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Confused about SSDs

Last response: in Components
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March 17, 2014 8:18:44 AM

Hi there,

I am very far along the process of choosing my new laptop but I am just trying to refine a few final details.

I think I understand fairly well the significance of Sold State Drives with less moving parts and thus faster access times etc. but I don't quite grasp what difference I will notice if the SSD is down as an mSATA or actually as another hard drive.

Can anyone also give me a quick recap master class very briefly on the added benefits of SSDs, what sizes are suited to what and how to configure/use them best and most effectively?

Many thanks.

More about : confused ssds

a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
March 17, 2014 8:33:42 AM

The only differences you will notice initially are faster boot and launch times. In a few days/weeks you won't even notice those anymore. The greater benefit from an SSD is increased reliability. No moving parts. If that doesn't float your boat you might want to stick with a HHD.
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
March 17, 2014 8:36:10 AM

SSDs are better all the way around. First they are fast. Game, Programs, and your OS will load much faster.
My Windows 7 laptop is booting in 4 sec on an SSD. Also, data transfer will be much faster.
They are also much tougher. because they have no moving parts they can handle quite a bit of abuse.
It really depends on your budget. If you have a second HDD for file storage a 120GB should be good.
Because you are getting a laptop a 2nd hard drive is probably not there, so you should go with at least 240GB.
For the best configuration make sure you have a clean install of your OS with the newest drivers.
Also, make sure you have TRIM enabled. An SSD really improves things.
Programs will perform much better with an SSD. (Like Photoshop)
I highly recommend SSDs. They yield huge performance increases.
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
March 17, 2014 8:37:48 AM

Windows configures the SSD when it is installed. The only user option that should be set, if for some reason it is not, is in BIOS, to make sure any SATA ports are functioning in AHCI mode rather than IDE mode.

The benefits of an SSD stem from access time. Hard drives with their need to position a head over a track are generally slower in all forms of access. SSDs can access every bit of information at approximately the same speed, so random access performance is exceptional, and regular access is often many times greater than a spinning platter hard drive.

Whether your SSD plugs in where your hard drive would be, or in an mSATA slot shouldn't matter to you in the end.

SSDs require less power to run than a hard drive, so you should see increased battery life from using one, though I don't know off-hand how much you can expect up-time to increase by.
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
March 17, 2014 8:39:15 AM

ssd speed is about the same for msata like a sata3 normal ssd drive.
(difference is size :D  - for example the newest intel nuc's don't have enough room for a 2.5" inch drive)
depending on the laptop, you may only have 1 hdd space so a msata that's smaller let's you have both a fast system drive (ssd) and a normal sized slower hdd for movies and stuff you don't need as fast.

hdd versus ssd is a huge step up in terms on speed. there's no way to describe it really until you actually get one and benchmarks don't tell the whole story. http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/ssd-recommendation-benchm...

normally a ssd would be best suited as a system drive keeping all your programs installed + the games you play most (120gb-240gb depending on your budget). and a second hdd much larger (1tb+) to keep everything else - music, movies, stuff you don't need as often and which is ok to be slightly slower. (for example movies it doesn't matter that you read them at 20mb/second or 500mb/s since you play them at about 5-ish mb/second)

there are alternatives in case you don't want the hassle of keeping track where each thing is - seagate sshd(which is a hdd+sdd cache) or the small cache solution on the article above or wd black2 which is a 1tb hdd+ 120gb ssd both fully exposed on 1 drive
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Best solution

a b G Storage
March 17, 2014 8:40:39 AM

ram1009 said:
The only differences you will notice initially are faster boot and launch times. In a few days/weeks you won't even notice those anymore. The greater benefit from an SSD is increased reliability. No moving parts. If that doesn't float your boat you might want to stick with a HHD.


That is WAY off the mark. On a laptop, an SSD is the best upgrade you can make. You will always notice the instant access times and 10-15 second boot times. Everything is snappier, and you get what you want the instant you want it, which is nice. If you are doing mainly web browsing and Word processing, then there really isn't a need to get any more than a 120GB SSD. If you plan on storing media, then get a separate HDD, or if you plan on using the PC solely as a media PC, an SSD is not for you. If you plan on doing some gaming, maybe some content creation, the 240-500GB range would be better for you. HDD an SSD reliability are pretty much comparable, as an SSD will not always last longer than an HDD, or vice versa. However, SSDs are far more DURABLE, which can be invaluable in a laptop. The best thing about SSDs is that they are relatively low maintenance. You do not need to defragment them (in fact, it is bad to defragment an SSD, as it makes unnecessary writes to the drive, which can eventually kill the NAND flash), and you can just use them like a normal HDD, and they will just sit there and be fast.
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a b D Laptop
a c 144 G Storage
March 17, 2014 8:52:47 AM

mSATA SSD is as same as the regular SSD but it is a smaller. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA And most laptop will use either 7mm or 9mm SSD.

