SSHD, HDD, SSD, optane?

So i caved and bought a new gaming laptop.

Dell G7 15
8g ram (2x4)
256g M.2 SSD (no other storage)
gtx 1060 max q 6g
intel i7 8750H

I am pretty happy with it but I already know I will need to add more storage as 256gb isn't even close to what I need. So my question is what is the best value? I would like to have 2tb extra ideally but only have 1 available 2.5" sata bay to put something in. I am leaning towards a Barracuda SSHD but have never had one before and am not sure if its much better than a normal mechanical hdd.

Also I am seeing a lot about Intel Optane memory but I don't fully understand it. The impression I got was it "boosts" existing storage you already have? No idea if that's right. Also not even sure what kind of connector it requires (m.2, sata etc). Would it make sense to buy a mechanical hdd and some optane?

Thanks in advance for any advice at all!
13 answers Last reply
More about sshd hdd ssd optane
  1. Seagate is a good brand I would go with them for an SSD personally
  2. Optane in the mode you're referring to works an advanced "cache." That is, it sits "between" the main drive and RAM to store frequently used files. If a file is found in the cache it will be loaded from the faster optane chip rather than wait for it to load from the slower drive behind. It's not a cure-all since only items in the cache are accelerated.

    An SSHD is a similar idea, just packaged into one drive. It's a HDD with a small SSD built into the controller as a cache. The same caveat as above applies.

    If you'll use the other drive as a secondary a mechanical drive should suffice, though there are SATA SSD of 1TB and above (which are more expensive)
  3. SchizTech said:
    Optane in the mode you're referring to works an advanced "cache." That is, it sits "between" the main drive and RAM to store frequently used files. If a file is found in the cache it will be loaded from the faster optane chip rather than wait for it to load from the slower drive behind. It's not a cure-all since only items in the cache are accelerated.

    An SSHD is a similar idea, just packaged into one drive. It's a HDD with a small SSD built into the controller as a cache. The same caveat as above applies.

    If you'll use the other drive as a secondary a mechanical drive should suffice, though there are SATA SSD of 1TB and above (which are more expensive)



    Thanks for the advice so I did have kind of the right idea with optane then? I guess for my case it wouldnt make much sense to remove the 256g m.2 that came with my laptop to replace it with a much smaller but faster optane drive.

    Obviously I would love to buy a 2 tb SSD but they're like $400 which is almost half of what I paid for the entire computer lol I would like to keep it under $100. Is an SSHD that much better than a HDD? is it worth any extra amount of money? they dont seem to be a whole lot more which is good.
  4. I'd just go with a good 7200RPM HDD.
  5. SSHD use an 8Gb ssd as part of a regular hdd. So when you start a game for instance, it's stored on the hdd part of the drive, but loads up into the ssd part first. From then on, anything in the game is basically coming at you from that cache, it's realistically the same as having the game on ssd. When you exit the game, or have any other downloaded content during the game, it's saved back onto the hdd part, even as it's running off the ssd cache. If it's a huge file, it'll continue to save after exit as time allows, and allows you to continue with doing whatever. It's not as good as ssd + hdd, but far better than hdd alone.

    Since you already have an SSD as boot/primary drive, either an sshd or hdd for mass storage is fine, since anything to do with windows, from steam to saved games, will be using the ssd as cache drive anyways, so acting the exact same as an sshd to start with.

    A 2Tb hdd is cheaper than a 2Tb sshd, sshds are basically for those without the ability to use both an SSD and HDD.
  6. jgar70 said:
    SchizTech said:
    Optane in the mode you're referring to works an advanced "cache." That is, it sits "between" the main drive and RAM to store frequently used files. If a file is found in the cache it will be loaded from the faster optane chip rather than wait for it to load from the slower drive behind. It's not a cure-all since only items in the cache are accelerated.

    An SSHD is a similar idea, just packaged into one drive. It's a HDD with a small SSD built into the controller as a cache. The same caveat as above applies.

    If you'll use the other drive as a secondary a mechanical drive should suffice, though there are SATA SSD of 1TB and above (which are more expensive)



    Thanks for the advice so I did have kind of the right idea with optane then? I guess for my case it wouldnt make much sense to remove the 256g m.2 that came with my laptop to replace it with a much smaller but faster optane drive.

    Obviously I would love to buy a 2 tb SSD but they're like $400 which is almost half of what I paid for the entire computer lol I would like to keep it under $100. Is an SSHD that much better than a HDD? is it worth any extra amount of money? they dont seem to be a whole lot more which is good.


    I have owned 3 of the Seagate SSHD's and can say that the current laptop drives, the 2.5" are NOT worth it. They are slower than a standard 7,000 RPM drive. The first 2 SSHD's I bought had the HDD portion at 7,200 rpm and they were indeed faster than a standard drive, however, Seagate decided that laptop SSHD's should only have the HDD portion at 5,400 rpm, which means that everything running off the HDD portion is pathetically slow. Interestingly, the desktop SSHD's are still 7,200 rpm on the HDD portion.

