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SSD and HDD: independent or SSD as Cache?

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July 27, 2012 6:45:43 PM

Hi folks, new in the forums here. I have been building computers for a while and today I am working on making a new system for my father-in-law. Nothing really fancy really. The only factor to bear in mind is how tech-averse my father-in-law is, and I need to make this system dead simple for him to maintain and work with. Not only that, but if the machine ever makes something funny (noise, takes too long to load, etc) I can 100% expect a tech call right away as my mother in law has zero tolerance to changes, specially when it comes to computer matters...

What I am pondering now is how to best use the SSD and HDD that I bought. I got one OCZ Vertex 4 60GB SSD along with a 1TB Seagate Barracuda HDD. My original plan was to use them independently, and install the OS in the 60GB and leave the 1TB for storage, as my in-law does tons of high-res photography and the big hard drive will help him greatly. The drawback I see here is I have to teach him to install stuff on the SSD and save stuff on the HDD, but I can see him forgetting the rules pretty fast.

However, as I am thinking more about it, perhaps it makes more sense to set up the SSD as a cache for the HDD (using Intel Smart Response tech, my mobo supports it). That way he only sees one drive and there's no need to re-train him. But if there are any problems (Maybe the SSD has an issue or something) I can see myself calling him for hours on the phone explaining him that his system had two drives and one went bad and that's why is taking forever to load his stuff.

So what you guys think? If anyone has had experience using the ISR tech and want to share I'd be grateful.

Cheers!
July 27, 2012 7:00:26 PM

Sounds like you should return the ssd, and just use the hdd.
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a c 530 G Storage
July 27, 2012 7:10:37 PM

Update the SSD's firmware and the motherboard's BIOS before creating the SRT and you shouldn't have any problems.
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a b G Storage
July 27, 2012 7:45:22 PM

really depends how smart you think your in-laws are and if they can get the concept or not.

If he is doing digital photograhy, then they already got the concept stuff can be stored on memorycards, and "files" have to be "copied" from 1 "drive" to another on the computer so i don't think they are that inept.

It can help if you make shortcut to the data drive on the desktop as well as drag d or e drive it to the toolbar.

If you want to pre-setup that Windows user data (which will include desktop) gets stored to different drive that may head this off too.

BUT, if anything, having 2 drives probably more "stable" then debugging what went wrong with SRT, if that ever gets futzed up, and less hassle to support. Imagine having to guide him through repairing SRT....


(I would've gotten a 120 or 128gb drive though, so even if there is some misuse, it wouldn't matter too much).

Heck, I still leave a mess of data around onto on my desktop (did not move user data location), which goes to my ssd, even though it should be organized to my data drive. Not a big deal if you have enough headroom..
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a b G Storage
July 29, 2012 3:01:12 AM

Why not install the OS (20GB) and his Photo editing software (<5GB) on the SSD?
Everything else would be saved to the HDD. (I personally love how fast Photoshop loads with a SSD )

SRT technology is last year. Useful, but prices of SSD have fallen so people are buying 60+GB SSDs.
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