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Nice drive options!
You don't describe your projects (can be all the way from 3 minute HD to RED 2 hour features!), and that can impact what the best drive setup is.
I'll assume that you are doing neither extreme for this reply.
If it were me, I'd go with the 256GB mSATA for the OS/programs drive and the 750GB XT hybrid (I have one, they are nice) to start.
That may be sufficient for all of your work.
Then, you still have the option to add a 2nd mSATA later on if you need it for additional speed.
I think you're right, I doubt I'll need three drives for any project that is likely to come up on the laptop.
Regarding the 2nd drive, I'm mulling over the pros and cons of a 512GB mSATA in the 2nd slot vs. a 750GB XT hybrid in the optical bay.
512GB mSATA Pros:
- Faster, quieter, and cooler than the spinning disk?
- Lets me keep the onboard optical drive.
750GB Hybrid Pros:
- Way less spendy.
- Holds 50% more data.
Did I miss anything?
You still did not mention the type and duration of your projects.
- You can ignore "noise" as one of your criteria for 2.5" hard drives; they hardly make a sound, including the Seagate 7200 rpm hybrid model. Your laptop fan will assuredly be what you will hear when using a laptop for video editing, not the drive.
- If you are not needing your optical drive much of the time, having it as an external device is a great way to do.
- Relatively speaking, what you would spend for the 750GB XT hybrid (approx. $135), would be something desireable to have even if a 500GB mSATA on board is sufficient for your main work. The HD would be so convenient for image backups of your boot drive, on-board data backups, etc.
I'm not resolved to think that you will never want or need to speed the big bucks for a 500GB mSATA for your rig, I'm simply suggesting a solution that done as a stepping stone may turn out to be a complete solution for your needs, and will be a great asset to your laptop in addition to 2 SSDs if it is not fast enough.
Aha. I like the way you think, Jim. You've settled the question for me. Much appreciated.
My projects are mostly videos of classical guitarists (incuding myself) playing guitar. I foresee a need to be able to produce a quick, but decent, video on the road, such as immediately after a concert by a visiting artist. Durations can be from 2 minutes to 30 minutes. I have yet to make a video good enough to include on my own site, Guitarist.com, but I'm working on it.. :-)
(See the blog for some nice guitar vids made by others. Search "gurochkin" to see the best!)