HDD vs SSD vs HYBRID

CmdrJeffSinclair

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Hey everyone, yet another post! This thread is going to be full of opinions so I'll try to be really clear.

I want an SSD. I hate HDD's and I've always had a Seagate Hybrid which is awesome. To be blunt, I'm about to drop $3000 on a PC and an SSD would perfect it, but in reality I think that I've come to understand that it would only affect so much.

1) GAMING: An SSD will do almost nothing for games performance-wise. The game loads and then that's it. Everything is basically dumped into RAM

2) BOOT-UP: Hybrid drives boot very fast. My Seagate Momentus XT automatically loads Windows from the 7.8GB of NAND Flash cache it has. All it takes is 2-3 boots and the files are there forever until Windows is updated. Never does Windows take longer than 33 seconds to boot. Windows boots for me on average in 28 seconds. So an SSD is basically not worth the expenditure here either.

3) I can justify the price somewhat in the realm of data transferring. No matter what HDD or Hybrid, I know an SSD will absolutely SMOKE all other drives in copy/pastes, reads/writes and there is no "seek" time either. Awesome. However, this would be convenience. Only about once per month do I ever do any hard drive intensive tasks. And when I do them, my hybrid averages 50-90MB/s. It has a short "burst" write speed of almost 200MB/s which last about 3-5 seconds, then it drops to the average 50-90MB/s. An SSD might hit 500MB/s but I still cannot justify a $500 1TB drive that simply shaves off just a minute or two.

4) SSD's die in about 5 years, slowly losing their ability to write over the NAND Die. This makes me extremely timid. I've had my Seagate Hybrid drive for 7 years now and it show no sign of wear or tear.

So this is my conundrum. I have to be missing something. Why does everyone hype over SSD's when a hybrid is a good middle ground. I already know an SSD is the best, but the price is horrendous. Even today the price is simply awful. I've thought about a boot SSD which would offer little to no benefit. I've thought about using an SSD strictly for games and programs but then I'm stuck with shuffling data around every day between drives as backups and drives for this or that function-- which would cause the SSD to die sooner from more writes. In the end only a 1TB drive makes sense to me but I'm still dreading the cost as well as the idea that it will suddenly die and I might lose all of my data. I've heard some awful stories about losing data on SSD's.

My rig can handle an extreme amount of bandwidth too. I have the new i7-5960X with DDR4 @3200MHz so from what I've read the full benefit of SSD performance should be experienced by me...but I rarely do anything hard drive intensive.

I'd love some help deciding guys! I know my stuff but I still feel like I'm missing some info, or maybe I'm just too cautious and conservative.
 
4 seconds! What kind of geriatric drive are you using?? You should be in in .38 seconds or less! lol

I'm not getting why you would need two SSDs. Folks who use the SSD/HDD combo tend to do so as a cost saving measure, i.e. the cost of an SSD large enough to use as an OS drive AND storage is prohibitive, so they split the functions between the high speed but expensive drive, getting one just big enough for their high frequency items, and the lower speed but relatively inexpensive drive for their bulk storage. If you can afford, and justify the cost of, two 500GB SSDs, you can afford one 1TB SSD. It's less complicated, uses less power, and the larger SSDs actually perform better than the smaller ones on just about every benchmark used to measure these things. You won't have to worry about transfer speeds between drives either.

A hybrid drive is just another form of SSD/HDD compromise - you get some of the SSD speed benefit combined with the cost savings of the HDD. The functional breakout is almost identical to having an SSD and an HDD. The proportions are different, as most hybrids have a much smaller flash drive component than even a small dedicated SSD, but similar to the one large SSD, you gain simplicity compared to having to consciously divvy up your high speed/low speed capacity. Hybrid performance overall though, sits at the lower end of the scale. It's moderately faster than an HDD, but nowhere close to the speed of an SSD.

