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Get a 64GB internal SSD for $54.99 shipped

That's your price after a $25 mail-in rebate, but it's still a sweet deal on a speedy solid-state drive--and a great upgrade for laptops.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

Solid-state drives (SSDs) have improved considerably over the years, to the point where they're now a highly preferable alternative to traditional hard drives.

Indeed, a good SSD is usually significantly faster, and it consumes less power--a big consideration for laptop users. Also, because it has no moving parts, it's much less susceptible to damage.

Alas, SSDs still cost quite a bit more than hard drives. But they're getting a bit cheaper all the time, and here's a prime example: Newegg has the Patriot Torqx 2 64GB internal SSD for $54.99 shipped. That's after redeeming a $25 mail-in rebate (PDF).

Granted, 64GB is not a lot of storage. But that didn't stop me from swapping out the 320GB hard drive in my new HP Pavilion dm1z for a very similar drive just last week. The fact is, I don't need much storage in a laptop--and I wanted to see if SSDs lived up to the hype.

Yep. My drive cut Windows' boot time in half (literally--I timed it) and made programs like my Web browser load twice as fast. My only complaint? I paid $99 for it, not $54.99. D'oh!

However, that was a SATA III drive, and the Torqx 2 has a SATA II interface. That said, check the user reviews; looks like this drive is plenty fast--and still faster than virtually any hard drive.

The Torqx 2 ships without a 3.5-inch adapter, so if you're planning to install it in a desktop, you'll need to pick one up. Also, if it's going to take the place of an existing drive, you'll need a USB-to-SATA adapter (the most indispensable tool in my PC repair kit) so you can image that drive to the SSD before installing it.

Ultimately, I think this is a fine "starter" SSD for users looking to dip a toe into these waters. If you're looking to breathe new life into an old-ish laptop or want to experiment with running Windows from an SSD (while keeping data on a bigger drive), this is a mighty affordable way to get started.

Bonus deal: Game time! GameStop has the super-fun Mirror's Edge (Win) for $4.99. Run, jump, and fight your way across rooftops, ledges, and other dizzying locales. Well worth five bucks, IMHO.