Hi Notebook Forums! My first time here.
I'm looking for a notebook and I'm worried about the HDD under vibration/bumps/impacts. I do field work a lot, and all-day-long bumpy off-road rides are common. Mechanical drives, to my knowledge, are not designed for this condition.
I know some workmates who have been using HDD notebooks while off-roading. Some say they have never had any issue doing this for years while others tell me they regret it because their drives failed quickly. This makes me wonder how bad the damage can be. Can anybody shed some light for me ?
Assuming that HDD on 4x4 is indeed unacceptable:
The notebook model on my mind now is Lenovo W530 (specs here). It does come with two SSD options, and I can also buy a 3rd-party one if necessary/cheaper. The problem is, whatever SSD they provide (or I can afford) is too small. The default 500G (HDD) option is the minimum that I can get along with. A 180G SSD along is going to get full really quickly. Due to wear levelling, the actual space I can enjoy on a SSD should be even smaller. Besides, I do need a HDD for testing.
One possible way to get around this is to buy the W530 with a big HDD, and get a small SSD to replace the optical drive. In that case, I should use the SSD as the boot device, and spin up the HDD when safe. Does anybody know a way to prevent the HDD on a W530 from spin up at boot, but still make it possible to fire up after the OS is loaded ? (In case it matters, I usually do my work on Debian/Ubuntu but also use RHEL/Fedora often.) If not, is there any BIOS switch or something to temporarily disable the HDD ?
Plan B is to use the built-in SSD plus an external HHD, which should be easy. For this plan, I'm worried about the connection. The software I develop is I/O heavy, so I have to keep an eye on my testing evironment. How much impact will USB/FireWire have on a drive's I/O behaviour compared to the internal connection ? (W530 has no eSATA)
Thanks in advance.
Edited by MrKoala - 9/18/12 at 8:23am