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SSD+HDD vs SSD+SSHD

Hi everyone,

I have the (2017) Dell Inspiron 17 7567 model, (i5 7300HQ, GTX 1050, 8Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD) and it has a free bay for a 2.5 inch drive.
I want to expand my storage, so that I keep the OS(obviously) and most important programs on the SSD and all the games, less important programs and media stuff on a 1Tb drive.

The question is: Should I get an SSHD (5400rpm, +-8Gb SSD part) or HDD(7200rpm) assuming that they both have the same cash size(or that they both have 32mb + cash, which I think is more than enough...).

To specify, here's a real life example of how I would use it:
I'd install not very important (but still heavy probably) programs and games on the HDD or SSHD. Will their files, not the game itself, just core files(like savegames) go to the "C drive" (A.K.A. SSD) into the %appdata% folder, and thus load with SSD speeds when I start the game, or will ALL their files remain on the HDD/SSHD and work at SATA speeds?

Final question: Which, in your opinion, should I get?

Link for the laptop: http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/inspiron-15-7567-laptop/fncwf514s


UPDATE(31/05/2017)
I decided to go with the WD Black 1Tb. I've been using it for a week now and I'm satisfied. With 150Gb free space on the SSD and about 700Gb left on the HDD it's going well. It's extraordinary to be able to "spin down" the HDD from Windows power plan settings. So now, after about 5 minutes of it not being used, my HDD spins down going into this sort of "sleep" consuming less power and obviously making NO NOISE at all. It's perfect. Thank you everyone for answering.
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about ssd hdd ssd sshd
  1. Sometimes they will store small files on your appdata on your c drive, but, depending on the game, most of the files used will be on the drive they are installed to.

    It depends on how big the ssd part of the sshd is.
    If the SSD part is pretty large and you are going to play one game at a time, go with the SSHD. For example, if you play GTA V every day for a few weeks and then transition into some other game for a few more weeks.
    I'd recommend an SSHD for that because the frequently used files will be stored on the ssd part, which will make load times similar to being on your normal SSD.

    But, if the SSD part is not very large and / or you play various games throughout a week, I'd say get the 7200 RPM drive.
    5400 RPM is slower than 7200RPM, and the SSD part of the SSHD only helps if you have specific files that you frequently use.

    So, if you are not using the same files frequently (playing the same game for a couple weeks), then most of the loading will be from the 5400RPM drive, which would be slower than loading from a 7200RPM drive.

    Personally, I'd get the 7200RPM HDD.
  2. HDD. My 7200 RPM desktop drive beats the pants off the 5400 RPM SSHD, even in the rare instance the SSHD has cached something I need.
  3. Best answer
    jtabb1256 said:
    It depends on how big the ssd part of the sshd is.
    If the SSD part is pretty large and you are going to play one game at a time, go with the SSHD. For example, if you play GTA V every day for a few weeks and then transition into some other game for a few more weeks.


    The bulk of the speedup from using a SSD comes from faster small file read/writes.

    HDDs can read/write sequential (large) files at about 125 MB/s.
    SSDs can read/write sequential (large) files) at about 500 MB/s, so only 4x faster.

    HDDs can read/write 4k (small) files at about 1 MB/s.
    SSDs can read/write 4k (small) files at about 30-70 MB/s, 150-300 MB/s if queued. So tens or hundreds of times faster.

    SSHDs know this. They typically come with 8GB of flash, but they don't waste it on large files. They use it to speed up small file reads. And you can fit a lot of small files in 8 GB. It will have no problem

    If you plan to play games off this HDD/SSHD, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the SSHD. However, take care to avoid the WD SSHDs. WD uses an insanely short head parking timeout on their 5400 RPM drives, including their SSHDs. After about 10-15 seconds of inactivity, the heads will park. The next time you need data off the drive, the computer has to wait a fraction of a second for the heads to unpark. In games, this will show up as freezing and stuttering. Since the timeout is baked into the firmware, there's no easy workaround to change this behavior.

    A 2.5" SSD is an even better choice though. It's still significantly faster than the SSHD, and it has faster writes, not just reads. The writes on a SSHD are as slow as for a regular HDD.

    Quote:
    5400 RPM is slower than 7200RPM

    7200 RPM is only 33% faster than 5400 RPM. IMHO most of the speed difference is psychological. And in type of disk operations where there is a noticeable difference (small file random read/writes) a SSD is tens or hundreds of times faster vs 1.33x faster.

    Quote:
    Will their files, not the game itself, just core files(like savegames) go to the "C drive" (A.K.A. SSD) into the %appdata% folder, and thus load with SSD speeds when I start the game, or will ALL their files remain on the HDD/SSHD and work at SATA speeds?

    Most games store configuration and save games on the C: drive in your Documents\My Games folder.

    How much the SSD/SSHD helps speed up the game depends on their file size. Most game companies recognized how awful HDDs were at small file read speeds, so took steps to consolidate lots of small files into larger ones. So for example, instead of having a separate file for each texture, they'd combine all the textures into one file. If the game stores all that data as separate files (e.g. Skyrim), then the SSHD will help tremendously. If the game combines them into a single file (e.g. Guild Wars 2, which stores everything into a single 25 GB file), the SSHD will be the same speed as a HDD.

