Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

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helloeveryone
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Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by helloeveryone » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:00 am

We last bought a computer ~ 8 years ago I think. As we look to upgrade (likely will just buy from costco like our last one) I notice that computers have both a ssd hard drive (128 vs 256) in addition to 1TB hard drive. When my work lap top was upgraded to ssd I noticed drastic speed improvements.

My question regarding having two different hard drives - As you save things - does the computer decide to save things on the ssd drive versus regular hard drive based on what’s fastest? ie - savings pics, music, videos tend to take the most memory. Does this get stored on the regular hard drive? And the start up part of the computer gets stored on the SSD drive so it boots up faster?

Updated w plan:
Our work IT person does build outs. He ended up putting together the hardware list of my wishlist in newegg ($957+ tax) and charges a very fair price to build it out. I just need to buy windows 10 and office suite which I can get discounted through work.
Last edited by helloeveryone on Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CurlyDave
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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by CurlyDave » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:17 am

I know that my iMac stores everything first on the SSD drive and then moves what is not used for a while to the ordinary hard drive. This is called a fusion drive.

So if I have data I only use every once in a long while, it is slower to be retrieved vs. files I use all the time.

I don't know if Windows machines do the same or not.

Nekrotok
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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by Nekrotok » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:54 am

Assuming windows, you'll have a "C:\" drive and a "D:\" drive under "This PC" where C should be the ssd and D would be the HDD. All of your windows folder like "Documents" "Pictures" "Downloads" and the windows installation itself will actually be on C aka the ssd. D will probably be totally empty. Any time you save something, windows will usually give you a choice of where to save it, so you could then choose to save it to D instead. Sometimes downloading stuff from the internet will automatically save the the "Downloads" folder but you can move it to D afterwards if you want. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, you may want to look into getting a PC with a 1TB SSD and skipping the extra hard drive. The 1TB SSD itself wouldn't cost that much more than those 2 drives put together but unfortunately prebuilt computers don't exactly let you customize it like that easily..

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rob
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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by rob » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:07 am

You can change the location of "My Documents" etc. to store on D: - saves a lot of time over manually doing that each time (or you can add multiple locations to the "library" concept if you use that). You can also install software to D instead of C... so I put less used software on the HDD (tax software that is never used my outside of a few weeks etc). Core programs I use all the time I put on the SSD.

It's obviously a transition state - but right now HDD are far cheaper for the same capacity as SSD's (at max capacity is still a lot higher).
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by whodidntante » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:13 am

A rough rule of thumb is you'll want to manage your disk space so that frequently used applications and the operating system are kept on the SSD while media and "just in case" infrequently used applications are kept on the slower HDD. You can make exceptions to the rule of thumb as desired. This process isn't automatic unless you're talking about a hybrid drive.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by helloeveryone » Sun Dec 29, 2019 2:37 am

Nekrotok wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:54 am
Assuming windows, you'll have a "C:\" drive and a "D:\" drive under "This PC" where C should be the ssd and D would be the HDD. All of your windows folder like "Documents" "Pictures" "Downloads" and the windows installation itself will actually be on C aka the ssd. D will probably be totally empty. Any time you save something, windows will usually give you a choice of where to save it, so you could then choose to save it to D instead. Sometimes downloading stuff from the internet will automatically save the the "Downloads" folder but you can move it to D afterwards if you want. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, you may want to look into getting a PC with a 1TB SSD and skipping the extra hard drive. The 1TB SSD itself wouldn't cost that much more than those 2 drives put together but unfortunately prebuilt computers don't exactly let you customize it like that easily..
Of course! I didn’t think it through. Makes sense. Thanks! I agree for this purchase might be worth going to the desktop brand website and building one out with just a ssd drive that’s larger as long as cost is within reason. thanks!

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by CppCoder » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:15 am

You may find that it's cheaper to buy the computer at Costco, buy an SSD on Amazon, and swap them out yourself versus buying direct from the manufacturer. You will need to be comfortable installing an operating system from disk (unless you are just chucking the hdd and living with two ssds).

