POST A COMMENT

120 Comments

Back to Article

  • numberoneoppa - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    As much as I miss my girlfriend who's been on the other side of the world for two weeks... I've missed you more, Anand.

    Welcome back.
    Reply
  • SandmanWN - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    That's just weird... Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    HAHA that's awesome. well, not for your girlfriend.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • weakerthans4 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    There are some itches a girlfriend just can't scratch... Welcome back Anand!!!! Reply
  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - link

    Please stop saying things. Reply
  • falc0ne - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    aaa..lol? :)) Reply
  • DoktorSleepless - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Why wasn't a regular 7200 rpm drive used as another reference point? That would have been nice to have as well. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I mentioned this on the test page, I simply didn't have a modern 7200RPM 2.5" drive on hand (only older 7200RPM 2.5" drives which were slower than the 5400.6) while I was conducting these tests. As I put together the data for our HDD bench I will add them in though :)

    Between the 5400.6 and the WDVR you should be able to get a good idea of where this thing falls though.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Yeah, the one thing though is that having, say, a normal Momentus 7200 would allow us to tell if the NAND is really offering us a benefit over a drive without it, and if so, what percentage performance increase can be attributed to it.

    I understand you didn't have the drive at this time, but if you could update this article in the future, it would be much appreciated.
    Reply
  • pcfxer - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    The issue with that line of thinking is that this drive is not just HDD+SSD, the algorithms that the drive uses to read and write data is on a vastly different ball field. This drive is an HDD with SSD capabilities and sometimes benefits.

    Until everyone understands that, they (consumers) will expect SSD performance at least some of the time, which is a result of poor understanding. Of course, after all the technical articles on SSDs and as a result HDDs, I'm amazed that people would ever expect any SSD performance from a HDD with flash. The flash is just like nitrous in a car; a 100 shot doesn't offer 100hp, but maybe 60hp instead. A good poke, but not the real thing.
    Reply
  • dannysauer - Saturday, July 02, 2011 - link

    That's a terrible metaphor. A "100 shot" of nitrous is called a "100 shot" because it's good for 100 horsepower. Dyno tests on properly tuned vehicles repeatedly confirm that the advertised power change is usually within a few HP of the documentation.

    Now that I think about it, I guess it's inadvertently a good metaphor for poorly understanding technology. :)

    In any event, you have a good point that it's deceptive to market this as a "hybrid". It's just a regular drive with a large intelligent cache. They should just say "now! with adaptive caching!" or something.
    Reply
  • Chloiber - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    In the beginning you said you would use a Patriot Inferno, but on most benchmarks it says "Agility 2" ?!

    OT:
    This drive should be a perfect upgrade for all notebook users who think SSDs are too expensive or who need more space than the usual 40-120GB of SSDs.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I only used the Inferno for the new tests, the rest was existing data pulled out of Bench. However the two drives perform the same, they are both SF-1200 based 100GB drives with production firmware :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Chloiber - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Ah, no problem then, thought it's a copy&paste error :) Reply
  • Aikouka - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    What I'm curious about is how this drive handles regularly used files that change somewhat often. Caching can be great for executables or libraries (DLLs, etc), given that they don't change often if at all. But what happens when you have files that are accessed during a specific task that may change every time you perform this task? You said that the algorithm doesn't work with writes, which if it understood what write was coming in, it could intercept and possibly alter the already cached data to the new value.

    This mostly came from a nerdy WoW example where while textures and such don't normally change too often, add-on settings can possibly change every time you load the game (and load-up can be pretty ardruous with a lot of add-ons). So, if these settings files are changing possibly every time, the cache values will be out of date and it'll have to use its poor Random Read rate to access the proper data.

    It's really just one drop in the bucket of the many examples you can think of where this drive wouldn't have a problem, but start-up time in WoW is one of the reasons why I went with the Intel X25-M to begin with... when I bought it, it was pretty much top notch in random read performance.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    As is the case with any cache there has to be some mechanism to invalidate data in the cache if the original data is modified. I believe that's what happens here. There's a table of LBAs that are cached and if one is modified then the cached version is immediately invalidated and/or updated.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Definitely true with cache invalidating.

    I think I was reading a bit too far into this line:

    "the Momentus XT however, the SLC NAND acts exclusively as a read cache - writes never touch the NAND."

    and considering that it meant that the caching wouldn't access incoming writes for validating cached data. It sounded odd that way as it'd make caching an absolute sleeping bear of a problem. I'm assuming the statement is meant to be taken literally -- the drive simply doesn't write cache to help speed up writes.

    Thanks for the clarification on a sleepy Monday morning and bienvendo!
    Reply
  • siberian 3 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand do we know what will happen if the NAND fail and not the mechanical part of the drive?
    Will the user lose the DATA it is on the drive
    Reply
  • jaydee - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Anand, how do you think this would compare if they chose to do, say 8GB of MLC instead of 4GB of SLC? Surely it would bring the cost down, and I would think the double cache would be more important than the decrease in speed? Reply
  • Chloiber - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    It has also something to do with reliability/lifetime, not just performance. Reply
  • wagsbags - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Most SSDs use wear leveling algorithms or compression or some other fairly complicated mechanism to ensure reliability. Seagate wanted to make this as simple as possible while still being reliable. Reply
  • codedivine - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Here is a request for a test. What happens in dual-boot scenarios? If I boot into Windows 7 and then lets say into Ubuntu, then I expect the drive will have some trouble determining what to cache in its relatively small 4GB NAND. Reply
  • teohhanhui - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    "The drive looks at access patterns over time (most likely via a history table of LBAs and their frequency of access) and pulls some data into the NAND. If a read request comes in for an LBA that is present in the NAND, it's serviced out of the 4GB chip. If the LBA isn't present in the NAND, the data comes from the platters."

    It should not matter what OS you're using.
    Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    it works at an very low level at LBA
    below is simplified
    if LBA 50 is accessed say 2 times or more it then gets added to the flash if LBA 50 is over written it invalidates the LBA 50 block from the flash (its bit more then what i have say but basically what it does)

    this drive does not talk to the OS at all when putting stuff onto the flash it makes an history of what parts of the disk are accessed the most and puts it on the flash (FIle or not)

    the disk does not care what OS is running as its only looking at the History of the LBA access on the hdd side of this drive, so there should no issues using these drives in raid as it works at the LBA level of whats accessed the most

    even better as each drive has 4gb of cache on them and raid 0 spreads data across muti disks the flash can be 4gb x N1 so if you have 4 XT drives you have 16gb of read cache flash available so if you open or use upto 16gb of files/LBA blocks that norm never change and are in use often they be cached so most of the reads come from the flash and Writes would goto the disk (if an Write and read are going on often the spinning disk maybe often only Writing most of the time as the reads would come from the flash)
    Reply
  • nafhan - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    The hard drive's firmware controls what gets cached. If you went back and forth between two OS's, you'd probably end up with either one or neither of them cached. The article explains that the best case scenario for a hybrid drive is where your most frequently used applications can fit within the 4GB of flash memory. Reply
  • Exelius - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Any chance of seeing a desktop version of this drive?

