Final Words

Seagate's Momentus XT should become the standard hard drive in any notebook shipped. The biggest problem I have with using any brand new machine, regardless of how fast it is, is that it never feels fast because it usually has a HDD and not an SSD. While the Momentus XT isn't quite as fast as an SSD, it's a significant improvement over the mechanical drives found in notebooks today.

In many cases the Momentus XT performs like a VelociRaptor, but in a lower power, quieter package. The impact of adding just a small amount of SLC NAND is tremendous. I wonder what kept Western Digital from sticking some NAND on its VelociRaptor instead of giving us the lackluster upgrade we got earlier this year.

The potential for hybrid drives continues to be huge, what Seagate has shown here is that with a minimal amount of NAND you can achieve some tremendous performance gains. There's no reason for any performance oriented mechanical drive to ship without at least some small amount of NAND on board. There's also much room for Seagate to innovate. We could see drives with more NAND or truly hybrid drives that provide read and write caching in NAND.

Compared standard 2.5" drives, the Momentus XT will set you back an additional $50 - 90 depending on the capacity point. The added cost is absolutely worth it. It's still a lot cheaper than an SSD since we're in the sub-$0.31 per GB area while SSDs sell in the range of $2 - $4 per GB.

If you're not going to buy an SSD for your notebook, then definitely go for the Momentus XT. I'd almost go as far as to say it's a great option for desktop users but unless you're on a budget you're probably better served by a small SSD + 3.5" drive on the desktop.

Power Consumption
POST A COMMENT

120 Comments

View All Comments

  • 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

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now