    For a quick estimate, you can right-click the game's folder, and compare the amount of data vs. the number of files. That'll give you some idea if it's got lots of small files, or if it took steps to consolidate files. With the prevalence of SSDs, I've been seeing a trend back towards lots of small files. But it really is game-specific.
  4. jtabb1256 said:
    Sometimes they will store small files on your appdata on your c drive, but, depending on the game, most of the files used will be on the drive they are installed to.

    It depends on how big the ssd part of the sshd is.
    If the SSD part is pretty large and you are going to play one game at a time, go with the SSHD. For example, if you play GTA V every day for a few weeks and then transition into some other game for a few more weeks.
    I'd recommend an SSHD for that because the frequently used files will be stored on the ssd part, which will make load times similar to being on your normal SSD.

    But, if the SSD part is not very large and / or you play various games throughout a week, I'd say get the 7200 RPM drive.
    5400 RPM is slower than 7200RPM, and the SSD part of the SSHD only helps if you have specific files that you frequently use.

    So, if you are not using the same files frequently (playing the same game for a couple weeks), then most of the loading will be from the 5400RPM drive, which would be slower than loading from a 7200RPM drive.

    Personally, I'd get the 7200RPM HDD.


    Ok, I got it. I don't really play games that much. I'm a university student (exams are coming...) so I don't really play more than 4-5 hours per week (which is much already...).

    You've been very helpful, thank you.
  5. dudeman509 said:
    HDD. My 7200 RPM desktop drive beats the pants off the 5400 RPM SSHD, even in the rare instance the SSHD has cached something I need.


    Just what I've been thinking. Thank you!
  6. Solandri said:
    jtabb1256 said:
    It depends on how big the ssd part of the sshd is.
    If the SSD part is pretty large and you are going to play one game at a time, go with the SSHD. For example, if you play GTA V every day for a few weeks and then transition into some other game for a few more weeks.


    The bulk of the speedup from using a SSD comes from faster small file read/writes.

    HDDs can read/write sequential (large) files at about 125 MB/s.
    SSDs can read/write sequential (large) files) at about 500 MB/s, so only 4x faster.

    HDDs can read/write 4k (small) files at about 1 MB/s.
    SSDs can read/write 4k (small) files at about 30-70 MB/s, 150-300 MB/s if queued. So tens or hundreds of times faster.

    SSHDs know this. They typically come with 8GB of flash, but they don't waste it on large files. They use it to speed up small file reads. And you can fit a lot of small files in 8 GB. It will have no problem

    If you plan to play games off this HDD/SSHD, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the SSHD. However, take care to avoid the WD SSHDs. WD uses an insanely short head parking timeout on their 5400 RPM drives, including their SSHDs. After about 10-15 seconds of inactivity, the heads will park. The next time you need data off the drive, the computer has to wait a fraction of a second for the heads to unpark. In games, this will show up as freezing and stuttering. Since the timeout is baked into the firmware, there's no easy workaround to change this behavior.

    A 2.5" SSD is an even better choice though. It's still significantly faster than the SSHD, and it has faster writes, not just reads. The writes on a SSHD are as slow as for a regular HDD.

    Quote:
    5400 RPM is slower than 7200RPM

    7200 RPM is only 33% faster than 5400 RPM. IMHO most of the speed difference is psychological. And in type of disk operations where there is a noticeable difference (small file random read/writes) a SSD is tens or hundreds of times faster vs 1.33x faster.

    Quote:
    Will their files, not the game itself, just core files(like savegames) go to the "C drive" (A.K.A. SSD) into the %appdata% folder, and thus load with SSD speeds when I start the game, or will ALL their files remain on the HDD/SSHD and work at SATA speeds?

    Most games store configuration and save games on the C: drive in your Documents\My Games folder.

    How much the SSD/SSHD helps speed up the game depends on their file size. Most game companies recognized how awful HDDs were at small file read speeds, so took steps to consolidate lots of small files into larger ones. So for example, instead of having a separate file for each texture, they'd combine all the textures into one file. If the game stores all that data as separate files (e.g. Skyrim), then the SSHD will help tremendously. If the game combines them into a single file (e.g. Guild Wars 2, which stores everything into a single 25 GB file), the SSHD will be the same speed as a HDD.

    For a quick estimate, you can right-click the game's folder, and compare the amount of data vs. the number of files. That'll give you some idea if it's got lots of small files, or if it took steps to consolidate files. With the prevalence of SSDs, I've been seeing a trend back towards lots of small files. But it really is game-specific.


    Wow, your answer is realy consistent. Thank you for providing all these details. I will indeed check the files and size of the folders, I'm intrigued. But most probably I'll go with the HDD, as I'm not playing that much. Not more than 4-5 hours/week, which is much already...

    Anyway, the HDDs are a little bit cheaper... The only questions remaining are battery and noise.

    This laptop has a HUGE battery and is well optimised. With Power saving mode and doing basic performance tasks (WiFi off) it can stay charged for up to 19 hours. Normally, as use it it stays charged for about 4-6 hours (Browsing + Studying + Youtube + Music + Programs (Matlab/Inventor etc.) ).

    And the noise, I'll have to deal with the noise of an HDD again, which I kand of don't like, but it's not that important. :D

    Thank you for your help!
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