    While I know you prefer the discrete SSD+RAID solution, there's something to be said for simplicity (from an end user perspective; at least.) I would personally love to see a 1TB drive with around 32 GB of NAND for around $200. Given that both 1TB drives and 32GB SSDs are available for under a bill, this should be doable, right?

    And on a different note; I'd be interested in seeing how a similar drive with a much larger flash cache performs in an enterprise scenario. Would the sync algorithm kill performance? Or would a larger cache allow wear leveling to make up for an increase in IOPS?
    Reply
  • YellowWing - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I second that! 1 TB disk with 32 GB NAND for a reasonable price in a 3.5 inch form factor would get my dollar. Even if it were only a read cache. Reply
  • GourdFreeMan - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    32GB of SLC would push the price of such a drive beyond $400 once manufacturer’s margins are taken into account with current generation flash. If MLC could be used instead, the price might be pushed down into the $250 range for your hypothetical drive, but it would have to cache data far less frequently to avoid wearing out the flash (or have to include a real SSD-like controller and some extra flash as spare area, once again driving up the price). Reply
  • mwagers - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Hows the vibration? I am trying to find a HD for my macbook pro and cant seem to find a 7200 that doesnt vibrate the casing. How does this one fair? Reply
  • JohnnyComeLately - Monday, June 06, 2011 - link

    I just put this drive in my 15" MacBook Pro. There is a slight increase, but it's very very slight. What I think you'll notice more over the OEM drive is the noise. When the fans are off, and I'm in a quiet room, normally my MBP makes nearly no noise. I can hear this Momentus' platter spinning. It's not obnoxious, bad, but you will notice it if you're in a quiet room. Reply
  • codedivine - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Another request is to compare performance against a non-hybrid 7200rpm Momentus, which is the same drive minus the flash. That will make the performance benifits clearer. Reply
  • Ralos - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    How come a Velociraptor is faster the second time, just after a reboot?

    It should be the same each time, should it not?
    Reply
  • UltraWide - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    It's due to the fact that it's a mechanical drive with moving parts. At some times the head might be positioned closer to the data requested resulting in improved performance whereas other times it may have to wait for the next revolution to come to the same data. This creates slight variations in performance. Reply
  • icrf - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I don't think that makes sense. The second and third runs are consistently faster than the first run, and relatively consistent with each other. What causes a purely mechanical hard drive to learn? Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I agree - the velocirapter should have parked its read head between boots, so it really shouldn't have been faster between the runs. It must have some tricks. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    That would be Windows 7's SuperFetch at work. Reply
  • bitterman0 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Actually, I was thinking about comparing this hybrid drive to Windows' own methodology of clustering frequently used data on a USB Flash drive (ReadyBoost, is it?). Granted, USB Flash is not as fast as this on-board SLC, and as far as I understand ReadyBoost is using USB Flash for lower latency purposes only. Yet, from what I hear ReadyBoost helps quite a bit in the OS boot process.

    But then I've noticed this reply indicating that SuperFetch was NOT disabled in any of the tests. Well, that pretty much invalidates all results obtained in the tests, don't you think? With 4GB of RAM, SuperFetch overrides much of 4GB of read-only NAND cache, and most likely confuses the cache controller. Have the test configuration had 8GB (or more) RAM, the situation would have been much worse still.

    Is there a possibility to redo the same tests with SuperFetch turned OFF? That would be a synthetic benchmark for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, but it will be closer to reality for Windows XP, Windows Server and non-Windows users.
    Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    you need to disable the ready boot or ready boost (i got to go out now so not going to check logs to what is doing the boot optimization) as i see 400mb or so of ram been free up after 20-30 secs after desktop is shown Reply
  • jaydee - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Does SuperFetch play the same role on the Momentus XT? Is someone were running WinXP, would we then expect the boot times to be about the same as the Velociraptor, and both of these have the same boot times no matter how many times you rebooted? Reply
  • void2 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Not exactly. This is the result of ReadyBoot (improved version of "boot prefetch" from Windows XP).

    SuperFetch in Windows 7 is not even active for a few minutes after boot (unlike, alas, Vista).
    Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    vista and windows 7 make an cache file so when it boots up it loads it into ram so when the programs request it its all ready in ram, it norm frees up approx 400MB on my system once the desktop has shown for more then 20-30 secs

    the above can only be done after the first boot has happened (so second and 3rd boot are norm better as it now has history and this fie is remade every boot so the flash is likely not been used as its an new file every boot up as it tweeks it every boot)

    superfetch and this preboot in windows 7 would of messed some of these results up an little
    Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Sounds more like Windows' boot optimization to me. If that's still an idle task in Windows 7, perhaps the 5400RPM drive isn't being allowed to idle long enough to process the boot defrag? Reply
  • jimhsu - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I've said that the future usage scenario of SSDs, barring any dramatic price decreases, will probably be as cache. (For example, ZFS: http://iablog.sybase.com/paulley/2008/08/flash-ssd... and I'm pretty certain the other big file systems such as NTFS and ext will follow). And http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=15&am... . Do such "hybrid drives" offer better performance, better reliability, or any other advantage over filesystem-level caching techniques? Reply
  • nortexoid - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    There's not much point in the synthetic benchmarks besides showing how the drive performs on applications that you're not running frequently--i.e. to compare the hdd-minus-the-4gb-flash-cache performance of the drive, basically.

    I'd say these hybrid drives are the best of both worlds and hence the best drives currently on the market. Capacity plus speed at "little" more than a standard magnetic drive. Awesome
    Reply
  • KingofL337 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I really wish they could have used 8-16GB of FLASH. 4GB isn't enough to really speed up everything you use allot on your computer to SSD speeds. I think for most people 8-16GB could definitely nail down the common stuff.

    What would be really sweet is if some company would make a hybrid drive controller that could take a SSD and HDD, then slave them together and make a hybrid system. Then I could select the size SSD and HDD based on my performance requirements.
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Seagate can only do what makes them money. If they sell a lot of these then the design team will be allowed to continue improving and exploring additional options. If they dont sell well, well...

    What I want is a flash cache that stores all my 4K random writes in flash, and also stores in flash any 4K cluster that I access frequently. 16GB 4 channel MLC would cost about the same as 1 channel of 4GB SLC. But they would need to add wear leveling.
    Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    the idea of the drive is so that the Most common read LBA blocks on the disk get cached into the flash, the drive does not care if the Read was an file or not as its only looking at what Part of the disk was read the most and puts that onto the flash

    quite an good idea really
    Reply
  • arthur449 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Silverstone has been selling a SSD+HDD device like you describe.
    http://silverstonetek.com/products/p_contents.php?...