I just bought a Dell XPS tower from Costco (my first XPS tower was from Microcenter a decade ago). It's a great machine. I manually manage the sdd and hdd. I use linux, so for convenience, I just soft link the hdd from my home drive on the sdd. From a usability perspective, one doesn't realize two drives are involved as it appears as if the folders all originate from the same home directory.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:28 am

I have a 512GB SSD and 1TB HDD. All my programs and most frequently used files are on the SSD (about 25% full).
My videos (which I have many), pictures, and other mega sized files are on the HDD (currently about 35% full).

You can decide where you want files and programs to reside. A couple of programs that take up a fair amount of
space (and that I rarely access) are also on the HDD.

zlandar
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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by zlandar » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:52 am

For Windows you have to manually set it. Not difficult unless you have family members who refuse to learn. I just buy a bigger SSD to avoid phone calls.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by LookinAround » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:58 am

> You should use the C: drive for Windows and your program installs
> D: is for user data. And you want Windows to put all your user data there automatically for you.

You can tell Windows to move all your user folders (My Docs, Pics, Desktop) etc. to the new drive. After the move, save something on the Desktop, it's saved to the Desktop folder on the D: drive. Download and it's saved to the Download folder on the D: drive. How to move Windows 10 default user folders to another drive

This approach has several advantages
  • If you want to backup user data, you only need backup the D: drive. Smaller backups for user data as it's D: alone
  • If you want to image your Windows installation, just image the C: drive. (I tend to image C: maybe every quarter - far less frequent then user data backups)
  • If Windows should crash/get corrupt, you only need restore the image back to the C: drive . All your most current data will still be there on D: waiting for you. You're easily back up and running with all your current data
One tip: You might want to split the hard drive into two partitions - D: for your data and let's call it F: for your music, movies - anything you want on your computer but doesn't need be backed up because you already have a copy somewhere else. Only D: needs backup, not F: Quicker data backups and each data backup takes less storage space.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by Watty » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:25 am

helloeveryone wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:00 am
We last bought a computer ~ 8 years ago .....

I notice that computers have both a ssd hard drive (128 vs 256) in addition to 1TB hard drive.
Both the 128 and 256 are pretty small and the prices of larger SSDs are pretty reasonable now.

If you are already on Windows 10 then before you buy a new computer you might want to just put a large SSD in your old computer and have everything on it.

I am in the process of putting 1TB SSD drives in both my wife's and my desk tops that are just a couple of years old and they make a huge difference.

The price for what seems to be a better 1 TB SSD was only $110.

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Inch-Int ... 163&sr=8-3

I also needed a bracket that cost less than $10 because the SSD is much smaller than the old conventional drive.

You can also get a case to put your old hard drive in so you can use it as an external drive for things like backups.

https://www.amazon.com/ORICO-Toolfree-E ... 188&sr=8-3

You would want to have a good backup before you start but installing them is not hard when you are just putting one in to replace the old one.

After doing this if you decide that you still want to upgrade you can just take the SSD out and use it in your new computer.
Last edited by Watty on Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by hornet74 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:27 am

helloeveryone wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:00 am
We last bought a computer ~ 8 years ago I think. As we look to upgrade (likely will just buy from costco like our last one) I notice that computers have both a ssd hard drive (128 vs 256) in addition to 1TB hard drive. When my work lap top was upgraded to ssd I noticed drastic speed improvements.

My question regarding having two different hard drives - As you save things - does the computer decide to save things on the ssd drive versus regular hard drive based on what’s fastest? ie - savings pics, music, videos tend to take the most memory. Does this get stored on the regular hard drive? And the start up part of the computer gets stored on the SSD drive so it boots up faster?

