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Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive review

primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposalDetroit, MI Icrontian
edited Dec 2011 in PC Building
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Comments

  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • CannonFodderCannonFodder Dubuque, Iowa Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Wish I'd known about this about 3 weeks ago - the SSD I bought is already forcing me to consider moving applications around.
  • edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • TimTim Southwest PA Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • HatopHatop Alabama
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • ButtersButters CA Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    $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.
  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Thailand Cliff
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Butters, don't forget that ALL drives are more expensive now due to the Thailand situation. The 500gb is now $140.
  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Don't forget: The 500gb XT is older; SATA 3gb interface instead of 6gb
  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Hmm.... this could be a worthy upgrade for my laptop (once prices come back down)
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    The difference in my own laptop was night and day, man. It sort of feels like I have a 750gb SSD sometimes.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    600GB SATA3 2.5" Velociraptor for reference

    image
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Watching the mere mortals in chaos from high atop Mt. Olympus Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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!
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Watching the mere mortals in chaos from high atop Mt. Olympus Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    fatcat said:
    600GB SATA3 2.5" Velociraptor for reference
    OUCH!!! I think Greg just made a point. :hair:
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Eh, the VR will have its own downsides (temps, power usage, increased cost).
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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:
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    $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
  • GargoyleGargoyle Illinois Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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?
    First 20GB, Scorpio Black 320, Dell 1520.jpg
    1 x 1 - 129K
  • GargoyleGargoyle Illinois Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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:
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Watching the mere mortals in chaos from high atop Mt. Olympus Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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!
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Watching the mere mortals in chaos from high atop Mt. Olympus Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    fatcat said:
    next time buy a mac pro :rarr:
    /////WARNING\\\\\

    READING THIS THREAD COULD MELT THE SCREEN OF YOUR LAPTOP
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    fatcat said:
    $259 on newegg o.O
    That's for the 3.5" version. The 2.5" version is out of stock.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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
  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • drasnordrasnor Hawthorne, CA Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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?
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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
  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • edited Dec 2011
    "wow is so long" i would reply to a comment that commented on my comment but its already been commented on.
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Orange, CA Icrontian
    The 750GB Momentus XT is currently on sale over at Newegg for $199.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Link? It shows $239 everywhere I look
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Orange, CA Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    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.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Punta Gorda, FL Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    The prices on the 500 GB Momentus XT Hybrid are nice, though, $149.99 or $159.99. Wish I had some spare bucks....
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Just remember that the 500gb is the last-gen drive and is only SATA 3gb, 4gb, and MLC.
  • quake101quake101 Ohio Member
    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
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Punta Gorda, FL Icrontian
    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.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    This drive is on sale for the really good price of $145 on Newegg right now.
  • 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.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    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.
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