    It would be interesting to see how this SSD/HDD "do-it-yourself" hybrid fairs against The Mighty Anandtech Storage Benchmark, and, if pairing a fast SSD with a fast HDD, would give us a truly seamless best of both worlds experience.
    Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    If you have a velociraptor dont bother with this and buy a standard SSD to boot from. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    You'll be announcing the Barracuda's with this, say, 2TB, with 8-16GB cache, anytime soon, right? Reply
  • Faruk88 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Hey Anand,

    As always I love your reviews - great job!

    I have a quick question: Does this drive constantly spin up and spin down to save power? The reason I ask is because this puts a lot of wear on the mechanical drive.. so I would stay away from this drive if that is the case.

    I still wonder why no drive manufacturer has tried to pair 60-80GB of flash with a mechanical drive and combine it into one 2.5" package. Instead of having a hybrid drive like this, I would rather have one Flash partition for my OS and apps, and one partition on the mechanical drive for the rest of my data. This would be useful for laptops, which usually only have one drive bay. Obviously the two "drives" would have to share the SATA bus, but I think the advantages would outweigh the disadvantages.

    Faruk
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I would also like a system like that. You can also backup for flash partition to the mechanical partition. Reply
  • void2 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Core i3-350M, 5400 RPM 2.5" HDD, clean Windows 7 - and I get ~30 seconds from power button to web browser (~22 seconds if I would install "Boot Cooler", but that's not the point). You, on the other hand, get ~50 seconds on "partial" boot sequence (no POST, no web browser) and much more powerful CPU. It definitely looks like Windows 7 ReadyBoot (successor to "regular" WinXP boot prefetch) did not have enough time to learn. So this does not look like real-life comparison. Reply
  • Drag0nFire - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    With any notebook HDD, one of the most important considerations for me is how noisy it is. I really value a quiet notebook.

    Although I know this won't be as quiet as an SSD, could you describe the noise characteristics? Can you hear it at idle? Seeking?

    Thanks Anand!
    Reply
  • wyemarn - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Tom's came up with an article comparing XT with a plain Momentus 7200.4

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/seagate-moment...
    Reply
  • nickkb - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    The Tom's Hardware review was almost a polar-opposite of Anand's. They performed a number of tests but did not include what I think is absolutely crucial to the intended purpose of this drive: the Boot Time vs. # of runs. I don't know what they intended to extract from all of their tests, as the base storage media of this drive is mechanical, not flash. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the XT performed almost on-par with the vanilla version of the Momentus 7200.4 in many of their tests. Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    most of tomshardware is just junk most of the time and i recommend no one going onto there site as you just end up asking more questions Reply
  • fboone1 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I'm definitely intrigued by this drive. If I were to put 2 of them in a RAID 0 array, what would happen? Would I have effectively 8GB of NAND cache? Would doing so greatly increase performance? Reply
  • BJ Eagle - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - link

    I for one would certainly alspo like to see RAID 0 and 1 results. I would suspect that this Momentus XT drive would benefit similiar to RAID as traditional harddrives, but it would be nice to have it confirmed. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Compared to the Seagate Momentus 5400.6 the XT uses considerable more power. ... What this means is that depending on your workload you might see worse notebook battery life with the Momentus XT compared to a mainstream drive.


    Since when is a third of a Watt at idle, three-quarters of a Watt at load, "consider[ably] more power"?

    With most notebooks nowadays having a 40 Watt-hour batteries or higher, an increase of one Watt won't exactly kill battery life. And that's assuming it's going constantly at full power.
    Reply
  • enderwiggin21 - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    Almost 40% more at idle and ~33% more at load is most definitely "considerably more."

    Under 10% and *then* you're into the statistically insignificant category.
    Reply
  • svend - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Will the NAND still be effective when using the XT with an encrypted partition/filesystem? What affect would encryption have on the performance of the XT? Reply
  • GullLars - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Thumbs up to seagate for the sollution, the one used in previous hybrids that relied on the OS was not very effective.
    I actually made a thread on XS forum a couple of months back discussing a sollution like this, a HDD with a NAND read-only cache using LBA read pattern mapping as caching algorithm.
    In my discussion, i suggested using 8-16GB (1-2 dual plane dies) MLC ONFI 2.x NAND on a single channel for lower complexity. This would give up to about 7500 4KB random read IOPS (30MB/s), and 90-180MB/s sequential read (for cache hits). At a cost of roughly 2-3$/GB + a NAND controller, the added price tag would be around 25-50$.
    I think this could be interresting for higher capacity 3,5" "black" drives as well as high-performance high capacity notebook HDDs.
    Reply
  • auhgnist - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Hybrid HD seems similar to Intel Turbo Boost technology, in terms of both SSD capacity and NAND type, except that Turbo Boost allows certain level of control such as caching only data accessed some pre-given programs. Any idea how these two compare in terms of performance? Reply
  • joshv - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I mean seriously. Add another 4GB of RAM and let the OS do the caching. Sure, it won't help with boot, but for everything else it should be a lot faster than some SLC NAND on the HD. Reply
  • enderwiggin21 - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    Or how about both? Reply
  • mpx999 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    It would be interesting to compare performance of hybrid SSD with software-based flash read cache schemes. There are basically two of them for Windows: built-in Readyboost and third-party eBoostr. Other operating systems have even better mechanisms, eg. Solaris has L2ARC caching scheme for reads and ZIL for writes.

    http://blogs.sun.com/brendan/entry/test

    http://dotnet.agilekiwi.com/blog/2008/10/how-eboos...

    Both Windows caching mechanisms can work with either USB sticks, or memory cards in built-in readers. Second option is very interesting as it means SLC flash cards can be used.

    I suspect hardware controlled read-cache as implemented in this hybrid drive will totally beat Windows software -based mechanism in one important application: running virtual machines. It's because hardware cache operates on disk blocks so it doesn't matter it these blocks are from base machine or virtual machine, while software Windows mechanisms rely on file-based statistics, so they only speed up base machine. One would have to create separate cache for each VM to get speedup. Btw. software-based Solaris caching doesn't have this limitation.
    Reply
  • vision33r - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    It's nowhere need a true SSD in performance and just offers the cheap space of a spindle drive.

    The the same has having a SSD internally and carrying a spindle drive externally.

    Once SSDs gets cheaper, solution like this will be less interesting.

    I expect SSD prices to drop from $99 for a 40GB to like $60, then we'll see 200GB SSD for like $150 or less.
    Reply
  • jmv2009 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I don't think writing through the ssd is that important, as it can be effectively cached using the main memory of the system. Only for sustained writes >1 Gb this would become slow if the caching works well. Reply
  • nsravan - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    The site had not much activity since you went on vacation. So I took one too :) Reply
  • pkoi - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I have a 30gig SSD and haven't yet figured how to take advantage of it. OS and all program is above 100gig + 90% of It I don't read often.

