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By using a top-notched SSD (solid state drive), can a notebook feel faster than a desktop computer?

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I don't know where you're getting this idea that notebooks are slower than desktops. My laptop smokes my desktop. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 20 '10 at 9:12
This is very subjective... perhaps you should be more specific about what you're comparing. – Matt H Oct 20 '10 at 9:56

You would notice a performance difference in the laptop.

However other factors such as processor speed, amount of memory, motherboard will determine how much a difference it will make.

A slow processor, low memory and low-end motherboard etc the difference will be less obvious.

My laptop is far faster than my desktop even though it has a slower hard drive (5,400 RPM compared to the desktops 7,200 RPM).

It depends on what the spec is but having a SSD will improve the laptop speed and reliability if it's being bashed about a bit.

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If you are using Windows 7 ensure the hard drive is the slowest component on your system by comparing the 5 results from the Windows Experience Index.

If your hard drive is the slowest component then it might be worth upgrading the hard drive.

I upgraded from a 5400 rpm to a 7200 rpm drive on my laptop and it only increased the score by 0.3

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