Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Hybrid Drive

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Performance Summary: The Seagate Momentus XT 750GB drive performed relatively well throughout our battery of tests. When its solid state cache comes into play, the Momentus XT is clearly faster than a standard hard drive and in some instances offers true “SSD-like” performance. The updated Momentus XT is also clearly faster than the first-gen drive due to its faster HD, increased solid-state cache and tweaked adaptive memory algorithms that react more quickly than the original’s. In comparison to other hybrid solutions, the Momentus XT competes favorably, but Intel’s Smart Response technology or options like the RevoDrive Hybrid are ultimately faster—sometimes much faster. Finally, compared to a standalone SSD, the Momentus XT trails in every facet of performance.


The Seagate Momentus XT

When we first took a look at the original Momentus XT mid-last year, we stated in our conclusion that, “While the Seagate Momentus XT doesn't clearly dominate all standard hard drives across every type of usage model, Seagate's hybrid implementation seems to address its intended markets quite well.” That statement is also true today, and the updated drive is definitely superior to the original in virtually every way. However, the storage landscape has changed dramatically since the original drive was released.

When the first Momentus XT hit the scene, it was offered for a cost of about $.31 per GB ($156 for the 500GB model). This new 750GB Momentus XT, despite offering a faster interface speed, double the amount of SLC NAND flash (4GB vs. 8GB), and tweaked adaptive memory algorithms, will debut with an identical cost per GB; the drive will sell for about $.31 per GB or $245 for the 750GB model. At the time of the original Momentus XT’s release though, sought-after SSDs were commanding upwards of $3.00 per GB. But today a good SSD can be had in the $1.20 to $1.75 per GB price range. And while hard drive prices have skyrocketed due to the tragic flooding in Thailand, it’s still possible to pick up a 500GB to 750GB, 7200RPM drive and a 120GB SATA III SSD for only slightly more than the cost of a Momentus XT. If you’ve got the right motherboard, using Intel’s Smart Response Technology can actually be cheaper when pairing a similar sized HD to a 20-40GB SSD cache. Using a standalone SSD for the boot volume and a hard drive for bulk storage will result in better performance, but is perhaps less elegant due to the need to manage both volumes, whereas a single hybrid solution is more seamless for the end-user. Regardless, the clear cost advantage the original drive had at launch has somewhat vanished.

That said, for users that can’t afford a larger capacity SSD and are limited to only a single drive configuration, like notebook or some HTPC users, for example, the Momentus XT can be a great fit. You’ll get a good amount of storage space and SSD-like performance in a single drive, with any OS and no special software or drivers to deal with.

  • Decent Value
  • Good Performance
  • SSD-Like Performance, HD-Like Price
  • OS Independent

  • Limited by performance of the HD when solid state cache not used
  • Outperformed by other hybrid solutions

 

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