Thanks for explaining!
I would not bother with two drives, just get a larger SSD as windows will not manage it the way you want. Pulling from an SSD is always going to be faster and really can speed up performance. That and memory. The costs are closer now so it shouldn't be a big deal in price. Another good option is to buy a refurbished Mac/windows as the cost is lower. Let me know if I can help more.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by mpnret » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:05 am

My Sony all in one desktop is almost 10 years old now and was getting slow. Otherwise I was fairly pleased with it. I recently installed a Samsung SSD 1TB and it made a world of difference. SSD comes with a utility to move everything over from you old drive in just a few steps.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:19 pm

With name brand 1TB SSD drives being less than $100, I would just get an SSD unless you have large amounts of media. If you have large amounts of media I would get two drives and keep it simple putting everything but your media on the SSD drive. You can also use a USB drive or NAS for the media.

My laptop has a 512MB SSD and that is plenty for all my applications, OS (Win10) and non-media data. My media is on a NAS.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by dcdowden » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:00 pm

I bought a new HP laptop for my wife last year from Costco, and it is no longer an easy task to replace the drive. I had replaced her HDD with an SSD in her old HP laptop, but the new laptops don't seem to provide any easy access - you can't even remove the battery. I also bought a 17" display HP laptop with an SSD and a HDD for myself recently. There is also a next generation form factor for SSD's (google M.2) and other devices. I would expect that the new laptops with both an SSD and HDD use the M.2 form for the SSD since it is so much smaller, but I can't easily open up my new laptop to check it out.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by 02nz » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:09 pm

dcdowden wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:00 pm
I bought a new HP laptop for my wife last year from Costco, and it is no longer an easy task to replace the drive. I had replaced her HDD with an SSD in her old HP laptop, but the new laptops don't seem to provide any easy access - you can't even remove the battery. I also bought a 17" display HP laptop with an SSD and a HDD for myself recently. There is also a next generation form factor for SSD's (google M.2) and other devices. I would expect that the new laptops with both an SSD and HDD use the M.2 form for the SSD since it is so much smaller, but I can't easily open up my new laptop to check it out.
Most laptops (and even many desktops) these days do use the m.2 connector for SSDs. The confusing part is that there are both SATA and PCIe NVME SSDs made in the m.2 format. Most newer laptops will take either, but some will only take SATA (which is a bit slower, though not noticeable in normal use).

HP is among the worst when it comes to serviceability of laptops, at least on the consumer side (e.g., Pavilion, Envy, Spectre). HP laptops often have screws hidden under adhesive strips that are hard to put back on. Dell and Lenovo are generally better, but it varies by model. Generally, the more expensive the laptop the harder it is to open up and do any repairs/upgrades. Increasingly, RAM is soldered to the motherboard and cannot be upgraded. In a few cases (like the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1) even the SSD is soldered. Apple and Microsoft are the worst when it comes to user serviceability/upgradability. (Que the Apple fans: But MacBooks are so much better and more reliable they never need repairs!)

BTW as far as the battery, generally it is still possible to remove/replace, but you have to open up the laptop and undo some screws, it cannot be swapped out with a latch the way most laptops used to be. Again, Apple and Microsoft are the main exceptions, with lots of adhesive that makes it basically impossible for users.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:26 pm

dcdowden wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:00 pm
I bought a new HP laptop for my wife last year from Costco, and it is no longer an easy task to replace the drive. I had replaced her HDD with an SSD in her old HP laptop, but the new laptops don't seem to provide any easy access - you can't even remove the battery. I also bought a 17" display HP laptop with an SSD and a HDD for myself recently. There is also a next generation form factor for SSD's (google M.2) and other devices. I would expect that the new laptops with both an SSD and HDD use the M.2 form for the SSD since it is so much smaller, but I can't easily open up my new laptop to check it out.
Often two drives are in larger laptops like 17" laptops where there is more space.

