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Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive review

Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive review

Seagate Momentus XT 750gb Hybrid Drive reviewThe last five years have brought several major changes to the face of computing technology. While rapid advances in silicon have brought us ever-faster CPUs and GPUs, the opinion of many enthusiasts (myself included) is that the most dramatic shift in the way we build our PCs is the move from the nearly 60-year old mechanical hard disk technology to pure silicon Solid State storage.

It’s hard to get a “dramatic” upgrade in performance nowadays. The last time I remember dropping in an upgrade and being floored at the night-and-day difference was the first time I put a 3D accelerator in my PC back in the Voodoo II days. A single upgrade was a transformative experience—it was like getting a whole new machine. Those days dwindled for quite a while, as performance increases were so negligible—even when we got dual- and quad-core CPUs, it wasn’t that big a difference from upgrade cycle to upgrade cycle.

Then we got SSDs. The difference in the overall computing experience between mechanical and solid state storage is intense. Dropping an SSD into your PC makes every single aspect of your day-to-day move faster. Sometimes twice as fast. Sometimes three times as fast. It’s more than noticeable. It’s one of those “I cannot possibly go back to the old way” differences.

So if SSDs are so freaking amazing, why isn’t everybody using them?

They’re not cheap

We will never have enough storage space. I’m typing this on a computer with nearly four terabytes of storage space and I’m still thinking I could use more—and I don’t even have a movie collection or anything. No, for me it’s a massive gaming library (between Steam and Origin alone I’m over half a terabyte), all of my photography (I keep all my images in Camera RAW format, which means every single picture is 6-8mb), and my entire music library (30gb and growing), not to mention my video editing projects including a backlog of all my old family videos.

While it’s technically possible to have 4tb of SSD storage, the cost factor makes it utterly absurd: It would cost nearly $10,000 to have 4tb of SSD space at today’s prices.

So the way most people do it is to have a small, fast SSD for their operating system, and then large, old-fashioned, mechanical platters for their mass storage needs. The benefits of the SSD are mostly felt in the boot-up times and operating system functions anyways, so this is not a bad system.

This means that in order to have the benefits of SSD (fast bootups, quick small file access, a zippy day-to-day OS experience) and HDD (massive storage, cheap drives), you need two separate devices in each PC.

But what if there’s a better way?

Enter the hybrids

The SSD paradigm shift has hit the storage industry hard. Traditional hard disk manufacturers such as Hitachi, Western Digital, and Seagate have been thrown for a loop as a glut of new competitors have entered their cloistered market. All of the sudden these monoliths—many whom invented some of the interface and access standards that still manifest today—have had to contend with upstarts like OCZ and Corsair—companies that have been in the flash or RAM markets previously and suddenly found themselves sitting on everything they needed to make SSDs. OCZ went so far as to stop making RAM (the market they started in), buy a storage controller company, and re-brand themselves as a purveyor of high-end SSD technology, taking market share from hard drive companies. What do old standbys like Seagate do? They were mechanical manufacturers: they had factories and technologies to make very shiny metal disks with very tiny metal particles on them spin very quickly. They also had a lot of magnets. This new SSD stuff was alien technology.

Well, of course that doesn’t mean that they needed to throw in the towel. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The mark of a good company is being able to adapt to the times.

Let’s face the facts: The writing is on the wall for mechanical hard drives. At 60 years old, it’s sunset time for the tech. It had a really, really good run. Innovations are still being made today in terms of capacity, speed, and cost, but the simple matter is that mechanical drives are extremely complicated, have moving parts, and ultimately will never be as fast as a pure electronic device.

So Seagate did what any savvy company should do when the world turns: turn with it. They started manufacturing their own SSDs but have yet to gain brand recognition in this new market.

However, Seagate has one thing these upstart SSD companies don’t: Decades of experience as hard drive manufacturers and the capacity to make mechanical disks cheaply. So why not stick the two together and make a drive that contains the best of both worlds? A mechanical disk that contains massive storage and an SSD that allows extremely fast access to common files?