    Just use your SSD for your most used programs and get a 7,200 rpm HDD for storage.
  7. That's a battery saver. The same motor running 5400 vrs 7200 uses less, so while slower for large file usage, the battery will last longer. Small file usage will run the same.
  8. Karadjgne said:
    That's a battery saver. The same motor running 5400 vrs 7200 uses less, so while slower for large file usage, the battery will last longer. Small file usage will run the same.


    I found it to be an extremely noticeable difference, especially in games where maps load from the HDD. My SSHD with 5400 RPM has been relegated to an external storage drive, I wont use it for anything else.
  9. Afaik, actual spinning speeds of the disc's don't affect transmission speeds. But there are variances between models and brands. Seagate in particular has this nasty trick of parking the hdd when not in use, supposedly to extend its lifespan, but reality is unparking takes a minute while the hdd spins up again. Also there's differences in transfer speeds, some drives, newer models especially, have faster transfer speeds than others. The old 5400's saw @20ms, newer models using Sata 3 can see 10-15ms, and the fastest 10k/15k enterprise server drives can see as little as 4ms.

    That old 5400 sshd was more than likely first gen, or basically the budget line, other models costing far more were faster, even using 5400rpm.

    Its like the difference between a WD Blue and a WD Black drive, both are 7200, yet the Black had higher transfer speeds, and a better warranty, but overall will be faster regardless of the fact both are 7200rpm drives.
  10. Karadjgne said:
    Afaik, actual spinning speeds of the disc's don't affect transmission speeds. But there are variances between models and brands. Seagate in particular has this nasty trick of parking the hdd when not in use, supposedly to extend its lifespan, but reality is unparking takes a minute while the hdd spins up again. Also there's differences in transfer speeds, some drives, newer models especially, have faster transfer speeds than others. The old 5400's saw @20ms, newer models using Sata 3 can see 10-15ms, and the fastest 10k/15k enterprise server drives can see as little as 4ms.

    That old 5400 sshd was more than likely first gen, or basically the budget line, other models costing far more were faster, even using 5400rpm.

    Its like the difference between a WD Blue and a WD Black drive, both are 7200, yet the Black had higher transfer speeds, and a better warranty, but overall will be faster regardless of the fact both are 7200rpm drives.


    Spindle speed affects seek times, which delays the transmission, plus the transmission speed differences. The drive I have @5400 was a 1tb SSHD that was the last model made before the current naming scheme. I'm not aware of any major improvements in 5400 seek and transmission speeds. From my experience, when I changed from that 1tb SSHD to the 7200rpm HDD, it was a noticeable difference, especially starting Windows.I had the drive in the laptop for about a month, hoping the firmware would speed things up, but it never happened, at least not noticeably.

    I like the desktop SSHD's, with 7200 rpm on the HDD portion, it's not far off performance from the SSD+HDD combo in performance. My issue with only with the laptop models and the fact that they removed our choice to save a little battery life or get better performance.
  11. Welcome to Seagate. Used them off and on for years, never was impressed by them, but some swear by them, better than WD. I disagree, but that's jmho.
  12. Karadjgne said:
    SSHD use an 8Gb ssd as part of a regular hdd. So when you start a game for instance, it's stored on the hdd part of the drive, but loads up into the ssd part first. From then on, anything in the game is basically coming at you from that cache, it's realistically the same as having the game on ssd. When you exit the game, or have any other downloaded content during the game, it's saved back onto the hdd part, even as it's running off the ssd cache. If it's a huge file, it'll continue to save after exit as time allows, and allows you to continue with doing whatever. It's not as good as ssd + hdd, but far better than hdd alone.

    Since you already have an SSD as boot/primary drive, either an sshd or hdd for mass storage is fine, since anything to do with windows, from steam to saved games, will be using the ssd as cache drive anyways, so acting the exact same as an sshd to start with.

    A 2Tb hdd is cheaper than a 2Tb sshd, sshds are basically for those without the ability to use both an SSD and HDD.



    very helpful information thank you! But I am still a little unsure about a few things. Don't i need to partition my ssd to be used as a cashe for a 2tb hdd if i went that route? The way you worded that it made it sound like it automatically does it? From what im seeing on newegg a 7200 RPM 2 tb hdd is around 300 dollars? and a 5400 is a little under $100. The SSHD (firecuda) is $92.
  13. In a hybrid drive (SSHD) the cache management is all done by the drive controller and it's firmware. It appears as one drive to the computer. If you get an SSD and a HDD separately, the standard way now is to use a large enough SSD to hold Windows and your programs and boot from that, and use the HDD just for data storage.
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