Seagate Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Preview - HotHardware

Seagate Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Preview

0 thumbs up

The Seagate Momentus XT will initially be available in three capacities—250GB, 320GB, and 500GB. The drive you see pictured below if the flagship 500GB model.

 
 
Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Hybrid Drive

The Seagate Momentus XT features 4GB of integrated SLC NAND flash, linked to the traditional platter-based storage via an intelligent controller. The drives conform to the 2.5” form factor with 9.5mm Z-Height, and they sport standard SATA 3.0Gb/s interfaces. 32MB of DRAM cache is also incorporated into the drives, and as we’ve already mentioned, they feature 7200RPM spindle speeds. Looking at the pictures above, there’s nothing that hints to the hybrid nature of the Momentus XT. They simply look like standard 2.5” hard drives. But, rest assured, they are different.

Although Seagate hasn’t revealed all of the secret-sauce that makes the Momentus XT unique in the current market, understanding how the drive works is fairly straightforward. The 4GB of SLC NAND flash is used as a high-speed repository of sorts. The controller on the Momentus XT monitors usage patterns and copies the most frequently accessed bits of data from the hard drive to the solid state storage. And it all happens independent of the OS or drivers. According to Seagate, the data on the hard drives has to be accessed multiple times before it is copied to the solid state storage and the contents of the flash memory will dynamically and constantly change over time, based on usage. To put it simply, the most commonly accessed data on the platters get's copied to the much higher performing, SLC Flash memory, which results in a performance boost.

Knowing how the adaptive memory on the Momentus XT works, reveals one of the drawbacks of a hybrid design such as this one—the flash memory will offer no performance benefit to infrequently accessed or new data. So, with large file copies, application installations, and the like, the Momentus XT will perform like a standard HD.

Article Index:

0
+ -

Any insight on boot time\resume\etc speed with Windows 7?  Supposedly Windows 7 was designed to work more efficiently with hybrid drives.  Supposedly.

0
+ -

The problem with boot testing and Windows 7 is that Windows also optimizes for faster boot times, over time. During initial testing it was impossible to tell whether it was specifically Windows or the Momentus that was actually improving the boot time. And the optimization starts immediately. If there was a way to disable the integrated flash, restart Windows X number of times over the course of a few days. Then enable the flash and check for boot time improvements, we could give some hard data. But as it is, it's difficult to say how much the adaptive memory helps with boot times.

If you look at the Vantage test results, however, the Vista startup benchmark shows that there would be boot time improvements thanks to the Momentus' adaptive memory.

0
+ -

It would be interesting to see how this drive compares to a similar hard drive paired with 4GB of fast flash (SDHC, class 10, etc.) and Microsoft's ReadyBoost under Win 7!

0
+ -

@Xylo - Readyboost has shown to provide little to no real-world performance benefit. A standard HD paired to some flash memory using Readyboost wouldn't compete with the Momentus XT's adaptive memory technique.

0
+ -

I don't know. I would of liked it if they used the SSD more, made it 10,000 RPM, increased the capacity and if the HD would of used SATA 6GB's. Otherwise it's a good hard drive, just not one people would like to put in their gaming systems.

0
+ -

I like the performance of it. The prices are manageable too. This may be something worth considering until SSD prices come down out of the Stratosphere.

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: