Question about best ssd setup

Hi - ok, I just purchased my first ssd - an intel 320 - 80 gig. I know it is small.

Right now my machine has a 500 gig 7200rpm hd.

I was thinking that I have basically 2 options:

1. install the ssd, move the current laptop hd into an external case and use the usb 2.0 to connect it.
2. install the ssd, buy a 64gig or so flash drive and attach that using the usb 2.0 (the current hd would just be a backup drive for photos/videos/etc)

I was thinking #2 would be better because the flash drive could house the apps so it would be quicker than the current hd.

If we like #2 - is the usb stick better or is a sd memory card better in terms of speed and efficiency?

Any thoughts are appreciated- thank you.
10 answers Last reply
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  1. Why dont you just got with number 1?

    After installing Windows 7 (im assuming windows 7 here), you will probably have about ~60GB of free space left, maybe closer to 55GB.

    The only problem with #1 though is that you will always have to keep your USB drive plugged in for any installed apps you have. Actually the same for #2.

    USB keys are usually faster than SD cards, although it depends on the model. I have a USB3 key 64GB card and it can R/W around 100MB/sec, but on the USB 2 port it does around 25-30MB/sec.
  2. Thanks - I like the idea of the usb stick because as you say I wouldn't need to keep the usb drive active all the time.

    Do USB sticks perform better than external spinning hard drives? I would be using a 7200rpm 16mb cache hd.
  3. It depends on the USB key you are thinking of getting.

    There are "performance" Usb keys, and then there are "regular" usb keys, for what you want you might want to look into getting a "performance" model.

    I know for example - that USB keys take a hard hit if you try to copy something to it...then copy something else it will make the transfer slow to a crawl. As for HDDS - it's not as bad transferring files to and from, but will definately be a bit slower than a USB key in terms of accessing files and such.
  4. ok thank you chainzsaw! i think i will just put the current hd into an external basic no-power enclosure and try that first.
  5. 1) USB2 sustaind throughput sucks on both HDD and USB thumbdrives. Ok for small file transfers.
    2) Yes use you HDD for B/U and large files, use Thumbdrive for upto rated size.
    3) There is a BIG difference in transfer rates amoung the Thumbdrives. Recommend buying a USB3 thumbdrive even though using on a USB2 port - they are generally faster on USB2 than USB2 thumbdrives..
    My preference (own both)
    Cheaper, not as fast:

    4) question: Does your laptop have a exspress card slot, if so Use this:

    Added, just saw your recent post; "no-power enclosure " make sure it has the 2 usb connections.
    caution. USB2 is limited in curreent to 0.5 Amps - This limits the device to 2.5 Watts. Not all hard drives (2.5") can be powered from USB2. This was increased to 2 amps for USB3
  6. Thanks retiredchief - unfortunately the laptop has no expresscard slot.

    I am not sure what you mean by "make sure it has the 2 usb connections" - I know that the HD works as an external using one of the 2.5" enclosures, I have tried it in the past - this is without power. I do have an enclosure that has power as well so I could use that but preferred not to just so I don't have to keep that thing powered up all day.
  7. 1) Some of my usb enclosers cam with a usb cable that has 2 USB connectors on the end that plugs into the laptop, one for data + power and the other just for power. Increases the power provided to the drive.

    2) USB 2 spec is for the usb to provide upto 0.5 Amps which limit the power supplied to 2.5 Watts. Some 2.5" HDDs draw more current than USB2 can provide. I've had mixed results on HDDs connected to a single usb port, some HDDs work, some do not.

    3) Myself, Normally I use a External power adaptor for the HDDs connected to a USB2 port as even if it does work, it is drawing close to max when writting to the drive. two things can happen when the current exceeds the 0.5 Amp - (A) The port will shut down or (B) it will reduce the 5 V so that power provided does not exceed the 2.5 Watt rating. There is also the outside chance that the port can be damaged

    4) USB 3 increased the spec from 0.5 Amps to 2.0 Amps.
  8. So that's what that thing is!!! I just taped it together so it wouldn't be hanging off - so if I plug in both it might help?

    you rock
  9. and doing some searching it seems like i can replace the cdrom drive with a regular hard drive - that i am thinking will be the best option!
  10. Yes that is an option on some laptops.
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