Laptop: Single SDD or SDD + HDD?

nanobeast

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
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348
I have a Lenovo X230 with a 320GB 7200RPM HDD and I want to upgrade to a SDD.

The two options I am considering are:

1) A single Samsung 840 pro 256GB SDD

2) Crucial 256GB mSATA SDD and 320GB HDD

I am leaning towards Samsung SDD because I am under the impression that it is more reliable, but the extra 320GB of storage space using a Crucial mSATA sdd is enticing as well.

I plan on using the laptop for mostly school work. Storing files, web surfing, Java programming, word processing, excel. Will the longevity of Samsung SDD be affected if I do a lot of writing on the SDD with the one SDD solution?

Which would be the preferred option between the two?
 
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timta2

[H]ard|Gawd
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"Storing files, web surfing, Java programming, word processing, excel."

You won't see a huge benefit from a SSD when using it for those tasks. It will be very minimal.
 

OrangeWolf

Gawd
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Jan 6, 2011
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883
I also have an x230 with the 320GB hard drive and, once I have another paycheck, will be considering a similar upgrade. I'll probably just go with a 128gb drive if I take the mSATA route.

I asked around a while back and here's what I heard (that causes me concern): The mSATA SSD will not be as fast as an SSD in the primary hard drive spot (whatever you call that, 2.5 SATA?) because the mSATA port is SATA II whereas the primary SATA spot is SATA III.

I don't know if that's true. I don't know how to confirm if it's true. I have no idea how big of a difference it would make even if it were true (I assume it'd be noticable?).

But I do hope to find out before making the choice. The main reason I want an SSD is for the speed factor, and if the speed bump from the 2.5 SATA drive is >> than what I'd get from mSATA I'll go with the first.

Cheers

Edit: @timta2 -- an SSD should help with boot-up time though right? It's an ultraportable and I turn mine on and off a fair bit. The faster it starts up the better in my case.
 

nanobeast

Limp Gawd
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Sep 21, 2007
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"Storing files, web surfing, Java programming, word processing, excel."

You won't see a huge benefit from a SSD when using it for those tasks. It will be very minimal.

My primary reason for SSd is bootup and shutdown times. And I think SSD will make a big difference there.
 

Ravynmagi

[H]ard|Gawd
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I'd go with the Samsung 840 Pro myself. Keep it simple and I personally don't need half a terabyte of storage on my laptop.
 

nanobeast

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
348
I asked around a while back and here's what I heard (that causes me concern): The mSATA SSD will not be as fast as an SSD in the primary hard drive spot (whatever you call that, 2.5 SATA?) because the mSATA port is SATA II whereas the primary SATA spot is SATA III.

I don't know if that's true. I don't know how to confirm if it's true. I have no idea how big of a difference it would make even if it were true (I assume it'd be noticable?).

It is true. mSATA is only SataII vs primary SATA which is III.

However, I am not concerned about that. The speed difference should not be discernable in everyday use.

My concern is reliability.
 
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OrangeWolf

Gawd
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Okay, cool -- I was under the impression that the SATA II speeds would bottleneck the SSD whereas the SATA III would not. But the person who told me that didn't seem overly knowledgeable so I was suspicious.
 

JTY

2[H]4U
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I've got a SATAII SSD in my Dell E5400. For those types of tasks, it doesn't help them too much. But, boot up and shutdown is stupid fast. Launch times are quicker, and loading large docs is much quicker.

As for what way to go, I'd just go with the SSD. Unless you have a need for a lot of storage.
 

kevinsbane

Limp Gawd
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Apr 25, 2011
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I plan on using the laptop for mostly school work. Storing files, web surfing, Java programming, word processing, excel. Will the longevity of Samsung SDD be affected if I do a lot of writing on the SDD with the one SDD solution?

Which would be the preferred option between the two?

You may wish define "a lot of writing". Because as far as the engineers are concerned, "a lot of writing" = PiB (petabytes) of data. Thousands of terabytes of writes. You will not be able to meaningfully kill an SSD without actively trying to do it (it takes months of out and out full drive writes + erases, 24/7 at max speed to kill one).

That being said, your choice between the two solutions really falls down to this - do you want to store lots of media or not? If you have no movies or TV shows you want to store on it, forget going mSATA and stick with a single-drive SSD solution. If you've got lots (like hundreds of gigabytes) of files, then go mSATA + HDD.

The speed doesn't matter - the bottleneck is not the interface, the bottleneck is you. Almost 100% of the time you use it, there will be no difference. Yes, a Crucial M4 mSATA SSD is faster than SATA II, but it won't affect anything except your benchmark speeds. You'll feel better about your numbers being bigger, but your computer won't really be any faster in what you do with it.

Secondary concerns - shouldn't be primary considerations; only if you can't decide which to do.
2 disk solution uses marginally more power (small, but noticeable impact on battery life)
It's way easier to install a normal 7mm SSD than to access the mSATA port.
 

pelo

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Apr 23, 2011
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I've been using a Crucial M4 mSATA SSD in my X220 for months now with no issues. As far as reliability is concerned, it's been top notch.

I'd recommend to go small mSATA SSD + HDD. SSD prices are going to keep dropping, and with a small mSATA SSD you'll get all the benefits of an SSD drive - boot times, most used applications startup time - without losing HDD space and also the option of upgrading in the near future.

I installed Linux on my mSATA drive and use Win7 on my HDD. I don't even carry the HDD around unless I need Windows for some reason. Alternatively you can just install Windows, your browser and whatever programs you've got on the SSD and use the HDD as storage. Or just pull it out and save weight :D
 

raptorxrx

Limp Gawd
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Aug 6, 2012
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382
I'd go with the Samsung 840 Pro myself. Keep it simple and I personally don't need half a terabyte of storage on my laptop.

That's what I'd say too. I have a 128gb Samsung 840 Pro, insanely fast, no reliability issues so far :cool:
 
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