I have 3year old laptop Acer aspire 5742g specs are:
i5 480m up to 2.93ghz (4 threads)
GeForce 540m 1gb
6gb of ram DDR3
and 5400rpm HDD
I noticed that most of the time while working with After effects my CPU usage is 30% at maximum(except ram preview), but HDD struggles hard always being at 100% load.
My question is it worth upgrading it to lets say 120gb SSD for windows and after effects, and leave HDD for file storage? or buy 7200rpm HDD?
I heard that SSD can give good boost, if so which should I buy I'm thinking about Samsung EVO or Kingston.
An SSD will make Windows and programs load much faster, but data files on a 5400rpm drive are still going to be slow loading
If you do go SSD, the Samsung 840 Pro or Crucial M550 are better
Welcome to the forums!
First of all After Effects is very memory intensive so if you are going to invest in it you might want replace the two 4 GB modules to add more memory.
Forget that, I just checked and you cannot (according the ACER website) install more than 8 GB
Second, yes a good SSD might make a difference but since you have no room for another SSD and since your SATA connection for this device is most likely only SATA II, You cannot really take advantage of the SSD's full capabilities. You apparently have no room for two devices and you do not have eSATA or USB3 you are stuck with mediocre disk performance
One word of advice when you do any heavy duty processing you must have the notebook on AC power as all notebooks power down the CPU and GPU when on batteries, that may be the reason why you only show 30% CPU usage.
Unfortunately, outside of the advice to use AC power, I do not believe anything can be done to improve the performance