Originally Posted by Sammy2
Compare and Contrast.
I don't know which is the better way to go and a co-worker just asked me.
I see three options.
First is the Hybrid Option. A hybrid SSD+HDD in one is a solution that is aimed to allow someone to buy a single drive that has the capacity of a HDD but a bit more boost in performance thanks to the SSD cache. The SSD on these is small, but it provides a nice boost in speed while allowing only 1 drive and more capacity. It's a compromise and a balance attempt of different factors. It's not ideal at any of them, but well rounded in general so it's not horrible either. Downside is cost, and less performance, and less capacity. Upside is one drive with more capacity than SSD and more Speed then HDD.
Second is the dual solution. SSD for OS. HDD for storage. A better solution for most people for many reasons. First- The SSD for the OS is faster and gives better performance as an OS drive than a hybrid does. Second, the capacity is often better and the price is often cheaper for a pure HDD like a 3TB or 4TB seagate. The performance is actually pretty good on those too, especially when your not using them as an OS drive but only for storage.
The reason why a HDD is so freakin slow as an OS drive is because you tax the HDD with the duties of the OS (which is demanding for a HDD) and also tax it with duties of storage. Removing the duties of an OS from a HDD actually provides a pretty nice boost in performance as a pure storage drive. HDD are actually ok at sequential performance- like copy pasting, or playing a movie. They suck as random 4k reads and writes, and also seek times compared to an SSD- so that's why the SSD is just way better for an OS.
There is a real boost in performance by using two drives- SSD for OS and HDD for storage. Both drives only need to do one thing- and both drives perform better doing it. Having one drive do both is less ideal. Also your doubling your bandwidth with two drives. Consider an OCZ Vector or Samsung 840PRO (high end) SSD can completely saturate a SATA3 port. These drives cost $129 these days, not exactly expensive. Using a second HDD, and a second SATA cable increases your bandwidth from 550MB/sec to 1100MB/sec in the real world. Not that this matters much for a basic system because it does not- but technically speaking if you get into a bigger high end drive your going to see this bottleneck pop up.
You can set an SSD to cache a storage drive. A small SSD like a 30GB can be used on Z68 /Z77 /Z87 as a cache for a big storage drive. So you can take a relatively fast 3TB drive and add the cache to it with a separate SSD. Essentially you are making your own hybrid drive. Downside is you have two drives, but upside it better performance.
Personally, I like SSD + HDD. And if you needed more boost on your HDD just cache that too- or start stripping them in RAID0.
I like having a fast scratch disk on my desktop so I care about HDD speeds. Some people don't. A 3TB 7200.14 Seagate is $99 at costco without any rebates and is such an amazing high performer it's nearly as good as a hybrid drive yet way cheaper. Something like a Samsung 840 128GB SSD for $89 and a 3TB Seagate 7200.14 for $99 would be my suggestion.
Should be about $200 total and better than a hybrid drive or a cache drive. You could of coarse get another small SSD and cache the storage drive too