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1. Upgrade to SSD ($80 to $100)
There is no single upgrade that will improve your digital life more than going from a standard hard drive to an Solid State Drive (SSD). If you're still using a 7,200 rpm or (gasp) 5,400 rpm drive, you're wasting precious seconds of your life every time you boot, open a file or a launch a program. , you can be up and running in your favorite programs, including heavy applications like Photoshop, in just a few seconds. With SSD
The more RAM your notebook has, the less time it must spend writing to the Windows paging file on your hard drive (or SSD) to help make up for a lack of a physical memory. Since physical memory is infinitely faster than even the fastest SSD, you want to avoid your system needing to use that paging file whenever possible. Even better, if you have some memory to spare, you can create a RAM disk which will load your favorite programs much faster than even a speedy SSD.
Most of today's notebooks come with 4GB of RAM and moving from 4GB (or less) up to 8GB can provide significant performance gains. If you have DDR3 memory, the standard type since 2009, an 8GB kits (2 x 4GB DIMMs) will cost you $40 or less.
Since most notebooks have just two slots for RAM and come with both filled, you'll probably have to remove your existing RAM. However, if you do have a free slot, the cost of a 4GB DIMM is around $20. To find out what kind of memory your notebook takes, either consult your owner's manual or visit an online RAM configurator like the one on Crucial Memory's home page. Removing and replacing RAM on most notebooks is as simple as unscrewing a door on the bottom of the system, popping out the old chips and popping the new ones in.