Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

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Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:59 pm

I have been requested to find an inexpensive laptop with dual 2.5" hard drives and an optical drive. The size of the laptop is immaterial. I was looking at the Dell XPS 17, but cheaper options have to exist. Any recommendations?
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:44 pm

Good luck. Dual hard drives is a premium feature, so I very much doubt you'll find that in a cheap laptop.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:46 am

What is the intention here? Is the user trying to optimize performance by splitting tasks between the disks? If so, they should fully expect to pay the premium price.

On the other hand, is the user just looking for some redundancy to protect their data? In that case, there are better options -- USB external disk, online backup storage, etc.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:34 am

ludi wrote:What is the intention here?


Good question, ludi. The user wants the laptop as their primary PC, with an SSD as the primary drive and a mechanical disk for storage of music and movies. The SSD is already owned, and will be installed after-market. The user already has an external drive for backup, but still wants all his data stored on the laptop for convenience. The laptop will not be used for games or other demanding content, and does not need to be rugged. It looks like the aforementioned Dell XPS 17 can be had for $900 on sale, which would be fine, but I was interested to hear other suggestions. I had hoped to see a cheaper 15.6" alternatives, but all I could find with dual-HDD capabilities were expensive MSI gaming laptops.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:49 am

Can the optical/2nd hard drive be switched in and out on the fly? I do that with my Thinkpad all the time if thats the case which will be well under $900.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:06 am

mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:Can the optical/2nd hard drive be switched in and out on the fly? I do that with my Thinkpad all the time if thats the case which will be well under $900.


Yeah, seems like a ton of models offer the modular bay. Not as elegant, but certainly lowers the price and reduces the size of the laptop.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:13 am

I mean how much does he honestly plan on using the optical drive? I use mine once or twice a week and I believe that is probably way more than the average user ever would. Just change to ACHI in the BIOS and your hot swappable. I mean I have never seen this configuration on something under a laptop under 17 inches. Is he planning on using a docking station? If thats the case I recommend an external usb burner hooked to the dock. Once you get to those bigger laptops the power bricks are huge and all portability goes out the window.

Thats the problem with laptops. Lots of compromising.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:18 am

I use my laptop's optical drive for watching Blu-ray movies. It's rare that I need it for anything else.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:22 am

mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:I mean how much does he honestly plan on using the optical drive?


Hard to say, although he uses the Netflix "by mail" option. More importantly, he never wants to have to screw around swapping stuff in and out. He wants the system to sit on his desk and just work, with minimal fuss. He's ditching his desktop PC, and is understandably sick of extra cables, drives, dongles, and etc. cluttering his desk. I'm just glad he's not going the Macbook route.

mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:I have never seen this configuration on something under a laptop under 17 inches.


It's available in several 15.6" models from MSI. Way too pricey, though.

mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:Is he planning on using a docking station?


No.

mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:Thats the problem with laptops. Lots of compromising.


Actually, cost aside, a 17" model would offer exactly what the user is looking for with no compromises. But of course cost is one of the most important factors. I think, if pushed against the wall, he'll spend the money on a Dell XPS 17, which actually looks freaking sweet. However, most of the performance will be lost on him. The nice 1920x1080 screen option will be appealing, though.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:33 am

A Clevo-based mega-notebook? Sager sells some 17" models in the $1300 range. Or a used one.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:38 am

If this person isn't worried about performance and this laptop will spend the majority of its life on the desk... why the SSD?
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:43 am

Skrying wrote:If this person isn't worried about performance and this laptop will spend the majority of its life on the desk... why the SSD?


Why the laptop?
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:43 am

Skrying wrote:If this person isn't worried about performance and this laptop will spend the majority of its life on the desk... why the SSD?


The person won't be using the laptop for high-end gaming for encoding... hence the lack of need for a powerhouse CPU or GPU. He still wants a snappy system for everything else, and already owns the SSD. Once you go SSD, you never go back.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:45 am

Draal wrote:Why the laptop?


Reduce clutter and bulk. The system *will* be moved around, but not frequently enough where size or durability are primary concerns.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:24 pm

Does the user need / want / care about the battery?
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:05 pm

SonicSilicon wrote:Does the user need / want / care about the battery?


