tb
Youre a gamer, and you like playing more than one game. If this sounds like you, we hate to break it to you, but youre going to need a lot of storage. Heres just a small sample of popular titles with respective installed sizes:
- X – Plane
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Doom 4
- Mass Effect Andromeda
As you can see, PC games have a voracious appetite for disk space. If youre looking to run a game, youre going to need the extra space.
This extends to other applications as well. If you need to install the entire Adobe Suite for work, youre going to be taking up a significant amount of space on your computer before you even begin to work with the applications. Similarly, if youre a developer and you want to install multiple developer environments like Xcode, Unity, or Android Studio, this will take up space on your machine and be resource-intensive.
Wrapping Up The Installation
If youve cloned your drive there isnt really any wrap up to speak of: you should be able to boot right back into your computer as if nothing happened .
If youre installing your operating system from scratch now is the time to plug in your installation media and boot the machine. Youll likely need to make a pit stop in the BIOS and change the boot order so that removable media/USB drives rank above the DVD drive/hard drive.
After installing your operating system we would highly recommend revisiting the imaging technique we talked about in an earlier section of this article. Install the operating system, update all the drivers, install your applications, and before you actually begin using the machine take a moment to make an image of the drive. This will be your reset-to-zero recovery image should you desire to wipe the machine and start fresh . We cant tell you how many times weve not taken our own advice regarding creating a virgin disk image of a new installation and how many times weve regretted it. Its a huge time saver to spend a few extra minutes making the disk image before putting the machine into regular use.
Dell Xps 15 Ssd Upgrade Results
The benefit of updating to a faster SSD is apparent when you run some benchmarks. You can also “feel” the difference in everyday usage, whether loading a giant video game, transferring large files, rendering a video for output, or even just booting Windows.
Here is a direct before and after comparison of the SSD the XPS 15 ships with and the Samsung SSDs, using benchmarks from CrystalDiskMark .
|250 MB/s||212 MB/s|
The most significant improvement is the sequential write speed. That’s important for many “pro” users out there who need to render video or do heavy lifting. If you are just consuming media or playing games, you still get a noticeable bump but it’s not as impressive.
Overall, swapping an SSD on a new laptop can be a complicated experience, but the rewards may be worth it. If, however, you are a computer hardare novice and do not feel comfortable with this process, try to just buy the appropiate configuration at your time of purchase.
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More Games Coming
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Installing Your New Drive In A Desktop Pc
This process is a bit more involved than on a laptop, but the good news is that getting the case off and accessing the drive is typically a lot easier than on most laptops.
Youll need a standard Philips-head screwdriver and a SATA cable. If youre completely replacing a single drive, you can use the SATA cable thats already in place. Your power supply probably has a free SATA power connectionmultiple plugs are often availablebut if not, youll need an adapter cable. If youre working in an area thats particularly prone to static electricity, youll want to use an anti-static bracelet as well. If you built your own PC, the screws needed to install your new drive should have come with the caseI hope you kept the box of accessories. If not, youll need to get some replacement screws. Finally, youll want a bowl or a cup to hold screws.
Power down your machine and remove all cables, then move it to your work area. This should be a cool, dry spot thats easy to access, preferably without carpet below you. If you know the configuration of your computers internal parts, feel free to place it at the most accessible angle. If you dont, just leave it uprightyou may have to take multiple panels off for a full installation.
Note: If you cant see either a larger 3.5-inch drive or a smaller 2.5-inch drive, it might be mounted in an alternate spot. In newer designs this is often behind the motherboard itselfremove the opposite access panel to check.
Ssd Types: Sata Or Pcie Nvme
Typical mainstream hard drives use the same SATA interface as mechanical hard drives, but that connection is limited to about 550 megabytes per second, which is still four or five times more bandwidth than a hard drive uses. However, some more expensive laptops use drives based on the PCIe-NVMe standard, which is sometimes listed as just NVMe or PCIe but is the same thing.
The fastest PCIe-NVMe SSDs on the market can theoretically read and write at four or five times the speed of a SATA unit, but most PCIe-NVMe drives we test are 1.5 to three times quicker than an equivalent SATA drive. Where a typical SATA SSD might return a rate of 150 to 175 MBps on the LAPTOP File Transfer Test, which involves reading and writing 4.97GB of files at the same time, a normal PCIe-NVMe SSD will get between 250 and 500 MBps. Some high-end gaming systems have dual PCIe-NVMe SSDs that work together in what’s called a RAID array, and those can get rates of over 1,000 MBps on our test.
