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HDD choice for Dell XPS 14 (SATA & mSATA)

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Hey there everyone!

I recently purchased a Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook, which I am absolutly delighted with. It comes fitted with a 32gb Samsung PM830 mSATA drive, and a 500gb Hitachi 5K500 SATA drive. Everything also seems to be installed on the 5K500, which seemed a little bit odd. I thought it might be a good idea to upgrade the mSATA drive, and looking at the reviews the Pextor M5M seemed like a good option, so I ordered one. However, a couple of mistaken orders later and I now a 128gb Plextor M5M, and a 256gb Plextor M5S and I am unsure what to do with them all! They are also both unopened, so I have the option to send either or both back if needed.

Storage space on the laptop (and in turn the 5K500) would be nice, but ultimately speed and power consumption are far greater.

So, a few questions:

- The M5M seems like one of the best mSATA drives on the market now, am I right in thinking I am not going to notice much in the way of a performance hit from using it over a "regular" 2.5" SSD SATA?

- How much of a performance gain and power consumption hit will I get from using two drives (mSATA SSD and either 2.5" SSD or HDD)?

- The Samsung PM830 seems like a half decent drive, albeit small in capacity. Is there anything creative that I could use it for - say using it as an OS partition and putting Program Files and user data whatever drive I put in the SATA bay - or should I just sell it and stick with either the M5M, or even a single SATA SSD solution?

- The M5S reviews don't seem to be great. If I am going to use a 2.5" SSD (if I don't find a use for it with the laptop, I can always slap it in my desktop), would I be better off with a better model - or will it be hard to notice any difference?

Thanks in advance for any help with this!

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First, what do you do with the notebook and how much files do you store(or plan to store) on the notebook?

Second, the current msata drive may be set up to just be a caching drives(combines the ssd and hdd to increase peforamnce of the hdd). If you plug in a new msata drive, it may continue to use it as a caching drive. In that case, you will need to turn off that option - either BIOS option or dell/intel utlity.

Third, make sure to make some backup CDs(if they still give you that option).

- The M5M seems like one of the best mSATA drives on the market now, am I right in thinking I am not going to notice much in the way of a performance hit from using it over a "regular" 2.5" SSD SATA?

A- How much of a performance gain and power consumption hit will I get from using two drives (mSATA SSD and either 2.5" SSD or HDD)?

B- The Samsung PM830 seems like a half decent drive, albeit small in capacity. Is there anything creative that I could use it for - say using it as an OS partition and putting Program Files and user data whatever drive I put in the SATA bay - or should I just sell it and stick with either the M5M, or even a single SATA SSD solution?

C)- The M5S reviews don't seem to be great. If I am going to use a 2.5" SSD (if I don't find a use for it with the laptop, I can always slap it in my desktop), would I be better off with a better model - or will it be hard to notice any difference?

Plextor M5M mSATA SSD Review

Plextor PX-M5S SSD Review

A- Performance gain will be negligible for more users. According to the two reviews, the M5S(2.5) seems to have better power consumption but in real use, it could just translate to 10-20m more battery life(depends more on other components such as the screen and usage).

B- This is ideally how you should use most small capacity msata drives.

C- The M5P is a better choice if you want to stick to Plextor. Faster and longer warranty. But again, tncrease speed may not be noticeable. There are other options but depending on what you do with the desktop, a cheaper SSD may be just as good.

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