    This is such a lost of NAND beyond 40 gig, I bet people with 80gig ssd don't read heavily on more than 30% of it's capacity.

    About Time someone sort out for us, what file need to be on SSD and what doesn't.
    Reply
  • x0rg - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I would add $50 to buy X25-M 80GB and $50 more for external 250GB WD Passport, and that would make me happier :) I'm already using X25-M in my desktop for about a year and I'm not going down for any hybrid, SSD only as a system drive. Reply
  • Fox5 - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    All this seems to be doing in the same thing as the almost universally panned readyboost. Microsoft even had a spec for this called readydrive, and Intel had robson.

    If they enabled Readyboost on a PCIE or SATA drive, you could likely get this same performance (or better) by adding a low capacity SSD to your system. What would happen if you dedicated a small SSD to a pagefile btw? Does Windows persistently store page file information between boots, thus using it to speed boot times?
    Reply
  • pkoi - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    I'd also like an answer to this, What software is able to sort out the "to be cached files ?" Reply
  • mpx999 - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    Not really. Seagate decides what to cache based on disk block level. This is much more universal approach than file-statistics-based readyboost, as it allows to cache most frequently used blocks from large files, like virtual machine virtual disks or those giant *.dat files of games. Readyboost is good to speed up access to lots of small files, like *.dll *.ini or small exe, but is no good for extracting most used blocks of large files. Reply
  • x0rg - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Could you add another regular Seagate Momentus 500GB hard drive 7200 rpm (not 5400)?
    That would be interesting to see if there is real difference between the regular HDD and the hybrid one.
    Reply
  • skwareballz - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    You said that power would be equal or lesser to most HDDs, and I was wondering if that was do to the power used x time taken to complete w/e? Most charts showed the power consumption higher than the 5400.6 which could be a pretty average notebook HDD, but the time to boot up and what-not were much lower for the H-HHD. Just trying to figure out if watts/sec average would be lower and allow more battery life?

    Thanks for the good review, too.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    I've been very pleased with your wait-and-see approach to most new technologies from the SSD front. So I was a bit shocked to see a glowing recommendation without the disclaimer to wait and see what happens in the next couple of months. This is potentially a great notebook drive (honestly for desktops a real SSD + mechanical HD is vastly superior but yes more expensive), but until we see some firmware updates and/or issues with the drive I think it should remain a recommendation with a major warning.

    Thank you for the article; glad you're back!
    Reply
  • Endoas - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Any idea how hot these things get compared to a traditional HDD or SSD? I don't see any tests regarding this issue. Reply
  • iwodo - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Currently 4GB is being limited simply because of Software problem ( 64Bit OS Required ) rather then Hardware, We can already make single stick 4GB DDR3 cheaply, only the market is not there yet. When 64Bit reaches tipping point, ( 1 - 2 years time ), 4GB System would be minimum with 8GB or even 16GB system. With So much RAM we could cache those Random Read Write Directly to RAM. Why would would need a Hybrid HDD?

    The Built in NAND Flash doesn't make any sense to me.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    " With So much RAM we could cache those Random Read Write Directly to RAM. Why would we need a Hybrid HDD?"

    I think what is confusing you is the differences between RAM and Flash. RAM stores data while constantly consuming power. When the power is cut the data is lost. Flash retains the data when power is cut. It is also much slower than RAM in terms of read/write performance (RAM drives have been a geeks dream for a couple years now but the costs are still quite prohibitive. It seemed like we were getting closer to being possible for the average tech geek without a trust fund when RAM prices were so low last year but due to the recent price hikes it's again out of reach).

    So to answer your question IMO this drive is designed for a laptop computer where you only have a single HD bay and power consumption is a significant issue. In a laptop situation it is not practical to use RAM as a cache since you'd be draining the battery even when the computer is off.
    Reply
  • janus-cassandra - Monday, May 24, 2010 - link

    Anand I think you are missing important advantages of and SSD in a laptop, (1) lower power consumption than that of a traditional drive with spinning platters and more importantly (2) decreased susceptibility to catastrophic data loss due to a hard drive crash when one's computer is dropped or undergoes any other rapid acceleration and deceleration. As this last consideration happens all to often with laptops, it seems to me that an SSD drive should be standard issue in most, if not all laptops. A hybrid drive will not provide this protection. Reply
  • johndoe74 - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    you guys should have included a 500 GB 7200 rpm drive in there as well (or instead of the 5400 rpm) for the sake of comparison. a 5400 rpm drive is kind of a dinosaur these days Reply
  • Klinky1984 - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    Hybrid drives are probably one of the most pointless technologies of the last give years. I don't see how they will ever amount to much. The only way they will is if the cache becomes massive, about the size of what SSDs are now and has a smarter caching algorithm. I can do the same thing that they are doing with their hybrid drive with windows already. Just plop in 8GB of RAM & set windows to prefer system caching. Bam, whatever ram you're not using is used as a cache for reads & that memory can always be reclaimed by programs needing to use it.

    Hybrid drives only have the negatives of SSD(cost) with the negatives of HDDs(speed, reliability, noise, power consumption), without much of the benefit. Whoever thought "hey, put some flash on it and then we'll let the HDD spin down!', great idea when the hard drive takes probably about 0.5 seconds in good scenario to boot back up, but some could take a couple seconds. Not a good user experience. Boot times look nice, but who spends their time rebooting their computer all day? Is 30 extra seconds booting going to be worth the added cost?

    Maybe Seagate should focus efforts on a "dual drive" where you get a 32GB SSD & a 500GB HDD combined into a a single 2.5" form factor. That would let people use the 32GB as their OS drive & the 500GB for their large files, etc.
    Reply
  • mpx999 - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    Actually best of high-end disk arrays of today use Flash as a cache. For example NetApp uses module called PAM II which is up to 512MB of SLC used a cache

    http://www.netapp.com/us/products/storage-systems/...

    Oracle storage systems, especially 7000 series, also use Flash Caches known as L2ARC i ZIL.

    http://sun.systemnews.com/articles/134/4/OpenStora...

    So flash cache is a proven technology! They just need to go above 4GB to get better results.
    Reply
  • hadifa - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    Normal HDD write speed, and very good read speed the second time for small files.

    For that purpose, this drive is very good and the 4GB is not that bad because only small files are cached, though I would have hoped for at least double that. There is no mention of how small the file needs to be in order to be cached, or maybe I misunderstood the article.

    This drive faces two challenges:
    1- Just one NAND chip so no parallel read so limited read speed of about 30-40 GB p/s
    2- The NAND is used only for reads, so the write speed is not accelerated.

