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About the 32gb ssd in Dell's XPS 8700

cheyanecheyane Rome Posts: 3,002Member Uncommon

I got my husband an XPS 8700 for his birthday with his money... most housewives do that but he is quite a dunce when it comes to computers . I tried last time to ask him to let me build one but he wouldn't let me . He said I could have burned the house down so it was cheaper to go with Dell, some logic there at work.image

 

Anyway I got them to bump the card to the 660GTX from the 650 they offered .Kinda hard with Italy Dell they are so behind anyway my problem lies with the 32gb ssd cache. Now this thing is hardwired to the SATA its called MSATA and according to the dell forums after I searched high and low trying to turn the damn drive on that the computer uses it to assign that drive to programs you frequently use. Is this gimmick talk or is it true ? I looked in the bios hoping to get access to it myself through the device manager but no dice.  So does this SSD cache work like that or is it a convenient lie to make us sods pay more.

Stingy Dell didn't even throw in a mousepad .image

BTW the 660GTX runs really cool it was 35 degrees C while my  580GTX is about 47 when not playing a game.

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Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon

    A cache drive doesn't let you decide what gets installed on it or not.  Rather, it tries to see what you use a lot, and puts that on the cache drive.  That gets you some of the benefit of a proper SSD as a separate drive, while paying all of the price tag.  That's a lot better than the "hybrid" drives that Seagate is pushing.  The real target audience is people who are too clueless about computers to understand installing programs on the SSD and putting bulk data on the hard drive.

    While I've never heard of someone burning a house down in the process of building a computer, some of the truly awful power supplies are a fire hazard.  But that's easy enough to avoid.

    Also, it's better to ask what to get before making the purchase rather than after.

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon

    If you have the desire and money, installing a SSD to use as the primary OS and gaming drive is still a possibility.  Either use the recovery disk if you don't mind losing the data you have accumulated so far, or use disk imaging or SSD migration software.  The imaging and migration software might cost about $30, but it can simplify the complex process of transferring everything to a SSD.

     

    It sounds like you might not want to deal with a SSD, though.  If your husband doesn't know when to install something to the SSD or save it to the mechanical drive, the benefits of having a SSD would be lost.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,176Member Uncommon

    Dell (hopefully) isn't doing anything proprietary here. They are using Intel SRT to enable the SSD cache. You should be able to control the cache through the Intel driver (it's possible Dell threw a Dell-flavored skin over the driver).

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/smart-response-technology.html

  • cheyanecheyane Rome Posts: 3,002Member Uncommon
    The computer is totally new so nothing in it yet. Thanks for clarifying so it was not all smoke and mirrors from Dell. No I tried many times already and in Singapore was so much more easier but he consistently refused to let me build it although I so wanted to.

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  • TrionicusTrionicus Fort Lauderdale, FLPosts: 497Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    A cache drive doesn't let you decide what gets installed on it or not.  Rather, it tries to see what you use a lot, and puts that on the cache drive.  That gets you some of the benefit of a proper SSD as a separate drive, while paying all of the price tag.  That's a lot better than the "hybrid" drives that Seagate is pushing.  The real target audience is people who are too clueless about computers to understand installing programs on the SSD and putting bulk data on the hard drive.

    While I've never heard of someone burning a house down in the process of building a computer, some of the truly awful power supplies are a fire hazard.  But that's easy enough to avoid.

    Also, it's better to ask what to get before making the purchase rather than after.

    Is it easy to avoid when buying a dell?

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,611Member Uncommon

    Sorry Cheyane (and btw, my old Siberian Husky was named Cheyanne...with 2 N's :) ) and no disrespect intended but buying pre-built PCs from Dell, Alienware ( a Dell subsidiary) or any other large pre-built vendor is a PC sacrilege. It's just so an Apple thing to do!

     

    Apple has been selling "sameness" for many years. Quite successfully too. They do all the hard thinking for you and come up with what they think is best (good, safe bets most of the time) and sell you a Mac just like all the other Macs. You have very little choice but in return you get reliability.

     

    Companies like Dell, with their humongous advertising and marketing departments try to sell you the same exact "peace of mind" that Apple sells... minus the conscientious reliability. They just throw random profitable shit together and try to make it seem like it's the deal of the century.

