04-24-2012 04:55 AM - last edited on 04-26-2012 03:05 PM by topmahof
I installed a new Seagte Momentus XT 750GB "hybrid" drive yesterday. The hybrid drive couples a conventional 7200RPM HDD with 8GB of SLC NAND. SLC NAND compares most favorably with MLC NAND used in SSDs, in that it lasts 100,000+ write/erase cycles opposed to the 3 - 5,000 cycles of MLC.
This is a SATA III (6gb/s) device.
You get a lot all in one drive bay.
For a complete review, see: Review
I got mine from Buy.com for $151 shipped: buy.com
Buy.com has a 45 day return policy, no restock.
Installation was a breeze. The Seagate firmware handles all alignment issues internally, so all I did was backup my old 500GB using Acronis True Image 2010 and restore it to the new XT. After that, I extended the partiton in Windows 7 Disk Manager to the full 698GB size. Done!
Boot speeds: My system boots in 53 seconds from pressing the power button to the Windows Desktop. This is about 1/3 the time my conventional 7200RPM disk took. Mind you, I am loading SQL Server, Oracle, etc etc, so I'm guessing you will get quicker loads than me. This is a significant improvement for sure.
Application load: Zounds! My apps load like lightening from the cache. That being said, only the most frequently used apps are cached. This is dynamic and changes based on what apps I'm using. My main one, i.e. Visual Studio, Outlook, Firefox. Internet Checkers (lol) snap up on the screen.
Shutdown: There is no write caching, only read caching with this device, so the system shuts down just as slow as before. No big deal.
BTW: I use Windows 7 Write Caching. This works for me because I have 16GB of RAM.
Peeve: This drive is advertised as having a 5 year warranty. When I check the warranty using the actual serial # on the Seagate site, it is a 3 year warranty. I have an email in to Seagate to clarify this. I'll keep you posted.
Conclusion: If you want a fast, easy to manage, reliable, low cost way to breathe new life into your system, you might want to consider the Hybrid route. It's not purely an SSD, but that isn't a necessarily a bad thing.
Solved! Go to Solution.
04-24-2012 11:48 PM
Glad the new drive is working out well. Mine gets here tomorrow knock on wood :-). From what I read the performance inccrease you are seeing is about right. Quite substantial :-). You do need to use it as a boot device to realize all of the gains of using the device. IMO Seems the performance gained using these drives is similar to what a good memory upgrade does for your system at not that much higher a cost.
04-25-2012 05:33 AM - last edited on 04-26-2012 02:49 PM by topmahof
The performance gain is a lot more noticeable than bumping your RAM, although both are good. This drive for me really eliminates the need for an SSD. Of course, I don't do a lot of video encoding, where an SSD would likely blow this drive away. For fast boots and application loads though, this drive does the trick with aplomb.
You are quite right. It really dazzles as a boot device, where it effectively is loading the O/S from the SS buffer.
BTW: The firmware seems to have a lot of smarts, as the system has been getting faster with use over the past couple of days. I guess it has figured out which blocks I'm likely to access and pre-loads them into the cache.
So now I can wait until the mSATA drives reach 512GB for $99.... zzzzzzzzzzz
04-25-2012 09:05 AM
04-25-2012 10:01 AM - last edited on 04-26-2012 02:47 PM by topmahof
You don't need a lot of RAM for the Hybrid to rock. This drive will blow your WD Black out of the water.
You are quite right, Colonel. Thanks for the tip about defrag. From the Seagate Knowledge Base:
04-25-2012 10:10 AM - edited 04-25-2012 10:11 AM
Which is why I have an 8GB SD card and 2GB of RAM allocated as a read cache . Photoshop CS5 loads in 3-4 seconds for me, Mathematica in 6, and boots are 30 seconds. It feels about as snappy as an mSATA ultrabook my friend had.
As for defragging, there's a lot of operations made to the disk (maybe a hundred GBs worth per pass). I'm not sure how much statistical data the controller stores and uses for statistical inference on likelihood of access.
My method ignores defrags, AVs, and whatever folders I want it to exclude (music, games, temp files, etc.) though and prioritizes a list of programs I set it to.
EDIT: I misunderstood your comment. >_<
I meant, build my own hybrid drive using 8GB of RAM rather than NAND.
04-25-2012 10:24 AM
04-25-2012 10:30 AM - edited 04-25-2012 10:32 AM
K, sure (not sure why you mention your SD card stats, I am just responding regarding defrag). You defrag hybrid drives just like you do normal mechanical drives.
04-25-2012 10:34 AM