My 3 year old 13" HP I was able to change out the HDD for an SSD with minimal trouble. It depends on the make and model. I'd watch a YouTube video before buying to make sure it is something you are comfortable with. There are no laptops I know of where the HDD cannot be replaced. Who would make a laptop where the whole thing had to be thrown away if the drive failed? Some can be pretty involved though.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by yangtui » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:30 pm

I like to buy refurbished business desktops and replace the stock mechanical hd with a mid-range ssd. By doing it this way I can put together something extremely efficient for around 200 dollars.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by Nekrotok » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:55 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:26 pm
There are no laptops I know of where the HDD cannot be replaced. Who would make a laptop where the whole thing had to be thrown away if the drive failed? Some can be pretty involved though.
That's exactly what Apple does. SSD soldered to the motherboard and hardware encrypted by the T2 chip on the motherboard so not only are the parts not user replaceable, but any motherboard or SSD failure results in total data loss.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by helloeveryone » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:20 am

mpnret wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:05 am
My Sony all in one desktop is almost 10 years old now and was getting slow. Otherwise I was fairly pleased with it. I recently installed a Samsung SSD 1TB and it made a world of difference. SSD comes with a utility to move everything over from you old drive in just a few steps.
Thanks for that. I likely will look into just replacing the hard drive to a high memory ssd and see what else we should upgrade. Probably between that and upgrading to new operating system we should see a big difference.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:29 am

Nekrotok wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:55 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:26 pm
There are no laptops I know of where the HDD cannot be replaced. Who would make a laptop where the whole thing had to be thrown away if the drive failed? Some can be pretty involved though.
That's exactly what Apple does. SSD soldered to the motherboard and hardware encrypted by the T2 chip on the motherboard so not only are the parts not user replaceable, but any motherboard or SSD failure results in total data loss.
Yes, but still Apple doesn't throw the laptop away and they can replace the SSD. Apple doesn't make it so you can replace it and that is long consistent with their philosophy. If you want anything to be cheap you don't belong in the Apple Universe.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by Nekrotok » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:35 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:29 am
Yes, but still Apple doesn't throw the laptop away and they can replace the SSD. Apple doesn't make it so you can replace it and that is long consistent with their philosophy. If you want anything to be cheap you don't belong in the Apple Universe.
No, Apple is making it so you would throw it away - costs too much to pay them to do that :mrgreen:

Kidding aside, just pointing out it's a notable case where you can't look up a YouTube video on how to replace the SSD in case anyone buys one without making sure they got enough space for what they need.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:11 pm

CurlyDave wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:17 am
I know that my iMac stores everything first on the SSD drive and then moves what is not used for a while to the ordinary hard drive. This is called a fusion drive.

So if I have data I only use every once in a long while, it is slower to be retrieved vs. files I use all the time.

I don't know if Windows machines do the same or not.
Fusion is kinda okay but given current SSD costs, I think SSD for all OS and apps and a separate HDD for photos and such is better. Or even SSD for everything ... I bought a 1TB Sata SSD (plus enclosure) for what I thought was a shockingly modest amount of money this year. The 1TB is for photos and such (also put the VMs on it), my mac has an internal 256GB SSD.

Do they still sell Fusion as an option? I could kinda see the merits of the idea when SSDs were very expensive, but I'd never buy a new Mac with Fusion now.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by 02nz » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:19 pm

Nekrotok wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:55 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:26 pm
There are no laptops I know of where the HDD cannot be replaced. Who would make a laptop where the whole thing had to be thrown away if the drive failed? Some can be pretty involved though.
That's exactly what Apple does. SSD soldered to the motherboard and hardware encrypted by the T2 chip on the motherboard so not only are the parts not user replaceable, but any motherboard or SSD failure results in total data loss.
Unfortunately this disease is also invading the PC world. The much-ballyhooed Dell XPS 2-in-1 (7390) that just came out has soldered SSD. Supposedly this is to get the device thinner and lighter. But the XPS isn't lighter than comparable laptops and any difference in thickness is pretty irrelevant.