    I'm not going to fuss a lot about the write, but I hope they make a version with say 2*4GB chips and a controller to raid the reads, I would be happy to shell some extra hard earned money for that.
    Reply
  • Klinky1984 - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    It's not a "Smart Hybrid" like what was being proposed earlier, with Windows Vista/7 being able to identify it as being a hybrid drive and optimize your experience by placing the most used files into the flash cache. It's as "Dumb Hybrid" essentially the flash is just another layer on top of the normal in-memory buffer. Play a large video file a couple times and all your program files are flushed from the cache, just due to the amount of data going back and forth and since the cache is "dumb" it doesn't know if the sectors it's caching are part of an important document or some image from Temporary Internet Files.

    It may not be bad if you have small needs, but I think a lot of enthusiasts would be disappointed with it.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    I agree with all his comments.
    This is a good hybrid HDD, but to laptops only since the price premium is $50 to $90 which is quite expensive. For the same price or little more for the desktop, we can buy an SSD and HDD with a lot more performance and capacity.

    For his recommendation, this is still a good drive for notebook users looking for more capacity and performance since SSD's, though perfect for the application, is too expensive and lack capacity. Don't doubt the reliability since writes and storage are done on the platters, same reliability with mechanical HDD.

    Lastly, I think the 4GB size of SLC NAND flash is chosen as the least (expensive SLC) amount of memory for the most often used files or blocks (typical usage - OS, common Apps). Adding more or making it twice bigger will only benefit users with more and varied apps. It can be done with dual channel but the performance improvement will not be as great. Simply, Seagate just wants more margins and less trouble.
    Reply
  • Chloiber - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    4GB is more than enough!
    On a regular desktop system, you can store ALL files up to 256k on 4GB...and for bigger files, a HDD isn't much slower than a single NAND module.
    Reply
  • ABR - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    I hate to burst peoples' bubbles here but how many of the files slowing down boot are going to stay in the 4GB cache? Assuming you spend more of your time running your computer and working with other files that get loaded and unloaded more often than core startup components (somewhat questionable with Windows, I realize ;), then the only time you'll see boot speedup is in artificial tests. Of course, that's the way you should want it... Reply
  • Chloiber - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    As I said: all files up to 256k (512B - 256k) can be stored on the 4GB Module. I don't think that the firmware moves bigger files onto the NAND, because it is a waste of space and a waste of performance gain (there is nearly no gain).

    Just check it with JDiskReport for example. On my system (windows 7 x64, many programs, some games on partition C, install is ~8 months old) all files from 0-256k together make up about 3GB of space.

    So again: 4GB should be enough for most users to store EVERY smaller file (256k is rather big).
    Reply
  • void2 - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    If you want to speed up Windows boot - you do not need neither SSD nor hybrid HDD. Just install and configure Boot Cooler (www.bootcooler.com). It is free. But it is beta. And it will not accelerate application launches after Windows boot. Reply
  • cauchy2k - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    I think SF-1200 SSDs controller (with its new free space tweak) are affordable compared to other SSDs prices,Intel which is one of the cheapest and better ones cost 225 for 80 GB, and this one cost 200 for 60 GB.SF-1200 SSDs are just 18,4% more expensive than intel's alternative. Reply
  • Maaniu - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    If they put a somthing that works like a real ssd with a hdd i think then we will see real performance.

    Thanks.
    P.s i have been checking out your site 4 sometime now you totally satisfy my tech cravings.
    Reply
  • bmgoodman - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    Interesting article, but I still have no idea of my HP Mini netbook (2 GB RAM) would benefit at all from this drive. Considering the CPU is a *huge* bottleneck, I just wonder if anything would feel snappier with this drive? For now, I must keep searching.... Reply
  • ash9 - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    This product is great for laptops, an added 2/3/ hours of added usage with a real graphics card is worth the extra cash.

    asH
    Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    Reading web pages saves lot of small files to disk.

    I would like to know if a SSD helps loading web pages. If true, this also would hurt this hybrid kind of drive, because maybe lots of small files used only once could be stored in the flash memory.
    Reply
  • Chloiber - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - link

    It definitely does, but I cannot provide numbers.
    I had a Hitachi 5400rpm in my laptop (~2 years old). I changed to a UltraDrive ME (GX) about 16 months ago. And the pages load definitely faster. I always had a feeling, that the HDD limited somehow web page loading, because I really heard how stressful this really is to a slow HDD.

    Again, no numbers here, but they load definitely faster if you used a slow/old HDD before (don't think that there is any difference with fast 7200rpm HDDs).
    Reply
  • araczynski - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - link

    sounds like a nice project for bored engineers, but I personally hate hybrid anything. its there to just delay the inevitable and/or milk the old as long as possible, while at best complicating the overall system and increasing potential failure points.

    just like cars.
    Reply
  • enderwiggin21 - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - link

    And yet any step forward is better than standing still. Reply
  • Toray - Friday, May 28, 2010 - link

    ASUS G Series G73JH-A3 Reply
  • Impulses - Friday, May 28, 2010 - link

    Interesting, Amazon (pre-order) and Newegg (ETA 6/1) listings for these drives are already undercutting the prices Anand posted by a good $20-ish... Newegg lists the 500GB drive at $130 and Amazon is offering pre-orders on the 320GB at like $115. If Seagate maintains that aggressive pricing they could certainly displace the low end SSD market for a while...

    I'm still happy with the X25-V on my netbook but I'm the sort that doesn't mind carrying an external drive on a long trip. You really gotta wonder why hybrid drives like this haven't shown up earlier, from a technical standpoint they seem simpler than any SSD (no need for TRIM, etc.).
    Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, May 30, 2010 - link

    I'd really like to see you compare two desktop 3.5" drives, 7200rpm 32MB cache drives to this drive. Then stripe RAID them together and compare that RAID to this one drive. Then RAID two of these together and compare it to the two desktop drives in RAID. Basically, I'm gonna set up a striped RAID on my desktop, I wanna know if I'd be better off using two 3.5" all mechanical drives or if I should go for two of these hybrid drives. 1TB is plenty for me. Reply
  • htwingnut - Sunday, May 30, 2010 - link

    Great article and this looks like a winner for any performance laptop. However, it would be good to see a comparison with a 7200RPM drive instead of 5400RPM since anyone considering this would rather see that comparison. At least I would. Would it be worth updating my exsiting Seagate 500GB 7200RPM HDD for one of these? Reply
  • Hauken - Sunday, May 30, 2010 - link

    Hey Anand,

    Great article, thanks!

    I'm going to replace the optical drive in my Macbook Pro with a HDD and am not sure if I should go SSD + Mechanical or get two of these and stripe RAID it?

    How do you think the RAID performance of two Momentus XT would be? That way you'd have 8GB of NAND right, so... a bit more "SSD like" I suspect? The cost for that would be 260 US... not bad for 1TB of fast storage in a laptop...

