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Upgrading HP Envy 4-1030 SSD/HDD to SSD/SSD

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November 16, 2012 4:34:32 AM

I was wondering if it is worth upgrading my HDD on my ultrabook to an SSD. It has a 32gb "caching" SSD and a 500gb HDD. I don't know if it is possible to upgrade the HDD to an SSD and use the 32gb SSD for the OS and applications and the new SSD for data (photos, music, etc.). If it is possible, would it increase the speed of everyday use and/or increase battery life? I have seen some performance graphs showing the implementation of the Intel "caching" technology is fairly close to an SSD only system. While I have the hood open, I was going to upgrade to 16gb RAM from 4gb. Is it worth it? Thanks in advance.
a b α HP
November 16, 2012 7:49:17 AM

Welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums,
The ram upgrade is a tad excessive - an upgrade to 8GB should do in all but the most extreme use cases. With a caching SSD, you will see very little (if you can tell at all) performance difference by swapping your hard drive for an SSD. It should increase battery life a little but I don't think the increase justifies the expense.
My $0.02 worth
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November 26, 2012 1:22:06 PM

Thanks C12 for your reply. A couple more questions relating to the matter.

1. How can I tell if all I need is 8 GB of RAM? I have always heard to install the maximum amount of RAM that the system will allow. In addition to running MS Office applications, I will be doing some photo and video editing on occasion.

2. If I do upgrade the HDD to an SSD, should I install the OS on the existing 32 GB SSD or on the new SSD?

3. Should I disable the Intel SRT software (for caching the current HDD)?
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November 26, 2012 6:34:02 PM

Open up resource monitor and check your physical ram usage. Needing 16GB would be rare unless you do multimedia editing on large files or CAD, etc. I have 42 different windows from a huge variety of programs open on my computer right now (PDF, Word, Excel, firefox, i.e. remote desktop, server management tools, 2 different email clients, and more) and I am using 51% out of 12GB of RAM. Doubling my RAM would not increase performance only make it so I am using 25% of the 24GB of RAM available. RAM is like a bucket to hold your running apps. If you need to hold 1 gallon of apps, a 2 gallon or a 10 gallon bucket both do it just as well.

If you are going to go SSD, then just put in a 240GB SSD and disable and remove the cache. 32GB is too small for an OS drive (factoring in program installs and updates) and you don't want to use the 32GB as cache against another SSD.

You are unlikely to see major performance increases unless you are doing large file operations that exceed the amount that could have been cached. I wouldn't bother, it's going to be a lot of work for nearly nothing. Laptop mechanical drives use very little power unless you are doing something like defragmenting where the hard drive is just being pounded non stop. IN most cases, your apps and files load into RAM and the HD powers down for long periods.

If it were my laptop, I'd upgrade the RAM to 8 and call it a day. The SSD won't be worth the effort and 16GB is wasting money.
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a b α HP
November 26, 2012 6:49:02 PM

twelve25 said:

If it were my laptop, I'd upgrade the RAM to 8 and call it a day. The SSD won't be worth the effort and 16GB is wasting money.

+1 Agreed: Would be my course of action also
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December 16, 2013 7:37:14 AM

Decibel_116 said:
I was wondering if it is worth upgrading my HDD on my ultrabook to an SSD. It has a 32gb "caching" SSD and a 500gb HDD. I don't know if it is possible to upgrade the HDD to an SSD and use the 32gb SSD for the OS and applications and the new SSD for data (photos, music, etc.). If it is possible, would it increase the speed of everyday use and/or increase battery life? I have seen some performance graphs showing the implementation of the Intel "caching" technology is fairly close to an SSD only system. While I have the hood open, I was going to upgrade to 16gb RAM from 4gb. Is it worth it? Thanks in advance.


