HHD vs HDD for custom casual gaming laptop?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Rikki, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Rikki

    Rikki Newbie

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    I have been looking around for a gaming laptop to buy in the future to replace my old 2012 HP DV6 laptop. As a start, my knowledge of computer components is kind of outdated at 2008-ish tech besides CPUs and GPUs. I researched HHD but I can't seem to find the answer I am looking for. It seems that hybrid drives are somewhat new but slowly becoming a common option from major computer brands. Correct me if I am wrong but since when did Hybrid Hard Drives came into the spotlight besides first release? It makes me question its reliability since its new.

    Anyway. I am interested on a not so known brand called Clevo, but in particular, a re-branded Clevo called Sager by Xoticpc. Xoticpc offers quite a few options from the default 1TB 7200rpm HDD SATAII and the 2nd most expensive of the same capacity, is a hybrid drive with SATA III for $60 more.


    Putting heat emission, power consumption, noise, and reliability in consideration on a laptop, how much would I benefit if I choose a 5200rpm HHD over a regular 7200rpm HDD? I am trying to make my machine as efficient as possible without going over my budget limit of $950 - $1100. My peeves in laptops are mainly the heat (not much information for HHD), power consumption, and damage protection from impacts since I tend to move around a lot. Speed is not really an issue for me, but I chose the HDD since it loads up frequently used programs faster from what I read.
  2. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Well, that website is annoying... :rolleyes:

    Strongly recommend to forget about 5xxxRPM drives and hybrid drives in general. No performance increase overall vs. a quality 7200RPM HDD (Travelstar recommended).

    And even stronger recommendation to forget HDD's going into 2016 and consider an SSD even if it means getting one in the near future (before the year is out, if you were buying a system today) to upgrade the cheapest storage option you can get from this vendor (which looks to be the 1TB 7200RPM HDD option) .

    The $55 to upgrade to the BX100 256GB SSD is tempting, but a better option is to buy the base system with the HDD and buy a SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD or larger and an external enclosure for $10 or so to put the 1TB HDD in to use as a backup.

    This way, you'll have both drives, a better, faster and larger SSD and you'll have the option to completely set up the SSD before you need to format your original 1TB HDD (make sure you make restore disks first) to use as a BU drive. You'll also be within your budget and have a much more responsive system which should run cooler and quieter for a given workload.


    The above SSD has been on sale lately for $160 and is highly recommended.

    I also recommend to max out the RAM to 2x 8GB SoDimm's of the highest frequency and lowest latency you can afford (buy a matched set and sell or use the 8GB stick it ships with somewhere else). Don't buy the RAM from Xotic PC, but do it asap too.


    I would recommend the above or better (if the price isn't too much higher).


    The above link shows what putting higher than spec'd RAM does for a system.

    I also recommend OP'ing (over provisioning) the SSD by ~30% for the best sustained performance over time almost no matter how you use your system.

    The balanced and optimized platform that you're spec'ing with the above options or better will serve you and the next couple of owners well for the next decade, barring any catastrophic failure of any component. :)

    But, as you say this is for a 'future' system, what I recommend overall is in addition to the above, wait for a Skylake platform if you can.

    The only thing that will change is:
    • I would suggest 16GB or 32GB of DDR4 2667 RAM or higher (especially if the BIOS supports these speeds)
    • Possibly considering a PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD of 1TB or larger (yeah, you'll need to keep saving for this one) vs. the 2.5" SATA3 based SSD's I recommend currently.
    All of the suggestions together are important to consider, especially the last one of getting the latest platform you can wait for.

    To make this system really fly, Windows 10 x64 Pro is also recommended. The latest O/S takes advantage of the latest platforms, peripherals and connected devices in a noticeably more optimal manner than any older O/S can.

    Hope this gives you some ideas to ponder for this new system.

    Welcome back to Tech 2015/2016, you were missed. :)

    Good luck.
    D2 Ultima likes this.
  3. Starlight5

    Starlight5 I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    Rikki, you should use either SSD+HDD setup, or SSD all the way - depending on amount of data you need to store. SSDs got dirty cheap now, but you'd better order your machine with HDD only, and install SSD yourself - you'll save a lot of money. Skip the SSHD (more common term for hybrid drives), vs HDD they're good for OS but pointless waste of money for any other usage scenario - and you clearly can afford some decent SSD which will be MUCH faster. For data storage, you won't notice any difference between 5400rpm and 7200rpm drives in real world use, just make sure you get 1TB+ drive - anything smaller is outdated.
    alexhawker and D2 Ultima like this.
  4. ethon21

    ethon21 Notebook Consultant

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    Given that you've listed this as one of your biggest concerns, definitely follow the advice here and go SSD instead of a mechanical or hybrid. The most likely item to be damaged on impact is your hard drive and it's also the worst thing to lose, given that it contains your data. SSDs don't have moving parts, so while nobody encourages dropping them, they're *much* more likely to survive.

    The upside is that if you find the extra money to do so, not only are your more covered from impacts, but there are a host of other benefits you'll get to enjoy as well.

    It's relatively safe to say that SSDs becoming commonplace is probably the biggest change since 2008. :)
    D2 Ultima likes this.
  5. D2 Ultima

    D2 Ultima Livestreaming Master

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  6. kent1146

    kent1146 Notebook Prophet

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    Forget about hybrid hard drives (HHDs). They are obsolete. They had a very niche purpose anywhere from 4-7 years ago, when SSDs were relatively low capacity and very expensive. They were intended for people that wanted something faster than a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD), and only had a single 2.5" SATA drive bay for storage devices.

    Today, SSDs are much more reasonably priced, and come in a variety of storage capacity options. Furthermore, almost all laptops manufactured today will have both M.2 storage interfaces (small "card-like" form factor for internal laptop SSDs) as well as 2.5" SATA drive bays.

    What you want is an M.2 SSD in at least 256GB or 512GB capacity. Put your OS, Games, and Applications on that. You also want a high-capacity 2.5" SATA hard drive in 1TB or 2TB capacities, for bulk storage of media content (music, videos, photos, pr0n, etc). I would actually recommend a 5400rpm 2.5" SATA hard drive, because they run cooler and quieter than an equivalent 7200rpm HDD. And the content you're storing on that mechanical HDD doesn't rely on speed. A 4GB MKV BluRay rip of a movie will play back equivalently well, regardless of how fast your storage device is.

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