Upgrade Your Netbook! 4 Lab-Tested Ways to Boost Performance



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> Unless you want to spend an arm and a leg on a high-capacity SSD, though, you’ll probably
> have to sacrifice storage space for speed.

But how much storage do you really need on a netbook?

You can get a 64GB SSD now for about a hundred bucks. Allowing 20GB for Windows—or much less for Linux, which is a much better choice for a netbook anyway—that leaves 40GB, certainly enough for my browsing, chatting, writing, and Skype-ing needs. And you know it's storage that's as fast and as low-power as possible, both big netbook plusses.

(Of course this wouldn't be a practical approach for people who download 10GB of porn per day—but I can't speak for them.)



Sorry—upgrade a $300 netbook by adding a $250 hard drive? Surely you jest.



Article says "But with 2GB of RAM, the 901 plowed through in a (comparatively) zippy 1,163 seconds—that’s nearly a 24 percent improvement."  But the math is wrong, improvement is 278 divided by original number 1441 (not the new lower number 1163).  So improvement is about 19%.



The ram upgrade recommendation is dubious at best, and an outright false claim at worst.  It makes no difference in benchmarks across the board.  Nobody in their right mind installs photoshop on a netbook.  I upgraded from 1gb to 2gb and did benchmarks with regular apps ie everything that a normal power user is going to run on a netbook, and the before and after results made absolutely no difference. 

I'd be happy to back it up with evidence, not sure if I can post links here in the forum, I'll come back later and see if anyone requests it.



This article is great, as I have a NB205 and this is pretty much exactly what I wanted to do with my new netbook.  Would someone be able to give me a direct link to the RAM used on the first page?



having an asus 1005ha i know for a fact that its battery is removable



Has anyone tested out a 4gb stick of ram in a netbook? I have the Toshiba NB205-312/BL.



I have two Acer Aspire One netbooks.  One runs Windows 7 with no problem whatsoever, the other runs Windows XP only because of the AT&T 3G network software.  Both run very well on the Intel Atom processors and handle things well with only 1GB of memory.  Netbooks with Windows Vista are the ones that are bound to have problems, simply because of Vista.  It's amazing what these two netbooks can accomplish, and that is why I agree that netbooks are NOT crap.



Newegg has a deal on ram atm: 





Netbooks were designed to be a more portable and affordable alternative to regular sized laptops, but that portability and affordability comes at a heavy cost in terms of performance. Anyone who doesn't want to sacrifice performance is welcome to buy an ultraportable, which are more powerful than netbooks without putting on much more weight, but are pretty pricey, or suffer the weight of lugging around a regular sized laptop.

 But for those looking for something light, offering better performance, yet without breaking the bank, these tips may provide very useful advice on how to improve their current netbook's performance without breaking the bank. Ultraportables cost over a grand. The recommended improvements would bring the price of a netbook to around 500 or 600 bucks. That would be around the price of a regular sized laptop, if you don't mind lugging around 5 or 6 pounds around with you on a constant basis.

Netbooks serve a particular purpose and have found appeal to a huge market. Just because you think that netbooks are crappy doesn't mean you are right.



I can vouch for WIndows 7. It made a huge difference on my Acer Aspire One (1.6 atom, 160gb hdd, 1.5gb ram). Not only is is faster, but using the media streaming features of WMP saves a TON of HDD space.



Nice article. Do you think there could be an article on how to get Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my Netbook? BTW, Thanks for the battle.net account info! I'm gonna play some Starcraft after it gets done downloading.



Which netbook do you have? It was a nightmare to get working on mine...



I have an Acer Aspire One series netbook, it says Model ZG5...

N270 cpu, 1 GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 8 inch screen.  This must be one of the "evil" netbooks Nathan talked about in the article, because it has one small removeable panel on the bottom that accesses....nothing!

There are 3 screws along the front edge of the bottom and another three under the removeable battery.  I was able to carefully pry up the front edge of the keyboard panel to about halfway back, where it seemed to be fastened with another, hidden screw on each side!  Am I missing some easy pop-out tab here?  Or is this truely an evil Wal-mart purchase that is only intended to be replaced and not upgraded?

I would like to upgrade the RAM and possibly the HDD to an SSD.  And if anybody knows, is that one removeable panel intended for some upgrade?  It looks about the size of one of those PCI-e SSDs also mentioned in Nathan's article.



It looked good, i skimmed through the article.  I have already done pretty much everything on this list to my Dell mini 9.  It is a nice running machine for what it does.



You could have listed the netbooks that allowed easy access to the
harddrive.  That is a major factor.  The hard drive MUST be accessible without taking the thing apart. You pointed out that the
toshiba had easy access but was screwed down with T6 torx screws.  Big
deal.  If a person doesn't have or doesn't know how to go to hardware
store and buy a T6 screwdriver, they shouldn't replace  the harddrive.  

You could have pointed out which netbooks come with an internal cd drive.  I consider that a minimum.  Frankly, I got so frustrated with your article that I didn't read it
all but it would have been great (please forgive if you got around to
it) if you would have explained to customers why it is so important to
buy a netbook with an internal cd drive.  I am constantly explaining
that to clients.

And of course, I want a list of the netbooks that have RAM that is easy to access.

Three paragraphs with lists would have made me happy.  As it were, the article is a waste of time.  I have spent an hour looking for info where someone has compiled that info.

I would also like to know which older netbooks can be upgraded to Windows 7.





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