That’s what they did. Seagate (and arguably Samsung) invented the hybrid drive in 2007, and now in 2011 the technology has matured and is widely available. Seagate sent us a Momentus XT 750gb hybrid drive to test out and report our findings. Let’s dive in.

The best of both worlds

The current-generation Seagate Momentus XT is available in a 750gb capacity. It is a 2.5″ drive suitable for laptops or desktops. There is an older Momentus XT availble in 500gb capacity, but it is last-generation with an older SATA 3gb/s interface.

The fact that this is a hybrid drive raises a lot of questions, especially amongst the technology-minded. In fact, this is one of those situations where techies want to over-complicate it because this device breaks the paradigm, so we want to understand it. For a moment, pretend that this is just a standard 750gb mechanical hard drive. It is presented to your computer as a standard drive with decent specs: 7200rpm, 750gb capacity, SATA 6gb interface, 32mb cache.

The hybrid part comes from the inclusion of 8gb of SLC NAND. This is not accessible in any front-facing manner: it is invisible to the user. You can’t choose to put data on the SSD section. Rather, Seagate has a technology they call “FAST”, or Flash-Assisted Storage Technology. This manifests as a controller that decides what data should be copied onto the NAND for faster access. It will copy frequently-accessed data to the NAND cells and send those through the controller when that data is requested by the operating system. It’s important to note that the data that is on the NAND is a copy of data that already exists on the platters, therefore you’re not going to lose it to bad cells or whatever. It might help to think of this drive as 750gb+8gb if that clears things up. Put another way: YOU can’t write to the SSD, only the controller can.

In practice, this means that most of your OS is copied to the NAND. This results in insanely improved boot times over standard HDs as well as faster load times for applications—which, conveniently, are the areas that mechanical HDDs struggle with most often. This makes the computer “feel” much, much faster. Actually, feel is the wrong word. It IS faster.

Performance

Time for some benchmarks. Now, because of the unique nature of the drive, the FAST controller will most likely not help benchmark numbers at all since the data is created one-off for benchmarking. What we’re testing here is basically the performance of the mechanical drive. These numbers will not tell the story of the aspects of the experience that do benefit from FAST.

First, let’s look at the side-by-side. The testbench is an average PC: AMD Phenom II X4 965 on an AMD 890 chipset, 4gb of DDR3 RAM, Windows 7 64bit.

I tested the Momentus XT against a Crucial 64gb C300 RealSSD and a Western Digital 10krpm 74gb Raptor drive. I wanted to see where it stood.

SSD vs Momentus XT Hybrid vs Raptor 10K benchmark test

Red: Crucial C300. Yellow: Seagate Momentus XT. Green: WD Raptor 10K

As you can see the Momentus falls in line exactly where it should: Firmly between the old and the new. The Raptor is showing its age here as it tops out around 64mb/s. The SSD, of course, blows them both away with 350-400mb/s reads and nearly 80mb/s writes. The Momentus is at a nice, comfortable middle ground: 114mb/s read and write. This is what you can expect for everday data transfers, such as copying files back and forth.

AIDA64 tells a similar story:

Seagate Momentus XT AIDA64 benchmark

Red: Momentus XT. Green: WD Raptor 10K

As you can see, the buffered reads on the Momentus XT are light-years beyond the Raptor. Nearly five times faster. This drive is almost twice as fast as a 10krpm WD Raptor, just in synthetic benchmarks.

Now for the real test: Bootup times. First of all, I’ll link a video made by Seagate that tells the story from their perspective:

This video shows boot-up comparisons between a stock 7200rpm HD, the Momentus XT, and an Intel SSD. As you can see, the Momentus boots nearly as fast as an SSD, and way faster than the standard HD.

I ran my own independent boot test. I used my HP EliteBook 8740W workstation that comes stock with a 500gb 7200RPM Seagate Momentus (not to be confused with the XT; this is an older Momentus, which is a standard mechanical HD). Boot time with the standard HD was 01:20 to full readiness. With the Momentus XT in there, the boot time was significantly faster: 25.2 seconds to full readiness, which is just a touch over three times faster. I’d call that a significant improvement.

