Solved Should I buy SSDs or Hybrids

Hewlett-packard / Pavilion zv6100 (ec358ua#...
September 29, 2013 at 10:38:53
Specs: Windows XP Pro, 1.989 GHz / 2046 MB
I've made some assumptions in this post that I think are true but I need to hear it from this community before I start buying things I'll regret.

The new laptop I'm considering comes equipped with 2 drive bays plus a 24Gb mSATA SSD for caching. My assumptions are if I reconfigure the laptop to use the mSATA slot with a 128Gb or 256Gb mSATA SSD as my boot drive then I can fill the two drive bays with large HDDs for storage. If I'm not transferring large files then I would see no real benefits using SSDs for storage. 5400 rpm hybrid hard drives would be the better choice over standard 7200rpm HDDs because they'd perform better if/when I did transfer large files. Two 1Tb hybrid hard drives would cost me around $240, the middle of the road price for just one 256Gb SSD.

So, what do you think? Have I assumed correctly? Your suggestions and opinions would be appreciated. I'd also like to hear your recommendations on manufacturers and things to look for when purchasing an mSATA SSD. Thanks.


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#1
September 29, 2013 at 13:30:49
✔ Best Answer
My assumptions are if I reconfigure the laptop to use the mSATA slot with a 128Gb or 256Gb mSATA SSD as my boot drive then I can fill the two drive bays with large HDDs for storage.
You're assuming the laptop recognizes the mSATA as a valid boot device. Best to confirm it does before you move forward with your plan.

If I'm not transferring large files then I would see no real benefits using SSDs for storage.
There are a few big benefits. First of all, accessing your data becomes quicker. You might not notice the difference if you sit down and watch a movie from start to finish, but you might notice it takes less time to seek to some arbitrary point. Second of all, solid state drives are not as vulnerable to bumps as much as traditional or hybrid drives are. If you've ever seen someone kill a laptop by jostling it or bumping it, then you've seen the HDD take a lethal hit. Finally, certain maintenance tasks like defragging become obsolete.

5400 rpm hybrid hard drives would be the better choice over standard 7200rpm HDDs because they'd perform better if/when I did transfer large files.
The 1TB hybrid drives I'm seeing have a 64MB cache. So, these hybrids will have better performance for the first 64MB. Then they'll slow down to roughly 75% of the speed of a 7200RPM. Please note that I'm assuming the cache management adds negligible overhead on the hybrids. Hybrids are great for certain applications, like the WIndows Page file, and whenever you have a small amount of data you need to access frequently. Given my usage, I tend to be happier with a faster traditional drive.

Two 1Tb hybrid hard drives would cost me around $240, the middle of the road price for just one 256Gb SSD.
I hate to get personal, but what are you doing that requires 2.25TB (technically 2.05TB) of storage? My main PC / DVR only has 2 TB, complete with Win 7, Win XP, a non-working copy of Vista, and a years worth of TV. I'm only at 60% capacity, and once I delete the shows I've recorded but will probably never actually watch, I'll be well under the 50% mark.

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#2
September 29, 2013 at 15:02:46
Dang assumptions! I hadn't thought the mSATA might not be recognized. I'll have to check with the manufacturer. Your points on SSDs are valid. It's the price per Gig of storage against the amount of storage I want that's driving me here. I'll use 7200rpm drives rather than hybrids in my setup. I'll have to wait a little longer for the prices and capacities of SSDs to improve before I use them just for storage. I like to archive mostly TV shows, movies, music and radio shows which I do watch or listen to from time to time. Especially TV shows with a story arc. Watching an entire season, one episode after another can be fun for me. I average about 1Tb a year and have a couple of terabytes on disks because I don't have the storage. Someday I see a large NAS in my life.
Thanks for taking the time to address my post.

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#3
September 29, 2013 at 15:43:10
You can get a 120/128GB SSD for Windows and your main programs and a 2TB 7200 RPM Green drive for storage. This will make the micro SATA SSD unnecessary (save money) unless you can configure it for a Windows paging file.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
My opinion anyway.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#4
September 30, 2013 at 09:29:04
I will use 128 or 256Gb mSATA SSD as the OS + programs drive, and add 1 or 2 HDDs for data storage.

SSD best used as OS + programs drive, because the frequent access of the OS + programs files will be benefited from SSD faster seek and read times, thus improving overall system performance. OTOH, using SSD as data storage is waste of money, not only because it is much more expensive per Gb, also, data is not frequently accessed, thus will not much benefited from the SSD fast performance.

10 mSATA SSDs comparison:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...


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#5
September 30, 2013 at 20:46:16
Note: we have not established that the micro SSD is bootable so unless the OP needs more than a 2GB HD, the second bay should be SSD as the boot drive. If it can be verified that the micro SSD can be made bootable in BIOS, then that is an option.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
October 1, 2013 at 23:50:26
Razor2.3, Fingers, TaufiqRA:

Thank you all for your opinions and advice. I definatly would have made some mistakes had I not posted here. I'm waiting for a response from HP about reconfiguring the mSATA Acceleration Cache as a valid boot device.
I had completely forgotten that 2.5" form factor 2TB HDDs were available and thought "yeah! that's great". I started combing the internet for deals and coupons until I discovered the 2TB drives were 15mm tall. Care to hazard a quess which size HDDs will not fit in the laptop I'm considering? Fortunately, I found 1.5TB HGST Travelstar drives that are 9.5mm. I will post again when I get my answer from HP.

Thanks again,
-Mike


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