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A SSD along with the momentus xt

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June 26, 2012 2:13:00 AM

I am sold on the benifits of SSD's. I am just curious if having a hybrid HD and a SSD will jive together. Here's what I got:::
HP dv7
intel core i7 2670QM
8GB RAM
Seagate momentus XT 750 GB hybrid drive
WIN 7 64 bit

This has become my main pc. I do general internet stuff, email and such.
I also do quite a bit of digital audio production and mixing using ableton live 8 so lots of plugins, and vsti's
I have an available second bay in my laptop and I figure I might as well use it for something.
Should I go for the SSD? I was thinking something like a good 128GB drive, put OS and ableton on it (30GB i think???)

More about : ssd momentus

a b G Storage
June 26, 2012 3:49:45 AM

yes i'm sure you can use both an SSD and a hybrid in the same computer although its probably not necessary. definately go for an SSD. it is the best upgrade you can do for a computer.
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June 26, 2012 10:35:16 AM

thanks. I'll probably get the ssd ordered in the next week or two, which should give me some time to figure out how to install it and then get my os and ableton moved over to it.
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a c 353 G Storage
June 26, 2012 12:55:47 PM

The set-up should be NO problem.
Depending on space requirements you might be better off with a 120/128 gig Sata III OS + Program drive and the 2nd data drive a 240/256 gig Sata III SSD.

First. The Seagate hybred drive is primarily intended as a Boot (OS +Program drive). What will end up in cache is primarily the OS load files and most often used progragram files. It will provide "NEAR" SSD performance for boot time and program loads (most often loaded programs). Beyound that it reverts to standard HDD performance.

1) An SSD for OS + Program drive will provide SSD speed to ALL files located on the SSD. Therefore better than Hybred drive.
2) The Hybred drive will probably only marginally exceed a standard HDD performance when used as a storage drive. Reason is that Only files MOST often accessed will be in the cache and most of the time file request will be constantly changing as you are working with constantly changing files. It is posible that it could acually be a little slower - it will first check cache for a given file request (Very fast, but still takes time), if file not found then goes to HDD.

My laptop: 128 Gig Sata III m4 as OS + Program drive + 256 Gig M4 as 2nd drive. This does cut down my storage space as compared to SSD + HDD. But then I also have a HDD in USB 3 enclosure and also a pair of 64 gig USB3 Thumbdrives to agument storeage/back up to the laptop.

Bottom line the 750 Gig Seagate Hybrid drive is an EXcellent choice for a single drive laptop - Near SSD performance while still retaining higher storage space (manuf intended usage). As a 2ndary drive it is fine, just do not expect the much performance benifit from the cache.

ADDED NOTE. With the Hugh decrease in price for 240/256 gig SSD in the past couple of months they are not much more expensive that the Hybred drive, paid $180 for my 256 gig M4 last week.
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June 27, 2012 1:53:18 AM

thanx for the help. I am definately still interested in getting the SSD. I am gonna have to figure out how I want to have the 2 drives set up. within ableton there would be certain effects, templates and instruments that I would use very regularly I know that the templates(saved as projects can be saved anywhere I want. And I know that I can stick a loop library anywhere as well. I will post more questions as I think of them
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June 28, 2012 9:48:50 AM

couple more questions. Are there power considerations that I should have in mind before purchasing my SSD. And,,,,,, Will it make any difference which HD bay I install the SSD in,,,does the pc boot from the primary bay by default or will it boot from the SSD if it is install in the second drive bay?
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a c 353 G Storage
June 28, 2012 1:06:54 PM

1) Power should not be an issue. A few of the SSDs will draw about the same power as a HHD, but most are less. The only impact will be on battery life. Many reviews on a given SSD contain power utilization, ie at Idle and when writting.
2) With two HDD bays you should be able to set the Boot priority in Bios just like a desktop computer.
Most desktops have a Hot key that you can press during post that brings up a boot menu and you can select the device (drive) that you want to boot to. This DOES NOT change boot priority. IE for My gigabyte MB it is F12, for My Asrock MB it is F11.
UNFORTUNATLY, I have NOT found a "F" key that will bring up a Boot menu for my Samsung RF711 Laptop - BOO.
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June 29, 2012 3:09:11 AM

Well i've got the money for my ssd d in my pocket. Seems that the sata cable(HP dv 7,,no onbard connector for either drive) is gonna cost me about $30. As of right now, I am only using up 72 GB of space on my momentus xt. (I tend to keep most important stuff on my external. I have been sitting here researching what I am going to buy. A lot of info and a lot of options out there. I am currently eyeing a 128GB ssd and have found several that are in the $160 and under price range. I just read a lengthy article about controllers and nand and feel that I am more confused then before on what to buy. I have decided that I am going to do a fresh install as opposed to clone/migrate or whatever. Advice please ? I have a habit of e-shopping by price glancing before looking into details, which usually leaves me with too many options .
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a c 353 G Storage
June 29, 2012 12:37:00 PM

1) Would recommend the Curcial M4 or the Samsung 830 for a Laptop. Performance in real life is about the same (The samsung benches a little higher I believe - Have both). The M4 drwas less power than the Samsung 830, If memory serves me right).

