Upgrade Your Music Laptop With A Second SSD

Although modern laptops have become very powerful, and are generally well able to handle most music production tasks, there may come a time when you need some extra oomph from your machine. At that point, you can either get a new laptop – or upgrade the one you have…

Laptop Computer Components

Music Macbook Laptop
If you are not familiar with the basics of computer hardware, then this guide to computer components might be a good starting point.

However, if you are thinking of upgrading a laptop for music production, you’re probably fairly familiar with the hardware already. Two areas that are easily modifiable in any laptop are the RAM and the hard drive. Adding extra memory provides a significant performance boost (particularly if you’re doing a lot of sampling) – just make sure you select the correct type of memory, and remember that a 32-bit OS can’t address more than 4GB of RAM.

The actual RAM installation process can be done in a matter of seconds – it’s just a case of unscrewing the memory bay cover, and inserting the memory chip into the slot.

Music Laptop – Hard Or Solid State Drives

Solid state drives have been around for a few years now, and prices have come down quite a bit since their launch – but perhaps not quite as much as expected, mainly due to slow uptake by OEM channels.

Currently, traditional hard drives provide the benefit of massive storage capacity and better write performance, while SSD is silent, light, fast and consumes less power. If your live sets rely on pulling lots of samples – for example, if you’re using Ableton Live – then an SSD might be a real boon. For tracking and studio work, a standard hard drive would probably still be the sensible option.

In an ideal music computer setup, you would have an entirely separate physical hard drive for your operating system, and another for your samples. On a desktop machine, this is very easy to implement, but there are very few laptops that come with two hard drives out of the box.

Adding A Second Storage Drive To A Laptop

Fortunately, there is a way to add a second hard drive or SSD to a laptop – if you are willing to ditch the optical drive. There are a number of companies who sell optical drive bay caddies; basically, you put your SSD into the caddy, remove the optical drive from your laptop, and replace it with the caddy.

DJ Tech Tools recently posted an article on how to upgrade a Macbook with a second drive; it’s a fairly straightforward process that doesn’t require a degree in electrical engineering, but merely an appropriately sized screwdriver…

On the other hand, if you are considering buying an entirely new laptop in the near future and the above seems a bit daunting, then you may want to refer to some of the information provided in this guide to choosing a new laptop


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