Another good question. Nope, battery life doesn't matter one bit. Anything over 10 minutes...
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:15 pm

I understand the clutter ratio and the fact that they are looking for a desktop replacement, but this sounds as if a bit more complex desktop system paired with an inexpensive laptop and NAS of some kind, would be a much better replacement than a somewhat pricey and exotic, dual hard drive laptop system. And as I'm assuming that they have data that they would wish to be backed up, this could easily work into such a solution.

Or maybe I've been in IT too long and a three pronged assault just appears to be the simpler alternative...
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:16 pm

Draal wrote:I understand the clutter ratio and the fact that they are looking for a desktop replacement, but this sounds as if a bit more complex desktop system paired with an inexpensive laptop and NAS of some kind, would be a much better replacement than a somewhat pricey and exotic, dual hard drive laptop system. And as I'm assuming that they have data that they would wish to be backed up, this could easily work into such a solution.


Nah, no thanks. To be honest, your suggestion of a desktop paired with an inexpensive laptop and a NAS flies in the face of the user's end goal, and would probably be more expensive than even a souped-up Dell XPS 17 (currently starting at $750 on sale).

I was patient with initial inquires into the need for a dual hard drive laptop, because I knew Gerbils would be eager to propose their own solutions to a unique request. At this point in time, if I wanted alternative solutions, I would have asked. If any Gerbils have any further recommendations for dual hard drive laptops, I would love to hear about them. Please can all argumentative assertions against the idea.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:19 pm

FuturePastNow wrote:A Clevo-based mega-notebook? Sager sells some 17" models in the $1300 range. Or a used one.


I'll run the idea past him... although these beasts are expensive as sin. Thanks, though!
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:25 pm

The gaming laptops like mine that have two 2½" hard-drive bays won't match your budget. I checked the specifications on a bunch of all-in-one desktop PCs, but none of them allow more than a single 3½" hard-drive internally.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:16 pm

I figured Asus probably offers the option I am looking for, but man have they gone out of their way to make their notebook offerings confusing. Of the six lines of notebooks (six!), I figured the "multimedia entertainment" line would be the best candidate. But there are 11 different "series" of the line, and you have to browse through each individually without a direct comparison of all available. Talk about a PITA (magnified by the fact that the Asus website is very flash heavy).
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:15 pm

i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:25 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:http://usa.asus.com/Notebooks/AllProducts/


Thanks, super helpful. Do you think Asus has enough notebooks yet? And their model names are so intuitive, too! :roll:
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:38 pm

Spyder22446688 wrote: Do you think Asus has enough notebooks yet? And their model names are so intuitive, too! :roll:


Sheesh, no kidding. They did not learn from Apple having an excess number of insufficiently-different products back in the early-mid '90s, and the problems this caused.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:15 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:The gaming laptops like mine that have two 2½" hard-drive bays won't match your budget


A used or refurbished one might. I wouldn't normally suggest a used notebook, but...
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:22 pm

I've currently got a 0.12 TB Corsair Force SSD and a 0.75 TB WD Scorpio Black HD in my Asus G50Vt. This is not an ultra-portable laptop by any means. I moved the orignal 0.32 TB Seagate Momentus 7200.2 HD from the laptop to the PS3. 8)


JustAnEngineer wrote:I checked the specifications on a bunch of all-in-one desktop PCs, but none of them allow more than a single 3½" hard-drive internally.
Physically, you could put two 2½" drives in a single 3½" drive bay, but does the All-In-One PC have another available SATA port?
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:14 pm

Actually sounds like some sort of SFF system might be a better fit. If it is only moved occasionally, and doesn't need to be usable on the road, having something portable -- but not necessarily *mobile* -- seems like a reasonable option.
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Re: Inexpensive Laptop with Dual Hard Drives?

Postposted on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:48 pm

just brew it! wrote:Actually sounds like some sort of SFF system might be a better fit. If it is only moved occasionally, and doesn't need to be usable on the road, having something portable -- but not necessarily *mobile* -- seems like a reasonable option.


I'm sorry, but no. When the system gets moved around, it will need to move around as a laptop. Also, the user has no interest in an external monitor or keyboard... he's trying to really minimize down. You may not agree with the wisdom of his desire, but like I hinted at earlier, I am really not looking for other ideas, just candidate laptops.
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