So basically your choices can be defined, in order of cost, as:
1. One large SSD - fast, simple, expensive.
2. One large hybrid - faster than an HDD, simple, not as expensive as an SDD.
3. One SSD and one HDD - more complications than a single drive, all the benefits AND drawbacks of an SSD and an HDD.

(Whether option #3 is cheaper than option #2 depends on the size and quality of each drive.)

Then all you need to decide is what you're going to use for a backup drive. For that, an HDD makes the most sense money-wise, as the backup transfers can be done as a background function or during system idle time. It's speed is only relevant if you need to use the backup data for a recovery.
 
Many of the SSD horror stories were specific to older technology. Current SSDs like the Samsung 840 EVO are very reliable and can be expected to function long past the point where you'd be upgrading anyway.


Having said that, and having read through your assessment, I don't believe you're missing anything. If you're the kind of guy that can't stand to wait a reasonable amount of time in a line, or drive down the shoulder to get to the right-turn lane, then an SSD is for you. If not, then there's not a damn thing wrong with a hybrid or HDD. It's pretty obvious that you've already decided to either go with a hybrid or reuse your current one - based on your logic and preferences it would seem to be the best choice for you.

It's not like you can't add in an SSD later if you find yourself in need of a faster drive for a future application.
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

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haha yeah I guess you could read my thread as though I had already made up my mind, but the precise opposite is actually true. I worded the thread in a way to hopefully get a sharp response justifying the expenditure on an SSD from enthusiasts. Looks like my research was fairly spot-on though. What I was hoping for was basically more justification to the purchase. If it was merely $100 more then I'd be on it like ugly on an ape, but quadruple the price for saving minutes in an entire month seems like a stretch even for me. I'm still strongly tempted to get the Crucial M550 1TB SSD just for my performance desires and a 2TB Hybrid as backup. Problem is, even if the SSD is blazing fast it cannot write to the backup hybrid drive faster than it's rated, which might mean I'd need two SSD's to merit the money drop.
 
Depends on how you manage your file transfers. In my daily driver, I've got a 256GB SSD that I use for games, programs, and current projects and two 3GB HDDs for storage and backup. The SSD is big enough that I can dump files earmarked for cold storage into a folder. When the folder size gets big enough, I transfer it to one of the HDDs - it either runs in the background or when I'm asleep or the PC is otherwise idle. So technically the data transfer is bottlenecked by the HDD, but if I'm not waiting on it, it's a moot issue. I have the same setup in my laptop, only with a 500GB mSATA and a 750GB HDD.

For gaming, especially if you play games with large maps, you'll definitely notice a big difference in load times. I like the SSD for the file retrieval speed, but then I do quite a bit of photo/video work.
 
Actually, you're looking at two different choices - OS drive and storage drive. The benefits of a hybrid are largely irrelevant if you use it as a storage drive - it's major speed benefit comes from training it to recognize your usage habits and favorite programs/folders/files.
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

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You might be right, but I've never opened a game that didn't manage to fully load to the menu within 10 seconds. For instance, with 100 mods on Skyrim including texture mods, Skyrim boots to the main menu in 4 seconds and 6-8 seconds after I select my game save I'm already playing. I have 41 other games that are the same, where the only wait time I encounter is from those annoying developer logos and unskippable intros.

It doesn't sound like an SSD is going to be worth the money to me unless I buy two of them it seems
 
4 seconds! What kind of geriatric drive are you using?? You should be in in .38 seconds or less! lol

I'm not getting why you would need two SSDs. Folks who use the SSD/HDD combo tend to do so as a cost saving measure, i.e. the cost of an SSD large enough to use as an OS drive AND storage is prohibitive, so they split the functions between the high speed but expensive drive, getting one just big enough for their high frequency items, and the lower speed but relatively inexpensive drive for their bulk storage. If you can afford, and justify the cost of, two 500GB SSDs, you can afford one 1TB SSD. It's less complicated, uses less power, and the larger SSDs actually perform better than the smaller ones on just about every benchmark used to measure these things. You won't have to worry about transfer speeds between drives either.

