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sxz



268 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 33


Topic # 96707 2-Feb-2012 21:42 Send private message

Hey team - my Inspiron 1520 has just turned four.  The broken hinge (which Dell insists must have been damage and not caused by wear and tear on a bad design) makes me want to replace it before it dies for good.

I'm looking for a reasonably quick laptop for $1,500 ish (I am slightly flexible on price if necessary).  I do not want an ultra book.  I want to be able to store all my photos (90gb and growing) and other documents on the laptop.

My main preference has been to get two drives, a 120gb (or thereabouts) SSD, and a large Hard Drive.  500gb should suffice for now, but might just up the budget a bit and get a TB.  So I see my options are as follows.  Find a laptop that holds two drives for $1,200 - $1,300, or swap out the optical drive for a second drive.  The problem is I want a blu ray drive too!

So my questions are as follows:

1) What laptops in NZ have dual drives (preferably cheaper laptops)?  I would kind of like a 17" laptop, I thought they mostly had twin drives - but not all do.  
2) Should I have a fast SSD for a boot drive and a hard drive for docs? any problems doing this?
3) As I am going for a medium priced laptop, but want it to be quick... is a core i5 pretty good and future proof or should I try and get an i7?
4) is there anything I should know about buying a basic laptop, buying a ssd and installing windows on it etc?

5) If this is all too hard - can I install a ssd in my inspiron 1520 in place of the optical drive using one of the new bay things here: http://www.dhgate.com/2nd-hard-drive-caddy-adapter-for-inspiron/p-ff80808131ae191e0131af512a504577.html ?  My laptop is only sata 1.5 I believe, so would the benefits be worth installing a ssd for the boot drive?  I read somewhere that the optical drive might be pata which would cause me way to many difficulties I understand....

Hope that makes sense and someone can help me!

For the life of me I do not know why someone like DSE does not come out with a cheap laptop with a 60-90gb SSD and 500gb HDD, with mid range graphics, ram and cpu.  Is it just me or would that sell like hotcakes?

Cheers
 

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sxz



268 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 33


  Reply # 577131 4-Feb-2012 09:40 Send private message

How about just this:

Which laptops can have dual drives?

I cant find a comprehensive list.  I know of two so far, both on the more expensive end of the scale:

HP Envy
HP DV 7 

Infrastructure Geek
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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 577149 4-Feb-2012 10:28 Send private message

i've ripped out the hdd's on a lenovo and a hp and replaced them with SSD's, installed everything, then ripped out the optical drives and replaced with hdd caddys and it all works great.

if you dont need the optical drive, then much cheaper (and more models to choose from) buying a regular lappy and replace it than to buy a dual hdd machine




Technical Evangelist
Microsoft NZ
about.me/nzregs
Twitter: @nzregs


sxz



268 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 33


  Reply # 577171 4-Feb-2012 12:13 Send private message

Good to hear the optical drive solution works well - Definately an option. I'm kind of keen on blue ray tho! I Spose I could always take out the blu ray and put it in a USB enclosure...

sxz



268 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 33


  Reply # 577206 4-Feb-2012 14:05 Send private message

Regs - where do you buy your optical drive HDD cady's?

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  Reply # 577231 4-Feb-2012 15:27 Send private message

XPS 17 has two drive bays

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  Reply # 577372 4-Feb-2012 22:35 Send private message

i bought them from newmodeus on recommendation from someone.  I was surprised that they arrived within 4 days of ordering.  They're not cheap, but then neither are laptops with dual bays.  I'm sure they have USB optical enclosures there too :-)

Other high performance option, is to get a laptop with an E-Sata port and then plug in an external HDD (or dvd) directly into the esata port. 

https://www.newmodeus.com


These are from my invoice:

Products

------------------------------------------------------

1 x 2nd HDD or SSD Caddy - Lenovo ThinkPad W510, W520 and T510

(TP-W510-T510)  = $46.75

1 x 2nd Hard Drive Caddy for HP Upgrade Bay - SATA (compare AK868AA)

(HP-2BAY-8730)  = $42.00

------------------------------------------------------

Sub-Total: $88.75

United States Postal Service (First-Class Mail International Package** (Varies by country)): $13.59

Total: $102.34

 




Technical Evangelist
Microsoft NZ
about.me/nzregs
Twitter: @nzregs


295 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 8


  Reply # 585377 22-Feb-2012 22:21 Send private message

Realize you said you didn't want one but have you checked out the Acer range of ultrabooks? No optical drive but they do have the ssd and sata hd combo. Plus they are pretty cheap!

sxz



268 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 33


  Reply # 586175 24-Feb-2012 11:58 Send private message

That's an option. I am almost thinking now of just buying a good cheap laptop, swapping out the DVD for a 64gb ssd (or 120 if the price is right) and buying a USB bluray reader.I presume discs play fine on a USB reader?

I am tempted by an ultrabook, but am not convinced by their integrated graphics. My current laptop master so well because of the discrete card in it...

sxz



268 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 33


  Reply # 587362 27-Feb-2012 13:51 Send private message

Inspiron 1520 has Sata 1.

I understand that means 1.5Gb, or 187.5mbper second theoretical maximum.

Based on that, do you think it would be worth me subbing out my DVD drive for a 64gb ssd for the OS?

Core 2 duo 2.2ghz, 256mb graphics card (8600 something I believe), 3gb ram - screen issues aside, can anyone who has tried putting a ssd into a laptop of this vintage comment on whether it would add more life to my laptop?

Cheers

sxz



268 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 33


  Reply # 594014 12-Mar-2012 11:43 Send private message

By way of update - I went for the upgrade in the end.

Bought an A-DATA S510 60GB SATA3 SSD 2.5 for $150 odd, shipped.  I am still waiting for my second hard drive caddy to arrive from the states, to replace the optical drive.  I will then reinstall my original 250g hard drive in palce of the optical bay.

I have not done any benchmarks, and acknowledge that a fresh install is always quicker but still; I should have bought an SSD years ago!  It is like a new machine.  My laption is Inspiron 1520, 2.2ghz core 2 duo, 256mb Geforce 8400 (i think) 3gb ram, 1650x1080.  With all programs reinstalled it is running better at the day to day stuff than my brothers new core i5 with 1gb dedicated graphics.  Boots faster than ever, shuts down quick smart.  Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome start instantly, for the first time ever itunes loads instantly.  Skype is quick, photos load instantly when going through a slideshow, thumbnails load instantly.

Do not know why I waited so long, and at least so far, I am glad I spent under $200 upgrading rather than buying a new laptop!  Will update once I have the second hard drive installed in place of the DVD drive.

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