mSATA/HDD Advice

MajorPain

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Joined
Dec 1, 2014
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7
Hi Everyone! Just wanted to get input if I selected a forward thinking unit. Here are the generals:

- 4810mq overclocked to 4ghz
- Dual GTX880M video cards 16g (2 x 8g)
- 1TB 5400rpm hard drive with 80G SSD Caching
- 16g DDR3 dual channel 1600hz
- Dual Band wireless AC 7260 5ghz + bluetooth

I may want to later add a 1TB SSD- is it worth it? I could swing the price now, but in a year perhaps. Any tips or tweeks or concerns that I should be aware of?

Thanks!

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Consequently, I will be purchasing a different hard drive... should I just stick with SSD and as much space as I can on the single drive? Any suggestions? Can someone point me to a purchase point and compatible plug in unit? I'm looking at simple reinstall of OS and 2 screws to change out?

Also, is the 1TB HDD + 80G SSD cache a hybrid?

I should be able to image the OS and factory software with Acronis and then re-install on a single SSD no?

HELP!

Will this work? SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE1T0BW 2.5" 1TB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
 

dimobr

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Dec 4, 2014
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The 1TB HDD + 80G SSD works just like a hybrid. The SSD is set up as a cache drive, not as a storage or boot drive, and is allocated on the mSata port.

In my opnion the best choice is upgrade this mSata SSD for something bigger (now the money talks...if 1TB fits in your pocket, make it) break the cache setup and change the configuration to use the drive as your boot device.
With this setup you will get more speed (mSATA is really faster) and can use the other ports as storage using conventional HDD disks.

Particularly I prefer a clean install of the OS, but cloning with Acronis is not a problem, on youtube there are many tutorials about it. The installation of new disks is also quick and clean, when you remove the bottom case you will probably recognize the mSATA drive or HDD cage. If you experience difficulties, refer to the manual of your Alienware and you will find all the diagram to replace the units.
 

MajorPain

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Dec 1, 2014
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Thanks... could I convert the 80g SSD to a boot for OS and a few things only? I suppose so...just change the order of boot in the setup after formatting the drive?
 

dimobr

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Dec 4, 2014
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Thanks... could I convert the 80g SSD to a boot for OS and a few things only? I suppose so...just change the order of boot in the setup after formatting the drive?



Frankly I think 80GB is not enough, I would not do that, and you probably have a great performance with this unit working as a cache. Think that currently some games come to occupy almost 40GB, and you only have the speed of ssd with what is allocated in it. Already with the unit working as a cache, the system is optimized, all you use more often is stored in the SSD automatically and you will not need manipulate files for speed.

As your 80gb SSD is configured as cache, you need to set it as a boot drive, format and create a new partition ... all you do directly by the windows installer. But as I said earlier, think a bit about whether it is worth. I believe that a unit of at least 240GB would be ideal.
 

ejohnson

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May 4, 2012
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242
In my 17 I went with a 256gb boot drive, and a pair of 1 tb hdds for data.

All programs and a few games are on the msata drive, all storage and remaining games are on the 2 hdds (raid for a single 2tb drive)

I have about 120gb remaining on the boot drive and the hdds have some space left too.
 

MajorPain

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Dec 1, 2014
Messages
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Yes, good thoughts. Thank you both, it is very fast by comparison (from old one). Since the SSD for either (250G mSATA or SATA) are roughly the same price, any value in just adding the 2nd Drive (SATA SSD), turning off the caching in INTEL Rapid, and then reload windows and drivers onto the SSD and boot?

My original thought was to just get a new 250G mSATA... but I think it may be better to either wait and get the 1TB SATA SSD and save the mSATA port for later... any thoughts? Thanks again! Also, would I have to turn off the caching to the old HHD to add the second drive (SSD) or simply leave it all as is, add the new SSD, reinstall win and drivers, then boot to SSD?
 

dimobr

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2014
Messages
3
Yes, good thoughts. Thank you both, it is very fast by comparison (from old one). Since the SSD for either (250G mSATA or SATA) are roughly the same price, any value in just adding the 2nd Drive (SATA SSD), turning off the caching in INTEL Rapid, and then reload windows and drivers onto the SSD and boot?

My original thought was to just get a new 250G mSATA... but I think it may be better to either wait and get the 1TB SATA SSD and save the mSATA port for later... any thoughts? Thanks again! Also, would I have to turn off the caching to the old HHD to add the second drive (SSD) or simply leave it all as is, add the new SSD, reinstall win and drivers, then boot to SSD?

If you plan to use a RAID, the best option is the conventional SSD. If not, mSATA.

Regardless of format, try to catch with the highest capacity possible. The advantage of using the mSATA is the ability to add two high-capacity hard drives and have at hand a real storage (as was done by ejohnson, and I believe it is the best bet).

When placing things rolling, preferably for a new installation, will minimize any problems.
 

ejohnson

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May 4, 2012
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242
I guess it all depends on your final goal and use for the laptop is... if you like me, I carry nearly 1tb of music, 600gbs of games a bunch of bluray rips. So for me, massive storage is needed.

If you dont plan to carry a huge amount of media, getting a 2.5 inch ssd, load windows onto that, then use the 80gb to cache the 1tb storage drive.
This will give you the ssd speed on booting and programs, then the hdd will have the speed of a cached drive for media.
 

MajorPain

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Dec 1, 2014
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Ah great advice... I should simply leave the current config; 1TB HHD with 80G SSD Cache. I will then add the 1TB SSD 2.5 SATA, and then load win to that, so that I can boot from SSD.
 

ejohnson

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May 4, 2012
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242
Thats what I would do personally. Loading windows on the 80gb drive will fill up fast. Just remember that the default install path for everything is the drive windows is on. So, if you used the 80gb, then you would have to manually tell everything what drive to install to so you dont fill up the 80gb drive too fast. Setting it as a cache drive lets windows move things to it as you use them.

BTW, I see your in MN, let me know if you need any help. I work in Saint Louis Park and live in Burnsville.
 

MajorPain

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Dec 1, 2014
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Thank you Sir! I live in Andover. I'm going to reinstall win on the new 250 G SATA SSD! Should be fairly easy; my plan is to load the win cd and then boot from their to install windows on the partition on the SSD (new one). I will use the HHD for storage.
 

muhd86

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Oct 20, 2013
Messages
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my m18 is coming in a day or 2 , the friend i am geting from it had installed 4 ssd in it in raid0 , i dont like ssd much hence i thought will remove 2 and install 1 tb hdd instead , i want to use a msata drive for cache , i have to re install windows 8.1 again , how do i set up the msata as a cache only
 
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