Hard drive help please

I am looking at getting a new laptop and don't know which to choose - 500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm, 2.5"

500GB 5400rpm Hybrid, 8GB Cache Hard Drive

1TB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm, 2.5"

128GB S128GB Solid State Drive, SATA III

any help would be appreciated - Thanks

geek_coolcowz, Jul 1, 11:07 am

The hybrid drive will have some form of flash memory onboard that helps to boost performance.

The SSD drive is the best bet to drastically improve your computer's overall performance, but you get much less storage space.

The other drives are standard mechanical hard drives - the 7200rpm version will have a slight performance advantage (not really significant). But the 1TB version has more storage space.

Personally I'd go with the SSD.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 1, 11:12 am

Thanks - at the moment i have used 111GB but a lot of that is pictures and music that i can get rid of - my main problem is speed and loading times - i get very impatient - so it sounds like for a few more dollars the SSD would be best

geek_coolcowz, Jul 1, 11:18 am

a ssd isn't going to help a computer bogged down and full of crap, or one with crap specs.

geek_king1, Jul 1, 11:21 am

Yes it can. An SSD can help an old slow computer massively. Of course it's best to start fresh. but it will definitely help.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 1, 11:27 am

[facepalm] I didn't read the bit about this being a new laptop purchase (the first sentence). Sorry for wasting a minute of your life. [/facepalm]

geek_king1, Jul 1, 11:39 am

I put an ssd in my car laptop which is an older acer netbook with 1.6ghz Atom and it made neglibile difference

geek_king1, Jul 1, 11:43 am

Hrm really? I've put them in older computers before and it has really helped.

In saying that, I guess the CPU in your case could have been the bottleneck.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 1, 11:48 am

now i have another choice between
Intel Core i5-5200U Processor (3MB Cache, up to 2.70GHz)

Intel Core i7-5500U Processor (4MB Cache, up to 3.00GHz)

is there much difference?

geek_coolcowz, Jul 1, 11:54 am

I7 is better, but for normal usage you won't notice any difference

geek_king1, Jul 1, 11:58 am

If the price difference is minimal, go for the i7. But it won't make much difference. They're both dual core in this case.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 1, 12:02 pm

Thanks for being so helpful - its about $150 difference.
what about these options?
8GB PC3-12800 DDR3L (2 DIMM)


geek_coolcowz, Jul 1, 12:13 pm

I'd go with the i5 then.

And the RAM - they both look the same.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 1, 12:18 pm

Great - thanks so much for the help

geek_coolcowz, Jul 1, 12:19 pm

2 DIMMS may be a tiny fraction faster, if they are a matched pair.

geek_r.g.nixon, Jul 1, 1:34 pm

I had a 120gb SSD and upgraded to a 256 as the 128 was just too small. drove me nuts in the end. Nice and fast tho

geek_piperguy, Jul 1, 1:40 pm

Yeah 120GB is a bit small for my liking. I've used 256GB for a couple of years and find it to be plenty. Just have an external drive handy.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 1, 3:07 pm

Thanks and yes I have a 500gb external so should be fine

geek_coolcowz, Jul 1, 3:12 pm

Most laptops will come with a older "spinny" HD you can sometimes add a solid state and keep the larger HD for storage in the DVD slot - I did this on my new asus and its very quick - boots in under 10 seconds. its a 5th gen i7 which runs very cool compared to my older i5.
Big thumbs up on the SSD's speed - I just hope they are reliable

geek_timbo69, Jul 1, 7:32 pm

SSDs are more reliable than HDDs. Just remember not to defrag them. I make mine last even longer by setting up a 'RAM Drive' for temp files and browser cache. Worth it if you have RAM to spare. I use the free one from Softperfect.

geek_r.g.nixon, Jul 1, 7:47 pm

SSD gets a much longer battery life

geek_smallfry, Jul 1, 9:30 pm

Depends on the SSD. 3.5" desktop hard drives - yep definitely, SSDs win.

But 2.5" laptop mechanical hard drives don't use much more power than SSDs. Some SSDs actually have a higher power draw than some of the more energy efficient mechanical hard drives.

Even so the difference is minimal - a very efficient SSD might get you an extra 30 minutes of battery life.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 1, 9:36 pm

This definitely used to be the case, but SSD's have improved dramatically in terms of power draw.

For example, an Intel SSD 535 has an "active" power draw of 165mW and an "idle" power draw of 55mW.

A WD Green 2.5" notebook drive has an active power draw of 1.7W and an idle power draw of 200mW.

So about 10 times more power while active, although it is true that the difference is negligible when put next to the 25 or 35W CPU.

geek_lugee, Jul 1, 10:24 pm

Wow srsly? Yeah I guess it has been a couple of years since I looked into the issue. Amazing that the technology has become that much more efficient in that space of time. 165mW is ridiculous. most SSDs used to draw around 1 - 1.5watts when active. that was only a couple of years ago.

When paired with CPUs like the new Core M series (5 watts), laptops are going to start getting pretty mental battery life.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 1, 10:36 pm

It's already pretty mental. My XPS 13 with the Broadwell Core i5 lasts 10+ hours on a charge. I only charge it once a week with around 2 hours a night of use.

Actually, you just made me look up. The Intel SSD 330 I bought in 2012 has an active power draw of 850mW. Impressive they've gone from 850 to 165 in 3 years, I guess 25nm to 16nm NAND makes all the difference.

geek_lugee, Jul 1, 11:20 pm

Yeah, I got a new laptop the other week. was tossing up pretty closely between the XPS 13 and the latest 13" Macbook Pro. I ended up going with the Pro mainly because of the more powerful processor. but even with that, I'm getting 10-12 hours out of a charge. Broadwell is just mental.

As for the SSDs - check this out. they seem to range between 0.75 and 5 watts:

I'm guessing the manufacturer rated power draw isn't always realistic. But still, pretty impressive some of them. Massive variation there too.

Edit: Could also be old benchmarks. not too sure.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 1, 11:30 pm

Yeah I was a bit suspicious, but according to the data sheets, those values are "Active power measured during execution of MobileMark* 2007 Workload with SATA Link Power Management (LPM) enabled."

Perhaps that is a real world simulation test, rather than a maximum throughput test which it looks like Anandtech is doing.

geek_lugee, Jul 2, 2:57 pm

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