Hybrid hard drives. SSHD Hybrid Drives - Reviews
Two-in-one devices have always attracted customers, because by combining technology in one device, device performance often increases. Naturally, the price per set will be decent. Take for example a video device, a laptop-tablet or MFP. Manufacturers of hard drives also decided to resort to the crossing of two technologies, presenting low-cost SSHD-drives on the market. The focus of the article is a hybrid hard drive, the pros and cons of the device, as well as reviews of happy owners.
A holy place is never empty
The cheap technology of very fast SSD drives and affordable, but very slow magnetic HDDs have created a huge gap in the hard drive market, both in the price category and in the high-speed category. Urgently needed a golden mean, which can satisfy the user not only with the characteristics, but also with an affordable price. This is how symbiosis appeared - SSHD disks.Nothing depends on the user in the operation of the device. Everything works automatically. In fact, for the owner, the process of the hybrid disc will be inconspicuous in terms of installation and installation. No drivers need to be installed, the controller is determined and controlled by the computer's BIOS. You can contemplate only the result - a significant performance increase, which is noticeable during system boot and launch of resource-intensive applications, including games.
How it works
The principle of operation is quite simple and somewhat reminiscent of the work of the CPU. The magnetic hard drive has long been used caching technology, when frequently used information is read from the magnetic disk and written to the memory of the embedded chip on the hard disk. The chip size is disproportionately small (8-128 MB), but this is quite enough for the system to work. Naturally, the chip is able to communicate with the processor at high speed. The technology used by the hybrid hard drives, provides for the presence of another chip, created by the SSD-technology, but with a large volume. As a result, the processor accesses the hard drive for information.
- If the information is in the cache of the 1st level, it is instantly provided.
- If there is no information in the 1st level, the call is transferred to the 2nd level cache. Since SSD is used at the second level, information is also quickly provided to the processor.
- Reading information occurs from the surface of the magnetic disk, which slows down the entire system.
The expediency of installation
At first glance it may seem that the main consumers in the market of these drives are owners of personal computers. After all, for a laptop, it is preferable to a device without rotating components for safety and impact resistance. However, judging by the numerous reviews of the owners, it is for a laptop that hybrid hard drives are purchased. In portable devices, first of all, the required volume and only then high performance. And if it is not problematic for a personal computer to install several storage devices of information, of different form factors, then there is a serious limitation in a laptop. In addition, the installation of SSD is inappropriate because of the limited volume and high prices.
Reasons to buy a new disc
For most laptop owners, the main problem in the work is the failure of the hard drive with the loss of important information for the user. As an alternative solution, the seller offers three options.
- Install the same HDD drive, for example a 500 GB hard drive, but with an increased impact resistance of 1000 G. At the same time, the cost of the purchase will be minimal, as well as performance.
- Install SSD, losing in capacity, spending a round sum, but winning in performance.
- Install SSHD hybrid drive, getting high performance, affordable cost, large volume.
Naturally, thanks to this approach of sellers, judging by the numerous reviews of happy buyers, hybrid discs have conquered the portable device market.
Two hard drives in a laptop?
It is not necessary to install a hybrid hard disk for a laptop instead of a standard device. Due to the mass of various adapters on the market, it is possible to install an additional hard drive in the system. There are many options. From USB and eSATA to soldering unused SATA ports on the motherboard of a portable device. And only one option deserves special attention of users.This is a device called Second HDD Caddy, which resembles a pocket for connecting hard drives to a running personal computer.
This pocket in size and interface should be installed instead of the standard optical DVD device. Naturally, you can install it only in laptops, where this drive is preinstalled. As a result, the user gets a second hard drive, which, in addition to a huge amount of storage, gives excellent performance at an affordable price.
A hybrid hard drive for the computer will be useful to a greater extent for game lovers. After all, most synthetic tests on office computers show that the weak link is a processor or video adapter, but not a magnetic disk. And only in gaming systems, when there is a powerful video card, a strong central processor and fast RAM, a hard disk becomes the cause of all problems.
