It has been nearly a week since upgrading the old laptop to a solid state drive. The laptop is running Ubuntu 13.10, which was previously lagging using a standard hard drive.
Admittedly, the old drive was a 5400 rpm drive. There would be some improvement with a 7200 rpm drive; but, for about a similar cost, why not go for SSD?
If you are thinking about switching to SSD to speed up your computer a bit, especially for a version of Linux, there are modifications you can do to minimize wear and tear on the drive. In addition to increasing the longevity of the drive, the modifications also improve the performance of your drive by eliminating unnecessary reads and writes. Each version of Linux has recommendations you might want to Google.
I'll be eschewing unnecessary updates too. The performance is a little better than my Chromebook. I think I can keep it that way by not allowing updates to make it crufty. My usage mainly consists of using web services for work.