SATA III SSDs seem to fall into two groups:
1) Type of NAND chips, Async, Sync, and toggle. The Async (such as the agility III) performance is limited to SATA II BWs, that is they perform NO Better on SATA III than they do on SATA II port. Toggle Nand is the fastest based on benchmarks - DOES NOT Translate to a Noticable difference in real life, May save a couple of sec off of Boot time, But for most program load times only a few millisec which is Not noticable.
2) Type of controller. Marvel, Sandorce, Samsung and the Indilinx (used in the newer OCZ 4 Series). Sandforce excells ar Sequencial performance using Data that is readily compressable. Sequencial is the least Important Matrix for a OS + Program drive. And Real life data For an OS + Program drive does not lend itself to much compression. The new indilnx seems comparable to the Marvel and Samsung Basted controllers.

The last two two SSDs I've bought were a Curcial 256 gig M4 for $180 (already enjoying it in my Laptop), and two days ago ordered a Samsung 256 Gig 830 ALSO for $180, should have Next tuesday. Excellent price, Just need to Monitor newegg for a sale on them.

3 "Seems that the sata cable(HP dv 7,,no onbard connector for either drive)" Also a problem with My Samsung RF711 Laptop as the connector is NOT Mounted on the Laptop MB - (Shame on them). But My laptop (two drive bays) came with the Short SATA adaptor to connect drive to the laptop connector for the 2nd Bay.
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June 30, 2012 12:42:06 PM

again, thanx for the recommendation. After much reading I went ahead and ordered the crucial m4 128GB yesterday, it will allegedly be here today. I also ordered the 2nd drive bay cord and should get it early next week. I have begun to strip everything down and trim the fat from my momentus xt. My current plan when I get the crucial ssd is to go ahead and remove the momentus without erasing anything major from it. I will attempt to install os onto ssd from my recovery discs. I will also re-install my ableton live software. that should take up approximately 40 GB. should I have my security software on SSD? I also use ms office 2010 quite a bit and might as well stick it on there. Also I was turned on to Ccleaner a while back and am not quite sure where that should live. I am going to have to be mindful of setting this whole deal up and making sure that files are being sent to live in their proper drive. I have been reading several ssd set up guides which cause much confusion as there are conflicting opinions on what to disable/enable, power settings, sleep, hibernate, and a bunch of other things that I figure will be best determined once I get to the step by step point of this upgrade. The other big issue on my mind is since I am going to already have the new ssd drive installed when I do get my 2nd drive bay cord, what is gonna happen when I stick my momentus back in. I am thinking that it may cause my house to explode if I fire up my laptop and there are two HD's each with identical operating systems in them. And that leads me to the next thing I wonder about. Since I will have all data and files that I intend to keep on my external drive, I could just wipe the momentus, but I don't want to wipe it and then have some sort of install issue with the ssd and then have to do a fresh install on the momentus. I am thinking that maybe just buying a sata to usb3 cable could be helpful and then once I am confident that the ssd is up and running I could format the momentus before adding to the 2nd drive bay.
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a c 353 G Storage
June 30, 2012 3:59:22 PM

Having two HDs in the two Bays are not a problem and will boot to which ever is set as Priroity 1 in Bois.

Not sure if I'd use the restore disk, I'd probably opty for a Clean instal. You can Usde an Win 7 DVD for the Instal as long as it is the same version ie Ultamate. Just do not inser key when prompted, wait until after the install then use your Laptop Key. The only diff is selecting the drivers that you need (Note Win 7 has a pretty good set of default drivers).

I was lucky with the samsung RF711. It had a partition on the HDD that had all the drivers and software and a program to select which to install. S Did the clean install, ran program and selected with drivers to install and what software to install -IE I Omitted all trial software!!!

As to security (antivirus), I've been using Microsofts freeBe ever since Win 7 Came OUT.

YesI also Use CCleaner. Pretty good, BUT NOTHING beets a clean install for clean out the registry.
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July 2, 2012 9:53:55 AM

So I got my M4 on Saturday. I am amazed at the shipping speed from Amazon,,, 16 hours from order to doorstep ($8.99 next day shipping with prime) I got all of my files backed up from the momentus xt and proceeded with the installation. I did go ahead and use the recovery discs to get things going. I would have preferred a fresh, clean os install but unfortunately I do not have the win 7 discs. I was a little worried about using the recovery discs after being advised against it, but all went well and I was up and running in about 40 minutes.

