Author Topic: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?  (Read 4463 times)

HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« on: 12 March, 2021, 03:22:44 pm »
Looking to replace a desktop with something fairly modest, but that isn't going to take forever booting up & doing routine stuff.

Mrs B & I aren't data hogs, but SSD only seems to give a choice between too little storage & a bit more than we want to spend*. Some of those on the market have an HDD with a smallish SSD. How much difference is that likely to make?

*Everything's failing right now: fridge-freezer & washing machine replaced in the last few weeks, plus collapsing garden wall rebuilt. It's not that we don't have the cash, but it's triggered my miser reflex. ;) Oh, & Mrs B's laptop is getting rather dodgy.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #1 on: 12 March, 2021, 03:33:42 pm »
Having your operating system on a modestly sized SSD and your data on spinning rust is an entirely reasonable proposition.

My desktop has (IIRC) a 64GB SSD, which is more than sufficient[1] for the Debian OS and a couple of VM images.  All my data lives on the spinning-rust RAID array on the server.

Spinning rust fails, but so do SSDs occasionally, and humans make mistakes, so you need backups anyway.


[1] Barakta's experience with Windows suggests that this is a bit on the small side, due to the greater bloatiness of Windows applications.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #2 on: 12 March, 2021, 03:57:25 pm »
It's what I do – 250 GB SSD plus 4 TB USB disk (and a smaller one for backup). My Macbook has a 125 GB which is getting into wearing skinny jeans in middle age territory. If a disk goes belly-up, I'd rather be able to restore either data or the system, rather than demangle an entire terabyte of unruly digital fauna.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #3 on: 12 March, 2021, 04:02:27 pm »
I'm a convert to ssd.  Spinning rust is both noisy and slow as well as generally less reliable.

I started with a 250gb ssd and then added a 500gb ssd when funds allowed.  And then another.  These days I'd go for a minimum 500gb as a start point.   That's just my pov mind.

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #4 on: 12 March, 2021, 04:31:59 pm »
The HDDs I have are slowly migrating to USB enclosures, with much smaller SSDs replacing them. I don't know what I'd actually use the 2TB in one of the laptops for anyway, it only does a bit of light office work and web browsing.

I also tend to use somebody else's computer cloud storage, mainly for the ease of access between phone, laptop and desktop.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #5 on: 12 March, 2021, 10:55:29 pm »
The old desktop has 1 TB or so, the majority of which isn't used. Irritatingly, one seems to get oversized HDDs if one wants something that has a more than snail paced processor & more RAM than our rather cheap old desktop.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #6 on: 13 March, 2021, 12:30:11 pm »
Depending on the type of SSD you're looking at, they can be very reasonable nowadays. For a desktop, https://tinyurl.com/28e37jux (amazon link) would make a perfectly good C: or boot drive for £30. I had a 128Gb C: drive for years but it started to get uncomfortably full.

You can pay a lot more for the "Stick of Gum" shaped nvme/M2 drives which are rated a lot faster but unless you're really stressing your PC you won't notice the difference.
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #7 on: 14 March, 2021, 07:56:11 pm »
Just spotted a physically small desktop with a 500 gig SSD (big enough, I think) & enough ports for less money than some of the PCs with spinning things I've been looking at. Tempting . . .

Need a new monitor or an HDMI to VGA converter, but that's not a big problem.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #8 on: 14 March, 2021, 08:46:28 pm »
Need a new monitor or an HDMI to VGA converter, but that's not a big problem.

If the monitor has a DVI port, HDMI is electrically identical, and suitable cables are easily obtained.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #9 on: 14 March, 2021, 08:57:27 pm »
I have been using a vga to hdmi lead on an older box for years.  Works well.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #10 on: 14 March, 2021, 09:00:44 pm »
I have been using a vga to hdmi lead on an older box for years.  Works well.

That's a less optimal solution, as it's an extra conversion and maintains an analogue signal path.  Not that it really matters unless you're worried about latency or another thing to go wrong, but if the monitor's got a digital input you might as well keep things simple and use that.

It's impressive how cheap the converters are these days.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

StuAff

  • Folding not boring
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #11 on: 14 March, 2021, 09:17:17 pm »
Had the SSD boot/HD data setup since 2013, when I got my (now deceased) Mac Pro 2009 model. My current 2012 model actually has three SSDs (SATA, not NVME) in it- main Mac OS boot drive, Windows 10 (which is much better,- even more so than Mac OS- on an SSD, even when limited to 300 MB/s by bus speed), the third being blank at the mo. My user folder is about 2TB so spinning rust remains the best value option. Every time I boot from HD I get reminded how much faster solid state is.