Use cases

So what is this drive for? Is it the last, ultimate HDD? Does this represent the final culmination of 60 years of technological development in terms of consumer storage? In many ways, it does. This is probably the last major innovation we’ll see in mechanical storage. This may be the last mechanical hard drive some of us ever buy.

It’s a strange beast. At $239.99, it’s not cheap, but it’s certainly far less expensive than an SSD with equivalent storage space. It’s quite a bit more than an equivalent 2.5″ 7200rpm HDD (like this Western Digital Scorio Black 750gb), but really, does a drive like this deserve to be compared to those? It’s not either—it’s a hybrid in the truest sense of the word.

If you’re a mobile PC gamer, there is no other drive for you. With the size of installed games, most laptop owners don’t really have a lot of choices. You can install an SSD for top speeds, but you’ll be installing and uninstalling games in your library just to make room. Hell, World of Warcraft nowadays would kill a normal SSD. A 750gb drive will hold your entire game library, no matter how absurd it is (unless you’re Winfrey).

It is just about as fast as a Western Digital 600gb Velociraptor (which is commonly accepted as the fastest consumer HDD out there), and it’s nearly $100 less and 150gb bigger. Besides, it matches the Velociraptor’s performance (a 10krpm drive) while spinning at 7200rpm. This means it will use a less power and generate less heat (very important considerations for laptop owners). On top of that, the Velociraptor needs a big heatsink to run; even though it’s a 2.5″ drive, it’s a desktop part because of the 3.5″ heatsink.

Recommendation

The Icrontic Golden FedoraIf you have the extra money to spend, this drive is definitely one of the fastest mechanical disks that we’ve ever tested. It would be a significant upgrade to a laptop that has a 7200rpm HDD in it, and a mind-blowing upgrade for a laptop that is saddled with a 5400rpm HDD.

Seagate made a very, very savvy move in creating this drive. They remain highly relevant, they deliver a best-in-class device for a significant market, and they are able to utilize and leverage their assets to create a high-end product for demanding consumers in a rapidly changing business. Remember, everything these guys know is changing, and maybe even ten years from now, will be considered archaic.

I’m fascinated with this drive.  It represents the pinnacle of hard drive technology, and is the best in class for what it does. It’s basically the perfect hard drive for a very large niche, and I know for sure that I’ll be recommending it to anybody building a system or upgrading a laptop. Because of this, I’m very happy to award the Seagate Momentus XT 750gb hybrid drive our rare Icrontic Golden Fedora, our highest honor for product excellence.

The Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive is available from Newegg and Amazon for $239.99.


Comments

  1. fatcat
    fatcat Samsung F3R 7200rpm 500GBx2 Raid0

    image

    $90 total cost before hard drives went stupid expensive

    Once hard drives go back to normal, I would like to see what one of these (hybrids) cost.

    But I wouldn't pay $240 for something slower than an easy Raid0
  2. fatcat
    fatcat I will add this.

    If your only option is gaming on a laptop, or you somehow prefer having a gaming laptop over a PC, then this drive is a good option being 2.5" and all
  3. primesuspect
    primesuspect You're comparing apples to oranges; this is a 2.5" hard drive for mobile devices. I mean, yeah, a 15K RPM SAS enterprise server drive is going to be faster than this too.

