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Building a new computer (single SSD vs SSD + HDD and Hybrid drive questions)

  • SSD
  • Storage
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Storage
August 23, 2014 2:58:46 PM

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well. It's been a while since I built a computer and due to the one I am currently using is on it's way out, It's time to build a new one! The last time i was pricing a new computer, the ideal combination was a small SSD for the OS and a large capacity HDD.
Now that some time has passed and the prices for SSDs have gone down, I was wondering if I should go with one smaller SSD and HDD? Or are the higher capacity SSDs reliable enough to be used as a solo drive?

Also one last thing I want to ask about are the hybrid drives. They seem like a Jack of all trades drive where it has SSD capabilities and HDD well enough but not as good as the single drives themselves. Does anyone have any thoughts or feedback about them?

Drives I am considering:

SanDisk Extreme Pro 480 GB as a single SSD


SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series 128 GB SSD


Thank you all for reading and responding if you do! If more information is needed, please let me know.

More about : building computer single ssd ssd hdd hybrid drive questions

August 23, 2014 3:05:38 PM

hybrid drives are <mod edit>, overpriced and always carry tiny SSD,end of topic about em. 128GB SSD+ 1TB HDD is the most popular option, speed of SSD,capacity larger than HDD,but then again,you gotta buy em both,pretty pricy,however most expensive is relying only on SSD,unless you're fine with like 256 GB SSD,then sure go on they're not very expensive however, you need ot manage space well because if you'll install <mod edit> of games and movies it can fill up quickly you know.

<Mod Warning: Watch your language in the forums>
a b G Storage
August 23, 2014 3:07:52 PM

If you have the $$$, I would recommend getting a 1 TB drive as a main/storage drive and another HDD/SSD of you ran out of space. Or, you could set up a RAID 1, 5 or 10 array with SSDs.
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a b G Storage
August 23, 2014 3:16:39 PM

Hybrid drives are great if you don't have the money or don't want to spend the money on two drives. They are also really good in laptops with a single drive bay and you want the SSD speed but mass storage as well. Both my laptop and desktop are running hybrid drives and there has been a noticeable performance difference when starting Windows or programs. Seagate and Western Digital have taken different approaches to this, Seagate makes a hybrid while WD makes a dual drive. Seagate's approach is that the most frequently used programs are cached into the SSD portion and all the actual storage is on the HDD portion. This allows you to get the performance boost from the SSD where it benefits most, starting up programs.

If you have the money, get the 2 drive setup, it is the fastest option. If you don't want to spend that much or don't have that much, the hybrid is a nice option.
August 23, 2014 3:19:04 PM

or you can buy SSD and connect it with your currently used HDD,cheapest and fastest option I guess.
a c 411 G Storage
August 23, 2014 6:50:48 PM

You mentioned building a computer so I am going to assume you mean a desktop pc. There have been quite a few changes since your last build. Part of the changes are related to ssd price reductions. Part of the changes are due to the new SATA 3.2 standard that was finally adopted last year.

Currently the standard 2.5 inch, SATA 3, 6Gb/s ssd's are considered to be the "sweet spot" for consumers and casual gamers. We've had some sale prices approaching $0.50/GB. Typically a consumer or casual gamer will have a 256GB ssd for the operating system, software applications, utilities, and favorite games and a hard disk for data storage, additional games, and backups. If you have a perfectly good hard disk drive, then you can use it for your new build.

Last year the new SATA 3.2 standard was officially adopted. It includes provisions for several different types of ssd's - Standard SATA 3, mSATA, PCIe, and M.2 NGFF (next generation form factor which is also PCIe). The new standard marks the beginning of the transition from SATA based drives to PCIe based drives in an effort to overcome the SATA data transmission bottleneck. It is all in the early stages of development. Right now we have a bit of a problem with motherboard manufacturers. The motherboard manufacturers have some flexibility with onboard headers / connectors for ssd's. The manufacturers opted to add the new M.2 NGFF header / connector instead of a dedicated PCIe 3.0 x16 slot for PCIe based ssd's simply because it was less expensive and helped keep costs down. At first it seemed to be okay because M.2 NGFF was for PCIe based ssd's. Then the manufacturers did something odd. They severely limited the number of channels / lanes that could be used to just 2 instead of 16. In addition one of the PCIe 3.0 x16 slots was disabled if an M.2 NGFF ssd was used. It gets worse. Last year Samsung began mass producing their XP941 M.2 NGFF ssd. Samsung has very lucrative contracts to supply "off the shelf" pc companies like Dell, Lenovo, and Apple with OEM versions of the XP941. The XP941 uses 4 channels / lanes to receive and transmit data. As of last month there was only one desktop motherboard available that could properly support the XP941. All others require the use of an adapter card inserted into a PCIe slot on the motherboard. Based on what we know is coming from the ssd manufacturers it is safe to say motherboard manufacturers have a lot of catching up to do. This is definitely a "wait and see" what happens situation.

For desktop pc's I normally recommend Samsung ssd's. They perform exceptionally well and have a proven track record. The 840 Pro you mentioned was Samsung's flagship model. It was recently replaced by their new 850 Pro model. The Samsung 840 EVO which costs less is the number one best selling ssd in the world. Samsung announced they would be releasing an 850 EVO model to replace the 840 EVO in the very near future. Among the other brands, Crucial, SanDisk, and Intel are worth considering. The SanDisk Extreme Pro you mentioned is another excellent choice.

I maintain the ssd database listed in a sticky at the very top of this forum section. Here is the link:

Scroll down to the brands and models you are interested in and follow the links to the technical reviews.

Finally, the hybrid drive combinations never really caught on so there aren't very many to choose from. There's no point to in using one when the OS, software applications, utilities, and favorite games can be installed directly to an ssd. If a laptop can only accommodate one drive what we are actually seeing is consumers using an internal ssd and an external hard disk drive.