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Trim is mostly a software feature and Ubuntu supports automatic trimming since 14.04 LTS.Sure HHDs are cheap and might last longer in an safe environment, but a single headcrash and your new shiny HHD is damaged beyond recovery. Another problem is the maximum RAM on older mainboards and I have yet to see an older Laptop supporting 16Gb of RAM.In my opinion solid state memory is better for an old laptop while your idea with a new hdd is better for a tower pc
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