This laptop can have two normal 2.5" drives (one internally and one instead of an optical drive) and one M.2 drive. The M.2 drive is very fast and great for use as a program drive, as it will make the computer boot faster and work better. It can also be used as video drive as well, however, the large size drives - currently the largest size available is a 1TB - are quite expensive.
What is the difference between "normal" drives, solid state drives and M.2 drives?
...which we also sometimes refer to as "SATA drives" are made in the traditional manor with a series of platters and a head that moves across them to read the data. We have been using drives like this in desktop and laptop computers for many years. The big advantage of a normal drive is that they are relatively cheap for the amount of storage you can get. Laptop drives are 2.5" in size where as desktop drives are bigger - 3.5" - and can be up to 10TB in size. There is a 2TB 2.5" drive currently available, but it runs at 5400 R.P.M., rather than our preferred speed of 7200 R.P.M. This actually works very well, better than the 7200 R.P.M. drives which were available 5 years ago, but we still prefer to use 7200 R.P.M. drives when possible. Current 2.5" SATA drives are much faster than drives we were supplying 4-5 years ago and can easily cope with most HD footage, although are not fast enough to handle uncompressed HD video.
Solid state drives - or SSD
These drives are physically the same size as a "Normal" laptop drive but are not made of platter with a head but made of "flash memory" in a similar way to a USB pen. Therefore, they should be more robust (because they have no moving parts) and are considerably faster. They are also more expensive than SATA drives, which is the ONLY reason why you would not have a laptop filled with SSDs drives instead of regular drives. The prices have dropped considerably over the last year and will continue to drop. They are fast enough to run High definition uncompressed footage and are also used in devices like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The largest solid state drive is currently around 4TB, and considerably expensive (around £1,700). Samsung have announced they will even be making a 15TB solid state drive, which we expect will have a ludicrous price tab.
The largest SSD we supply currently is 2TB, which has a reasonable price.
Both normal drives and Solid state drives can be used in desktops as well as laptops - most of our desktop machines have a 240GB SSD for the main windows drive.
This is a new kind of drive which is effectively the same thing as an SSD but is built into a processor board, and is physically smaller. The M.2s have a faster interface and therefore can be faster than Solid state drives. We have two options for M.2 drives listed below. The "SATA 6Gb/s" drives are the standard ones and good enough to run Windows and seriously speed up performance over the regular drives. The "PCI-e" drives are the faster variations of M.2 drives for the optimum performance.
We would recommend that you have an M.2 drive for your Windows drive, which will make the machine boot quickly and load programs quickly, and a normal SATA drive for the video - unless you have the budget for a large SSD for video.
Change the optical drive for a hard drive
This laptop is the only DVC laptop that can have an optical drive (a DVD or Blu-ray writer) built-in. This can be swapped for a hard drive is a bay to give you two laptop drives in the computer as well as an M.2 drive. The bays can be removed and swapped but are not designed for this purpose, so are not so easy to pull in and out.