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Looking for a new primary hard drive? (SSD vs SSHD)

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June 28, 2013 5:20:19 AM

Hello,

I'm currently using a 75GB HDD for my primary hard drive and use 2 x 160GB HDD for secondary.

I was thinking of buying a new hard drive to increase my boot up time and to have more capacity on the primary hard drive for additional programs such as Microsoft office. There is no need for games on it.

What is the difference between the SSD and SSHD?
Which one should i go for? (They're about the same price in the UK for a 128GB SSD and a 750GB SSHD)

Thanks,
keemann
a b G Storage
June 28, 2013 5:49:12 AM

SSD = Solid state drive, SSHD = ?. Are you referencing a hybrid drive? If so a hybrid drive uses a mechanical drive (traditional HDD) paired with a SSD as a caching drive. Faster than a SSD, but less capacity than a HDD.
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Best solution

July 12, 2013 6:07:24 PM

Keemann said:
I'm currently using a 75GB HDD for my primary hard drive and use 2 x 160GB HDD for secondary.
...
What is the difference between the SSD and SSHD?
Which one should i go for? (They're about the same price in the UK for a 128GB SSD and a 750GB SSHD)

The primary factor I think you have to consider is, how much space do you need (now and in the future)?

If you're only looking to add 40% more space to your primary for apps and such, and you're pretty sure you'll not need more than that for a good while, then the SSD is the way to go, for consistently higher performance.

If you think you might need more space than that (don't underestimate your future needs), then the SSHD is the solution. It's almost as fast as an SSD in (most) everyday use and has more than enough space for all your apps, and then some. You could even move your secondary data to the SSHD and save on electricity, unless the 2x160 is some kind of speedy RAID and you absolutely need that performance.

Because the SSHD uses the large memory storage as a massive cache, it dramatically increases efficiency if you do the same things over and over -- for example if you open MS Office, the very first time you open it it might take, what, 10-30 seconds? Then it's cached so the next time you open it it will take 1-5 seconds. If you use the same set of apps and data frequently then you'll consistently see performance rivaling an SSD, but you still have the availability of all that storage for big files, movies, photo libraries, databases, whatever.

The downside is that anything that isn't cached is still accessed at HD speeds, that is, 1/10th as fast. So if you're loading a big project into AfterEffects, the app itself might open quickly but the project will take the same time as it does now. At least, the first time you open it it will. Next time... yeah you get the point.

Effectively, for everyday use, if you want to future-proof your system for future storage needs, get the SSHD. If you want to really max performance, or you have a ton (10GB+) of apps that you swap between all the time, and space isn't a big deal, then the SSD.

For me, that decision led me to getting the new Seagate SSHD 1TB drive for my laptop. It's much faster than the stock drive, even though the HDD portion is "only" 5400 RPM. And with 1TB to throw around, I don't have to keep making decisions as to which apps or movies I want to delete next.

One thing I CAN tell you -- either way you choose, you'll be upgrading, so as long as you don't second-guess your decision later I'm sure you'll be happy with your choice. :) 

Seth
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July 13, 2013 5:59:26 PM

junglefish said:
Keemann said:
I'm currently using a 75GB HDD for my primary hard drive and use 2 x 160GB HDD for secondary.
...
What is the difference between the SSD and SSHD?
Which one should i go for? (They're about the same price in the UK for a 128GB SSD and a 750GB SSHD)

The primary factor I think you have to consider is, how much space do you need (now and in the future)?

If you're only looking to add 40% more space to your primary for apps and such, and you're pretty sure you'll not need more than that for a good while, then the SSD is the way to go, for consistently higher performance.

If you think you might need more space than that (don't underestimate your future needs), then the SSHD is the solution. It's almost as fast as an SSD in (most) everyday use and has more than enough space for all your apps, and then some. You could even move your secondary data to the SSHD and save on electricity, unless the 2x160 is some kind of speedy RAID and you absolutely need that performance.

