What is a 500GB solid state hybrid drive with 8GB of flash

I'm looking at Dell Optiplex desktops running Windows 7 Pro, advertised as having a 500 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive with 8GB Flash.  I'm putting standard SSDs in computers I work on.  What exactly is a hybrid drive and how does it compare with a straight SSD in terms of speed, how long they last and any other important factors?
Thanks,
Al
Alan SilvermanOwnerAsked:
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dbruntonCommented:
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_drive#Solid-state_hybrid_drive for the explanation.

Briefly it's a standard HD with a small amount of Flash memory.  Most commonly accessed code ends up in Flash so that code gets loaded fast at SSD speed.  If code or data comes from the HD then it comes at HD speed.

In terms of speed a SSD will beat it for all round use.  Consider it as in between SSD and HD speed.  And the cost is in between the two as well.

Probably as reliable as any hard disk out there but always ensure you have a backup strategy.
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
A hybrid drive has a standard magnetic hard disk drive of the stated capacity, along with a smaller solid state disk incorporated into it that, in theory, stores some of the most-often accessed data and allows the drive to deliver read and write speeds better than a traditional magnetic hard drive.

I looked into hybrid drives a few months ago, and while they are slightly better than a regular magnetic-only disk, their performance improvement is not dramatic. The price per GB is much better than a SSD, so that is their niche: Slightly better performance than regular HDD's at a much lower price than SSD's.

SSD's are still the fastest, by far, but you get what you pay for.

A hybrid drive should have the same life-expectancy and reliability of a regular HDD.

I do not know all the specs of these drives you mentioned, so I am trying to explain it to you in generalities, and I hope my explanation is of help.
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Alan SilvermanOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks,
Al
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Al,
I see that you've already closed the question, but still wanted to pass along this EE thread that had a good discussion about SSD vs. hybrid:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Storage/Hard_Drives/Q_28158230.html

Although it's from almost two years ago, the general points in there are still valid and I think it will be a worthwhile read for you. Regards, Joe
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Alan SilvermanOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks Joe,
Al.
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