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mSATA SSD vs SSHD vs 7200RPM drive

*To clarify my question, I'm planning to install any of those in a laptop*

My notebook's responsiveness is slow. Though it is 1.5 years old, it is still in great condition.I assume this is because of the 5400RPM hard drive. I have a few options
1. mSATA SSD + original HDD(5400RPM 1TB)
2. Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid drive
3. 7200RPM hard drive

But I have a few concerns
1. I don't know whether the mSATA port is 3Gb/s or 6Gb/s. So let's assume it's 3Gb/s, how would mSATA SSD underperform than a 2.5" SSD?
2. Will Seagate have a newer revision of its SSHD line-up by June 2015 (or earlier)?
3. From my research, 7200RPM drives are stopped being manufactured and largest capacity is 500GB. Is that true? Will I still find 7200RPM notebook drives?
4. What would be the most cost effective option?

FYI:
Notebook model: Lenovo ThinkPad E530 (i5-3210M)
I have barely enough money to buy the current Seagate SSHD (1TB), and I have calculated a 120GB SSD would be enough for all my programs, and around 750GB of total space needed for all data (1TB would be the best)
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Does the Lenovo ExpressCache software work for your model? I'm using it on a T430 with pretty good success.

    If you were to do the mSATA (you won't notice much difference between 3Gbps and 6Gpbs, the main performance advantage is the access times anyway) and have 8GB or 16GB as a cache to your spinning disk and then use the rest of the SSD for a boot and application drive you'd end up with the best of both the first and second options you listed.
  2. Traciatim said:
    Does the Lenovo ExpressCache software work for your model? I'm using it on a T430 with pretty good success.

    If you were to do the mSATA (you won't notice much difference between 3Gbps and 6Gpbs, the main performance advantage is the access times anyway) and have 8GB or 16GB as a cache to your spinning disk and then use the rest of the SSD for a boot and application drive you'd end up with the best of both the first and second options you listed.


    The problem is I could only afford either one SSD or SSHD. I know that it would be best to have both, but I do not have money to spare.
  3. Best answer
    MrNicholas1029 said:
    Traciatim said:
    Does the Lenovo ExpressCache software work for your model? I'm using it on a T430 with pretty good success.

    If you were to do the mSATA (you won't notice much difference between 3Gbps and 6Gpbs, the main performance advantage is the access times anyway) and have 8GB or 16GB as a cache to your spinning disk and then use the rest of the SSD for a boot and application drive you'd end up with the best of both the first and second options you listed.


    The problem is I could only afford either one SSD or SSHD. I know that it would be best to have both, but I do not have money to spare.


    I think you misread what I said. If you use the Lenovo Express Cache software (and the little trick to make non-lenovo branded SSDs as cache partitions) you can use 8 or 16GB of a regular mSATA SSD as cache for your existing spinning disk. If you had a 120GB SSD that would leave you 112 or 104GB to put your OS and applications on and also keep your existing 1TB hard drive, which would now work similarly to the Seagate Hybrid drive since it has a cache on your mSATA SSD.

    In any case, even if you just keep your existing setup and add the mSATA SSD, that's probably the best way to go even if you don't use the cache software.

    I have one of the desktop hybrid drives on machine and while it helps a ton over the regular spinning disks it certainly isn't the same as running things off of an SSD natively and really should only be used if there are no other options available (like you only have one slot for a drive and need more space than you can afford on an SSD).
  4. Oh I see. I do not really like Lenovo's intergrated software, but I'll give it a go. Thanks for you advice
  5. 7200rpm drives in a notebook generate considerably more heat than the 5400rpms. This is why manufacturers use those - to save all the other parts from the high-heat. Faster drive-performance, they decided, isn't so good when "firetruck speeds" end up being the bigger speed factor.

    Just make sure your computer's BIOS allows the M-Sata can be your bootable drive.
  6. christinebcw said:
    7200rpm drives in a notebook generate considerably more heat than the 5400rpms. This is why manufacturers use those - to save all the other parts from the high-heat. Faster drive-performance, they decided, isn't so good when "firetruck speeds" end up being the bigger speed factor.

    Just make sure your computer's BIOS allows the M-Sata can be your bootable drive.

    I'm sure a 7200RPM will be alright in my machine since there was an option to get 7200RPM drive when buying. Unfortunately at the time I was choosing the available options, I took capacity as a no.1 priority and underestimated the importance of 7200RPM when it comes down to responsiveness. I'm not sure how I can check whether my BIOS supports the mSATA SSD (BIOS interface looks like its made 10 years ago), do you have any clue?
  7. I couldn't make a good guess about the mSATA compatibility on your Lenovo. If it's got space for two 2.5" drives and it's 10-years-old, this would be pre-mSATA designs and product-delivery - that's a 5-year-old product, I think. Some of the earliest mSATA motherboards didn't allow it to be a Boot Device and I couldn't figure out why not - what good is a 2Tb Boot Drive limit and THEN offer an mSATA of far far smaller capacity? Did they think "Temp & Paging File Drive" then?!! (That's not a bad way to use mSATAs as a non-boot SSD, but that would target a 30-60Gb capacity, and even that might be overkill.)
  8. Traciatim said:
    Does the Lenovo ExpressCache software work for your model? I'm using it on a T430 with pretty good success.

    If you were to do the mSATA (you won't notice much difference between 3Gbps and 6Gpbs, the main performance advantage is the access times anyway) and have 8GB or 16GB as a cache to your spinning disk and then use the rest of the SSD for a boot and application drive you'd end up with the best of both the first and second options you listed.


    christinebcw said:
    I couldn't make a good guess about the mSATA compatibility on your Lenovo. If it's got space for two 2.5" drives and it's 10-years-old, this would be pre-mSATA designs and product-delivery - that's a 5-year-old product, I think. Some of the earliest mSATA motherboards didn't allow it to be a Boot Device and I couldn't figure out why not - what good is a 2Tb Boot Drive limit and THEN offer an mSATA of far far smaller capacity? Did they think "Temp & Paging File Drive" then?!! (That's not a bad way to use mSATAs as a non-boot SSD, but that would target a 30-60Gb capacity, and even that might be overkill.)

    Actually it's still 1.5 years old running Ivy Bridge, what I'm saying that is the BIOS looks nothing like a desktop BIOS screen, with simple 3-colour toned interface and nothing facny to show fan speeds, time, and all that sort of fancy stuff. It has 1 2.5" drive space and 2 mSATA spaces (1 occupied by the wireless unit)
  9. Ah... it's just the old-looking interface for the BIOS. I understand. I prefer those - direct, simple, to the point.

    Hopefully, Lenovo Support can answer this question with certainty. I suspect if they don't have it clearly stated, then I might guess "no" to bootability Then I'd hope they'd state any capacity limitations.
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