All Microsoft Surface devices (except the newest Surface Laptops, I believe) have soldered SSD. I think Microsoft does it in part to gouge you - if you want 256GB instead of 128GB on the Surface Pro, that's a $300 (!) upcharge, for something that costs Microsoft maybe $10.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by 02nz » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:26 pm

yangtui wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:30 pm
I like to buy refurbished business desktops and replace the stock mechanical hd with a mid-range ssd. By doing it this way I can put together something extremely efficient for around 200 dollars.
+1. I just got a ThinkCentre Tiny, added some RAM and SSD, which was super easy. Works great. Quiet, takes up almost no space (esp. when you put it on its vertical stand), efficient, as fast in normal use as a brand-new computer.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by 02nz » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:30 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:11 pm
CurlyDave wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:17 am
I know that my iMac stores everything first on the SSD drive and then moves what is not used for a while to the ordinary hard drive. This is called a fusion drive.

So if I have data I only use every once in a long while, it is slower to be retrieved vs. files I use all the time.

I don't know if Windows machines do the same or not.
Fusion is kinda okay but given current SSD costs, I think SSD for all OS and apps and a separate HDD for photos and such is better. Or even SSD for everything ... I bought a 1TB Sata SSD (plus enclosure) for what I thought was a shockingly modest amount of money this year. The 1TB is for photos and such (also put the VMs on it), my mac has an internal 256GB SSD.

Do they still sell Fusion as an option? I could kinda see the merits of the idea when SSDs were very expensive, but I'd never buy a new Mac with Fusion now.
Yep, 21.5-inch iMac released in 2019, $1100, 1TB Fusion drive with just 32GB SSD. Dual-core processor from 2016.

I use iPhone/iPad but the computer hardware is just absurdly overpriced.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by CurlyDave » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:57 pm

02nz wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:30 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:11 pm
CurlyDave wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:17 am
I know that my iMac stores everything first on the SSD drive and then moves what is not used for a while to the ordinary hard drive. This is called a fusion drive.

So if I have data I only use every once in a long while, it is slower to be retrieved vs. files I use all the time.

I don't know if Windows machines do the same or not.
Fusion is kinda okay but given current SSD costs, I think SSD for all OS and apps and a separate HDD for photos and such is better. Or even SSD for everything ... I bought a 1TB Sata SSD (plus enclosure) for what I thought was a shockingly modest amount of money this year. The 1TB is for photos and such (also put the VMs on it), my mac has an internal 256GB SSD.

Do they still sell Fusion as an option? I could kinda see the merits of the idea when SSDs were very expensive, but I'd never buy a new Mac with Fusion now.
Yep, 21.5-inch iMac released in 2019, $1100, 1TB Fusion drive with just 32GB SSD. Dual-core processor from 2016.

I use iPhone/iPad but the computer hardware is just absurdly overpriced.
Wait until you are running a money-making small business with no IT department. I wear that hat along with the dozen or so others I wear. I have had Macs for 30 years and they have always been the most reliable brand of computers available.

When I can lose more money in two days of my computer not working than a Mac costs to start with, there is no reason to even think about buying something else.

And if I ever have to call tech support I am quickly connected to someone in either the US or Canada who speaks and understands colloquial North American English.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by 02nz » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:08 am

CurlyDave wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:57 pm
02nz wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:30 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:11 pm
CurlyDave wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:17 am
I know that my iMac stores everything first on the SSD drive and then moves what is not used for a while to the ordinary hard drive. This is called a fusion drive.

So if I have data I only use every once in a long while, it is slower to be retrieved vs. files I use all the time.

I don't know if Windows machines do the same or not.
Fusion is kinda okay but given current SSD costs, I think SSD for all OS and apps and a separate HDD for photos and such is better. Or even SSD for everything ... I bought a 1TB Sata SSD (plus enclosure) for what I thought was a shockingly modest amount of money this year. The 1TB is for photos and such (also put the VMs on it), my mac has an internal 256GB SSD.