    From the desktop perspective: That RAID 0 is just your storage space. No way in hell are you gonna put your OS on that drive. So really, your cost is $90 + whatever drive you want for your OS, and now you've got three loud, hot mechanical drives instead of one 2.5" mobile drive.
  4. CannonFodder
    CannonFodder Wish I'd known about this about 3 weeks ago - the SSD I bought is already forcing me to consider moving applications around.
  5. Storrm
    Storrm i've liked the idea of this drive for a while but i feel like its not quite there yet. i think the reads are like 120 vs an ssd with say 400-500. id love to know how much a speed different going from 8 to 16GB would be, going from 4 to 8 only upped the reads by 20. it would be nice if thay could work some magic with the next XT 1TB/32GB with 550 reads :3 not going to happen tho. still hdd can still go to about 6TB per plater(using salt crystals) but thats a while down the road. i think SSDs are just evolving faster now becoz of the market. thay been taking there time tho, thay did appear in the 1970s. really theres no good reason that SSHD haven't been around for a long time. imagine a 2gb ssd with a 250gb hhd running xp, that could of took of like a rocket a few years ago and be standard now, there would be no reason to have normal hdd, and ssd wouldn't be that big of a deal.
  6. Tim
    Tim Despite the benchmark scores, I still see hybrid drives as an undesireable gimmick. Go pure SSD or stay with a normal hard drive. I'm planning to put a 120 GB Vertex 3 and a pair of 1 TB Seagates in my next gaming PC build.
  7. Hatop
    Hatop There are several reasons that SSD drives didn't take off previously to the last several years. First off, the actual manufacturing processes didn't really have the capability of producing anything near the storage density of current drives for a reasonable price. It wasn't until the last several years that it became economical to produce a solid state drive that could be purchased in the consumer space. Along with the inability to produce the required transistor density for a solid state drive, we also couldn't produce the drive without also requiring a large amount of power to continue to run the drive. Because of both the density issue and the power issue, it never made sense to use a SSD in place of 1 or more magnetic drives. One way around the density issue is using MLC(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_cell), but this reduces performance and increases more errors. Hence, most fast SSD drives use single level cells that reduce density and increase cost.

    While I agree that this technology has existed in some state for decades, I disagree that there have been remotely economical ways to produce the product until the last 5-8 years. Advances in trace size reduction, power consumption, and controller intelligence have allowed the creation and rise of the SSD as a viable path of storage for near term storage systems, boot drives, and drives that feature large amounts of non-sequential reads/writes. However, they still lose on overall cost per Gigabyte as well as performance per Dollar.
  8. primesuspect
    primesuspect
    Tim said:
    Despite the benchmark scores, I still see hybrid drives as an undesireable gimmick. Go pure SSD or stay with a normal hard drive. I'm planning to put a 120 GB Vertex 3 and a pair of 1 TB Seagates in my next gaming PC build.
    This drive is not for massive desktop gaming PCs.
  9. Butters
    Butters $239 ouch. My 500GB XT was obtained for $99 a year ago but still can be had for around $140. Its the perfect laptop HD, fast, has plenty of storage and 5-year warranty.
  10. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster I've been using Seagate drives for the past couple years because their warranty service is the absolute best of any company I've ever had to deal with. I had a drive fail in a friends machine, emailed Seagate, got advance RMA, had the replacement drive to me with a box to return ship the other drive in 48 hours, no questions asked. Best Warranty exchange I have ever dealt with. Fast and easy.

    As far as the price of the drive, Mechanical drives are all a little inflated right now due to some recent floods at major manufacturing facility's in Taiwain. Even if the factory's that made these specific drives were not effected, demand is outstripping supply right now. All mechanical drives are a bit inflated, this will improve given a little more time.

    I've installed a 500GB XT Hybrid similar to what Butters describes in a laptop for a friend. I think he paid about $129 at the time. It is a huge upgrade from a standard 5400 RPM laptop drive that most OEM's use.
  11. fatcat
    fatcat Thailand Cliff
  12. primesuspect
    primesuspect Butters, don't forget that ALL drives are more expensive now due to the Thailand situation. The 500gb is now $140.
  13. RyanMM
    RyanMM Criminy guys, most of you are totally missing the point of the article.

    If you can only fit a SINGLE hard drive in a system, and you're limited to the 2.5" form factor (which is the case with laptops, some SFF systems, etc), then this drive is a breakthrough and certainly worth the money when your data footprint exceeds what an SSD can provide.

    Yes, cost should only be compared to current prices on models, in which case, yes, there's definitely a price premium over the $140 500GB Seagate hybrid, but this does offer an increased SSD cache and the extra 250GB usable space. If you have 501GB of data and need it mobile, this just created a viable option where none existed.

