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mSATA + SSD for storage

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  • Laptops
  • SSD
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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April 18, 2014 9:08:23 AM

I am just asking if an mSATA will also work well with an SSD (non-mSATA). The mSATA will be the one with the OS. I also want to know what mSATA does? Isn't it for just for laptops/mini ITX, etc? If the laptop specs are necessary, here they are:

CPU - i7-4810MQ
GPU - 880M (8GB)
RAM - 16 GB
STORAGE 1 (OS): 120GB Samsung 840 EVO Series mSATA SSD
STORAGE 2 (main storage): 120GB Samsung 840 EVO Series SSD
(I know the storages are the same in size and everything. I know they are compatible, I just want to know if they are ideal to put together, the mSATA on OS and the SSD on games.) Thanks.

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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
April 18, 2014 10:07:59 AM

No it won't work and actually will hamper the SSD performance. A mSATA is a cache prediction system and DOES NOT HOLD THE OS like a normal drive (original design) and is MODULAR, meaning it snaps into a specifically designed connection normally on laptop, tablets, etc. portable devices that have very limited room. It only stores the files you 'need next' based on software / hardware monitoring of what 'loads' the most. SSD are just storage drives using RAM chips instead of physical platters that spin to store thing.

That said A) SSD DOES NOT IMPROVE GAMING. B) SSD DOES remove the 'slowdown' for games asking Windows the 'basics'; Hey how do I move the mouse? What font file is used for these words? etc. Games still need to 'load' things from Windows and if Windows is 'slow' to respond it adds to the slowness of a game. C) SSD WILL NOT IMPROVE FPS.

The 'Normal' configuration is a 120GB+ (most people are buying now 250GB because installing just Windows and Office eats up 1/4 of your EVO right off) as the OS, then install all software and point saves for data (My Docs, Videos, etc.) to a TB drive.
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
April 18, 2014 11:21:23 AM

Msata is not cache and is just an alternate form factor of sata. A msata ssd and a sata ssd will work fine. Although some laptops will not allow you to boot from msata, using it as a data drive should not be an issue.
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
April 18, 2014 11:39:27 AM

As I noted, the "Original Design" I saw them advertised (like there http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/en/19/KC...) to act as a CACHE because the mSATAs were only 16GB, 24GB 32GB and very expensive 64GB models, which isn't enough for Windows to work in fully. So they were designed (originally) to do the old 'RAMDrive' trick, to load what it needed onto the mSATA from the HDD on boot, to increase performance.

I am glad to see now that they use the 'Standard SATA' interface instead of the 'card slot insert' they did before (or am I thinking of a different modular SATA???) and much larger and comparison to normal SATAs as well (including pricing).
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a c 312 G Storage
April 18, 2014 12:56:20 PM

Alex - You could have both a standard ssd and an mSATA ssd in your computer providing your laptop has connectors for both. They will both work. The computer can be a portable computer or a desktop computer. Newegg already sells a few ASRock desktop motherboards with mSATA and the new M.2 SATA connectors mounted right on the motherboards

Tom - Samsung and several other manufacturers now offer 1TB mSATA ssd's. They are the insert in slot type which is the industry standard. They work quite well in mobile computers. A new SATA standard was adopted last year. It included what is commonly referred to as the SATA Express. There is speculation about a new type of connector which would allow a person to use a cable to plug in mSATA, M.2 SATA NGFF, SATA, or a PCIe ssd into the same SATA Express connector on a motherboard. I am not sure when we will start seeing them. It could happen when Intel introduces its new Intel 9 chipset and new cpu's later this year. There is other speculation suggesting the Intel decided not to support the new connector when they introduce their new chipset. We'll have to wait to find out.
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
April 18, 2014 1:27:45 PM

Although many laptops are preconfigured to use it's pre-existing msata ssd as cache, that's like saying usb is a storage drive. On any of those laptops you can always just disable the caching software and use those small ssds as a normal drive, or what's commonly done is replace it with a larger one. But if the ssd is changed, you'd have to reconfigure the software to use it as cache, it won't just auto setup. Ramdrive has nothing to do with caching either. It turns your ram into a "normal" storage drive.
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
April 18, 2014 1:38:33 PM

Nods to both Mod and Johnny and makes notes thanks for the info.
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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
April 18, 2014 1:48:07 PM

k1114 said:
Ramdrive has nothing to do with caching either. It turns your ram into a "normal" storage drive.


Mod: I think either I didn't write that clear enough or your misreading how I am saying " to do the old 'RAMDrive' trick, to load what it needed onto the mSATA from the HDD on boot, to increase performance. "

The old RAMdrive trick was to use your RAM as a normal drive because RAM was much faster, then copy then run a program TO the RAMDRIVE "to increase performance". I said it was doing the same 'trick', which was to use the mSATA to 'copy then run' a program or key files from the HDD TO the mSATA to increase performance, which is the general design of CACHE normally. But was doing it through a software/hardware trick then as a dedicated CACHE of RAM normally on HDDs or a SSHD hybrid does that CACHE from the 5400RPM HDD to the onboard SSD Cache to make it perform 'on par' as a 7200RPM drive.
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April 20, 2014 10:23:16 PM

Sorry for the long reply, I was out of town. Anyways, I am ordering from XoticPC and it has an option to do so. Thanks for all the help guys, I will take note of this for the future.
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