Do they still sell Fusion as an option? I could kinda see the merits of the idea when SSDs were very expensive, but I'd never buy a new Mac with Fusion now.
Yep, 21.5-inch iMac released in 2019, $1100, 1TB Fusion drive with just 32GB SSD. Dual-core processor from 2016.

I use iPhone/iPad but the computer hardware is just absurdly overpriced.
Wait until you are running a money-making small business with no IT department. I wear that hat along with the dozen or so others I wear. I have had Macs for 30 years and they have always been the most reliable brand of computers available.

When I can lose more money in two days of my computer not working than a Mac costs to start with, there is no reason to even think about buying something else.

And if I ever have to call tech support I am quickly connected to someone in either the US or Canada who speaks and understands colloquial North American English.
Serious question: What is your level of experience with PCs in the Windows 10 era, since 2015? How many PCs? Make and model?

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by Zdex » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:16 am

If you are using this for business, or are a pro user, don't get a fusion drive or any SSD/HDD hybrid for your main drive. They stink. The instant you hit data on the platter, your system will slow to a crawl. SSD performance is superior in every way. Even backup storage, I'd go with SSD. You can now get an M.2 NVMe enclosure and use an internal SSD drive as an external SSD backup drive, which unquestionably is the way to go, as it is orders of magnitude faster than 7200 or even 10000 rpm platters. Even with terabytes of data and the much higher cost of SSDs, the time savings can be measured in days when upgrading to SSD. That kind of performance pays for itself with a single large backup or data transfer.

Pretty soon, "hard" disk drives will be dead -- all drives will be memory sticks. All enterprises are moving to sticks. That's also why platters are so darn cheap -- they are slow, cumbersome, and are being phased out as we speak.

Finally, I second the comment concerning value of Apple computers. You can keep one running for a decade if you do a clean install of the major OSX releases, which is very easy to do with Apple and OSX data management. I've had Windows boxes fail way more often than my Apple boxes. Now our entire office runs on Apple, and failures are very, very rare.

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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by CurlyDave » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:54 am

Zdex wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:16 am
If you are using this for business, or are a pro user, don't get a fusion drive or any SSD/HDD hybrid for your main drive. They stink. The instant you hit data on the platter, your system will slow to a crawl. SSD performance is superior in every way. Even backup storage, I'd go with SSD. You can now get an M.2 NVMe enclosure and use an internal SSD drive as an external SSD backup drive, which unquestionably is the way to go, as it is orders of magnitude faster than 7200 or even 10000 rpm platters. Even with terabytes of data and the much higher cost of SSDs, the time savings can be measured in days when upgrading to SSD. That kind of performance pays for itself with a single large backup or data transfer.

Pretty soon, "hard" disk drives will be dead -- all drives will be memory sticks. All enterprises are moving to sticks. That's also why platters are so darn cheap -- they are slow, cumbersome, and are being phased out as we speak.

Finally, I second the comment concerning value of Apple computers. You can keep one running for a decade if you do a clean install of the major OSX releases, which is very easy to do with Apple and OSX data management. I've had Windows boxes fail way more often than my Apple boxes. Now our entire office runs on Apple, and failures are very, very rare.
"...Slow to a crawl..." is a relative thing.

I don't deal with huge files, not like today's pros. But when I have to pull up a scanned lease from 8 or 9 years ago, it takes me as long to find the file as to open it. So a few seconds is not going to spoil my day.

I completely agree that SSD drives are much, much faster. My next computer will have only one big SSD. But for right now, my Fusion drive works just fine. For me, cost/benefit tilted slightly against a 2TB SSD and in favor of a Fusion.

msk
Posts: 1470
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by msk » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:04 am

I've had my current desktop for a few years already and I have an annual subscription to Windows. That comes with One Drive allocations. What's wrong with depending on One Drive for everything other than program files (on a C Drive) and restore files (on D Drive)? My One Drive is at 300+ GB while the others are rather trivial by comparison. It also makes my switching between the desktop and laptop quite seamless. I have never experienced any corruption on my One Drive. Presumably Microsoft is more competent at back-ups etc. than I can ever hope to be. Looks to me that a minimal SSD would suffice, say 500GB?

