Today at FMS, Toshiba demonstrated it’s new Hybrid Drive and took the opportunity to run it against a SSD and hard drive in boot comparison. As we would expect, the start times of the Hybrid versus the hard drive showed the Hybrid as the clear winner and, admittedly, it started in about 12 seconds and just behind the SSD. We need to keep in mind, of course, that the system in question was being turned on every few seconds throughout the day so the ‘hot data’ of the Hybrid was front and center and capable of maintaining that quick start up.
Toshiba hasn’t announced any release dates but the Hybrid is available up to capacities of 1TB and it’s flash consists of 8GB NAND flash memory. Also, the only performance demonstration was that of the start times but they did provide literature that spoke of Vantage speeds being reached at over 80MB/s while video editing and reaching a Total Point Score of 16,000. I hate to admit it but it is times like these that manufacturers NEED to reach out to review sites and those of us who do this continuously for opinion, something I have never been short of and certainly wasn’t on this occasion. 80MB/s and a Total Point Score of 16,000 just won’t cut it.
My suggestion has been and remains such that, if a manufacturer were to move forward with a hybrid drive, they need to incorporate AT LEAST 32GB of memory in a decent SSD design, use the right caching solution and then stretch their capacities to the new norms of 1.5 to 2TB. Take advantage of the SATA 3 interface and push out speeds above 500MB/s in a 2TB capacity laptop and this will make for great consumer sales.
Don’t get me wrong here, although I am not a hybrid lover and have made this abundantly clear in the past, Toshiba will do very well with this design in their own systems and, for the most part, it is ideal for the typical consumer who surfs the net and reads e-mails. This is where we need to understand that, depending on our specific situation, understanding the performance of SSDs and hybrids is paramount.