I know I´m a bit late with this reply, but this is what I just did with my Envy4. I kept the 500Gb drive but now as D: for storage and replaced the 32 Gb cache disk with a 180Gb Intel 530 msata SSD for operating system. At the same time I replaced the RAM with 2x8 Gb.
This really did it, now video/photo editing runs like it should.
Windows experience index after upgrade on hdd - 7,9
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December 31, 2013 11:57:52 AM

I just recently upgraded my HP Envy 4t-1030us. Awhile back I went from the 4GB single SODIMM to 2x4GB setup, which noticably speed things up. Since you are using the HD4000 graphics in the thing, it likes the extra memory bandwidth that operating in dual channel mode offers. My 3D Mark 06 scores went from around 4500 to 5300. About an 18% increase and noticable in a number of games (both slightly higher frame rates, but deffinitely more consistent frame rates).

I think it is criminal that manufacturers ship a lot of their laptops in single channel mode. At least put a pair of 2GB SODIMMs in there if you are going to ship it with only 4GB of memory.

I don't notice much difference otherwise, but then again, I rarely hit the 4GB cap and I do PLENTY of photo editing on my laptop (more than on my i5-3570 equipped desktop that has 16GB of RAM, though I do video editing on the desktop). 8GB should be plenty for most anything you want to do.

As for the SSD, I'd do it. They are pretty cheap these days. I left the 32GB mSATA drive in there and dropped a Toshiba Q series 128GB SSD in place of the 500GB HDD. I setup the 32GB mSATA as the OS drive and the 128GB as the secondary drive. I have roughly 7GB free after Windows 8.1 install, updates and a few programs installs that INSISTED in installing crap on the OS drive (IE Photoshop CS6, even though it is installed on D: drive, still dropped about 800MB of files in the C: drive). Not a whole lot of free space, but I don't install applications on that drive. Plenty for future growth of updates and stuff down the road and very, very snappy.

The Samsung mSATA 32GB drive that is in the HP Envy 4t-1030's is an SATA3 drive, but it tops out around 500+MB/sec reads, but only around 80MB/sec writes, which isn't a problem for an OS drive, but probably not what you want to use for any accessory storage. The Q-series on the other hand is around 530MB/sec reads and near 400MB/sec writes.

I've noticed a lot of programs launch a lot faster with a pair of SSDs in there rather than running a caching drive setup.

If going for a 180 or 240GB or larger SSD, I'd suggest just pulling the mSATA drive and selling it for the $30 odd you'll get for it. I personally couldn't live with just 120/128GB of storage in my laptop, but the ~150GB (formatted) should be enough for me long term (long term being the 2 or maybe 3 more years I plan to keep the laptop). The mSATA drive is going to use some amount of power, even if idle, which'll reduce battery life. It might not make much difference, but you might eek another 10-20 minutes of battery life out of the laptop with just an SSD in there instead of the SSD and mSATA drive (but probably better battery life with the mSATA and an SATA SSD than with mSATA SSD and HDD).

Back to the speed difference, I "benchmarked" four different things, straight boot to login screen, launching Lightroom 4.4, launching Photoshop CS6 and launching Kerbal Space Program. With mSATA as a cache drive and 500GB HDD it took roughly

11 seconds to login, 7 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 9 seconds for CS6 launch and roughly 45 seconds for KSP launch.

With just the 500GB HDD, 15 seconds to login, 10 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 14 seconds for CS6 launch and 62 seconds for KSP launch.

With 32GB mSATA and 128GB SSD (apps on the 128GB, OS on the mSATA) with Windows 8.1 (so that WILL impact boot times compared to Windows 7sp1 somewhat), 7 seconds to login, 5 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 6 seconds for CS6 launch and 25 seconds for KSP launch.

In general everything seems snappier. The cache drive deffinitely improves things over just the 500GB HDD, but everything is faster running of the SSDs. Installing Lightroom and CS6 after loading up 8.1 all went much faster with the installs, pulling up the programs is much faster and so on.

For $80 that it cost me for the SSD, it is well worth the performance increase of the laptop.
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March 23, 2014 6:35:14 AM

How did you install the OS on the new larger SSD? I don't believe the new OEM pc's come wih the OS disks do they?
Is there an option to clone in win 8.1?
Or did you have to make your own bootable DVD?
I know Lightroom runs better I'd installed on the ssd.
I want a new pc for photo editing bit want the os and LR on the ssd not the spinning hdd
Do new pc's come with the is loaded on the spinning hdd or the ssd cache?


quotemsg=12318522,0,1534872]I just recently upgraded my HP Envy 4t-1030us. Awhile back I went from the 4GB single SODIMM to 2x4GB setup, which noticably speed things up. Since you are using the HD4000 graphics in the thing, it likes the extra memory bandwidth that operating in dual channel mode offers. My 3D Mark 06 scores went from around 4500 to 5300. About an 18% increase and noticable in a number of games (both slightly higher frame rates, but deffinitely more consistent frame rates).

