Using SSD as boot drive and HDD as storage, or hybrid drives?

I'm in the midst of planning to build my own rig (first time), and I've heard a lot about hybrid drives and the benefits they give, but that it's also not as fast as using an SSD by itself. I've also heard about using my SSD as a boot drive and using my HDD as storage.

Right now, I'm planning to buy a WD Blue 1 TB HDD, and a Samsung 850 EVO 128 GB SSD. So I have a few questions (keep in mind that I would mainly use this for gaming/photo or video editing):

-Is using my SSD as a boot drive and HDD as storage considered a RAID setup? (I don't know that much about RAID either.)
-What are the benefits of using my SSD as my boot drive? Will everything run faster? And if that's the case, should I keep important applications (Photoshop, Adobe Premier, MS Office, etc) on my SSD?
-Once I have my SSD as my boot drive, is it possible to configure it so that downloaded files show up in my HDD instead of my SSD? And just for convenience, how can I make these files show up in their proper places in the file explorer (Ex. Downloads, Documents, Music, etc.)?
-Is all this hassle even worth it, or should I just give in and buy a hybrid drive?

Thanks in advance for answering, and I'm extremely sorry if any of my questions made you cringe or anything.
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  1. Best answer
    It's not a RAID set up. Quick steal from Wiki, "RAID ... is a data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple physical disk drive components into a single logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy, performance improvement, or both". If you have two 1TB drives, you could set them up as a RAID, but using two drives doesn't make them a RAID. Based on using 1 SSD and 1 HDD, the SSD would end up being your C:\ and the HDD D:\.

    SSD as a boot drive means a MUCH faster boot than a HDD. Everything generally loads faster because the SSD is able to find the information faster. Gamers, such as myself, have an SSD for boot and will sometimes keep a few core games there, and the rest on another HDD. Load times (maps, levels, etc) are generally faster if they aren't regulated by the game itself (ie: game says load into level after 15 seconds of splash screen has gone by).

    You can configure where your default downloaded files are, or direct them manually yourself. Even if you have 5 drives in your computer, you can select where you want it to go and TA DA.

    Honestly, I would stay away from a hybrid drive. SSD are awesome, especially the Samsung ones (I have nothing but good things to say about them!). It's no more difficult to install than a HDD, but it IS smaller. if your case has a special spot for SSDs, you're in awesome business. If not, you can buy a mounting bracket to install it on to, and then install the bracket in the bay where your normal HDD would go. There are lots of options and really, its incredibly simple.

    Personal opinion... 120GB is rather small, and with the current prices, I would aim for a 250, especially if you're looking at adding more to it like Adobe. Space gets eaten up faster than you think... once you have an SSD, you won't ever want to go back to a HDD primary.
  2. Last year, when I built this computer, I bought a Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD. And I did not buy a hard drive. I used only the SSD for everything here. Finally in June of this year, I bought a 2TB hard drive, which I only used for backups. The SSD is still my only work drive, as well as being my boot drive.

    With a few exceptions, you treat an SSD just like a hard drive. First, never defrag an SSD. Its memory. It not spinning platters. Second, when you install your SSD, go into the BIOS and enable the AHCI setting. This is something that makes SSD's work faster. Format your SSD just like you would a hard drive. Install software, including Windows, on it just like you would a hard drive. You never want to fill up an SSD. It needs free space to function properly.

    Depending on the size of the SSD, you may need to buy a hard drive to be the data drive, and you may need to install your software onto the hard drive as well. I had the 1TB SSD, so storage capacity was not a problem for me, and still is not.
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