Every time I had to change/repair a desktop the nuisance has been having to reinstall program files. Is there a way to make this simple?

TN_Boy
Posts: 1694
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by TN_Boy » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:55 am

CurlyDave wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:54 am
Zdex wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:16 am
If you are using this for business, or are a pro user, don't get a fusion drive or any SSD/HDD hybrid for your main drive. They stink. The instant you hit data on the platter, your system will slow to a crawl. SSD performance is superior in every way. Even backup storage, I'd go with SSD. You can now get an M.2 NVMe enclosure and use an internal SSD drive as an external SSD backup drive, which unquestionably is the way to go, as it is orders of magnitude faster than 7200 or even 10000 rpm platters. Even with terabytes of data and the much higher cost of SSDs, the time savings can be measured in days when upgrading to SSD. That kind of performance pays for itself with a single large backup or data transfer.

Pretty soon, "hard" disk drives will be dead -- all drives will be memory sticks. All enterprises are moving to sticks. That's also why platters are so darn cheap -- they are slow, cumbersome, and are being phased out as we speak.

Finally, I second the comment concerning value of Apple computers. You can keep one running for a decade if you do a clean install of the major OSX releases, which is very easy to do with Apple and OSX data management. I've had Windows boxes fail way more often than my Apple boxes. Now our entire office runs on Apple, and failures are very, very rare.
"...Slow to a crawl..." is a relative thing.

I don't deal with huge files, not like today's pros. But when I have to pull up a scanned lease from 8 or 9 years ago, it takes me as long to find the file as to open it. So a few seconds is not going to spoil my day.

I completely agree that SSD drives are much, much faster. My next computer will have only one big SSD. But for right now, my Fusion drive works just fine. For me, cost/benefit tilted slightly against a 2TB SSD and in favor of a Fusion.
Of course, unless the HDD is badly fragmented, it's accessing the large files where the HDD holds up better. Once the HDD seeks to the start of the file, it can pull data off pretty fast. Not as fast as an SDD, but pretty fast. It's when you are reading lots of small files, or a fragmented large file that the 5 to 10 ms seek time of an HDD starts to make you long for an SDD.

When I do image processing using lightroom, it's not that much more painful to process image files (in my case 20MB RAW images) on a HDD than an SDD (both from external enclosures in my case).

Tamales
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Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by Tamales » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:44 pm

If you are so inclined, you can save a lot of money AND have a PC with better components of your own choosing by building it yourself.
The website https://pcpartpicker.com/ is very helpful for choosing components, showing current prices from multiple vendors, seeing sample builds by other forum participants, etc.
I started out on Dell's website in early November, and the configuration that met my needs was about $1500. Someone here (sorry I don't recall who) recommended pcpartpicker.com in a different thread, and I ended up using that site and getting a far more capable system, with key components I picked myself (rather than the generic, inspecific upgrade choices offered on the Dell website (their upgrade choices are also very overpriced )), and for significantly less money than the Dell (and the $1500 Dell was a sale price).

I have no gripe with Dell (I've had a couple in the past and was happy with them) but the DIY savings were really striking. As far as building it yourself, while it may help a little if you've built one before, there are vast quantities of Youtube videos covering every aspect and component of assembling a PC, and generally helpful people at pcpartpicker.com, so I'd recommend going that route.

edgeagg
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Location: WA-US

Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by edgeagg » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:15 pm

OK, so this answer is for a desktop class machine.

Like an earlier poster, I buy desktops from Ebay. Here is the spec of my current one - $180 from Ebay shipped:

256G ssd, 64G memory, xeon 4 core at 3.5 ghz. Similar to this one but with more memory.

