This might be comparing apples to oranges, but I know that one of these most likely gives a user a greater performance gain.
If given the chance to only have one:
Which is more likely to give the bigger performance boost, i5 to i7 or HDD to SSD?
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I would say that CPU upgrade will give bigger performance boost but HDD->SSD upgrade will reduce times of everyday operations like booting system, copying files, running applications. In my opinion SSD choice is better because difference will be more "visible" after changing HDD to SSD than i5 to i7.