Solved Is an SSD faster than Optane-cached hard drive?

Dell Inspiron 17-7737 intel core i7 4500...
October 6, 2017 at 21:15:00
Specs: Windows 10, Corei7/16gb
I just received a Dell XPS 8920 with a Core i7-7700 cpu, 16gb of ram and Optane memory with a 1tb hard drive. I would like to install an SSD instead of having the Optane/hard drive combo. First, is this practical from a performance standpoint as I do a lot of heavy multi-tasking(if this would be an issue) and second, is the SSD faster than the Optane/hard drive combo? I come here for 'real-world' answers instead what some tech brochure tells me what is better on paper. Is what I want to do worth the trouble? All replies and opinions are greatly respected and appreciated.

Loretta

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✔ Best Answer
October 7, 2017 at 10:01:54
A hybrid drive is a compromise between the performance of an SSD and the lower cost of a conventional drive. Like all compromises it has advantages and disadvantages. The SSD in the drive in question is certainly fast and no doubt has some very sophisticated software to take maximum advantage of it. But in the final analysis the SSD is a still a cache. Caches are great but they do have some inherent limitations. A big limitation is that when reading they do no good at all when the data requested isn't in the cache. With a 32 GB cache most of your data won't be. But with smart caching most of the data you use often will be. How well that will work for you in the real world is hard to say and there is no single right answer.

I don't think the performance of such a drive would compare favorably with a properly managed SSD of 120 GB or larger SSD for the OS and a 1 TB conventional drive for data. But it isn't really a fair comparison either.

Having an SSD for the OS and a separate drive for data often doesn't work well for novices.They will accept the defaults for where everything is saved and no problems will initially be evident. Until they run out of space on the SSD and discover that the larger conventional drive is largely unused. It takes a bit of knowledge and intelligence to properly manage this but experienced users generally have no serious problems.



#1
October 7, 2017 at 02:23:27
This may help you to decide:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/reason...


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#2
October 7, 2017 at 05:32:27
that's a pretty vicious critique of it - n'est-ce-pas...

Mind you there' no end of devices and fudges etc. which claim to more than they really are... Possibly this is yet another?


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#3
October 7, 2017 at 05:46:47
Most of the criticism relates to cost. But, if you've already paid that cost, what's the point of changing it? Although poor value the review says it's the fastest drive available.

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#4
October 7, 2017 at 08:17:27
From what I've seen, the underlying tech, the 3D XPoint stuff, could result in the fastest SSD out there. That said, you've only got 32GB/64GB of the stuff. There's a reason why hybrid disks failed. The never really know if you're going to get SSD speeds, HDD speeds, or sleeping HDD speeds, and most hybrids only really work well in benchmark settings, where the data being tested is unlikely to fall out of the cache. You keep all of the weaknesses of both types of drives, and hybrids can be very power hungry. (Makes sense, right? Instead of powering one drive, you now have to power two drives.)

The only way you could keep the performance Intel touts would be to limit everything you do to your SSD based cache, and if you already can fit everything inside of a SSD that small, there's no reason not to have an SSD.

So yeah, not a fan of hybrids, but I'm willing to be proven wrong.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#5
October 7, 2017 at 10:01:54
✔ Best Answer
A hybrid drive is a compromise between the performance of an SSD and the lower cost of a conventional drive. Like all compromises it has advantages and disadvantages. The SSD in the drive in question is certainly fast and no doubt has some very sophisticated software to take maximum advantage of it. But in the final analysis the SSD is a still a cache. Caches are great but they do have some inherent limitations. A big limitation is that when reading they do no good at all when the data requested isn't in the cache. With a 32 GB cache most of your data won't be. But with smart caching most of the data you use often will be. How well that will work for you in the real world is hard to say and there is no single right answer.

I don't think the performance of such a drive would compare favorably with a properly managed SSD of 120 GB or larger SSD for the OS and a 1 TB conventional drive for data. But it isn't really a fair comparison either.

Having an SSD for the OS and a separate drive for data often doesn't work well for novices.They will accept the defaults for where everything is saved and no problems will initially be evident. Until they run out of space on the SSD and discover that the larger conventional drive is largely unused. It takes a bit of knowledge and intelligence to properly manage this but experienced users generally have no serious problems.


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#6
October 7, 2017 at 10:51:46
Thanks for all of the replies. LMiller7...you make great points and make great sense at virtually every turn!

This computer didn't cost me anything. I have a spare SSD that didn't cost me anything either so I thought I would install it because I have SSD's in all of my PC's and am used to that kind of performance. Now, I know that when Intel comes out with, say, a cpu that runs at 2.4ghz and they already have a cpu that runs at 2.2ghz, the people in general will say 'the 2.4ghz is faster than the 2.2ghz' because 2.4 is greater than 2.2. That is not always the case in real-world everyday applications. I have known this for 20 years or longer. It's mostly about how it is marketed. It's the new shiny object 'thingy' that grabs people's attention. It's not a knock on people in general....it's just the way it is and I hope that no one here will take offense to that opinion. But in this case when Intel comes out with a new 'shiny object' I am always skeptical for the reasons I have given here and...in the end...that is the reason I am here. The knowledge and opinions given here carry a lot of weight with me and my brother as well when he was here. So again thanks to all for their input on this.

Rod


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#7
October 7, 2017 at 20:49:34
One more thing....do I need to remove the optane memory module before installing the SSD? I have already migrated the OS to the SSD using AOEMI Partition Assistant software with no issues.

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#8
October 11, 2017 at 12:04:28
I accomplished exactly what I wanted to do without any glitches or hiccups and I say thanks again for all of the input that I received here. All of these years later...you guys are still the cats! Grazie molto!

Loretta


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