Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/195262/hybrid-hard-drives-explained-why-you-might-want-one-instead-of-an-ssd/
Hybrid hard drives promise some of the performance of a solid-state drive with the capacity of a mechanical drive. They’re bigger than an SSD and faster than a plain-old mechanical drive.
I made some performance comparisons with SSHD (Hybrid), SSD and HDD which might be interesting in the context.
SSDH Performance Comparison
That was a great comparison Thanks
There is the ability to 'mount' a partition (external USB hard drive, or memory stick) as the contents of a (currently empty) folder on a NTFS formatted partition.
If you have a large application on the OS partition and need to move it to get some space on the partition -
Copy the contents of the folder to another partition, clear the contents of the folder on the OS partition and then use Management - Storage - to attach the partition as the contents of the folder.
That was, in the old days, a way of getting a substantial increase in throughput as the 'moved' software could be on a separate drive with it's own cache, and a separate interface cable so accessing 'stuff' on it would have almost no effect on accesses made to the normal OS partition. The attached partition could also have been put on a fast memory stick getting SSD access speeds to that software.
No reason AFAIK not to do it to current systems - the only caveats -
DON'T move parts of the OS as you may not always have the other drive plugged in when the system starts up, or is running.
And with memory sticks or micro SD, remember that the flash memory wears out with re-writes, and having things like the pagefile on them can reduce their life to well under a year.
You are very welcome.
I have rolled out several of the 500GB laptop SSHD drives for upgrades to older laptops and the owners have reported back good results. I also have a 1TB Desktop SSHD as my main system drive in my Workstation which works nicely. I have many SSD drives but the SSHD seems to be fast enough that I am in no hurry to replace it.
I would hope that maybe a 1/2TB desktop SSHD with 16GB might be available next year. I think 16GB would be a more workable limit and still be cheap enough by then to be viable.
Certainly they make a nice improvement for those struggling with a 4-5 year old laptop with a nasty 320GB HDD in it....or worse.
Oh yes I forgot to mention I short-stroke the 1TB SSHDs to 200GB for the OS/software partition. The laptop SSHDs I just split in half so nothing strays into the slow half of the platter.
I found a good solution is an ssd in the computer and a remote 2 TB ULTRA-FAST Buffalo 'Drive Station' w 1 TB DDR3 RAM CACHE... this combo is limited only by the true usb3 link ... really fast and tons of storage for A/V etc.
But what about using the Built in caching in most Intel motherboards these days? You can buy your own 128gb SSD and mechanical drive and use the SSD as a cache, just like MAC Fusion drive.
Well if you are using a SSD that size you may as well just install the whole OS and software on it and just use the HDD as a data drive.
Plus a 240GB SSD is only a few dollars more these days. Thats the sweet spot now.
Usually if you are using caching you limit the SSD to around the 32GB mark. One of those m-SATA ones plugged into the motherboard.
Actually, I have been there and done that, and am tired of it.
If you link your user directory off the OS drive, it causes problems, if you just link parts of it, it can fill up.. then you have to start moving Program Files off it, which makes it so windows can't upgrade....Or you fill up your SSD and it causes problems....
I am in no way a new user, I just want stuff to work without too much of my involvement these days.. JUST WORK!...
So I just ordered a new pc that supports the caching, should be here this week, and I can do the build then using my 240gb SSD and 3TB hard drive. I am not your average user though.
My current setup uses a 120 GB SSD for the OS and programs which are frequently used or need the high read/write speeds, and a 1 TB SSHD (8 GB cache) for user data and infrequently used or less I/O-intensive programs. Getting and keeping things arranged properly is just a bit tricky, and does occasionally require you to remember that not everything is (or belongs on) C:, but the system performs extremely well with this configuration.
Users with good hearing should be made aware of how SSHDs handle power management though, especially for this sort of configuration. Since the SSHD in this setup doesn't contain a lot of frequently-used data, it's very common for the system to reach a state where all of the data it needs is either on the SSD or loaded into the cache of the SSHD. When this happens, some SSHD drives will put the mechanical portion into an idle state - meaning the drive will spin down and the read/write heads will park. If you're in a quiet room, or have particularly sensitive ears, you will likely be able to hear the drive click when this happens. If you've got really good hearing, you may even notice when it spins back up. Rest assured that this is normal behavior and, unless it's happening excessively or the drive shows other symptoms of malfunction, does not generally mean there's something wrong with your drive.
I'd say maybe you need to look at changing your work practices.
Often what you think is critical isn't. You've just been conditioned to think so over the years.
I wouldn't put my trust in a two drive caching system to 'just work' either. I'd prefer to just use two 240GB SSDs or just pay the extra for a 500GB one. If you are that serious then cost shouldn't be too much of an issue.
This caching approach with a 120GB or 240GB SSD seems to me to be the worst scenario. With that size SSD you can put all your OS and all programs on the SSD and only move the user data to the HDD or SSHD.
None of my 6 systems (Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8) that run on SSDs use more than 30GB for the OS and my many programs (no games). But I did eliminate the hiberfiles and set my pagefiles to 2GBs. On my desktops I use a 60GB, a 80GB and a 90GB SSD without problems - the oldest (the 80GB) since 2008. One of my laptops with 32bit Windows 8 runs on a 30GB SSD and I have 12GB free.
Indeed, I have been going smaller and smaller with my data storage on PCs and laptops. The days of carrying around masses of software and data that hardly ever gets used is pointless and a liability.
A full install of 7/8.1 plus the usual software I need comes in at around 22GB which is pretty small and works fine on a 64GB SSD. I even bought some previous gen 40GB Intel SSDs for a steal which work fine with Windows 8.1. 18GB or so left which is plenty for general use.
My big data all gets backed up to my NAS and the cloud so it doesn't have to be on any particular machine.
I get folks bringing me laptops with 500GB+ of personal data sitting on them asking me to recover it from a messed up drive and I just think "why??"
Lean and mean is the way forward.
The problem is that people save indiscriminately, gather all kinds of junk and over time it mushrooms beyond their head. And then it is a BIG job to clean it up - maybe tomorrow.
My wife right now tries to cleanup her files - since 2 weeks with no end in sight. A good example.
Well I have never got out of the habit of keeping a tidy HDD. My first one was just 120MB back in 1993. It was so small I had to keep Doom as a zip file archive until I wanted to play it and then re-zip it when finished.
I remember having to delete the animated movie help files from Windows 95 or was it 3.1 to keep size down.
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