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Solid State Hybrid Drives Worth The Upgrade?

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I know people on here have had issues with pure solid state drives but does anyone use the hybrids with a solid state cache? Are these more reliable than pure solid state? Or more unreliable?

I'm considering upgrading my main drive to one for a quicker boot time. Have many on here used one?

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I know people on here have had issues with pure solid state drives but does anyone use the hybrids with a solid state cache? Are these more reliable than pure solid state? Or more unreliable?

I'm considering upgrading my main drive to one for a quicker boot time. Have many on here used one?

I use one. 8Gb solid state 750 Gb whirly. I've had it over a year without issue and it certainly cut boot time dramatically.

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My Samsung Notebook has a 1.5TB S-ATA II Hard Drive 750GB with ExpressCache of 8GB. It starts up much faster than my previous PCs and Laptops. No problems so far.

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I've had a corsair 120Gb SSD in my main pc for over two years now, working flawlessly. Very very quick when compared to a standard HDD.

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Hard disks have since time immemorial had ever increasing amounts of cache in them.

Im sure a drive with additional storage in the form of a retainable cache is going to be as reliable as the drives would be anyway.

Im wondering how these would work if you wanted to copy an image from a standard drive to a hybrid

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Bought a 250gb Crucial M4 for my laptop a while back.

Everything became zip quick.

Probably the best upgrade you can give a standard pc.

Its now sat in my music studio machine as a system drive.

Fantastic.

EDIT. Ah didtn read thread title. Dont know about hybrids.

Struggling to see why i'd bother though.

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SSDs are in the mature phase now. They work and are very reliable - I've used one (the same one) with no issues for 3 years so far.

Stick to the good names - often the SSDs used in Gaming PCs - and you won't go wrong.

SSDs make one of the biggest impacts on a system. You can't go back after you've used one for your main windows installation.

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EDIT. Ah didtn read thread title. Dont know about hybrids.

Struggling to see why i'd bother though.

Playing with a new laptop that has a hybrid installed and the boot up time seems very quick compared to a normal PC. I was wondering why the wider experience is with them.

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Playing with a new laptop that has a hybrid installed and the boot up time seems very quick compared to a normal PC. I was wondering why the wider experience is with them.

Aye. The 100% SSD drives are night and day.

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I would only buy the big brand ones - avoid OCZ even though I personally have used them.

Otherwise, they are definitely worth the upgrade.

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The hybrid ones are a definite step up from HDD. Nowhere near as quick as a real SSD, but much better value, especially if you have large storage requirements.

I remain a bit concerned about the reliability of the hybrid drives. These are much more complex controllers with more risk of peculiar firmware bugs. Experience to date has suggested that the firmware in current SSDs is not as good as you might expect - certainly, it's better than it was, when "bricked" drives were common place, but it's far from perfect still.

I have one of the old Intel G2 drives. The advantage of this drive is that it's controller is simple (like many from that period), but runs an elegant algorithm (making it much faster than its contemporaries which were rushed to market with little research or thought). In view of its simplicity, this model is near perfect in terms of resistance to bug-related data corruption.

Academic research published a year or so ago, tested a whole bunch of SSDs for data integrity following a hard shutdown (power removed from the drive while the drive was busy). Something like 80% of the SSDs tested suffered data corruption following a hard power-off (about 60% of the time, the data corruption was minor and was limited to the files being changed, but nevertheless, this corruption should not have occurred had the drive firmware actually worked correctly. The remainder of the drives either showed massive data corruption (many unrelated files trashed), total data loss (drive usable after erasure), or catastrophic drive failure (drive non-functional and not recoverable).

The above study tested normal SSDs and SSDs with "power loss protection" systems. The ones with power loss protection were better at preventing data corruption due to power loss than the normal ones (but most still did suffer some data corruption in testing).

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Academic research published a year or so ago, tested a whole bunch of SSDs for data integrity following a hard shutdown (power removed from the drive while the drive was busy). Something like 80% of the SSDs tested suffered data corruption following a hard power-off (about 60% of the time, the data corruption was minor and was limited to the files being changed, but nevertheless, this corruption should not have occurred had the drive firmware actually worked correctly. The remainder of the drives either showed massive data corruption (many unrelated files trashed), total data loss (drive usable after erasure), or catastrophic drive failure (drive non-functional and not recoverable).