A hybrid drive is just another form of SSD/HDD compromise - you get some of the SSD speed benefit combined with the cost savings of the HDD. The functional breakout is almost identical to having an SSD and an HDD. The proportions are different, as most hybrids have a much smaller flash drive component than even a small dedicated SSD, but similar to the one large SSD, you gain simplicity compared to having to consciously divvy up your high speed/low speed capacity. Hybrid performance overall though, sits at the lower end of the scale. It's moderately faster than an HDD, but nowhere close to the speed of an SSD.

So basically your choices can be defined, in order of cost, as:
1. One large SSD - fast, simple, expensive.
2. One large hybrid - faster than an HDD, simple, not as expensive as an SDD.
3. One SSD and one HDD - more complications than a single drive, all the benefits AND drawbacks of an SSD and an HDD.

(Whether option #3 is cheaper than option #2 depends on the size and quality of each drive.)

Then all you need to decide is what you're going to use for a backup drive. For that, an HDD makes the most sense money-wise, as the backup transfers can be done as a background function or during system idle time. It's speed is only relevant if you need to use the backup data for a recovery.
 
A 33 second boot with the hybrid drive sounds fast [ I have one in my HTPC , but seldom reboot ....]

but with a samsung SSD I have boot times on my desktop of around 8 seconds .
My system is very clean though .
msconfig is the shizzle when it comes to fast boot times .
Stop everything but the OS, firewall and antivirus . Any other process wanting to automatically start can wait ...till you choose to open it
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

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Yeah I do that already. 33 seconds is the max. I average 28 seconds. The NAND Flash in the Seagate Momentus is the same as any modern SSD but there's only 7.8GB. 95% of my day the HDD side of my hybrid is literally off. Even in reviews this is one of the first things they mention about a good hybrid drive. However, when the nitty hits the gritty it's just an HDD when it comes to everything except opening programs that are regularly opened, boot times and the like so it's limited. Under any strain or when opening a file/program that hasn't been opened lately it will act as any normal HDD. After that it's clear sailing.

I use MSCONFIG religiously. Keep in mind that one of the reasons I also have an edge on booting despite the slower drive in that I have no hyperthreading on my dual core. It's a power slut and Windows goes slower with hyperthreading on most of the time and more than 2 cores Windows barely even knows the difference.

I had a i7-2600k desktop with a Seagate hybrid (same version as my laptop) but it booted in 45-50 seconds on average and the only thing I found out while reading was that hyper threading can slow down certain tasks, and boot up is one of them. It's been 3 years since then so I don't know if this is still true with Windows 8 or after updates. All I know now is it's time for an uber PC to heat up my room again haha
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

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Down the rabbit hole of computer parts. Just another hundred bucks, he says! haha your options are exactly what I was thinking about but I'm still not sure what the point would be. You guys are really talking hard and I love it. This is precisely what I needed so let me try to say something to help you all understand my frame of mind and then perhaps a really great final decision can be made with all of your help.

Basically I've been told that SSD's offer fast boots and amazing transfer speeds. That's like sex to me, but I'm not going to pay some sexy hooker for what my girlfriend can do (hooker being the tempting SSD and my gf the SSHD). That's just so great to hear. But, and here's the issue---the only large "things" I transfer that eat up more than a minute or two worth of time is when I copy/paste items to my back up drive, so if that's my only benefit to an SSD then I'll never see performance improvement unless I have 2 SSD's. Boot times and program load times offer me no justification to adding $800 to my bill. Now if you all said the SSD would live 10 years, then I'd probably be sold on one.