    Comments from you and others on this would be much appreciated, cheers!
    Reply
  • Rocket321 - Monday, June 07, 2010 - link

    Amazon has the 500gb drives for pre-order $129 free ship.

    I honestly hope these things sell like hot cakes just to send a message to drive makers that INNOVATION is something people want and are willing to pay a little more for. I will seriously consider one of these for my existing laptop, as well as a budget way to get WDVR performance on my desktop.

    Thanks for the great review Anand.
    Reply
  • aneirin - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    And now on Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, my devic e manager sometimes shows only the drive, sometimes shows 2 additional drives (which I am assuming are the cache).

    I am assuming I installed the drive in the wrong way. I KNOW this is not a tech support forum, but since the crowd is pretty knowledgeable, I thought I might ask ... any help is appreciated.

    Regards,

    Nelson I. Reyes
    GTEC LLC
    Reply
  • HipPriest - Monday, August 16, 2010 - link

    I have to disagree with your recommendation of this technology, unless you are constantly rebooting your system you are better off just using the RAM cache. Do people really reboot that much? I typically only need to reboot every couple months (basically for security updates in the kernel). Even my laptops just use sleep mode.

    With only 4GB of read-only cache, you might as well just buy RAM. On the other hand, if they made the flash size large enough that it wasn't affordable to purchase the same amount of RAM, or if they allow write caching, this hybrid technology would be worth while.
    Reply
  • Seedubs - Monday, December 27, 2010 - link

    Umm.. I do! The allure of the faster boot time has caused me to retrofit all of my Mac g5's as well as laptops with sdd tech. I am in recording, so I can tell you with certainty that waiting for the damn rig to reboot with a room of testy people is nerve wracking at best. With audio programs one is always moving from one to the other all the time to get at all of the different attributes in the myriad of different programs. They all quarrel with each other for the rights to the audio hardware, thereby requiring a reboot. Over and over . All day long. Ya I guess you could manually switch the iac buss but that only works half the time.
    This technology is a godsend to artists and engineers like me. If you can afford one( ssd) it will revolutionize your workflow. I currently run a 240 SSD as my native drive. Logic takes up 60 gig. Protools takes it's share and before you know it, you are close to the edge with respect to reserve space. Enter Momentus. This is where all of the rest of my sample libraries are stored. Maybe it's a POS. I will let you know, right after I restart this thing.
    Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, September 11, 2010 - link

    "most likely via a history table of LBAs and their frequency of access"

    I don't think so. If you look at the number of LBs that exist, it is freaking HUGE --- even if you cluster at, say, 4KB clusters, on a 500GB drive you have about 125 million of these and that's still a not insubstantial amount of RAM --- and an array which then has to be ordered dynamically to do anything useful.

    The way I would handle this is to treat the thing like a CPU cache with sets and ways. If we treat it as non-associative, then we have each block of cache (whether a "block" is 512 bytes or 4KB) corresponds to ~128 blocks of disk. The absolute dumbest way to do things is that, for each block, as the block is read, if it's not in the cache it's put in it's appropriate single pre-ordained place --- like a simple-minded 1-way cache.

    But of course that's the dumbest way of doing things. Much better would be to make the cache 4 or 8 way wide, and for each way to store an LRU to MRU ordering (or the various tricks CPU designers have used to fake this), then when a block is read that is not in the cache, we toss the oldest block in the cache and store the newly read block.

    BUT, and this is important, this is STILL not optimal --- it's not optimal for CPUs, and it's not optimal for drives. It is, however, easy to fix in drives, harder in CPUs. The problem is streaming data. With the model described above, any sort of operation that performs a one-time run through a large file (copying/backup, or just watching a movie) is going to replace the entire cache with one-time data. I don't know what the standard ways to deal with this are, but I have an easy solution which is that, associated with each way is a small amount of RAM that stores the most recently seen blockID as a POTENTIAL candidate for the cache. So at any given time, a way contains, say, 4 blocks of good data, plus the ID of the most recent block mapped onto that way which did not hit in the cache. If the next block that does not hit in the cache is the SAME as the potential candidate, we treat that as a verification that we are not streaming, and the on this second read we move the block into the cache.

    You can expand this idea, based on real-world data, to whatever works best. In particular, this scheme as exactly described is potentially fragile in that it requires two successive reads to the same block (within a particular way) without an intervening read elsewhere in the way. So it is good at keeping out streaming data, but potentially also keeps out some re-used data. You can deal with this by having the per-way pool of potential blockIDs be 2, or 3, or N in size --- when the pool is N in size, we can allow up to N-1 reads in that way to intervene between two successive reads to a block, and still catch the block.

    So there is scope for some ingenuity in quite how these systems are designed. If I had to guess, my guess would be that the current system is something like 4-way associative. Not clear if they are using my idea (or some equivalent) to prevent streaming from screwing the system over. The test that should be done, which I don't see in the post, would be to time something like a bunch of app launches, THEN read 4GB sequentially from the disk, time the app launches again, and see if the time has gone down. It would not surprise me if this first round of firmware does little to nothing to prevent streaming pollution --- not least because the existing benchmarks are not testing for it. On the other hand, this also all suggests that there is scope, in time, for much better engineering to figure out the optimal number of ways for the cache, the optimal cache block size, and the optimal strategy to prevent streaming from polluting the cache.
    Reply
  • ataxy - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    CrystalDiskMark 3.0 (C) 2007-2010 hiyohiyo
    Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    * MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

    Sequential Read : 97.361 MB/s
    Sequential Write : 95.143 MB/s
    Random Read 512KB : 43.965 MB/s
    Random Write 512KB : 60.802 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 0.686 MB/s [ 167.6 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.350 MB/s [ 329.5 IOPS]
    Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 1.675 MB/s [ 408.9 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.517 MB/s [ 370.3 IOPS]

    Test : 1000 MB [E: 0.1% (0.7/465.8 GB)] (x5)
    Date : 2010/09/19 14:32:21
    OS : Windows 7 Ultimate Edition [6.1 Build 7600] (x86)
    Drive : WD 500GB black sata

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    CrystalDiskMark 3.0 (C) 2007-2010 hiyohiyo
    Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    * MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

    Sequential Read : 58.064 MB/s
    Sequential Write : 57.884 MB/s
    Random Read 512KB : 18.819 MB/s
    Random Write 512KB : 26.504 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 0.382 MB/s [ 93.4 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.098 MB/s [ 268.2 IOPS]
    Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 0.675 MB/s [ 164.7 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.040 MB/s [ 253.8 IOPS]

    Test : 1000 MB [D: 0.7% (1.1/149.0 GB)] (x5)
    Date : 2010/09/19 14:42:04
    OS : Windows 7 Ultimate Edition [6.1 Build 7600] (x86)
    Drive : WD 160GB pata

