SSD upgrade at purchase vs SSD aftermarket upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by decrescendo, Jul 4, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. decrescendo

    decrescendo Notebook Geek

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    One of my main requirements for a new Ivy Bridge laptop is a true SSD drive (not a SSD/HD cache combination). However, I'm noticing a true manufacturer SSD upgrade option is more rare than I would have guessed.

    Am I better off choosing a laptop based on those with manufacturer SSD upgrades at purchase or should I not let that drive my decision?

    I'm a little nervous that I will somehow void the warranty if I try an aftermarket SSD upgrade on my own. Any thoughts? I'm sure a lot of you have experience with this.
     
  2. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

    Reputations:
    4,965
    Messages:
    12,347
    Likes Received:
    2,348
    Trophy Points:
    631
    You will not void the warranty if you put in an aftermarket SSD (this is exactly the same as upgrading the supplied HDD with a better HDD...).

    Do not let this drive your decision: base it on the best hardware/software and vendor support you can afford at the best combination of price you can get. With this step out of the way, upgrade the machine to fit your needs (exactly).

    The only thing I would watch out for is for the machines that are basically sealed 'AIO' units and would make upgrading essentials like RAM and HDD/SSD drives harder than necessary.

    Good luck.
     
  3. R3d

    R3d Notebook Virtuoso

    Reputations:
    1,515
    Messages:
    2,382
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    66
    99.9% of the time it's cheaper to buy a SSD after and install it yourself. Most notebook manufacturers allow HDD/RAM upgrades so you won't void your warranty.
     
  4. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

    Reputations:
    3,970
    Messages:
    2,248
    Likes Received:
    221
    Trophy Points:
    81
    I would go for aftermarket SSD's if a self upgrade is possible, it shouldn't affect the system warranty and would most certainly be cheaper and probably faster than the SSD from the vendor directly. Plus you also tend to be covered by the SSD's own warranty should anything go wrong with it too.
     
  5. decrescendo

    decrescendo Notebook Geek

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thanks!

    So all of these SSD/HD combo/cache drives out there, are they a different size than the standard 2.5" or 3.5" drives? If my laptop comes with one of them, can I swap out that cache/combo drive for just a single 2.5" SSD? Or will I be left with a hole where the original normal HD was?
     
  6. maverick1989

    maverick1989 Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    332
    Messages:
    1,566
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Yes I am pretty sure you can simply remove your older one or put the SSD into the second slot (if you have a 17" laptop or larger).
     
  7. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    7,588
    Messages:
    10,036
    Likes Received:
    1,079
    Trophy Points:
    581
    Those SSD cache + HDD combos usually use a mSATA SSD as cache (the form factor is different). A regular 2.5" SSD will replace the 2.5" HDD. Note that i'm not talking about hybrid drives like the momentus XT where the 4GB or 8GB cache depending on the model is on the HDD itself. mSATA SSD cache usually sit at 32GB.

    In order of performance (highest to lowest):
    SSD > mSATA SSD cache + HDD > Hybrid drive > HDD

    In order of cost (from highest to lowest):
    SSD > mSATA SSD cache + HDD > Hybrid drive > HDD

    In order of storage capacity (Higest to lowest):
    HDD/Hybrid/mSATA+HDD > SSD

    In the end what you choose will depend on cost and the capacity you need as well as the performance you want. For example, in a laptop that has a mSATA connector, i would personally, replace the mSATA cache with a 128GB mSATA SSD for an OS drive and use the HDD for storage or i'd go all out and go mSATA SSD 128GB + SSD, maybe even RAID those suckers if it's possible.

    EDIT If you have a 17" notebook, you likely have two hard drive bays which means that you could do like tilleroftheearth said: put a HDD in one bay and a SSD in the other like i have in my G73JH (see my signature)
     
  8. decrescendo

    decrescendo Notebook Geek

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    So an mSATA cache is somehow different than an mSATA SSD? And both of those are a different form factor/connection type than a regular 2.5" SSD drive?
     
  9. Type 100

    Type 100 Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    25
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    15
    Physically they are the same thing; mSATA is both a form factor and connection type. The roles they play however are slightly different.

    Basically if you set an mSATA SSD as a cache, it becomes a "slave" drive to speed up access times of a "master" drive. The OS does not pick up the mSATA SSD as a separate drive; it is essentially invisible as far as the OS is concerned. All it does is act as a quick-reading buffer or cache for the master drive - usually a mechanical hard disk.

    If you were to set the mSATA SSD as a standalone drive, then it would be identified under the OS with its own drive letter. Freed from caching duty, it would have nothing to do with any other disk.

    So a quick recap.
    Let's say you have a 500GB hard disk and a 60GB mSATA SSD on the same machine. What role is the SSD performing?
    If it is set as cache, all you will see under "My Computer" is the hard disk (for example, C: ).
    If it is acting as an independent drive, you should see two disks under "My Computer" (C: for the hard disk and D: for the SSD).

    HTH
     
  10. decrescendo

    decrescendo Notebook Geek

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    So there is some option to do that in BIOS? Where you can set that mSATA drive as a full-up separate drive as opposed to a pass-through to the main drive (HD or SSD).
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page