I added a 1tb hdd - cheap. Then put the OS on the SSD and the data files and user directories on HDD. So for about $250 I have a kick-butt machine. In the machine I sent you from ebay, just add another 16G of memory, and you'll be more than good to go. That should cost about $60 from amazon at most.

02nz
Posts: 4948
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by 02nz » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:19 pm

Tamales wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:44 pm
If you are so inclined, you can save a lot of money AND have a PC with better components of your own choosing by building it yourself.
The website https://pcpartpicker.com/ is very helpful for choosing components, showing current prices from multiple vendors, seeing sample builds by other forum participants, etc.
I started out on Dell's website in early November, and the configuration that met my needs was about $1500. Someone here (sorry I don't recall who) recommended pcpartpicker.com in a different thread, and I ended up using that site and getting a far more capable system, with key components I picked myself (rather than the generic, inspecific upgrade choices offered on the Dell website (their upgrade choices are also very overpriced )), and for significantly less money than the Dell (and the $1500 Dell was a sale price).

I have no gripe with Dell (I've had a couple in the past and was happy with them) but the DIY savings were really striking. As far as building it yourself, while it may help a little if you've built one before, there are vast quantities of Youtube videos covering every aspect and component of assembling a PC, and generally helpful people at pcpartpicker.com, so I'd recommend going that route.
This is a good idea, and I did a variation of it for my current laptop, the HP ProBook 430 G6. HP allows an amazing out of customization on its business laptops, so I got the things that couldn't be easily upgraded on my own - quad-core Core i5, IPS display - and got the lowest-cost option for everything else like RAM, HDD instead of SSD, and no OS. All of that I got/upgraded myself at much lower cost. I ended up with a powerful laptop with hardware that would've cost far more to get from HP. This is not possible to nearly the same extent with consumer laptops, as upgradability is increasingly limited.

Tamales
Posts: 1465
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:47 am

Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by Tamales » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:46 pm

02nz wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:19 pm
This is a good idea, and I did a variation of it for my current laptop, the HP ProBook 430 G6. HP allows an amazing out of customization on its business laptops, so I got the things that couldn't be easily upgraded on my own - quad-core Core i5, IPS display - and got the lowest-cost option for everything else like RAM, HDD instead of SSD, and no OS. All of that I got/upgraded myself at much lower cost. I ended up with a powerful laptop with hardware that would've cost far more to get from HP. This is not possible to nearly the same extent with consumer laptops, as upgradability is increasingly limited.
I didn't know HP let you order computers without the OS installed. While it's a bit more work to install the OS and install all the applications yourself, you're left with a relatively clean PC, free of any bloatware that is typical on consumer pre-built PC's (and in the case of Dell, their "management software" that does who-knows-what, and their multiple partitions that make clone backups a pain).

The last PC I built was about 15 years ago, so it was really something building a new PC (desktop) where the 1 TB hard drive is the size of a stick of chewing gum, installed on the motherboard, and the CPU has a giant towering heatsink/heat pipe structure mounted on it, and power supplies are available with modular cables where you just plug in what you need, and modern cases are a beautiful thing when it comes to cable management and cooling options.

02nz
Posts: 4948
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

Post by 02nz » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:21 pm

Tamales wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:46 pm
I didn't know HP let you order computers without the OS installed. While it's a bit more work to install the OS and install all the applications yourself, you're left with a relatively clean PC, free of any bloatware that is typical on consumer pre-built PC's (and in the case of Dell, their "management software" that does who-knows-what, and their multiple partitions that make clone backups a pain).
I ordered the ProBook in August but it looks like the FreeDOS option (was something like $150 cheaper than Windows Pro) has been removed. However the desktops (ProDesk/EliteDesk) can still be ordered this way. I agree about clean installing - I always do that even if the PC came with Windows.

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