Here's my frame of mind, for example:
1) An 8 core CPU will not be poor in performance in 7 or 8 years. In fact, since all Intel CPU's that are great to buy never really decrease in price, spending $1000 now saves me money on an upgrade so long as the current part is amazing. 3 years after the 3960 came out and another 1.5-2 years after the 4960 came out, both are still $1000 but the 5960X is also $1000 and it's brand new. That is Intel for ya!! Just like Apple! So with much advising, I've been told by many techs that the i7-5960X will probably not even be used really for another 2-3 years when mutli-threading becomes more necessary. This means that the CPU will be just cool and calm for the next couple years solid unless I start crunching numbers in SPSS or do file decryption lol.
Another example
2) 16GB RAM is the next logical step over 8GB since that is the new bare minimum, and as console ports usually go, PC versions usually need to brute force games for high settings so 16GB isn't unreasonable.
3) Need I say anything about a high end GPU? Pretty obvious on this one
4) Bells and whistles like internet, a gaming mouse and keyboard and such are also pretty obvious purchases
5) But where does an SSD fit into all of this? In order to merit the one thing I love about them-- Super fast data transfers-- I'd need two SSD's. Booting Windows in 8 seconds instead of 28 and loading Skyrim in 0.34 seconds (lol as the other guy said) instead of 4-6 seconds cannot merit the expense and short lifespan of an SSD.

This is what I'm hung up on. Like I said above, if SSD's were known for 8-10 year lifespans like HDD's then I'd probably splurge on two, but after all my research and improvements to the technology, SSD's still last only about 60% as long. I've had my hybrid for 7 years now and it's literally the same performance as it was the day I bought it. The SSD is very rarely overwritten since most of it is Windows files and programs I use like Internet Explorer. Even if it were about to die, I could replace it 4 times and still have money left over for what it'd cost a good 1TB SSD. SSD's are not economical but so amazingly tempting. I wish I was rich!!!

For my hybrid drive, it manages to offer come advantages of an SSD where it really hurts an HDD but never fully satisfies. This is the whole point of the discussion SO trust me I have not made up my mind already. I'm strongly looking for a solid excuse.
 
just because intel havent dropped the prices of the parts doesnt mean they perform as well as newer items

Mostly it means that when they die of old age you get fleeced by intel for a new one or you throw the rest of your pc out with the cpu

 

CmdrJeffSinclair

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Yes I understand that. I was mostly trying to say that if I pinched pennies now, I'd have to buy a cheaper processor ($300-500) but then I'd need to upgrade it in 3-4 years (vs 10) and since Intel rarely if ever drops prices it means I could very easily get stuck paying $1000 down the road (and waste money now on a processor I don't even want)
 
I think it is much safer to think of processor life as 2 -3 years no matter how much you spend .

No matter how powerful a processor is today in 10 years time it will probably be incapable of running a modern OS , let alone programs or games

Why do I think this? Because ten years ago desktop processors were less powerful than a current generation smart phone
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

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You know what? I'm gonna do it. I am convinced that if I'm this needy for better performance to debate with people on the internet then I might as well let myself be happy.

So, what 1TB+ SSD drives would you recommend? I will get two since that seems to be what I'd need to be very happy. I currently have 45 games in my backup library so right off the bat the backup drive will have 500GB filled up haha. And with next gen game being 5x larger per game, I would want a large backup.

What is the best/most reliable brand of SSD's? Seagate has always been my favorite but for SSD's people seem to like Samsung but I don't know anything about SSD brands. I did some research into 1TB drives and the Crucial M550 seemed to be the cheapest 1TB drive
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

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Holy moly, check this out. http://us.hardware.info/reviews/4178/10/hardwareinfo-tests-lifespan-of-samsung-ssd-840-250gb-tlc-ssd-updated-with-final-conclusion-final-update-20-6-2013

Samsung EVO's are beast at longevity apparently. In case you don't read the article, they took 2 EVO's 256GB and wrote/rewrote until both died. They both ended up surviving over 700TB of data writes and rewrites before the first uncorrectable errors occurred (3000+ program/erase cycles) and both died later. They said that with common usage (vs this abusive testing) that both of the tested SSD's would have actually lasted 200+ years and with heavy use (like a gamer) still would have lasted over 24 years.