For the size, you will use the 250/256GB at least. But if your laptop is not the main computer, I meam you don't use the laptop for all daily usage, you have other computer for the games something like that, you can use the 120/128GB SSD. When you install the ssd into the laptop, the laptop will boot faster, load the program faster, those are the main benefits you got.
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a b D Laptop
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March 17, 2014 9:31:59 AM

expl0itfinder said:
ram1009 said:
The only differences you will notice initially are faster boot and launch times. In a few days/weeks you won't even notice those anymore. The greater benefit from an SSD is increased reliability. No moving parts. If that doesn't float your boat you might want to stick with a HHD.


That is WAY off the mark. On a laptop, an SSD is the best upgrade you can make. You will always notice the instant access times and 10-15 second boot times. Everything is snappier, and you get what you want the instant you want it, which is nice. If you are doing mainly web browsing and Word processing, then there really isn't a need to get any more than a 120GB SSD. If you plan on storing media, then get a separate HDD, or if you plan on using the PC solely as a media PC, an SSD is not for you. If you plan on doing some gaming, maybe some content creation, the 240-500GB range would be better for you. HDD an SSD reliability are pretty much comparable, as an SSD will not always last longer than an HDD, or vice versa. However, SSDs are far more DURABLE, which can be invaluable in a laptop. The best thing about SSDs is that they are relatively low maintenance. You do not need to defragment them (in fact, it is bad to defragment an SSD, as it makes unnecessary writes to the drive, which can eventually kill the NAND flash), and you can just use them like a normal HDD, and they will just sit there and be fast.


I'm sure all those benefits are true for you but for me (and I think the average user) the speed benefits of an SSD go unnoticed after a period of normalization. I'm not trying to badmouth SSDs. I've simply read too many posts of people lured in by the promise of speed that will change their lives and it simply isn't true or even the best reason to invest in an SSD.
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a b D Laptop
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March 17, 2014 9:59:26 AM

Also, regardless of how fast an SSD may be, the rest of the system can hinder performance as well. Nothing in life is instant, and expressing that things become so simply by the addition of an SSD seems rather misleading, as though you're trying to sell someone a car, perhaps. :-P While an SSD can be a great boost to performance, for those who have been using SSDs for some time, the boost really does become commonplace with time and familiarity.
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a b D Laptop
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March 17, 2014 10:06:45 AM

Also there is the good idea to use the Seagate Hybrid Drives SSHD for the laptop too, because it is less expensive and more space, fast boot too. I got one from newegg, which is the refurbished one, 500GB is for ~$60. I put it into my laotop to try, and it works well but you need to reboot the laptop for a couple of times then the laptop will boot faster too.
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a b D Laptop
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March 17, 2014 11:49:41 AM

bigpinkdragon286 said:
Also, regardless of how fast an SSD may be, the rest of the system can hinder performance as well. Nothing in life is instant, and expressing that things become so simply by the addition of an SSD seems rather misleading, as though you're trying to sell someone a car, perhaps. :-P While an SSD can be a great boost to performance, for those who have been using SSDs for some time, the boost really does become commonplace with time and familiarity.


I couldn't agree more. Does anybody but me remember their first 1000Mhz processor?
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
March 17, 2014 12:09:13 PM

I remember my older processors fine, but then, they were pretty darn snappy at the time. :-)
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
March 18, 2014 2:16:05 PM

Remember to pick a solution... :) 
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March 19, 2014 11:00:37 AM

Nathan Willis said:
SSDs are better all the way around. First they are fast. Game, Programs, and your OS will load much faster.
My Windows 7 laptop is booting in 4 sec on an SSD. Also, data transfer will be much faster.
They are also much tougher. because they have no moving parts they can handle quite a bit of abuse.
It really depends on your budget. If you have a second HDD for file storage a 120GB should be good.
Because you are getting a laptop a 2nd hard drive is probably not there, so you should go with at least 240GB.
For the best configuration make sure you have a clean install of your OS with the newest drivers.
Also, make sure you have TRIM enabled. An SSD really improves things.
Programs will perform much better with an SSD. (Like Photoshop)
I highly recommend SSDs. They yield huge performance increases.


That helped me a lot
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
March 19, 2014 11:05:08 AM

Glad to hear it! :) 
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