Because the SSHD uses the large memory storage as a massive cache, it dramatically increases efficiency if you do the same things over and over -- for example if you open MS Office, the very first time you open it it might take, what, 10-30 seconds? Then it's cached so the next time you open it it will take 1-5 seconds. If you use the same set of apps and data frequently then you'll consistently see performance rivaling an SSD, but you still have the availability of all that storage for big files, movies, photo libraries, databases, whatever.

The downside is that anything that isn't cached is still accessed at HD speeds, that is, 1/10th as fast. So if you're loading a big project into AfterEffects, the app itself might open quickly but the project will take the same time as it does now. At least, the first time you open it it will. Next time... yeah you get the point.

Effectively, for everyday use, if you want to future-proof your system for future storage needs, get the SSHD. If you want to really max performance, or you have a ton (10GB+) of apps that you swap between all the time, and space isn't a big deal, then the SSD.

For me, that decision led me to getting the new Seagate SSHD 1TB drive for my laptop. It's much faster than the stock drive, even though the HDD portion is "only" 5400 RPM. And with 1TB to throw around, I don't have to keep making decisions as to which apps or movies I want to delete next.

One thing I CAN tell you -- either way you choose, you'll be upgrading, so as long as you don't second-guess your decision later I'm sure you'll be happy with your choice. :) 

Seth


Hello Seth,

Great answer btw! Just the sort of help i was looking for.

For the future, i want speed and high performance as well as storage space. Therefore, i feel that the SSHD is the way to go but to increase performance for my PC, i was thinking the SSD - Just having Windows 7 installed on that. Then if i was to sell my 3 current HDDs and replace it with an SSHD as my secondary which will have games, movies and various other programs. I don't store any games on my primary hard drive.

Would you say that is a good way to future proof my PC? Or just get the SSHD for the primary and keep the current hard drives for secondaries?

Thanks keemann.
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November 8, 2013 3:53:26 PM

Hi Keeman,

Sorry I didn't see your followup question. You've probably already made your decision by now, but for those who haven't yet:

I've been using an SSD in my workstation at work, and I have a SSHD in my laptop at home. There is a definite, noticeable, and very agreeable speed increase with the SSD. Not as much with the SSHD -- although it's faster, it's still not as fast as an SSD so I do find myself waiting longer than I'd like for an app to open (especially Microsoft apps).

While the systems aren't the same and I'm not using them for the same things, I would say that if I had the money I would go for SSD every time. The speed just doesn't compare. On the other hand, I've filled up half of my 1TB SSHD drive, and I definitely value the sheer amount of space that it provides. And while my company can easily cover a large-ish SSD for work, I personally am not able to afford 1TB or even 512MB of SSD for my home machine, so I still stand by my choice.

Ultimately it comes down to this: there is NO way to future-proof your computer. :)  The thing you have to decide is whether fast response is more important than large storage (or if you're willing to pay a premium for both fast and large). If so, get the SSD every time. Don't even hesitate. Otherwise, if money's a consideration, I still think the SSHD is a good upgrade from a plain-jane HDD, and quite affordable.

One other choice that sounds like it might be the best one for you -- a hybrid SSD/HDD system. Intel's new "Smart Response Technology" is a way to use a SSD and HDD drive together, much like the SSHD does but even more effectively since the SSD part can be as large as you like, thus improving the chances of a speedy interaction. This is especially useful if you have a SMALL SSD (65GB or less) (https://www-ssl.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architectur...) Apple has a similar solution available in their new Mac Mini and iMac machines that intelligently re-organizes your files in the background to try to maximize your performance (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5446).

To address your proposed solution directly: YES having Windows on an SSD will definitely improve your experience, especially if it's large enough to allow for a large system cache and the installation of your most-used programs. (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/275438-32-caching-sma...). I would put your most-played games on that list of most-used programs, if you have room for them. Movies, music, email, documents, etc? Those can go on the big slow drive.

Hope this helped someone. ;) 
Seth
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