     

    As soon as you mention "Dell" in PC enthusiast circles, you're going to get many "why?" or "wtf?" replies. Sorry, it's not personal.

     

    And BTW, kudos to you for getting your hubby what he wants with his money. We all know you do that, you know...but we love it when you cater to our inner nerd :)

     

    As to the HD + mini SSD thingie... yeah, it's sort of gimmicky and definitely not as good as a separate SSD which you can control and direct. OTOH, as HDs go, it's a better HD than a plain vanilla HD without the SSD caching...shrug.

     

    And as others have said, you can always add a real SSD to it (even if it's a low capacity cheapie) for just the OS and you'll get awesome performance compared to a no SSD system or this "hybrid" drive.

     

    And that's the honest truth :)

  • cheyanecheyane Rome Posts: 3,002Member Uncommon
    Oh not to worry I am aware it is quite a sacrilege to buy from Dell especially because I know how to build a computer but my husband is quite stubborn and we have been married a long long time and I have an Aienware lol double sacrilege but I rather he be happy . Honestly after 23 years happiness is a good place in a marriage.

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  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,611Member Uncommon

    Happiness is a good place any time! 

     

    And funny thing... I'm in the midst of building my umpteenth system (see my thread elsewhere) and I'm not worried...except I did have a dream last night about smoke coming from my MB and not being able to identify where it was coming from... I blame your OP for that actually :)

  • cheyanecheyane Rome Posts: 3,002Member Uncommon

    I have had a good experience with their support though last year they replaced my graphic card twice and upgraded it from a 480 to 580 at no cost so may be our years of patronage has a small return. 

     

    In Singapore where we used to live you can pick up casings with the power supply fitted and then work on the rest and my husband paid for me to go for these computer classes like 13 years ago. I was working until the children and then went slightly mad staying at home so when I started playing games he must have been relieved to send me off to learn about computers but when I want to build my own he has no confidence in me .

     

    I am sure any of you in a marriage knows this , there are certain battles you cannot win.

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  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,176Member Uncommon

    For the record, I have seen computers blow up.

    Usually, a small bang, a few sparks, and a big puff of smelly smoke.

    Then it's all done but the crying.

    Most of the time it was a cheap power supply blowing out a capacitor. A couple of times it was poorly applied CPU compound getting down in the pins of the ZIF socket. Once it was a poorly installed watercooling system leaking into a PCI slot. The last couple of instances I can firmly say were my fault, several years ago.

    I'd like to think I learned from them since. None of them were really at risk of burning down any houses though.

    But yes, martial bliss > cheaper computer.

    Most of the time.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Trionicus
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    A cache drive doesn't let you decide what gets installed on it or not.  Rather, it tries to see what you use a lot, and puts that on the cache drive.  That gets you some of the benefit of a proper SSD as a separate drive, while paying all of the price tag.  That's a lot better than the "hybrid" drives that Seagate is pushing.  The real target audience is people who are too clueless about computers to understand installing programs on the SSD and putting bulk data on the hard drive.

    While I've never heard of someone burning a house down in the process of building a computer, some of the truly awful power supplies are a fire hazard.  But that's easy enough to avoid.

    Also, it's better to ask what to get before making the purchase rather than after.

    Is it easy to avoid when buying a dell?

    Yes.  The power supplies that Dell will sell you aren't very good, but they're not that bad, either.  And they're certainly not fire hazard bad.  When you find a sub-$20 power supply on various sites, that's the sort of thing that is likely to be fire hazard bad, as one way to save money is to simply not bother to include various electrical protections.

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon

    lol you should have really posted here before buying the Dell. Could have at least told you to get a Sager. This should be attainable in Europe and all of their models get the job done.

    I also liked the Diablotek $5 800w PSU. It had a 100% flame up rate.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,207Member Uncommon

    Ha, I love the hardware threads on this forum.  I always learn something and laugh.

    I think it's kind of hard to build systems if you don't do it often enough.  It's easy to forget little things or tricks like applying the cpu compound properly, installing the ram in the proper order, wire routing, etc.

    I wish there was a good place you could go where picking out the parts you want was easy and they put it together for you.  The few places I've seen that have more options like iBuyPower are either confusing or people say they aren't any better than HP or Dell.

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