Installing an SSD can solve performance problems, but the high price and low memory size does not suit half of the potential buyers.Judging by the numerous reviews, the hybrid device is used under the system. The 8 GB level 2 cache allows you to fit a working Windows system with all of its services and drivers, including the paging file. Such unloading will allow not only games to work faster with the processor and memory, but also significantly accelerate the work of applications related to video encoding and working with flash.
How to see performance
Hybrid hard drives are the only drives that allow you to see for yourself the performance of the system, as well as make measurements and compare the results before and after improvement. It sounds fantastic, but it is a fact. Everything is very simple. After installing and installing the operating system, the controller needs time on the drive to fix frequently used files, which it will put in the second-level cache. Sometimes it is necessary to perform 5-7 system reboots in order for the drive to start working in the desired mode, ensuring high performance. If the SSHD disk was purchased as an additional drive, for games, for example, then, respectively, you need to start the game, play, exit, restart the computer.The result of the controller will be noticed immediately when the operating system or your favorite game is loaded several times faster.
What is on the market for PC
Choosing a hard drive for a computer, the user may face the problem of choosing the necessary device. This is an assortment - it is too small for a huge market of computer components. Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba market leaders introduced devices with SSHD technology to the world. But only Seagate provided an opportunity to choose the buyer, the rest were limited to a pair of models. Judging by the numerous reviews of experts, all developed countries have long since changed magnetic drives to SSDs. And only in the third world countries, where not every buyer can afford a device at a high price, such hybrid wonder devices are sold. Manufacturer Seagate offers customers SSHD-drives in various variations, ranging from memory and cache size of the 1st and 2nd levels, ending with the speed of rotation of the spindle.
Hard drives with a capacity of several terabytes surprise no one today. In pursuit of volumes, the user overlooks many other factors.
- The speed of random read from disk. The larger the volume, the harder the reading head is to find information. Let this parameter be measured in milliseconds, but in a synthetic test the result is quite noticeable.
- Rationality of purchase. Reading the reviews of many buyers, we can conclude that it makes no sense to buy a drive with more than 1 TB. Having spent a large amount for an extra amount, the user is not able to fill it with data.
Apparently, the manufacturer Seagate also came to such conclusions, focusing on the SSHD 500 GB hard drive with a spindle speed of 5400 revolutions per minute. It is the model ST500LM000 that participates in all synthetic tests for comparing performance with other hard drives, judging by the results, it has few competitors in its speed.
To take or not to take?
The rhetorical question in any case will touch the buyer when choosing a hard drive. Indeed, SSHD technology is not the best hard drives for owners of PCs and laptops. The purpose of the production of a hybrid drive, in the first place, was to saturate the market with devices in which, at a low price, large volume and fast NAND memory are combined.We need to stop at this and make decisions based on the needs of use.
- A large capacity drive that was always packed to capacity was out of order - an SSHD drive would be a great replacement. If the difference is 300-500 rubles, the buyer will receive increased performance.
- We need a super-fast computer for games, and the information on the hard disk rarely exceeded 100 GB - it’s better not to find an SSD. Even more expensive, but worth it.
- There is a need for additional media for documents and multimedia - the usual, cheapest HDD drive will be the best purchase.
Summarizing the information, it is possible to draw conclusions, thanks to which any user will make his own decision, as specialists of popular computer publications have done. And judging by the numerous reviews, these findings are quite interesting.
- Users who have a gaming computer with productive components will not afford to buy one or two SSD-drives, because for them FPS (number of frames per second) in the game is more expensive than any bills.
- In search of an inexpensive magnetic drive, very often the buyer resorts to buying it in the secondary market.In our country, this is a fairly common option.
- Only a handful of people who are looking for compromises, eager to get the maximum performance and who can count the money actually earned, will look at the hybrid hard drives.