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #12 on: 15 March, 2021, 12:07:58 am »
Need a new monitor or an HDMI to VGA converter, but that's not a big problem.

If the monitor has a DVI port, HDMI is electrically identical, and suitable cables are easily obtained.
It doesn't. It's an antique. Bought secondhand in a hurry when we suddenly became monitor-free, a couple of desktops ago. Like our antique HP printer (low running cost: so many were sold that compatible cartridges are plentiful), I'm sometimes surprised that it still works. It's lasted much longer than its new-bought predecessor. It'll fail one day. Until then . . .  converters are amazingly cheap.

We have a spare old monitor that has a DVI-D port as well as VGA, but that's kept as a temporary emergency backup. Small screen.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #13 on: 15 March, 2021, 09:17:22 am »
Ah well. I won't need an HDMI to VGA converter. Guess what happened when I switched on the PC to start work this morning? I was tempting fate with "I'm sometimes surprised that it still works".

Blank screen. Then the power on light on the monitor went off. Dead as a dodo. I plugged in the spare (glad I resisted Mrs B's suggestion that I should chuck it out) & all is sweetness & light, though the smallness of the screen & limited number of pixels are a bit retro.

The two PCs I was dithering over last night both come with the option of a reasonable-looking discounted monitor (choice of three or four), which simplifies matters.

[Edit] But I'd have to wait until late April for the discounted monitor . .  :(   So getting something else.  This old nearly square (5:4) thing has nice colour & contrast, in the meantime.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Chris S

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #14 on: 16 March, 2021, 01:43:09 pm »
I've just bought a new PC that apparently has no rotating media at all. The boot drive is a 500Gb NVMe drive, and the data drive is 2Tb NVMe.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #15 on: 16 March, 2021, 01:54:23 pm »
I've just bought a new PC that apparently has no rotating media at all. The boot drive is a 500Gb NVMe drive, and the data drive is 2Tb NVMe.

What, no 3.5" floppy?  ;D
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #16 on: 16 March, 2021, 01:56:59 pm »
No Sinclair Microdrive either.  What fresh madness is this?
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #17 on: 16 March, 2021, 03:56:25 pm »
And where's the Zip drive?
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #18 on: 16 March, 2021, 04:24:58 pm »
Pah, I'm storing my data on a C15 audio cassette.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #19 on: 16 March, 2021, 04:47:47 pm »
What no external Iomega 800Mb tape drive?


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #20 on: 16 March, 2021, 04:53:52 pm »
I'm holding out for SyQuest[1] cartridges.


[1] That's the one with the bargain-basement Wesley Crusher and the talking dolphin.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #21 on: 16 March, 2021, 04:56:26 pm »
Pah, I'm storing my data on a C15 audio cassette.

Oh the delights of loading and saving games to the humble audio cassette.  I can hear the sounds even after more than 40 years.

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #22 on: 16 March, 2021, 05:01:07 pm »
I'm pretty sure I used to have a chunkmonster Seagate external MO drive that connected via the printer port (and wouldn't have been much slower if I'd connected it to next door's computer's printer port with spaghetti). That offered a hitherto unbelievable number of MBs. Or would have done, if the actual MO disks were not made out of pure unobtainium.

That said, I can find no historical reference to this device so it may have been a fevered dream (though oddly I remember buying it from the big electronics store in NYC, quite excitedly because I was sure they'd put the wrong price on it).

I can also remember the cassette noise. Glorious, you'd spend 20 minutes loading a game, play it once, think 'nah, don't fancy this' and start over.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #23 on: 16 March, 2021, 06:07:00 pm »
What no external Iomega 800Mb tape drive?



I think I've still got one of those, or at least some tapes for one.  But no Babbage-Engine capable of talking to one.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: HDD + small SSD - worthwhile?
« Reply #24 on: 16 March, 2021, 06:15:26 pm »
Does it have a punched card reader? I don't think that counts as rotating media.  ;D I remember a British manufacturing company which was famous in its niche still using them when the Berlin Wall came down. It had just been bought by a German rival . . . .

IIRC when I was first learning we were told that hardly anyone still used paper tape except the National Girobank. That was several years earlier.

I have a single 5.25" floppy which is reputed to have some software on it. No reader for it?
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897