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AnnaS8

join:2005-05-26
Annapolis, MD

Some hardware questions

Ok I am looking in to getting a new laptop and it has been a few years since I had my eye on hardware. A friend of mine works for dell and will get me a discount but I still want to keep it under $3000.

PROCESSOR 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3740QM (6MB Cache, up to 3.7GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)
OPERATING SYSTEM Windows® 7 Professional, 64bit
MEMORY 32GB (4 X 8GB) Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz
HARD DRIVE 256GB SSD SATA 6Gb/s
VIDEO CARD 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 675M
LCD PANEL 17.3-inch WideFHD 1920 x 1080 60Hz WLED
WIRELESS CARD Killer™ Wireless-N 1103 a/g/n 3x3 MIMO for Gaming & Video and Bluetooth 4.0
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)

OR

PROCESSOR 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3740QM (6MB Cache, up to 3.7GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)
OPERATING SYSTEM Windows® 7 Professional, 64bit
MEMORY 32GB (4 X 8GB) Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz
HARD DRIVE 1TB 5,400 RPM + 64GB mSATA Caching SSD
VIDEO CARD 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 675M
LCD PANEL 17.3-inch WideFHD 1920 x 1080 60Hz WLED
WIRELESS CARD Killer™ Wireless-N 1103 a/g/n 3x3 MIMO for Gaming & Video and Bluetooth 4.0
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)

I know very little about the SSD hard drives other than they are fast. Though I thought they have shorter lives then regular hard drives due to a limit on read and writes. Can someone tell me the advantages and disadvantages to either drives?

The system will be used mostly for playing free online shooters like Battlefield Play4Free and Ghost Recon Online, playing bluray movies, Netflix and some surfing and email. Let me know what you think. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.



FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiK98Rt7LAo


In this case. It is 256GB SSD vs. 1TB HDD + 64GB SSD.

The question now is. Are you going to use a lot of space?. If you not going pass like 200GB usage. I vote for the 256GB SSD. If you like to take pictures, install a lot of games, software, etc. Then I vote for the 1TB HDD + 64GB SSD.

Your call.

PS: I think it is better to ask your friend. Can you add another HDD in the future for the first laptop? If he said yes. I would pick the first one and worry about space later. But that's just me.


Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to AnnaS8

The 256GB SSD option is listed as a SATA 6Gb/s model which would likely occupy a 2.5” bay like the 1TB HDD option. However, the 64GB SSD mSATA option is a different smaller form factor which leaves the 2.5” bay open for a 1TB HDD (unless there are two 2.5” bays). The 64GB SSD mSATA model is also listed as a Caching SSD.

mSATA SSD models tend to be a bit more expensive then the typical SATA SSD models but the speed is potentially about the same assuming they are both SATA III. The 64GB mSATA Caching SSD was not specified as SATA III by your description.

Anyway, to put it simply:

The 256GB SSD option gives you the raw speed of an SSD but you have to manage your storage space judiciously.

The 64GB mSATA SSD + 1TB HDD option will give you (I’m assuming Intel Z7xx or Z6xx chipset variant with Intel SRT) the majority of the speed of an SSD in some cases as it caches data from the HDD. It’s a compromise where you get speed benefits based on what will fit in the cache (up to 64GB) and you don’t have to manage space on a small-ish SSD because the caching is dynamically based on the most frequently used apps.



AnnaS8

join:2005-05-26
Annapolis, MD

said by Octavean:

The 256GB SSD option is listed as a SATA 6Gb/s model which would likely occupy a 2.5” bay like the 1TB HDD option. However, the 64GB SSD mSATA option is a different smaller form factor which leaves the 2.5” bay open for a 1TB HDD (unless there are two 2.5” bays). The 64GB SSD mSATA model is also listed as a Caching SSD.

mSATA SSD models tend to be a bit more expensive then the typical SATA SSD models but the speed is potentially about the same assuming they are both SATA III. The 64GB mSATA Caching SSD was not specified as SATA III by your description.

Anyway, to put it simply:

The 256GB SSD option gives you the raw speed of an SSD but you have to manage your storage space judiciously.

The 64GB mSATA SSD + 1TB HDD option will give you (I’m assuming Intel Z7xx or Z6xx chipset variant with Intel SRT) the majority of the speed of an SSD in some cases as it caches data from the HDD. It’s a compromise where you get speed benefits based on what will fit in the cache (up to 64GB) and you don’t have to manage space on a small-ish SSD because the caching is dynamically based on the most frequently used apps.

Well the drive size shouldn't be much of an issue since most of my media I stream anyway. I don't do a whole lot of gaming but want the option if I decide to do so and really it would be maybe 2 or 3 games if that.

Octavean I am sorry for the lack of deeper info on the drives but that is all the website gave me for info.

n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA

Click for full size
Sounds like the straight SSD build would have plenty of space for your needs.

I wouldn't worry about SSD longevity. They're designed to handle a LOT of written data, and reads aren't a problem for them. Even Intel's new 20nm NAND-driven 335 SSD can handle a lot of writes, and the first batches of NAND on a new process node can be weak with the max number of writes.

I've attached a screenshot of some SMART/health readings from my own main SSD, which has been powered up pretty much 24/7 since I got it in March 2011. I've written over 5 TB to the drive and it's reporting zero issues. No retired blocks or program/erase cycle failures.
--
KI6RIT


AnnaS8

join:2005-05-26
Annapolis, MD

Ok so let me see if I got this correct...speed wise the SSD will boot faster but the SSD and SATA drive will run about the same after the OS has booted up or am I wrong?



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1

For the most part,…

In a pure SSD environment the system will boot faster as you said but applications will start faster too. The system will overall feel more responsive in many cases. Disc intensive applications / operations will typically receive speed improvements as well.

In the hybrid SSD cache + HDD case, if there is something that isn’t in the cache you drop down to the speed of the HDD



AnnaS8

join:2005-05-26
Annapolis, MD

Ok thanks to everyone for the helpful advice. It has been very appreciated.