I think it is criminal that manufacturers ship a lot of their laptops in single channel mode. At least put a pair of 2GB SODIMMs in there if you are going to ship it with only 4GB of memory.

I don't notice much difference otherwise, but then again, I rarely hit the 4GB cap and I do PLENTY of photo editing on my laptop (more than on my i5-3570 equipped desktop that has 16GB of RAM, though I do video editing on the desktop). 8GB should be plenty for most anything you want to do.

As for the SSD, I'd do it. They are pretty cheap these days. I left the 32GB mSATA drive in there and dropped a Toshiba Q series 128GB SSD in place of the 500GB HDD. I setup the 32GB mSATA as the OS drive and the 128GB as the secondary drive. I have roughly 7GB free after Windows 8.1 install, updates and a few programs installs that INSISTED in installing crap on the OS drive (IE Photoshop CS6, even though it is installed on D: drive, still dropped about 800MB of files in the C: drive). Not a whole lot of free space, but I don't install applications on that drive. Plenty for future growth of updates and stuff down the road and very, very snappy.

The Samsung mSATA 32GB drive that is in the HP Envy 4t-1030's is an SATA3 drive, but it tops out around 500+MB/sec reads, but only around 80MB/sec writes, which isn't a problem for an OS drive, but probably not what you want to use for any accessory storage. The Q-series on the other hand is around 530MB/sec reads and near 400MB/sec writes.

I've noticed a lot of programs launch a lot faster with a pair of SSDs in there rather than running a caching drive setup.

If going for a 180 or 240GB or larger SSD, I'd suggest just pulling the mSATA drive and selling it for the $30 odd you'll get for it. I personally couldn't live with just 120/128GB of storage in my laptop, but the ~150GB (formatted) should be enough for me long term (long term being the 2 or maybe 3 more years I plan to keep the laptop). The mSATA drive is going to use some amount of power, even if idle, which'll reduce battery life. It might not make much difference, but you might eek another 10-20 minutes of battery life out of the laptop with just an SSD in there instead of the SSD and mSATA drive (but probably better battery life with the mSATA and an SATA SSD than with mSATA SSD and HDD).

Back to the speed difference, I "benchmarked" four different things, straight boot to login screen, launching Lightroom 4.4, launching Photoshop CS6 and launching Kerbal Space Program. With mSATA as a cache drive and 500GB HDD it took roughly

11 seconds to login, 7 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 9 seconds for CS6 launch and roughly 45 seconds for KSP launch.

With just the 500GB HDD, 15 seconds to login, 10 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 14 seconds for CS6 launch and 62 seconds for KSP launch.

With 32GB mSATA and 128GB SSD (apps on the 128GB, OS on the mSATA) with Windows 8.1 (so that WILL impact boot times compared to Windows 7sp1 somewhat), 7 seconds to login, 5 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 6 seconds for CS6 launch and 25 seconds for KSP launch.

In general everything seems snappier. The cache drive deffinitely improves things over just the 500GB HDD, but everything is faster running of the SSDs. Installing Lightroom and CS6 after loading up 8.1 all went much faster with the installs, pulling up the programs is much faster and so on.

For $80 that it cost me for the SSD, it is well worth the performance increase of the laptop.[/quotemsg]

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August 31, 2014 9:57:03 AM

azazel1024 said:
I just recently upgraded my HP Envy 4t-1030us. Awhile back I went from the 4GB single SODIMM to 2x4GB setup, which noticably speed things up. Since you are using the HD4000 graphics in the thing, it likes the extra memory bandwidth that operating in dual channel mode offers. My 3D Mark 06 scores went from around 4500 to 5300. About an 18% increase and noticable in a number of games (both slightly higher frame rates, but deffinitely more consistent frame rates).

