500gb + 32gb msata ssd cache? Help me understand please...

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by ghhowell84, Dec 12, 2012.

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  1. ghhowell84

    ghhowell84 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Just made a tough decision...XPS 12 or the M17x...I went with the M17x as i am an avid gamer :]. My question that I have is i chose the 500gb hdd + 32gb msata caching ssd option and i'm not quite sure what this does? I know it says that it can boost performance. The thing i'm wondering is can i format everything once i get it and install Windows 8 to the 32gb mSata caching ssd to have the OS running quickly and then have the 500gb drive hold all my games and music? If not, i will probably remove the option and bank the $75...unless you guys feel that the performance boost is worth it. :] Thanks all!
     
  2. cmacclel

    cmacclel Notebook Guru

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    Skip the Msata and just buy a real SSD. You can find 128gb drives that perform 5x faster for less than $75. My M17x R4 has the 32gb msata drive and it's slow for an SSD Read speeds are around 230MB/s and writes are around 80MB/s where all the newer SSD's are around 500MB/s Read and pretty close to the same for write performance.
     
  3. MickyD1234

    MickyD1234 Notebook Prophet

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    Personally I'd go for the msata cache drive and add a larger SSD later. This way your mechanical drive will still be speeded up after you reinstall windows (or restore) to the new SSD. The msata port is a pig to get to requiring an almost complete strip down :( .

    I've seen a couple of people that have added a cache drive aftermarket without a reinstall and both were impressed with the instant speed increase.

    Remember that the caching is OS independent and does not require any drivers, it can be configured on a screen that pops up before the bios splash screen as well as using pre-installed windows software (IRST). A cache drive is 'invisible' in windows explorer.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. cmacclel

    cmacclel Notebook Guru

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    I'm not following you? If you want the best performance your better off skipping the Msata and buying a real SSD. The msata ssd after you install an SSD is a waste, for $75 for 32gb of SLOW SSD performance when you can buy a 128gb real SSD drive for around $75. I have an R4 that came with the 32gb msata and 500gb 7200rpm drive. Read speads where around 180MB/s and writes where around 80MB/s. A real SSD 3x faster in Reads and 5x faster in writes. In my oprinion save the $75 buy a real SSD and use the 500gb drive for Backup and the 128GB SSD for your primary drive.
     
  5. MickyD1234

    MickyD1234 Notebook Prophet

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    It was simply a way to purchase an R4 with the HD speeded up on an MSATA drive but later fit a cheaper, dedicated, SSD. Get the full size SSD aftermarket and make that the boot drive. Install windows and you have a machime running at full SSD speeds along with the 'old' HD also being considertably speeded up. Win, win :D

    The IRST software will not allow a cache to be added to an SSD but it will still be there after a full reinstall if applied to the existing HD and the boot order changed.

    Hope that's a little clearer ;)
     
  6. cmacclel

    cmacclel Notebook Guru

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    I uderstand what your saying but don't understand your logic :) Paying $75 extra for a 32gb msata drive which is 3x slower that a $75 128gb real SSD makes no sense to me.
     
  7. MickyD1234

    MickyD1234 Notebook Prophet

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    You're absolutely right for the money. The logic was to buy a cheaper 'real' SSD aftermarket, but retain (at the extra cost of $75) a faster data drive. Depends if that is worth it to the OP?

    The $75 is not wasted if you like the idea of a boosted second drive but don't want to buy another SSD for data; or buying a cheaper small msata aftermarket for caching the mechanical drive, but have to go through a complete tear down. ;)
     
  8. cmacclel

    cmacclel Notebook Guru

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    Good point I didn't think about it that way. So the mSata drive would be used to cache the 500gb data drive while your dedicated SSD has your OS and frequently used programs......makes sense. I just went with Dual Samung 830 SSD's in Raid 0 :)
     
  9. James D

    James D Notebook Prophet

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    I would buy aftermarket.
     
  10. MickyD1234

    MickyD1234 Notebook Prophet

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    Yes that would be my plan. I had no choice on my config as it was a like-for-like replacement from Dell on my R3. I would have liked the data drive speeded up but I'm not tearing it down just for that. Dual SSD's is the best idea but since I have my 1Tb almost full already (time to delete some games!) its not a viable option, yet, to replace it with an SSD :(
     
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