    "Oh, that doesn't compare to my RAID5 SSD array in speed or" jesus christ shut up. :P
  14. primesuspect
    primesuspect Don't forget: The 500gb XT is older; SATA 3gb interface instead of 6gb
  15. pigflipper
    pigflipper I am now seriously considering this drive for a SFF media PC I am planning on building after the New Year; only have space for one drive and I want storage size, speed, and small physical size.
  16. ardichoke
    ardichoke Hmm.... this could be a worthy upgrade for my laptop (once prices come back down)
  17. primesuspect
    primesuspect The difference in my own laptop was night and day, man. It sort of feels like I have a 750gb SSD sometimes.
  18. fatcat
    fatcat 600GB SATA3 2.5" Velociraptor for reference

    image
  19. Mt_Goat
    Mt_Goat
    RyanMM said:
    Criminy guys, most of you are totally missing the point of the article.

    If you can only fit a SINGLE hard drive in a system, and you're limited to the 2.5" form factor (which is the case with laptops, some SFF systems, etc), then this drive is a breakthrough and certainly worth the money when your data footprint exceeds what an SSD can provide.

    Yes, cost should only be compared to current prices on models, in which case, yes, there's definitely a price premium over the $140 500GB Seagate hybrid, but this does offer an increased SSD cache and the extra 250GB usable space. If you have 501GB of data and need it mobile, this just created a viable option where none existed.

    "Oh, that doesn't compare to my RAID5 SSD array in speed or" jesus christ shut up. :P
    Ryan hit it squarely on the head. It all boils down to the application. I also feel that there is significant room for improvement in the tech as it matures. This along with the Thailand issue improving in the not too distant future will bring the cost down considerably. The only thing I didn't like was the low end of the ATTO but that may never be felt in real life. But on the low end ATTO the Velociraptor trounced the Momentus XT. Maybe 2 in RAID0 for an HTPC would be a good useage too!
  20. Mt_Goat
    Mt_Goat
    fatcat said:
    600GB SATA3 2.5" Velociraptor for reference
    OUCH!!! I think Greg just made a point. :hair:
  21. shwaip
    shwaip Eh, the VR will have its own downsides (temps, power usage, increased cost).
  22. fatcat
    fatcat
    shwaip said:
    Eh, the VR will have its own downsides (temps, power usage, increased cost).
    we are still talking about a "gaming laptop" right? :tongue:
  23. primesuspect
    primesuspect Yeah, for $450.

    Let's put this another way:

    Seagate has found a way to deliver a very damned fast 2.5" hard drive for $240, which is faster than any single drive in its price range.
  24. fatcat
    fatcat $259 on newegg o.O

    But it is not 750GB, and if we're going for the best size/speed award, the seagate has it for now
  25. Gargoyle
    Gargoyle If prices were lower right now, I'd consider getting one for my laptop. My 320GB Scorpio Black (atto attached) gets about 80 MB/s. It was a huge, noticeable difference when I upgraded to the Scorpio Black from the 5400 rpm drive that came with it (40-45 MB/s).

    While the speeds of the XT would fall under the cap of the SATA 150 controller on my laptop, I still wonder if I'd see the ~110 MB/s that Prime got in his newer laptop. There's a bit on Wikipedia about access to cache benefiting from the faster interface.
    Mt_Goat said:
    Maybe 2 in RAID0 for an HTPC would be a good useage too!
    I wonder if the caching algorithm would work just as well in RAID usage?
  26. Gargoyle
    Gargoyle
    fatcat said:
    600GB SATA3 2.5" Velociraptor for reference
    Without looking up specs, I'm guessing the 10k drive uses more power, too. Maybe it'd drain the battery before it melted the chassis of my chic plastique laptop.
  27. fatcat
    fatcat
    Gargoyle said:
    Without looking up specs, I'm guessing the 10k drive uses more power, too. Maybe it'd drain the battery before it melted the chassis of my chic plastique laptop.
    next time buy a macbook pro :rarr:
  28. Mt_Goat
    Mt_Goat
    Gargoyle said:
    Without looking up specs, I'm guessing the 10k drive uses more power, too. Maybe it'd drain the battery before it melted the chassis of my chic plastique laptop.
    Serious drives call for serious laptops! You would always have dry socks!
  29. Mt_Goat
    Mt_Goat
    fatcat said:
    next time buy a mac pro :rarr:
    /////WARNING\\\\\