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    CrystalDiskMark 3.0 (C) 2007-2010 hiyohiyo
    Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    * MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

    Sequential Read : 52.181 MB/s
    Sequential Write : 51.925 MB/s
    Random Read 512KB : 23.469 MB/s
    Random Write 512KB : 25.955 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 0.342 MB/s [ 83.5 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 0.660 MB/s [ 161.2 IOPS]
    Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 0.626 MB/s [ 152.7 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 0.660 MB/s [ 161.1 IOPS]

    Test : 1000 MB [G: 82.5% (120.7/146.4 GB)] (x5)
    Date : 2010/09/19 14:52:55
    OS : Windows 7 Ultimate Edition [6.1 Build 7600] (x86)
    Drive : Hitachi 200GB sata

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    CrystalDiskMark 3.0 (C) 2007-2010 hiyohiyo
    Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    * MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

    Sequential Read : 100.045 MB/s
    Sequential Write : 94.373 MB/s
    Random Read 512KB : 28.362 MB/s
    Random Write 512KB : 40.874 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 0.308 MB/s [ 75.2 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 0.584 MB/s [ 142.7 IOPS]
    Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 0.462 MB/s [ 112.9 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 0.561 MB/s [ 137.0 IOPS]

    Test : 1000 MB [C: 9.8% (45.4/465.8 GB)] (x5)
    Date : 2010/09/19 15:00:50
    OS : Windows 7 Ultimate Edition [6.1 Build 7600] (x86)
    Drive : Seagate Momentus xt 500GB Hybrid sata

    HD Tune pro 4.01

    HD Tune Pro: WDC WD5001AALS-00L3B File Benchmark

    Drive E:

    File Size: 64 MB

    Block size Read speed
    0.5 KB 2830 KB/s
    1 KB 5540 KB/s
    2 KB 10456 KB/s
    4 KB 17874 KB/s
    8 KB 35154 KB/s
    16 KB 53983 KB/s
    32 KB 69579 KB/s
    64 KB 81769 KB/s
    128 KB 89444 KB/s
    256 KB 89529 KB/s
    512 KB 95159 KB/s
    1024 KB 92953 KB/s
    2048 KB 89519 KB/s
    4096 KB 89284 KB/s
    8192 KB 90795 KB/s

    Block size Write speed
    0.5 KB 2924 KB/s
    1 KB 6357 KB/s
    2 KB 10032 KB/s
    4 KB 19255 KB/s
    8 KB 30796 KB/s
    16 KB 45387 KB/s
    32 KB 57495 KB/s
    64 KB 71824 KB/s
    128 KB 76834 KB/s
    256 KB 77428 KB/s
    512 KB 86689 KB/s
    1024 KB 79702 KB/s
    2048 KB 84710 KB/s
    4096 KB 88730 KB/s
    8192 KB 86945 KB/s

    HD Tune Pro: WDC WD1600JB-22GVA0 File Benchmark

    Drive D:

    File Size: 64 MB

    Block size Read speed
    0.5 KB 7064 KB/s
    1 KB 13345 KB/s
    2 KB 22214 KB/s
    4 KB 37595 KB/s
    8 KB 53365 KB/s
    16 KB 58037 KB/s
    32 KB 57311 KB/s
    64 KB 57415 KB/s
    128 KB 57270 KB/s
    256 KB 57429 KB/s
    512 KB 57313 KB/s
    1024 KB 57010 KB/s
    2048 KB 56553 KB/s
    4096 KB 57260 KB/s
    8192 KB 57085 KB/s

    Block size Write speed
    0.5 KB 6287 KB/s
    1 KB 11314 KB/s
    2 KB 19527 KB/s
    4 KB 37841 KB/s
    8 KB 47869 KB/s
    16 KB 60798 KB/s
    32 KB 60732 KB/s
    64 KB 60779 KB/s
    128 KB 61654 KB/s
    256 KB 61031 KB/s
    512 KB 61790 KB/s
    1024 KB 61536 KB/s
    2048 KB 61438 KB/s
    4096 KB 61347 KB/s
    8192 KB 52047 KB/s

    HD Tune Pro: Hitachi HTS722020K9S File Benchmark

    Drive G:

    File Size: 64 MB

    Block size Read speed
    0.5 KB 2493 KB/s
    1 KB 4753 KB/s
    2 KB 8566 KB/s
    4 KB 16159 KB/s
    8 KB 28805 KB/s
    16 KB 40326 KB/s
    32 KB 48187 KB/s
    64 KB 48074 KB/s
    128 KB 48357 KB/s
    256 KB 47654 KB/s
    512 KB 47100 KB/s
    1024 KB 46436 KB/s
    2048 KB 45869 KB/s
    4096 KB 46734 KB/s
    8192 KB 46829 KB/s

    Block size Write speed
    0.5 KB 1844 KB/s
    1 KB 3659 KB/s
    2 KB 7149 KB/s
    4 KB 13897 KB/s
    8 KB 25630 KB/s
    16 KB 43394 KB/s
    32 KB 50669 KB/s
    64 KB 47477 KB/s
    128 KB 50672 KB/s
    256 KB 48710 KB/s
    512 KB 49707 KB/s
    1024 KB 49625 KB/s
    2048 KB 48736 KB/s
    4096 KB 48497 KB/s
    8192 KB 46016 KB/s

    HD Tune Pro: ST95005620AS File Benchmark

    Drive C:

    File Size: 64 MB

    Block size Read speed
    0.5 KB 3822 KB/s
    1 KB 7154 KB/s
    2 KB 11238 KB/s
    4 KB 22509 KB/s
    8 KB 39420 KB/s
    16 KB 52214 KB/s
    32 KB 41775 KB/s
    64 KB 80403 KB/s
    128 KB 79209 KB/s
    256 KB 76877 KB/s
    512 KB 77466 KB/s
    1024 KB 71046 KB/s
    2048 KB 85175 KB/s
    4096 KB 79494 KB/s
    8192 KB 80592 KB/s

    Block size Write speed
    0.5 KB 1592 KB/s
    1 KB 2918 KB/s
    2 KB 6250 KB/s
    4 KB 11365 KB/s
    8 KB 29331 KB/s
    16 KB 47430 KB/s
    32 KB 61350 KB/s
    64 KB 71344 KB/s
    128 KB 82653 KB/s
    256 KB 81207 KB/s
    512 KB 81749 KB/s
    1024 KB 83883 KB/s
    2048 KB 79688 KB/s
    4096 KB 82106 KB/s
    8192 KB 82661 KB/s