The above study tested normal SSDs and SSDs with "power loss protection" systems. The ones with power loss protection were better at preventing data corruption due to power loss than the normal ones (but most still did suffer some data corruption in testing).

Always wondered why there were reportedly so many failures, on devisions where the read/write count capabilty would suggest they shouldn't, hard power loss is not something you can completely guarantee against and this failure mode would very likely explain the reported unreliability in these devices. So go for brand and ones with a decent power loss seems the best bet.

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I know people on here have had issues with pure solid state drives but does anyone use the hybrids with a solid state cache? Are these more reliable than pure solid state? Or more unreliable?

I'm considering upgrading my main drive to one for a quicker boot time. Have many on here used one?

I have a 120Gb SSD as the primary drive and a 500Gb standard hard drive as the secondary.

General rule I follow is to put installed programs on the SSD (i.e. Windows, IDEs, Games, etc), data goes on the Standard hard drive. Anything really important goes on Google Drive as well. So I get all the pure-SSD speed without too much worry about it suddenly packing up; that would be annoying but not a disaster.

The worry about a hybrid drive is that you are combining all the possible drive failure modes in one package - the SSD part could go, or the HDD part or the (complex) controller.

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Bought a 250gb Crucial M4 for my laptop a while back.

Everything became zip quick.

Probably the best upgrade you can give a standard pc.

Its now sat in my music studio machine as a system drive.

Fantastic.

EDIT. Ah didtn read thread title. Dont know about hybrids.

Struggling to see why i'd bother though.

For a laptop where you only have one slot for a hard drive, a hybrid will give you 750GB to 1TB of storage in a drive that is only a little bit slower than a SSD drive, and has much higher capacity.

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http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/momentus-xt-750gb-review,3223-8.html

..

The poor benchmark performance that you initially get from a hybrid hard drive like Seagate's Momentus XT would make it very easy to write off when, in reality, it can quickly adapt its performance to look a lot like an SSD in a great many scenarios. Due to the non-volatile nature of NAND, “hot” data is available as soon as the boot-up process starts, resulting in accelerated load times and a more responsive system that's available as soon as the desktop appears.

Really, the only time Seagate's Momentus XT slowed down drastically compared to an SSD was when we installed the operating system and applications. Once everything was fully loaded, however, performance rapidly improved as the drive's software algorithms pulled the most frequently-access data into flash, bestowing very SSD-like qualities to it. At that point, it was frankly hard to tell the difference during most common tasks.

Of course, the Momentus XT's greatest advantage is its large capacity and low cost per bit compared to the SSDs it so actively strives to behave like, which makes it a very tempting proposition for those who're able to tolerate occasional periods where the drive's performance necessarily dips back to what you'd see from a hard drive.

Just found this review.

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http://www.pcworld.com/article/2025402/ssds-vs-hard-drives-vs-hybrids-which-storage-tech-is-right-for-you-.html

Hybrid hard drives blend HDD capacity with SSD speeds by placing traditional rotating platters and a small amount of high-speed flash memory on a single drive.

Hybrid storage products monitor the data being read from the hard drive, and cache the most frequently accessed bits to the high-speed NAND flash memory. The data stored on the NAND will change over time, but once the most frequently accessed bits of data are stored on the flash memory, they will be served from the flash, resulting in SSD-like performance for your most-used files.

Some of the advantages of hybrid storage products include cost, capacity, and manageability. Because only a relatively small solid-state volume is required to achieve significant performance gains, a large investment in a high-capacity SSD isn’t necessary. Hybrid drives tend to cost slightly more than traditional hard drives, but far less than solid-state drives. And because the cache volume is essentially hidden from the OS, users aren’t required to cherry-pick the data to store on the SSD to prevent it from filling up. The hybrid storage volume can be as big as the hard drive being used, and can serve as a standard hard drive. Boot times also see some improvement.

Where hybrid products falter is with new data. When writing new data or accessing infrequently used bits, hybrid products perform just like a standard hard drive, and new hybrid drives have a "break-in period" while the software learns which data to cache. Due to the fact that hybrid products rely on caching software, they can also be somewhat more difficult to configure.