Unfortunately, not all PCIe-NVMe SSDs are created equal. For example, the ThinkPad Yoga 370 that we tested had a 256GB Toshiba PCIe SSD that managed only 145.7 MBps on our test, less than most SATA-based systems. As a consumer, your best bet is to check benchmark reviews like ours to see how the drive in your potential laptop performed.
Bottom Line: An NVMe-PCIe SSD is a nice-to-have if you can afford it.
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Clone Your Hard Drive
Finally, it’s time to clone your drive to the SSD.
1. Install disk cloning software. For this tutorial, we’re using EaseUS Todo Backup Free, which is free for personal use, has a user-friendly interface, and also optimizes the migration to an SSD.
2. Select the source and destination drives in the cloning software. In EaseUS Todo Backup, select the “Clone” option from the main menu. Follow the wizard to select your source disk and your destination .
Note in particular that you should tick the “Optimize for SSD” option when you select the destination drive. This makes sure the sectors are aligned on your SSD and improves your chances of booting from the SSD after the cloning process.
3. Review the layout and start cloning. In the next screen, you’ll be able to compare the source drive with your SSD. As you see below, EaseUS automatically adjusts for different-sized drives by using the unallocated space on your current drive .
Performing A Clean Installation
There are also advantages to just performing a clean installation of your operating system on your new drive. The big one is that you get to start fresh. No old program installations hanging around its a fresh copy of your OS without the clutter. You get to set it the way you want, and only install what you want.
The downside, of course, is that you have to do all that. While it typically goes faster than transferring your OS to the new drive, doing a clean installation does mean that youll have reinstall the apps and games you want, and restore your personal files from backup . Youll also need make sure you have access to your applications for reinstallation. If you installed them from DVD or downloaded the installation files, youll need to find thosealong with any necessary activation keys.
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Want To Replace Dell Inspiron Laptop Hard Drive
âI have a Dell Inspiron laptop with 500GB hard disk drive and it is running Windows 10. Now, I want to replace it with an SSD to improve boot and reading & writing speed. The problem is that I donât want to reinstall my Windows operating system and all other applications on the newly purchased SSD. So can you tell me how to replace a hard drive in a Dell laptop with SSD without reinstalling?â
Easiest Way To Replace Alienware Hard Drive
Alienware hard drive replacement could solve many problems. But how to replace Alienware hard drive without losing data? Please clone entire hard drive to another one with powerful hard drive cloning software before replacing to protect everything important.
The all-in-one Dell SSD cloning software – AOMEI Backupper Professional will help you clone Alienware hard drive and replace it easily, and itâs available on Dell Alienware, Asus, Sony, HP, Samsung, Lenovo or other computers. The supported Windows operating system includes Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 .
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Should I Upgrade My Storage Later
Laptop makers almost always charge more for moving from a hard drive to an SSD or small SSD to big SSD than it would cost to buy your own drive on the aftermarket. For example, you could upgrade to a 512GB SSD for under $150 by buying your own, when it cost $250 to $400 to custom configure it. However, not every laptop is upgradable, so you could void your warranty, and, if you don’t know what you’re doing, damage your computer.
However, if you’re a fairly tech-savvy person, you may want to consider how upgradable a laptop’s storage is before you buy it. You can find out whether a notebook can be upgraded and the type of SSD it takes by visiting Crucial’s Advisor tool.
Bottom Line: Doing your own upgrades can save money but be aware of the risks.
How Can I Increase My Laptops Storage Space
I use a Dell 15-5577 laptop with 8GB of memory for music production and graphic design. The problem is that its 256GB SSD is not enough to store all my projects. An external drive is not an option because I want everything in the same drawer and its a pain to carry it everywhere with me. I need help with how to swap out my existing SSD with a larger capacity one, say 512GB. While Im at it, should I also upgrade memory?
The Dell Inspiron 15-5577 was sold as an affordable 15.6in gaming laptop with an Intel Core i5 or i7 Kaby Lake processor and an Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics chip. It costs from £799 to £1,299 depending on the processor, graphics, storage and type of screen installed. It also has an Ethernet port, three USB 3.0 ports and a full-size SD card slot.
Reviews suggested the base-level screen was somewhat lacking and one said the 256GB SSD was slow. However, if your machines screen meets your needs then it is a good specification for your purposes.
Now you can get extra benefits from its ability to handle upgrades. You should certainly be able to do these yourself, with the help of the service manual and couple of YouTube videos.
Theres only one screw to hold the back on your laptop, so physically installing an M2 SSD and an 8GB memory module is a two-minute job. With some upgradeable laptops, it can take longer to get the back off.
