View Full Version : Data drive (not boot) - Hybrid drives vs standard HDD

03-02-2018, 12:05 PM
I am low on disk space, so looking at picking up one drive. I tend to use 100-200GB per year so not a huge size is required maybe a 2TB then. I have 500GB of data now + windows system images.

I have a SSD for boot already. For my data drive, would there be much difference with a hybrid drive over a standard HDD?

I do some photography stuff, but reports tend to say SSD are marginal and most will on the CPU and RAM.


03-02-2018, 12:11 PM
Read these

then decide for yourself

04-02-2018, 11:15 AM
If you install programs on it then maybe, otherwise no.

The Cache can only speed things up if you access the same files repeatedly otherwise the chances of what you want being in the cache are minimal.
The best use case for a hybrid is in a single drive setup where you need more space than you can easily afford on an SSD. In that situation it gives near SSD boot up times for a much lower cost. It is approximating in a single drive what you do with a separate boot SSD and data HDD.

05-02-2018, 04:08 PM
Thanks for that.

I am looking at upgrading this aging 9yr system in a year's time. M.2 looks like is the way to go for the boot drive.

Just a question. Re: standard SSD 2.5". Why do they say the drive is bottlenecked by the SATA3 controller? The Samsung 850/860 EVO only does 550MB/sec read/writes which is under 5Gb/sec.

05-02-2018, 04:47 PM
There's some overhead in the system so it'll never quite hit 5Gb/sec, if you look at SATA SSD specs you'll find they all top out at 550MB/sec which is around 4.4 Gb/sec

05-02-2018, 05:44 PM
There's some overhead in the system so it'll never quite hit 5Gb/sec, if you look at SATA SSD specs you'll find they all top out at 550MB/sec which is around 4.4 Gb/sec

Yep. So for a 2.5" SATA SSD, SATA3 is still ok.... If we were to use anything else that would be non-SATA.

Here's a thought, if you run SATA3 Samsung 850/860 off a PCI Express card, faster?

05-02-2018, 09:09 PM
The SSDs could go faster, it's the SATA bus that's limiting them. That's why NVME drives exist, faster interface and better optimization for a flash based drive. They can't improve SATA based drives without a new version of SATA but it's designed for conventional hard drives so they went another way. So yes the SATA bus is bottlenecking the drives, that's why they all have the same top speed. It's not a limitation of the drive hardware, NVME drives can use many of the same components and still be faster.

It doesn't matter how you connect a SATA SSD - the bus is still limited to 5Gb/sec regardless and the reason they don't quite get there is the system overheads I mentioned not the drives. I have an M.2 850 evo as an example - still limited to 550MB/sec but I could swap it out for an NVME in the same socket and get 2K plus. Reason being is the motherboard switches to SATA mode for a SATA drive and there's that limit again. The Socket has much more bandwidth available in theory but won't use it (would not comply with the standards)

If you want more speed go for an M.2 or PCIE NVME drive, some of them exceed 2k Gb/s read speed. They cost more though. Here's the thing though, what do you need that speed for? Going from HDD to SSD speeds things up hugely, stepping up again has a much smaller effect that is not very noticeable in a lot of cases. Intel just released some new products that should hit the market here soon that promise to bring the price of decently fast drives down a bit.

I think there's more benefit from a larger SSD than a faster one personally, having the OS boot up a second or two faster is not as nice as having space to run everything off an SSD. So personally I'd go for a 256 or 512 GB 850/860 evo for example over a 120 Gb 960 pro.

05-02-2018, 11:37 PM
It doesn't matter how you connect a SATA SSD - the bus is still limited to 5Gb/sec

Thanks for that. I mentioned 5Gb/sec to emphasis it is below the SATA 3 technical. The technical is 6Gb/sec.

Yes, I've been looking at the Samsung 960. NVMe.

05-02-2018, 11:49 PM
The M.2 NVMe is like $250 while the SATA3 is $180 for a 256GB. Not that large of a difference. All motherboards these days have a 32Gb/sec M.2 slot. So that is the boot drive. These days I would keep for my system for at least 5yrs.

My current system an Intel Q8200, Quad 2.33Ghz is 9yrs I've had it. It has a 256GB SSD Samsung EVO 850 SATA3 (motherboard only supports SATA2) then I have 1x Seagate 500GB Baracudda for my data, and a 2nd one for the internal backup (sync) as well as external backups. I mainly use for photography running Adobe software. I am in the midst of upgrading this 500GB or using the backup's 500GB for it (so 1TB) and replace the backup with a single 1TB.

I am looking for a new system in 1yr but 1 or 2 or 4TB SSDs are just too expensive.

06-02-2018, 11:33 AM
Thru more research it seems like for practical use PCIe SSD needs to be quite specific. To me ... A $70 more and I can get the Samsung 960 instead of the 850 (256GB). Good in a way for future proofing esp if I hold them for 5yrs now (least).

To get the real advantage of it really needs complex games loading (not all games), or 4k and 8k video content editing and moving Gigabytes between drives on a regular basis.