For users who don’t want the responsibility of managing multiple volumes or who don’t constantly work with new data, a hybrid drive can be a great option to improve system performance—all without having to give up any capacity or having to deal with the headaches of using separate solid-state and hard-disk drives.

DIY hybrid storage configurations

That being said, some people create DIY hybrid storage configurations by linking a standard hard drive and an SSD with specialized caching software. (This is not the same as simply plopping both an SSD and an HDD into your PC.) Solid-state cache drives often ship with proprietary caching software included, though you can also take advantage of Intel's Smart Response Technology if you want to use an SSD that isn't specifically marketed as a cache drive.

Functionally, the setup performs the same as a typical hybrid drive, though stand-alone SSD caches often come in larger capacities than the paltry flash storage you'll find on most self-contained hybrid drives—meaning more of your data will receive an SSD-powered speed boost. On the other hand, you'll have to buy both a hard-disk drive and a solid-state drive, which can get pricey. You'll also need to configure the setup manually, whereas self-contained hybrid drives are much more of a plug-and-play option.

Another article on them.

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I had a 500gb Seagate one in my laptop for about a year, and really didn't notice any difference in boot-up speed. I do think it helped battery life a little, though. Maybe the absence of any boot speed gain was the fact that the drive was divided into dual boot partitions (Windows and Ubuntu), which confused the firmware in the drive and prevented it from optimising the files needed for booting into the flash memory segment - I don't know.

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I had a 500gb Seagate one in my laptop for about a year, and really didn't notice any difference in boot-up speed. I do think it helped battery life a little, though. Maybe the absence of any boot speed gain was the fact that the drive was divided into dual boot partitions (Windows and Ubuntu), which confused the firmware in the drive and prevented it from optimising the files needed for booting into the flash memory segment - I don't know.

That would make sense especially if you kept booting from one to the other. Would each OS boot simply wipe out everything stored?

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I would only buy the big brand ones - avoid OCZ even though I personally have used them.

Otherwise, they are definitely worth the upgrade.

I've been using SSDs for about four years. Current drive is a 240mb OCZ Vertex 3 which has been faultless. My only SSD failure was an Intel that just died.

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Bought a 250gb Crucial M4 for my laptop a while back.

Everything became zip quick.

Probably the best upgrade you can give a standard pc.

Its now sat in my music studio machine as a system drive.

Fantastic.

EDIT. Ah didtn read thread title. Dont know about hybrids.

Struggling to see why i'd bother though.

Ah, got one of those...

Might be worth checking that you haven't got one of those that crash every hour. Happened to me. Working on site. In a client's office. Paid by the hour. Looked like a right ejit...

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I know people on here have had issues with pure solid state drives but does anyone use the hybrids with a solid state cache? Are these more reliable than pure solid state? Or more unreliable?

I'm considering upgrading my main drive to one for a quicker boot time. Have many on here used one?

Depends on your usage. Bear in mind that the number of writes a solid state drive can take is limited, so they're a poor choice for tasks involving lots of writes. There are various guidelines floating around for how to distribute a filesystem across an SSD and a regular harddisc in those many modern laptops that have both.

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Depends on your usage. Bear in mind that the number of writes a solid state drive can take is limited, so they're a poor choice for tasks involving lots of writes. There are various guidelines floating around for how to distribute a filesystem across an SSD and a regular harddisc in those many modern laptops that have both.

Just looking for perhaps a faster boot time without major expense.

Pure SSD are too expensive for my liking, this appears a decent compromise if the boot files get copied across in the faster access flash drive.

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Ah, got one of those...

Might be worth checking that you haven't got one of those that crash every hour. Happened to me. Working on site. In a client's office. Paid by the hour. Looked like a right ejit...

Mine has been in 2 different machines and, so far, been a positive computing joy.

However, i'm not sure i'm up to 5200 hours, or anywhere near it, so will check mine when i get chance.

I think Crucial have a 2 year warranty on these drives. Or am i just hoping that they do??

It's currently in a machine that i might use for recording bands, for money, so will have to watch that.

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