That's so badass! Apparently, SSD tech now shuffles data around across the drive to keep the writes/erases evenly distributed across the entire drive to prevent those errors. Even with heavy use the drive should last close to as long as an HDD (which is well long enough to outlive it's real usefulness before an upgrade).

That about solves it for me. EVO for the win!
 


Fabulous news

but not in any way related to the useful life of a computer processor .

Would you be happy running a computer right now that had a 10 year old processor?
Probably not since it would struggle to open many webpages let alone run games
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

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Since after 8+ years dual cores have only just come to be owned by 50% of Americans and about 47% own quad cores (the other 2% being the finite percentage of enthusiasts owning 6-8 cores according to Steam's stats), it stands to reason that an 8 core will not even be touched by games for roughly 4-5 years just as the PS2 and PS3 were not fully utilized til nearly 5 years after launch. Quad cores have been out to consumers for about 7 years and these CPU's are still not showing any signs of becoming obsolete for gaming uses for another 2-3 years assuming they ever do at all in this new gen of gaming.

Since the current console generation uses very weak 8 core tech (dual AMD Jaguar quad core APUs not even half the power of AMD's pathetic 8 core FX8350, which is also not even equivalent to a quad core i7-3700k series), and since consoles also use out-of-order-operations (making multi-threading even more difficult), it stands to reason that a powerful 8 core CPU which uses DDR4 3000MHz+ will easily outlive this generation of games and may only just become standard for the next "next generation" of games set for 2019-2020. Steam Machines also are showing specs roughly equivalent to a mid-end quad core gaming PC, assuming a product like that even catches on at all.

This being said, since consoles rule the gaming market by a landslide, the i7-5960X (which caters toward the new generation of server computing) overclocked to 4GHz+ under liquid cooling will still be a good or great CPU to have 6-7+ years down the road after this new generation of gaming ends. Even still after that, upgrading would not be necessary but only preferential, All this being said, combined with the fact that most of Intel's CPU's never drop in price even 3-4 years after launch, the justification for buying this CPU is well thought out.

Though it's hard to tell, chances are good that the 5960X would probably live into the middle of the next "next generation" of gaming set around 2019-2020. Chances are also high that a lifespan of 7+ years under high end liquid cooling is not unreasonable to hope for. So, with all this in mind, my hope is for 10 years. I'd be happy with it 7 years down the road too like I am with my dual core. I'm an enthusiast PC gamer only so far as it makes sense.

All this would be moot though if Intel CPU's were well known for dropping to half price after 3-4 years, which is not remotely the case sadly. By the time this PC configuration I've chosen becomes sluggish chances are high that a new era of gaming will change the face of the technology we currently use, and upgrading any PC at all will probably be a moot point. I'd love to see what gaming is going to be like 10 years down the road, Chances are in 2020 when a new generation of gaming is expected to arrive, PC's won't even be used for whatever crazy crap developers think of. We'll probably buy special head gear to play games with our friggin' brains and the remote control will go the way of a fart on the breeze lol
 
Or we may have quantum cpu's , or optical ones .

Either way they will be doubling in computing ability every 18 months if Moores Law holds .
In 3 years your cpu is therefore about a quarter as strong as then current cpu's . In ten years its less than 2% as powerful as then current chips will be .

Your logic has lead you astray . There is no future proofing in computing . There is a 3 year service life where a pc will be capable . And maybe 7 - 10 more years where it becomes inadequate .
CPU prices have nothing to do with that . You are confusing marketing with math
 

CmdrJeffSinclair

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I never talked about marketing except for prices never dropping. I was talking about the last ten years of experience watching PC's become more efficient rather than more powerful as the old Pentium's were doing. Moore's Law lol. I've read lots of things regarding theoretical laws for computers and astronomy and energy sources for 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier countries and they never get things right. We shall see then! What you say does make me want to get a 6 core instead of 8 and save the $500 to hopefully be more careful with money. Perhaps I'll do that instead.
 

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