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Hardware Thread, Hybrid drive anecdotes - looking to use one in my laptop - what've you got? in Technical; An SSD is out because I've got ~200GB of VMs (on a 500GB disk, that's got ~100GB spare) that're used ...
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    Hybrid drive anecdotes - looking to use one in my laptop - what've you got?

    An SSD is out because I've got ~200GB of VMs (on a 500GB disk, that's got ~100GB spare) that're used often enough to make swapping them to external storage a chore.

    Since I'm pondering installing Mountain Lion, I may as well bump up the storage a bit (plus it means if it goes fubar, I'm not without a working OS on a separate disk) to something like this: Seagate 750GB MomentusXT Hybrid SATA 6Gb/s 32MB (ST750LX003) - dabs.com

    Is anyone currently using one or something similar for their personal/work laptop. Is the boost in performance noticeable?

    cheers

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    Yeah, I have the 500GB version and I can't say I've noticed much difference to be honest.

    I thought I had, boot ups were quicker etc but I put that down (now) to having cleanly installed the OS.

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    pete (2nd August 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    An SSD is out because I've got ~200GB of VMs (on a 500GB disk, that's got ~100GB spare) that're used often enough to make swapping them to external storage a chore.
    I've got laptop with lots of VMs and space problems. Will likely be a few days before I can say anything useful, but I'm just installing zillions of drivers following a new Win7SP1 on that exact Seagate 750GB hybrid drive. TBH I'm not expecting it to make much difference over the existing standard 500GB 7200 rpm drive... expected the host OS to start much faster and right now it is doing that compared to the previous one which was almost 'clean', but I'm not so sure about it doing much for VM virtual disk I/O.

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    pete (2nd August 2012)

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    What connectors has your laptop got ?

    Also could you just get a 2bay NAS - hook that to a gigabit port on your router or switch ( shove ya VM's on that ), then for your laptop get an SSD. Faster laptop, faster access to VM's via the 2 bay NAS ?

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    pete (2nd August 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    What connectors has your laptop got ?

    Also could you just get a 2bay NAS - hook that to a gigabit port on your router or switch ( shove ya VM's on that ), then for your laptop get an SSD. Faster laptop, faster access to VM's via the 2 bay NAS ?
    While I could do that, I like having everything I need in one place so I can sling it into a bag and go. I've toyed with an SSD in the optical bay for OS and a terabyte SATA drive in the HD bay, but I'm still undecided.

    SATA is 6GB capable. External ports are 2x USB, Thunderbolt and standard gigabit ethernet (13" 2011 Macbook Pro).

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    Go with the optical bay caddy option. Far better option than a hybrid drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    While I could do that, I like having everything I need in one place so I can sling it into a bag and go. I've toyed with an SSD in the optical bay for OS and a terabyte SATA drive in the HD bay, but I'm still undecided.

    SATA is 6GB capable. External ports are 2x USB, Thunderbolt and standard gigabit ethernet (13" 2011 Macbook Pro).
    2 Bay NASes aren't that big and can fit into a bag with an ethernet cable and power lead ?

    http://www.qnap.com/images/products/...n_2BayNAS.html

    Amazon link to one of them here ( I am not stating to get this specific model ) :

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/QNAP-TS-212-.../dp/B004LOANJ4

    However this should give you a reasonable idea on dimensions for similar models of the 2 bay NASes that qnap do

    Dimensions states :

    Product Dimensions:
    21.8 x 8.5 x 16.5 cm ; 912 g
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 2nd August 2012 at 05:20 PM.

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    2X128GB in raid 0 on laptop (1gb sec) and some 64gb USB3 sticks does the job for me.

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    We use the 500GB one on a Multipoint system here, it is faster, for limited stuff. As the cache is only 4GB it only picks up some of the stuff so it can make bootup and logon on some static workstation type systems much faster but still nothing like a native SSD. They are potentially safer as if the cache blows it just drops back to a standard drive. As far as actual data access speed goes for diverse filesets like a bunch of VMs the cache is unlikely to be big enough to make much of a difference and as they are power concious the drives are only 5400RPM so the actual drive bit is slower than a compareable 7200rpm unit.

    All in all you may notice some improvement with common tasks but for the diverse stuff that techs can do with their laptops you may even notice a performance degredation if you currently have a 7200RPM drive. As has been said above, an SSD and a HDD can be better, even if the SSD is internal and the HDD is an external 1tb ESATA/usb3 2.5" drive powered by USB. Not that much extra room but also leaves you with an optical drive and possibly more options. It all depends on the connectivity options your laptop had and what you need. I know that day to do I hardly ever need an optical drive, until that day that I do and it can be a massive pain digging one out. That said, if your optical is swappable, you could have the HDD in there and the optical as an external which probably fits the usage pattern better.

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    Right, so....

    I caved and bought a Crucial M4 256GB drive (if you get one, update the firmware to 00FF) and an adaptor for the optical bay to put the existing SATA drive in.

    If you do this be aware:

    The optical bay on an early 2011 Macbook Pro tops out at SATA 2, so there's little point slinging a SATA 3 SSD in there.
    The tolerances for the optical bay fit are *very tight*, as in "I need to file down this nubbin a bit so the case will fit". You've got about enough play for a single layer of Kapton tape.

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