I think it is criminal that manufacturers ship a lot of their laptops in single channel mode. At least put a pair of 2GB SODIMMs in there if you are going to ship it with only 4GB of memory.

I don't notice much difference otherwise, but then again, I rarely hit the 4GB cap and I do PLENTY of photo editing on my laptop (more than on my i5-3570 equipped desktop that has 16GB of RAM, though I do video editing on the desktop). 8GB should be plenty for most anything you want to do.

As for the SSD, I'd do it. They are pretty cheap these days. I left the 32GB mSATA drive in there and dropped a Toshiba Q series 128GB SSD in place of the 500GB HDD. I setup the 32GB mSATA as the OS drive and the 128GB as the secondary drive. I have roughly 7GB free after Windows 8.1 install, updates and a few programs installs that INSISTED in installing crap on the OS drive (IE Photoshop CS6, even though it is installed on D: drive, still dropped about 800MB of files in the C: drive). Not a whole lot of free space, but I don't install applications on that drive. Plenty for future growth of updates and stuff down the road and very, very snappy.

The Samsung mSATA 32GB drive that is in the HP Envy 4t-1030's is an SATA3 drive, but it tops out around 500+MB/sec reads, but only around 80MB/sec writes, which isn't a problem for an OS drive, but probably not what you want to use for any accessory storage. The Q-series on the other hand is around 530MB/sec reads and near 400MB/sec writes.

I've noticed a lot of programs launch a lot faster with a pair of SSDs in there rather than running a caching drive setup.

If going for a 180 or 240GB or larger SSD, I'd suggest just pulling the mSATA drive and selling it for the $30 odd you'll get for it. I personally couldn't live with just 120/128GB of storage in my laptop, but the ~150GB (formatted) should be enough for me long term (long term being the 2 or maybe 3 more years I plan to keep the laptop). The mSATA drive is going to use some amount of power, even if idle, which'll reduce battery life. It might not make much difference, but you might eek another 10-20 minutes of battery life out of the laptop with just an SSD in there instead of the SSD and mSATA drive (but probably better battery life with the mSATA and an SATA SSD than with mSATA SSD and HDD).

Back to the speed difference, I "benchmarked" four different things, straight boot to login screen, launching Lightroom 4.4, launching Photoshop CS6 and launching Kerbal Space Program. With mSATA as a cache drive and 500GB HDD it took roughly

11 seconds to login, 7 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 9 seconds for CS6 launch and roughly 45 seconds for KSP launch.

With just the 500GB HDD, 15 seconds to login, 10 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 14 seconds for CS6 launch and 62 seconds for KSP launch.

With 32GB mSATA and 128GB SSD (apps on the 128GB, OS on the mSATA) with Windows 8.1 (so that WILL impact boot times compared to Windows 7sp1 somewhat), 7 seconds to login, 5 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 6 seconds for CS6 launch and 25 seconds for KSP launch.

In general everything seems snappier. The cache drive deffinitely improves things over just the 500GB HDD, but everything is faster running of the SSDs. Installing Lightroom and CS6 after loading up 8.1 all went much faster with the installs, pulling up the programs is much faster and so on.

For $80 that it cost me for the SSD, it is well worth the performance increase of the laptop.


salsaguy said:
How did you install the OS on the new larger SSD? I don't believe the new OEM pc's come wih the OS disks do they?
Is there an option to clone in win 8.1?
Or did you have to make your own bootable DVD?
I know Lightroom runs better I'd installed on the ssd.
I want a new pc for photo editing bit want the os and LR on the ssd not the spinning hdd
Do new pc's come with the is loaded on the spinning hdd or the ssd cache?


quotemsg=12318522,0,1534872]I just recently upgraded my HP Envy 4t-1030us. Awhile back I went from the 4GB single SODIMM to 2x4GB setup, which noticably speed things up. Since you are using the HD4000 graphics in the thing, it likes the extra memory bandwidth that operating in dual channel mode offers. My 3D Mark 06 scores went from around 4500 to 5300. About an 18% increase and noticable in a number of games (both slightly higher frame rates, but deffinitely more consistent frame rates).

I think it is criminal that manufacturers ship a lot of their laptops in single channel mode. At least put a pair of 2GB SODIMMs in there if you are going to ship it with only 4GB of memory.