So far so good. I immediately trimmed the fat that is included in the recovery media. I got ableton live 8 installed. I immediately noticed the performance improvements. Everything is open near instantly when called upon. Ableton is open in about 3-4 seconds when it took about 30 seconds before. Within ableton when I am trying out different instruments and effects, there is pretty much instant loading when before there would be a few second lag. (which is very helpful,,,,,it sucks to have creativity bogged down by technical lag.)

The only area that I had read about and hoped for more improvement is boot time, went from 24 seconds with the xt to 20 seconds with the M4. I had almost expected this though, with the xt being a hybrid drive. It seems that Win 7 has detected and automatically made adjustments for having the SSD. I am still doing tons of reading about any further tweaks that can be made to enhance the performance of the drive.

I should get my second drive cable today or tomorrow and be able to go ahead and add the momentus xt to my second HD bay,,,,,,,only thing holding me up there is trying to pinpoint what size mounting screws will be required.
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a c 353 G Storage
July 2, 2012 4:24:10 PM

Just for Future reference.
You can Barrow, or if you have from another System, and Win7 Instalation DVD for a clean instal.
1) Just make sure it's the same versision is Ultamate.
2) Don't enter the key when asked during install, But after installation they enter YOUR Laptop key.
3) If you use a upgrade version, you would need to select the custom install and then apply a registry edit and a rearm cmd (really very simple, Just google "using upgrade version to do clean install.

Yes, probably not see a big diff in boot time from Hybred drive to SSD. The Hybred drive caches most of the boot section of windows and the internall SSD is SLC which is better than MLC. The diff is that ONLY 8 gigs will be in cache vs the full size of an SSD
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July 2, 2012 4:42:58 PM

Please explain "borrow " i would love to give it a try,
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July 2, 2012 9:58:23 PM

I may have been a little confused as to just exactly "clean install actually meant. If it is not to late (which I am pretty sure it is not) I would like to possibly wipe my ssd and retry. I just briefly looked at the clean install with upgrade pages. What about downloading the iso and burning to disc or placing on usb? But would it even be worth the effort at this point?
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a c 353 G Storage
July 2, 2012 10:09:44 PM

Unless you have issue, I'd probably stick with what you have.
Your Boot time is a tad higher than mine which is around 15 sec, so I dought 5 sec is worth it. You basically did a clean install, that is you did not image over your HDD and the SSD was "Blank" when you installed.

Two things I'd recommend:
1) Down load AS SSD and run it, do Not need to run it unless you want to verify that You are close to manuf specs. Anyways look at upper left:
.. Should show Driver : msahci, better yet if Intel system iaSTor.
.. Partition alginment should show "OK"
..
2) If happy with install, go to Control panel, System and Sycurity -> backup. Create a Image of your SSD (C-Drive). Should you ever need a "Clean Install" use this image. When needed, you just stick in the repair disk, select repair, then restore from Image. 10->15 min later you reboot to Exactly as the system was when you made the image.

M4 laptop

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July 2, 2012 11:01:44 PM

Seems fine i reckon. All my numbers are just shy of what yours are, I can't figure out how to post image. lemme try dropbox
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a c 353 G Storage
July 3, 2012 2:10:08 AM

I use http://tinypic.com/
To post pictures.

I wouldn't worry about small difference. My 256 M4 comes up less (has a newer firmware). Looking at a review the 256 comes up almost Identical to the review - The overall score was high 600s (Don't have a shot of it) - But about 80 less than my 128 gig m4.

Your link didn't work for me.
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July 3, 2012 3:17:15 AM

OK, Thanx. I got my 2nd drive bay cable today and after reading your last post felt confident enough in the way the ssd is installed I went ahead and dropped the momentus xt in. I formatted it but am gonna do some reading before I remove the partitions. I am not sure how I am gonna arrange thing in it. It is 750 GB so I am not too worried about running out of space, I am pretty good about keeping things tidy. I will do some more reading on what I would like to have automatically written the the hdd. (temp files, downloads, app data?)
You have been very helpful so far and I thank you. I appreciate that you are willing to take the time to help me out.
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a c 353 G Storage
July 3, 2012 5:53:04 PM

Glad to help.

ENJOY
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a c 353 G Storage
July 5, 2012 1:00:35 PM

The only tweeks I do are:
1) Disable Hybernation - Save space equal to ram amount.
2) Manage My page file (Virtual memory). I set page File Min and max both to `1024 mb. Save an amount of space equal to (1.5 X Ram - 1 Gig) or for 8 Gigs of ram, saves about 11 Gigs.
3) Move "my Documents" folder from C-drive to HDD.

PS do Not run Benchmark to often, SSDs need time for CG and Trim to bring the drive back to near factory specs.
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July 5, 2012 8:38:33 PM

Sweet. I was a little concerned that something had gone awry. I am not having any performance issues, everything is amazingly quick. Again thanks for all your help.
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July 7, 2012 12:56:37 AM

Best answer selected by rockironwebb5150.
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