    READING THIS THREAD COULD MELT THE SCREEN OF YOUR LAPTOP
  30. primesuspect
    primesuspect
    fatcat said:
    $259 on newegg o.O
    That's for the 3.5" version. The 2.5" version is out of stock.
  31. fatcat
    fatcat
    primesuspect said:
    That's for the 3.5" version. The 2.5" version is out of stock.
    you can remove the 2.5" drive from the heatsink homie

    image
  32. primesuspect
    primesuspect
    Gargoyle said:
    If prices were lower right now, I'd consider getting one for my laptop. My 320GB Scorpio Black (atto attached) gets about 80 MB/s. It was a huge, noticeable difference when I upgraded to the Scorpio Black from the 5400 rpm drive that came with it (40-45 MB/s).

    While the speeds of the XT would fall under the cap of the SATA 150 controller on my laptop, I still wonder if I'd see the ~110 MB/s that Prime got in his newer laptop. There's a bit on Wikipedia about access to cache benefiting from the faster interface.



    I wonder if the caching algorithm would work just as well in RAID usage?
    Here's the thing, though: Those ATTO benches are purely mechanical. We're getting 110 MB/s off the platters.

    Remember, the back-end of this drive is an 8gb SLC NAND SSD. When you're loading windows and doing the other stuff that FAST decides should be on the SSD, we may be seeing something closer to those burst transfer rates. No matter what, that's gonna blow away any HDD, Velociraptor or otherwise.

    I'm curious to see if it gets faster over time. As I use it more, I wonder if it will intelligently cache information on the SSD to really optimize the experience.
  33. primesuspect
    primesuspect
    fatcat said:
    you can remove the 2.5" drive from the heatsink homie

    image
    And then you'll end up melting your laptop or crashing the drive :D
  34. RyanMM
    RyanMM Greg, you're forgetting that the 600GB Velociraptor you have that benchmark for is the 15K RPM 3.5" shell desktop version, not the 10K RPM 2.5" laptop version.

    You're never going to run the 15K version in a laptop, too much power and too much heat.
  35. RyanMM
    RyanMM
    primesuspect said:
    I'm curious to see if it gets faster over time. As I use it more, I wonder if it will intelligently cache information on the SSD to really optimize the experience.
    It's a shame you don't have it in a desktop system, because after a month of use you could write an awesome follow-up article about cloning the data to a 15k RPM hard drive and comparing performance during general usage.
  36. drasnor
    drasnor
    primesuspect said:
    Don't forget: The 500gb XT is older; SATA 3gb interface instead of 6gb
    I'm very interested in seeing what the extra $120 nets you versus the older drive. Any apples to apples reviews around?
  37. fatcat
    fatcat
    RyanMM said:
    Greg, you're forgetting that the 600GB Velociraptor you have that benchmark for is the 15K RPM 3.5" shell desktop version, not the 10K RPM 2.5" laptop version.

    You're never going to run the 15K version in a laptop, too much power and too much heat.
    they don't make 15k Velociraptors dude, only 10k

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=20
  38. RyanMM
    RyanMM
    fatcat said:
    they don't make 15k Velociraptors dude, only 10k

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=20
    Fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. I just misremembered 3 years of stuff.

    I thought the move to 2.5" format in 2008 brought with it an RPM bump in addition to the greater platter density.

    Power won't be your biggest problem, but I still don't know too many laptops you can stick a 10k RPM drive in and achieve adequate ventilation.
  39. primesuspect
    primesuspect
    drasnor said:
    I'm very interested in seeing what the extra $120 nets you versus the older drive. Any apples to apples reviews around?
    I believe the SSD side of the 500gb drive is 4gb instead of 8gb and I believe it's MLC rather than SLC.
  40. Storrm
    Storrm "wow is so long" i would reply to a comment that commented on my comment but its already been commented on.
  41. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum The 750GB Momentus XT is currently on sale over at Newegg for $199.
  42. primesuspect
    primesuspect Link? It shows $239 everywhere I look
  43. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum The 750GB Momentus XT is currently on sale over at Newegg for $199.