I don't notice much difference otherwise, but then again, I rarely hit the 4GB cap and I do PLENTY of photo editing on my laptop (more than on my i5-3570 equipped desktop that has 16GB of RAM, though I do video editing on the desktop). 8GB should be plenty for most anything you want to do.

As for the SSD, I'd do it. They are pretty cheap these days. I left the 32GB mSATA drive in there and dropped a Toshiba Q series 128GB SSD in place of the 500GB HDD. I setup the 32GB mSATA as the OS drive and the 128GB as the secondary drive. I have roughly 7GB free after Windows 8.1 install, updates and a few programs installs that INSISTED in installing crap on the OS drive (IE Photoshop CS6, even though it is installed on D: drive, still dropped about 800MB of files in the C: drive). Not a whole lot of free space, but I don't install applications on that drive. Plenty for future growth of updates and stuff down the road and very, very snappy.

The Samsung mSATA 32GB drive that is in the HP Envy 4t-1030's is an SATA3 drive, but it tops out around 500+MB/sec reads, but only around 80MB/sec writes, which isn't a problem for an OS drive, but probably not what you want to use for any accessory storage. The Q-series on the other hand is around 530MB/sec reads and near 400MB/sec writes.

I've noticed a lot of programs launch a lot faster with a pair of SSDs in there rather than running a caching drive setup.

If going for a 180 or 240GB or larger SSD, I'd suggest just pulling the mSATA drive and selling it for the $30 odd you'll get for it. I personally couldn't live with just 120/128GB of storage in my laptop, but the ~150GB (formatted) should be enough for me long term (long term being the 2 or maybe 3 more years I plan to keep the laptop). The mSATA drive is going to use some amount of power, even if idle, which'll reduce battery life. It might not make much difference, but you might eek another 10-20 minutes of battery life out of the laptop with just an SSD in there instead of the SSD and mSATA drive (but probably better battery life with the mSATA and an SATA SSD than with mSATA SSD and HDD).

Back to the speed difference, I "benchmarked" four different things, straight boot to login screen, launching Lightroom 4.4, launching Photoshop CS6 and launching Kerbal Space Program. With mSATA as a cache drive and 500GB HDD it took roughly

11 seconds to login, 7 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 9 seconds for CS6 launch and roughly 45 seconds for KSP launch.

With just the 500GB HDD, 15 seconds to login, 10 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 14 seconds for CS6 launch and 62 seconds for KSP launch.

With 32GB mSATA and 128GB SSD (apps on the 128GB, OS on the mSATA) with Windows 8.1 (so that WILL impact boot times compared to Windows 7sp1 somewhat), 7 seconds to login, 5 seconds to LR4.4 launch, 6 seconds for CS6 launch and 25 seconds for KSP launch.

In general everything seems snappier. The cache drive deffinitely improves things over just the 500GB HDD, but everything is faster running of the SSDs. Installing Lightroom and CS6 after loading up 8.1 all went much faster with the installs, pulling up the programs is much faster and so on.

For $80 that it cost me for the SSD, it is well worth the performance increase of the laptop.


[/quotemsg] I am having iastor.sys BSOD on an HP Envy 4T-1000 with a 32ssd and a 500gb sata drive. I have updated the iastor.sys driver. Checked the hard drives they passed with no errors. Checked all the hardware not seeing any reported failures. Still getting period iastor.sys BSOD every so often. I am thinking of replacing the hard drive with an SSD. I was going to remove the SSD and replace the SATA drive with a 128gb SSD I do not need much disk space. I am running windows 7 64 bit and would like some advice. With the IAStor.sys BSOD I thought that I should remove the 32gb SSD in reading your post I am wondering if you would advice that I leave the SSD and install windows 7 on the 32gb SSD and replace the 500 gb Sata drive with a second SSD. I am reasonably technical but need advice on if this will work having the two SSD's and will I be able to install windows 7 64 bit on the 32gb SSD or not. Some of the posts I have read prior to your post is that the performance is not good with the SSD SSD combination and it is better to remove the 32gb SSD and only have a single SSD. I am confused on what I should do. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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