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Difference in hard drives?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by lil_coz, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    Just been playing around with laptops and what spec to go for and I have a question for the more informed of you lot. I've noticed that a 256GB Solid State Drive is FAR more expensive than a 750GB Serial ATA Hard Drive. What's the difference between the 2? Surely the one with more storage should cost more? :readit:

    In the mean time I have come to the conclusion, that the 256GB drive is made from Gold...
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  2. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    Solid state is like a big SD card or USB memory stick. It has no moving parts in it hence should be ultra reliable,use less battery power, and respond better to rough treatment (e.g. dropping, sudden shock etc).
    SATA is a traditional hard disk with disc platters that are spun round and read. Hence more likely to fail over time and will go pop if dropped.

    Solid state is still emerging technology which is why it's so expensive. A few years ago a 1GB USB stick cost a £10. You can now get 16Gb for that price. In time Solid State will fall in price as newer larger capacity drives come out. In the meantime it's an expensive option that the vast majority of people don't really need. Providing you back up your SATA hard drive and don't play football with your laptop, then it will be fine. Just remember, we've all been using platter style HDDs for 20 + years without too many problems!
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  3. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    Awesome. Thanks for that Jason! No need to ask for pro's and con's of the 2 because you've already covered it!
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  4. matthew999
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    matthew999 Member

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    The key thing that is not mentioned here is that SSD's are waaay faster than spinners 5 to 10 times faster in read write and seek times, however performance degrades over time but still wipe the floor with spinners when running a little slower. They are one of the best upgrades i have done. OS boots faster software loads faster they are awesome!
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  5. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    Hmmm, thanks for the added info Matthew. Something to consider then. I'm happy spending the money if something is worth it. What confused me is how the less storage HD cost more!
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  6. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    Oops, sorry, forgot about the access time. Matthew is spot on that an SSD will be a lot quicker than a HDD which can be a big positive.

    But just as a counter point, I don't think a 256Gb disk isn't really big enough for a laptop these days, especially if you want to have 3 or 4 years use out of it. I upgraded my 5 year old Sony from a 100Gb to a 500Gb SATA disk at the end of last year as there just wasn't room and I got sick of having stuff on external drives - mainly photos or old work. I now have 250Gb free and the laptop is good to go on for another few years.

    I appreciate a NAS drive a home does help (I don't have one), however the whole point of having a laptop is the fact you've got the information with you on the laptop so you can access it when you need it - not stuck on a drive at home. I appreciate you could get remote access to your NAS, or as an alternative store stuff on 'the cloud' or some other form of remote storage that's accessible by any device.

    Call me old fashioned, but if I take my laptop on holiday with me, I want everything on it with me.

    The place for SSD storage is in the super-thin ultra portable laptops where the small size of the drive and it's low power consumption compliment the aim of the laptop - to be as light and as portable as possible.
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  7. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    One way to get best of both is to buy the Seagate Momentus XT 500Gb or 750Gb drives.

    The have a traditional spinner, but with an 8Gb(?) solid state memory board in them which gets used for regularly accesses files: LINKY

    Once they drop in price a bit I'm going to get one. They have almost doubled in the last six months due to floods in Malaysia that affected factories storing these things (from memory), and the prices went up. DABS was about cheapest at last check.
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  8. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    You can also use Windows Readyboost? My 5 year old Sony has a memorystick duo slot in it, unfortunately Vista restricts me to 4Gb but I've got one in there configured, leaving the other card reader slot free for SD cards. Windows 7 removes that restriction, so if you have a spare slot...
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  9. consilio
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    consilio Up the owls!

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    Had SSD laptops for a couple of years now and I would never go back to traditional storage. Lightening fast performance, once logged in programs load almost instantly. Boosts battery life by around 40% too
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  10. mattyy
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    mattyy New Member

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    SSD for performance, SATA for compatiblity and cost
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  11. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    That's not a problem. I've got a 1TB external HD which has all my movies and stuff on which keeps the laptop free from all the junk. My current laptop is only 75GB and I'm using about 45% of it! I'll be going solid state then for the new one. Thanks again for the input guys!
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  12. matthew999
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    matthew999 Member

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    yeah ssds are not for storing volume my setup at home is 120gb boot drive with all my software and then a separate 1tb for storage. Just built a compositing pc at work with four ssds in raid 0 did a benchmark and was getting 1700MB/s on ATTO benchmark! it it flipping fast! i want one but cant really justify that for home use lol
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