    You can use this link and enter promo code EMCJHHA27 (from today's Year-end Clearance email) at checkout for the $40 discount.
  44. Straight_Man
    Straight_Man The prices on the 500 GB Momentus XT Hybrid are nice, though, $149.99 or $159.99. Wish I had some spare bucks....
  45. primesuspect
    primesuspect Just remember that the 500gb is the last-gen drive and is only SATA 3gb, 4gb, and MLC.
  46. quake101
    quake101 I put one of the older 500 GB Momentus XT Hybrid in a friend's laptop, it was a major upgrade. If I ever find $200+ laying around, I might buy one of these new 750GB drives. :D
  47. Straight_Man
    Straight_Man
    Just remember that the 500gb is the last-gen drive and is only SATA 3gb, 4gb, and MLC.
    Ok, thanks for the advice, will have to hold off for an SSD\HDD hybrid for the laptop then.

    John.

  48. primesuspect
    primesuspect This drive is on sale for the really good price of $145 on Newegg right now.
  49. Greg
    Greg First of all, excellent review. My question: I am not in the market for a hard drive but at $145, it's an excellent investment. I know the drive is intended to hasten the start-up time when installed in a laptop, but I was wondering if anyone has just purchased it to be used in an enclosure? I trust Seagate; I've bought a couple of their drives in the past. I don't trust buying a device such as My Passport because I used one once and it fried my motorboard. I prefer to buy a HD and install it in an enclosure. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.
  50. primesuspect
    primesuspect I suppose it would work just fine in a 2.5" enclosure; it is a totally normal SATA HD in most respects. I feel like maybe you'll be losing the benefit of the SSD front-end if you're using it for external data storage, but regardless it will be slightly faster to access common things than any normal HDD.
  51. Tushon
    Tushon A use case I could see would be a small internal HDD and using this for storing game files like Steam/Origin default install folders.
  52. Straight_Man
    Straight_Man Ok, here are some more uses for a USB HD:

    Large collection (legal) of music files-- Windows Media Player can be pointed at a USB HD folder.

    Huge collection of .raw image photos, or even huger one of large .jpeg's. A pro photographer or prolific amateur photobug would love this kind of thing. I keep my archived photos on a USB HD myself. The programs for editing photos are on the 500 GB HD in my laptop.

    Very huge collection of drawings.

    Some each of all of the above. I keep website backups on one also.
  53. RyanMM
    RyanMM Wow. I just bought one of these a week ago for $162, after seeing the price the week before at $175. That's a nice drop in 2 weeks.
  54. Greg
    Greg Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it. When I first heard about this HD, I thought it would be good for archival storage as well as a faster startup. I've been a photographer for 25 years and I'm in the process of converting my work to digital format. I want a brand I trust for long term storage. I trust Seagate. The 500 gb hybrid drive had a lot of problems but the 750 gb drive seems to be OK. The kinks seem to have been worked out. As I mentioned, I once plugged in a "my passport" and it used so much power that it fried my motherboard-at least that's what a technician told me. So no more plug and play external enclosures for me. I have an enclosure with which I can use a power adaptor so I intend to put this hybrid drive in that. The Seagate 640 gb hard drive has 5400 rpm. I thought this hybrid at 750 gb and 7200 rpm would be a better investment especially at this price ($145); it's not much more expensive than a regular HD. Of course, I can always install it in a laptop in the future but for now the plans are to use it for archival storage. Thanks again.
  55. primesuspect
    primesuspect These drives are down to $155 now. Seriously a no-brainer major upgrade for laptop users.
  56. mertesn
    mertesn No kidding. I finally got around to replacing the second hard drive in my laptop with this. It made quite a difference.
  57. edcentric
    edcentric I have been running one in my lappy for about 18 months now.
    No, it isn't nearly as fast as SSD, but it sure kicks the $hit out of standard 5,400 notebook drives.

    It is fun to start rebooting the machine when you haven't done it for a few weeks. You can time how much faster each reboot gets. The app that I always run is Outlook and it sure loads fast.
  58. ardichoke
    ardichoke Hrng... want one for my new laptop so bad... but I really need to upgrade the storage in my desktop first.
  59. primesuspect
    primesuspect These are now down to $129.99.

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