    HD tune pro 4.01 extra test

    HD Tune Pro: WDC WD5001AALS-00L3B Extra Tests

    Test capacity: full

    Random seek 81 IOPS 12.4 ms 0.039 MB/s
    Butterfly seek 70 IOPS 14.3 ms 0.034 MB/s
    Random seek / size 64 KB 79 IOPS 12.6 ms 1.219 MB/s
    Random seek / size 8 MB 14 IOPS 71.1 ms 57.051 MB/s
    Sequential read outer 1456 IOPS 0.7 ms 91.002 MB/s
    Sequential read middle 1257 IOPS 0.8 ms 78.568 MB/s
    Sequential read inner 723 IOPS 1.4 ms 45.176 MB/s
    Burst rate 1575 IOPS 0.6 ms 98.444 MB/s

    HD Tune Pro: ST95005620AS Extra Tests

    Test capacity: full

    Random seek 52 IOPS 19.2 ms 0.025 MB/s
    Butterfly seek 46 IOPS 21.8 ms 0.022 MB/s
    Random seek / size 64 KB 54 IOPS 18.4 ms 0.837 MB/s
    Random seek / size 8 MB 13 IOPS 75.5 ms 53.697 MB/s
    Sequential read outer 1600 IOPS 0.6 ms 99.975 MB/s
    Sequential read middle 1429 IOPS 0.7 ms 89.309 MB/s
    Sequential read inner 848 IOPS 1.2 ms 52.994 MB/s
    Burst rate 1569 IOPS 0.6 ms 98.040 MB/s

    HD Tune Pro: WDC WD5001AALS-00L3B Random Access

    Test capacity: full

    Read test

    Transfer size operations / sec avg. access time avg. speed
    512 bytes 79 IOPS 12 ms 0.039 MB/s
    4 KB 80 IOPS 12 ms 0.314 MB/s
    64 KB 73 IOPS 13 ms 4.583 MB/s
    1 MB 37 IOPS 26 ms 37.286 MB/s
    Random 49 IOPS 20 ms 25.362 MB/s

    HD Tune Pro: ST95005620AS Random Access

    Test capacity: full

    Read test

    Transfer size operations / sec avg. access time avg. speed
    512 bytes 50 IOPS 19 ms 0.025 MB/s
    4 KB 53 IOPS 18 ms 0.207 MB/s
    64 KB 52 IOPS 19 ms 3.273 MB/s
    1 MB 32 IOPS 31 ms 32.107 MB/s
    Random 40 IOPS 24 ms 20.671 MB/s

    in all honesty the drive did boost my boot time but it certainly aint no wonder
    Reply
  • amad2892 - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - link

    Does anyone know if this Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive work in desktops with an adapter? Reply
  • ataxy - Friday, November 19, 2010 - link

    no need for an adapter, plug it the same way you would plug a sata drive Reply
  • cdxpat - Monday, November 01, 2010 - link

    With much larger memory will come much larger windows swap files. I wonder how Seagate is managing that. I would have prefered an implemention that allowed for some configuration of what is cached.

    Example cache only files that have not changed in the last hour since constantly updated files will ruin any caching algorithm .

    Or cache by file type eg .exe, .dll . ini but not .doc
    Reply
  • Mordanti - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Bought drive in Nov 2010, started having issues with my Gateway 6864 FX not waking from sleep mode in Win7-64bit after 2 weeks. As it was past the 30 day NCIX return limit, I finally dealt with Seagate for a warranty exchange. Replacement drive worked fine for a week, then did EXACT same thing... only NOW my laptop refuses to boot or save my BIOS settings. CMOS clearing, different SATA drives and tech support visits to no effect; I now have a dead drive AND a dead laptop. Thanks for nothing, Seagate... not to mention the 60+ hours I've spent scouring forums, calling tech support and swapping drives. All because Seagate couldn't design a drive with APM that knew what it was doing.

    While it WAS working, it woke from Sleep mode almost instantly and did indeed cut boot times by half. For general laptop use( no heavy video / encoding )it made things snappy.

    Bottom line: DO NOT BUY this hybrid drive unless you are prepared for the consequences. Cutting-edge tech sometimes means you bleed, as is my case. I'm out $$ for the drive, and $$ for my was-perfectly-fine laptop that's now a brick and Seagate has no intention of doing anything except sending me ANOTHER one of these computer-killers in a box.

    No thanks. I'll buy an SSD and keep backing up my data, like a wary consumer should.
    Reply
  • jb510 - Saturday, March 05, 2011 - link

    I'm curious why you are so confident that the problem originated with your Momentus XT and not with your laptop itself? While I suppose a drive could cause the problems you describe my instinct would be the exact oposite that the laptop fried the drive.

    Personally I've had one of these for about a month and another for a few days (different laptops) and absolutely love this drive.
    Reply
  • jb510 - Saturday, March 05, 2011 - link

    Anand or anyone... I'm thinking about getting a OCZ V3 SSD (when available) for my new MBP arriving next week. The MBP is arriving with a 750GB 5400rpm drive which I'd thought about moving into drive caddy to replace the ODD. However, I'm wondering how much benefit there would be putting one of my 500GB Momentus XT's in the ODD bay instead of the 750GB HDD?

    I've seen the amazing speed advantages using the Momentus XT as my boot drive (only drive) in my current laptops, but am wondering about it's performance when used as data drive. I imagine it'd be similar or even better, but thought I'd ask in case anyone knew better...

    Finally, Anand, one thing that seems to be missing from all but the first test is how the performance changes over time as data ges cached by the HHDD (Hybrid Hard Disk Drive) and what you did or didn't do to standardize that performance.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, July 06, 2011 - link

    I read this long ago, probably a similar comment on here. But why even bother comparing to a 5400rpm hdd? The momentus XT runs at 7200rpm. I want to see it compared to a regular 32MB cache 7200rpm 2.5" hdd. My friends has a 7200rpm 2.5" drive in his Compal NBLB2 and it loads games and stuff REALLY fast. I have a striped RAID on my desktop and his laptop loads up League of Legends RIGHT after my desktop. My desktop was built in 07, but still. 2 7200rpm 3.5" drives in stripped RAID should blow his away... it doesn't. Reply
  • cam94z28 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    I think a lot of what we're seeing here, is simply a more modern 7200rpm 2.5" drive that just happens to hang with an older raptor. FWIR, the NAND speeds don't even really come into play during an instant performance test. It pulls frequently used data, and smaller files during normal desktop use. Over a few days to a week, you would see a performance increase in boot times, email, web browser startup, etc.. if these are the common apps you tend to use. Running CrystalDiskMark, HdTune, or HdTach only one time, would be mostly physical disk performance. Reply
  • rajesh91 - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I am not experienced in such things and hence seeking some help here. I want 500GB plus storage space in my MBP-2009 and SSD are way too pricy for that. This solution seems really good, but can some one tell if I can use this in my MacBook Pro (running the latest update of Lion)?

    Any help is appreciated! Thank you...

    Note: In their site they have a new 700GB version. Can I use that instead?
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now