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Old 01-05-2015, 04:12 PM   #1
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Default Toshiba SSHD... I'm impressed...

Hullo,

I spend my "computer time" on a aged Thinkpad X200s. Loaded with 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and did have a 160GB hard drive.

Well, I run my online shop from it, work on my software project on it, and try to keep as much of my own files on it as possible. A few needed applications over the Christmas period started filling up the hard drive - so I thought "Lets have a look and see what I can get in the January sales".

Initially, I was going to order a 500GB, 8MB Cache, bog standard, nothing special, Hitachi (or is it HGST or somthing now?) hard drive to replace what was in it. It was 34 online before delivery cost. I checked out a local supplier, they had the same thing, until I went to the shop and had ran out of stock. So, went to PC world to see what they had, and well, they ultimately had stock issues too (In Stirling). Then, eye spied a great bargin - a Toshiba 500GB SSHD (Solid-State Hard Drive is what they are calling it) Hybrid drive, with 32MB cache and 8GB of SLC flash, on the PC World website - all for the reduced price of 40.

Being the tight bugger I am, I thought great, I'll have it... only for PC World to again not have stock in Stirling, contrary to what the collect in store online website feature said. So, a quick jaunt to Edinburgh, and finally, I get my hands on this little gismo.

First impressions - It's so so slim. I've never laid eye's on a 7mm thick Hard Drive. Sure, I've seen SSDs that slim, but c'mon, that's just a PCB with flash IC's on it. But to put a 5400rpm, 500GB, 2.5" HDD that thin, pretty impressive. Next was how silent this thing is - it's silent - as in you can't hear the thing. Then, the performance. Now, I admit, I've always been ignorant of these hybrid drives, and always assumed that ranting I've heard about them is nonsense. But, the speed improvement from this thing is impressive - something I didn't expect with just 8GB of flash.

I really wasn't looking for a high performance drive - I don't particularly need it - I never turn the laptop off. So, once windows is loaded, and my web browser, Outlook, Word, and Visual Studio, there's not really much going on hard drive wise (The 8GB of RAM helps) - but it does take an age to load all this up!

Not now, under a minute and a half from switch on, this is all up and ready to go. Course, it's never going to give the performance of an SSD, but for 40, and 500GB of storage, it's an absolute steal, and I'm well and truely impressed. It's given this old dear of a laptop another lease of life - still see no reason to upgrade! And the tech is about 6 years old!

Has anyone else out there used one of these Hybrid drives? What do you think of them? I can't believe I've wrote them off for so long... Ideal for bringing alive low end or old laptops!

Anyway, though i'd share my new found happiness with something as mundane as a hard drive...
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Toshiba SSHD... I'm impressed...

Glad you're happy with yours and sounds like you got a pretty good deal. I looked into them a few months back but ultimately decided against it since for an hdd, I would prefer 7200 rpm. The big reason was that, on the drives I was considering, the OS only sees the ssd until a device driver gets installed which allows the OS to see the hdd, I felt a little uneasy about that. The other thing I didn't like was that transfers between the ssd and hdd portion were slow since they both shared the same SATA connection. Is the drive you got the same where you had to install software in order for the OS to be able to see the hdd?

I ended getting a Samsung EVO 500GB ssd and I am happy with it. It retails for about $230USD or so but I got a deal on it where it literally cost me $13 out of pocket.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Toshiba SSHD... I'm impressed...

Nope, the drive I've got is nothing like that. All the OS see's is the Hard Drive - everything is managed on the drive itself via firmware - no fancy drivers or setup required.

When, eventually after buying it, I started reading up about it, I read about those hybrid solutions that have seperately managed Flash and Discs. This is definately not that.

Here's a link to the spec sheet for it: mq01abfxxxh_datasheet.pdf

They had another document, that I can't find anymore, that compared the two different hybrid formats.

Yeah, I'd love the 7200rpm, but this is ultimately for a laptop, and said laptop has a poor battery, so it's probably best that it's 5400rpm. Besides, In this setup, I doubt I would notice any difference between the 7200rpm and 5400rpm with the way the flash is used.

You definately got a deal. Of course, this drive is never going to keep up with the performnace of a pure SSD - but the improvement over a standard HDD is very significant, and far greater than I was expecting.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Toshiba SSHD... I'm impressed...

I have a Sandik 32gb cache SSD along with my 1tb hard drive. It does speed things up considerably. What they do is to cache your frequently used programs so they're slow to start but soon build up.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Toshiba SSHD... I'm impressed...

Sounds like it's definitely a perfect fit for you.
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