4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2013 10:26 AM by John Dimick

    ASUS N550 Laptop: Hard Drive Options?

    John Dimick Level 1

      The time has come to replace my 4-year-old laptop. I've settled on replacing it with the recently released ASUS N550. My particular model will be the N550JV-DBV1:


      Intel Haswell Core i7-4700HQ Processor

      15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Matte Display

      NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2GB DDR3 Graphics Card

      8GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory

      1T 5400rpm  SATA II Hard Drive


      I already have a solid desktop rig for heavier Premiere work, but I'd like to outfit this new laptop for lighter-duty mobile work.


      I'll upgrade the RAM to 16GB, but my question is about the hard drive(s). The N550 has an option for 3 hard drives:


      The primary hard drive can be replaced with two mSATA III drives. (A caddy with two mSATA slots fits into the primary hard drive space.) A third hard drive can replace the optical drive.


      At minimum, I'll get rid of the 5400rpm drive and use a 256GB Samsung mSATA SSD for the OS and programs. The other mSATA slot will probably get the same 256GB SSD.


      But what about the optical bay option? I can fill the bay with a 7200rpm disk or an SSD, but the choices are several:



      - 1T 7200RPM (Serial-ATA III 6GB/s) $79

      - 750GB (w/ 4GB SSD Memory) 7200RPM Seagate Hybrid 64MB Cache (Serial-ATA III 6GB/s)  $99

      - 750GB (w/ 8GB SSD Memory) 7200RPM Seagate XT NCQ Hybrid 32MB Cache (Serial-ATA III 6GB/s) $132



      - 250GB Samsung 840 SSD (Up to Sequential Read 540MB/s - Write 250MB/s Serial-ATA III - 6GB/s)  $189

      - 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD (Up to Sequential Read 540MB/s - Write 520MB/s Serial-ATA III - 6GB/s) $239

      - 512GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD (Up to Sequential Read 540MB/s - Write 520MB/s Serial-ATA III - 6GB/s) $459


      The 1T 7200rpm drive looks good just for the large, economical storage, but I'm wondering if I should be interested in the next two drives for their  cache and SSD? How much do these factors matter in a tertiary drive, particularly with regard to Premiere?


      And would there be a significant performance payoff for climbing all the way to the 512GB Samsung SSD?

        • 1. Re: ASUS N550 Laptop: Hard Drive Options?
          JEShort01 Level 4

          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.





          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: ASUS N550 Laptop: Hard Drive Options?
            John Dimick Level 1

            Hi Jim,


            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?




            • 3. Re: ASUS N550 Laptop: Hard Drive Options?
              JEShort01 Level 4



              You still did not mention the type and duration of your projects.


              Other thoughts...

              • 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.



              • 4. Re: ASUS N550 Laptop: Hard Drive Options?
                John Dimick Level 1

                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.. :-)


                Thanks again,




                John Dimick



                (See the blog for some nice guitar vids made by others. Search "gurochkin" to see the best!)