Hard Drive Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Jamstruth, Jul 2, 2012.

Jul 2, 2012
  1. Jamstruth
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    Member Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    I'm thinking about upgrading my laptop's hard drive in the next month or so. This laptop is to last my through University (or as far as possible) and I like upgrading things. Its currently got a 5400RPM, 500GB harddrive in it (a Hitachi TravelStar drive, not sure the exact model). With my 40GB Ubuntu partition I'm sitting with about 40GB free on the Windows drive (I'm terrible at cleaning out... I like my videos downloaded rather than streamed).

    My first thought is to aim for the usual 1TB mark. Something like this http://www.ebuyer.com/192247-wd-1tb-scorpio-blue-oem-hard-drive-wd10tpvt A bog standard 1TB 2.5" HDD I can chuck into a caddy, copy my entire HDD over then stick in my laptop. This might be a little slower than my current drive though but would the overall futureproofed storage make it worthwhile? Truth be told 1TB might be too cavernous even for me.

    As its a laptop getting an SSD outright is a bit out of my price range (a 512GB SSD would cost me in excess of £300 as it stands) but while I was looking this came up http://www.ebuyer.com/321969-seagate-750gb-momentus-xt-ssd-st750lx003
    A 750GB hybrid SSD/HDD combination. It basically caches up to 8GB of data from the 750GB harddrive to the SSD. The result should be that more frequently accessed data (e.g. Windows boot files, Firefox) should be loaded as fast as it would on a standard SSD while still retaining the capacity of a standard HDD. My one issue with this would be how well it copes with my dualbooting habits. I tend to mess with Ubuntu a lot and often need to reinstall it. My worry is that this constant change between Windows and Ubuntu could slow down the drive as it overwrites cached files with ones it thinks are accessed slightly more. Anybody have experience with a drive like this?

    The other thing is that I'm looking for a nice eSATA 2.5" caddy to do the copying. My laptop has an eSATA port so I figure I may as well aim for the faster transfer speed and my budget is in the range of "Not much over £100" if it can be helped.
     
  2. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Hybrid drive? Ew, SeaGate. Please no.

    In a desktop, the ideal formation is a fast boot drive and a large storage drive. The current favourite pair is the Crucial M4 256GB and either a 2TB or 3TB WD Caviar Green.

    In a laptop, it won't really make much difference no matter what you do. If space is not an issue, go for a 128GB Crucial M4. If space is an issue, get whatever size Samsung or WD drive you can afford. Personally I'd stick with the 500GB drive and get a large external drive for additional storage.

    Also, I've tried 3 variations of the hybrid storage so far. Intel Storage drivers aren't great, so MiniCard storage sometimes does more harm than good. RAM drives are also a bit hit-and-miss due to its volatile nature. Finally one of my friends did go ahead and get the hybrid SeaGate Momentus (XT was it?) drive and whilst it does have a difference on a benchmark, real life performance is completely unaffected. SSDs make a difference, but Windows is still not ready to make full use of a SSD over a HDD. After all, once Windows is loaded, much of the advantage of SSDs are lost.
     
  3. Jamstruth
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    Member Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    Well my plan is to use my 500GB as a backup drive/extra storage. I don't like having the bulk of my data having to be attached to my computer every time. I like convenience.
     
  4. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I'd go with a 128GB SSD then.
     
  5. Jamstruth
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    Member Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    I said I don't like having the bulk of my data on an external drive and you recommend I get a tiny SSD? Interesting.

    Edit: Oops I did put drive. That was confusing... My bad.

    THe reason I like the look of the Hybrid is that it will at least speed up my Windows boot time as well as adding a little extra space to my laptop. Any reason you think Seagate is a bad drive choice?
     
  6. Lastly

    Member Lastly Honorable UltimateAdmiin - Highest Rank

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    Seagate used to be a bad brand, but my recent purchase are all seagates and they are really good now. Ever considered Nat? Ssd is the future so it is better to have more of it now.
     
  7. Jamstruth
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    Member Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    SSD is the future but at the moment the price per GB is just... waaaaaayyy too high for me.
    ALso what's "Nat"?
     
  8. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Network attached storage. It's like a mini PC server.
     
  9. Jamstruth
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    Member Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    That sounds like a heck of a pain. An external HDD hooked into the router, think I remember seeing things like that. That won't work for me. A 128GB SSD would probably feel very cramped with my Steam games and a Nat drive would have too slow access speed. Especially since I connect over wireless.
     
  10. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    My NAT is a pain too, but that's just because I haven't taken the time to get to know it properly.

    How many Steam games do you need installed at once, on your laptop? I keep all the main games on the PC and install and uninstall games as necessary on my laptops.
     
  11. Jamstruth
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    Member Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    I have most installed. My laptop is my main PC. I have all of the Orange Box and a few other assorted Indie Games and such installed.

    As I've said before extra USB storage is a pain to me. Its not often I need to share my videos etc. with people so I like having my data internalised. I'm looking for a storage upgrade for my internal drive, not a downgrade in storage for an SSD particularly. I just spotted the hybrid drive and thought it might be a nice thing to speed up my PC a little bit (since its 8GB NAND would cache all my Windows boot stuff). I should probably have a big HDD clearout before thinking about this upgrade but I do like the idea of having acres of space to stretch my digital hoarding legs.
     
  12. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Hmm... I was confusing you with the other guy. Well, my advice is up there - how you use it up to you.
     
  13. YayMii

    Member YayMii hi

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    I thought hybrid drives were unreliable. Unless the tech has improved in the past few months, I'd advise avoiding them.
    Go for an SSD if you need speed and a standard hard drive if you need space. If you really need both, get a smaller SSD for your boot drive and install everything on a bigger hard drive.

    EDIT: If you get an external drive for your laptop, maybe go for one that doesn't need external power so you can just stick it on with velcro or something.
     

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