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How Fast Does My Drive Need To Be
The default answer here is as fast as you can afford. That said, if youre upgrading from a hard drive to an SSD, youre going to be blown away by the speed increase no matter what. So you might not want to splurge on the fastest SSD you can get. Getting more storage on an SSD will be more important to most people than getting more speed.
If youre buying a regular drive, speed is generally expressed in RPMthe revolutions per minute of the spinning data platters. 5400 RPM is a typical speed for inexpensive drives , with 7200 RPM drives also being quite common. Some high-performance hard drives are offered at 10,000 RPM, but these have been mostly superseded by faster SSDs.
Theres another option here, if your choice is limited to a conventional hard drive. Hybrid drives combine a large, standard hard drive with a small cache of flash storage. This wont magically make your hard drive as fast as an SSD, but the file caching can make a considerable improvement if youre constantly accessing mostly the same programs and files. It might be worth the small price premium versus a standard hard drive.
Tools You Need To Upgrade Dell Xps 15 Ssd
You need Torx and Philips screwdrivers and a small pry tool to help remove the bottom cover on the XPS 15.
You may have your own tools, but I picked up the . Ignore the “for Apple” marketing, as this kit has all bits you’ll need for this job, including a Torx T5 screwdriver. It was a mere $14 and includes every tool you will need to work on electronics like a laptop, and it will also likely come in handy in the future.
If you want to purchase some screws in anticipating of having to replace them this $10 kit has the right M2*3 screws that will fit. They’re also regular Philips screws, which will be more convenient later if you need to remove the cover again.
Finally, if you are backing up your old SSD using option three via an SSD enclosure with a USB connection make sure to get one of those too.
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Selecting The New Drive
Once youve properly backed up and imaged your disk the next step is selecting your drive. While you might have assumed this section of the tutorial would talk about drive storage size that component of the process is completely at your discretion based on how much space you need. All we have to say about drive sizes is that given the falling price of SSD models wed recommend against buying anything smaller than a 120GB drive and encourage you to aim more for the 250GB mark or bigger .
The really important consideration in drive selection isnt the storage size but the physical size. First there is the footprint of the drive: laptops use 2.5 drives and not the larger 3.5 drives found in desktop computers. . So thats the first consideration: you need to buy a 2.5 form factor drive.
The other consideration, and one less obvious than the 3.5 vs. 2.5 form factor distinction, is the thickness of the drive. 2.5 form factor drives come in three thicknesses: 12.5mm, 9.5 mm, and 7 mm. The 12.5 mm thick drives are relatively uncommon and generally only found in beefy workstation-replacement type laptops, are mechanical, and are higher capacity . The 9.5 mm thick is the most common mechanical 2.5 hdd thickness. Solid state drives are, almost universally, are 7 mm thick .
Preparation Choose Your New Hard Drive
If you have bought a new hard drive home, you may directly skip this part and follow the guide to install the new hard drive or SSD.
If you haven’t yet chosen a suitable drive, here below are some critical factors that may help you to decide which drive you would like to apply and install on your computer – a regular hard drive or an SSD disk.
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Why Upgrade The Ssd In Your Xps 15
There are two reasons to upgrade your SSD in the XPS 15: more storage and more speed.
Maybe you thought the 256GB in your XPS 15 would be enough, but now with lower prices for flash storage, a 1TB SSD would be nice and roomy. And even though your current drive is faster than an old spinning-disk hard drive, it can load apps and save large files even quicker.
You can pick up a new 500GB Samsung for around $150. Dell charges $200 for an SSD upgrade when you buy the device, and you don’t know which SSD brand you get.
What Is An M2 Ssd And Do I Need One What About A 25
Sometimes laptop manufacturers will label the SSD in a system as being either M.2 or 2.5-inch. These designations refer to the physical size, shape and connector on the drive, not to its performance. So, unless you plan to upgrade your laptop in the future, you shouldn’t care what design the SSD is.
A 2.5-inch SSD, the most common type, is the same size and shape as a mechanical hard drive, allowing it to pop into the same drive bays, which is convenient for manufacturers and home upgraders. However, since SSDs use chips instead of magnetic platters, they can take up a lot less space than a hard drive. M.2 SSDs are thin memory sticks that look a lot like RAM DIMMs and pop into slots on the motherboard.
A laptop with an M.2 SSD may use the SATA interface or the faster PCIe-NVMe interface. If a manufacturer labels a drive as M.2 256GB SSD, and doesn’t mention PCIe, assume that it is SATA, which would make it the same speed as a 2.5-inch SSD. Whatever type you get, you can upgrade an M.2 SSD as long as you can safely open up the laptop and access the slot.
Bottom Line: Don’t worry about your drive’s form factor.
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