Thursday , 21 August 2014
Learn What SSDs Can Do For You:

Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Solid State Hybrid Drive Review – SSD Performance With HDD Capacity

Ah, the holiday season is coming to a close. The gifts have been bought and distributed, and you find yourself with extra cash leftover.

You want to put this money towards upgrading your computer, but cannot decide what to upgrade.  My answer to this conundrum, as it is for many others, is to invest in a solid state drive.

As chance may have it, in fact, our report today will focus on the newly released Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Hybrid SSD which just might be a great place to start.

INTRODUCTION

SSD’s and hard drives, in general, are the least dependent part(s) of a computer system.  They can function using hardware spanning from a decade old, or brand-spanking new. An i7-2700k cannot utilize an 1156 socket just as a GTX 580 cannot perform with a total power output of 300W. An SSD/HDD however, does not need balanced hardware to function properly. They encompass a broad spectrum of compatibility, only needing an interface connection and power.

The main form of resistance one typically finds when getting someone to buy an SSD is the cost factor. $500 for 240Gb does not sound very appealing when at one point you could get 4.5 times that amount for a mere 7 times less the cost.

Those who own and use SSD’s, however, will tell you the difference between solid-state drives and tradition platter hard drives is like the difference between night and day; it is just THAT big, and those wanting to take the plunge know and realize this.

They just cannot get over the basic logical thinking of Why pay more for less?, and no one can blame them because it makes sense.

It is inevitably the initial thought process that comes when contemplating whether to make the dive into SSD’s, and speaking from experience, it is a tough pill to swallow…until your jaw drops when programs load in less than a blink of an eye.

Conversely, there is still the problem of capacity, and once the novelty of an SSD starts wearing out, storage will become an ever-present reality, and going back full circle, capacity will ultimately reign supreme on the priority list of what consumers want in a drive.

To solve this issue, Seagate took the initiative and tried their hand in a new direction to please both crowds: those who want space, and those who want SSD-like speeds. Seagate took both concepts and released the first hybrid drive, called the Seagate Momentus:

Part hard drive, part SSD, the first iteration of Momentus drives were a big success, leading to the creation of Gen-2 Momentus XT drives, the 750GB version being the subject of our review today.

About Deepak Sharma

I am a big PC enthusiast, and avid gamer. If I'm not tinkering with parts, or reviewing products, you can be 100% certain I'll be on Steam playing something. I love learning about new tech, and teach myself as much as I can, so I can present it to every techie out there!
  • Anonymous

    The m4 ssd is one of the most reliable ssd out there. the 64 gig version can be purchased now for $109 free shipping no tax from newegg add a terabyte hd for mass storage and you get a faster, higher capacity and cheaper solution!
    the 128 gig version is $199

    • Mrxfrost

      You can’t fit that configuration in most laptops. This is a 2.5inch drive perfect for laptops. If space isn’t an issue you could even look at a RAID system.

      I have used the 500Gb XT for a year now and am impressed. Not just with the real world usage but in particular with Seagates commitment to sorting out the early issues with this drive. They are actually listening to these reviews taking onboard the criticism and working with its customers to progress the technology further and releasing regular updates.

      • http://twitter.com/RxUrien Deepak Sharma

        I can vouch wholeheartedly with this!

  • XacTactX

    I think this is one of those situations where there has to be a paradigm shift in the priorities and what is being measured. A drive like this was not made to run benchmarks, it was made to learn and adapt to the usage scenario at hand. The fact that most benchmarks showed a small improvement, or no improvement at all, but the author was still raving about the product, is a testament to that. I think benchmarking the loading times of a suite of programs over consecutive runs would be a much better indicator of what this drive brings to the table. In that scenario this will probably mean the best of both HDD and SSD worlds.

    Thank you for this review and the many other informative articles. :)

    • http://twitter.com/RxUrien Deepak Sharma

      Thanks, and thanks a lot for the informative post!

      While I didn’t push the fact, I was hoping readers such as yourself would figure out that there aren’t really any benchmarks that can effectively test the Momentus. I provided all of the benchmark tests one sees with essentially every drive, but they just don’t work due to the adaptive properties of the Momentus.

      Again, thank you for the insight :)

  • Jay Perkins

    “The SSD bond really shows here, as traditional hard drives do not use firmware.”

    Somebody needs to tell Seagate, they are distributing firmware updates to all those drives that don’t even USE firmware.

    http://goo.gl/oXQL1

    • Mr SQL

      “traditional hard drives dont even use firmware”. This statement is false.

  • Benjamin_500

    Anyone notice that from the Boot Time Comparison chart that Quicktime is rubbish no matter what system you have!

  • Ricky Lake

    Thanks! A really top review. Just confirms what I thought though; that these hybrid drives are largely pointless, or at least that they’ll have a very limited lifespan. I can’t see how SSDs can cost more to produce that mechanical drives, over the long term there’s no argument for having one of these drives. As it is they still can’t compete with SSDs, but whether they compete with a setup like I have which is 128GB SSD for O/S with a 1TB IDE for storing data, I’m still largely unconvinced, particularly given their price!

  • Jan A.

    Different model, but I have had the Momentus XT 500GB for about a year now and it got painfully slow after six months making new slowness records each month.. Maybe it’s just me getting partially spoiled by the SSD part, but still.. Sometimes I think I must be infected with everything bad crawling the web, bots, trojans and all sort of viruses hogging my system, but I am afraid it’s just a growing feeling of slowness. When the SSD part works it’s great, but it’s too small, only 4GB on this model, and when it switch to HDD it’s horribly slow. I think all that this drive and other hybrids really do is to wet your appetite for a total HDD-free SSD solution.. Which kind of explains why I am lurking around here; I think it’s time to go fully SSD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1414410111 Nick Leksan

    I will be first in line to buy 2-4 Hybrid HDD/SSD 2.5″ drives when there comes a version with a combination of 32-64GB SLC NAND Flash + 1TB 7200RPM (1TB platter, single platter) HDD + 64GB ECC DRAM. I am all for using 2.5″ form-factor drives in my desktop, as I can fit a lot more drives in a relatively limited space, and to be able to have MORE drives without sacrificing speed but rather enhancing it, is a dream come true!

    WD just announced a 2.5″ Drive with 64GB NAND that looks to be a “one up” of Seagate’s Momentus XT, and if they really pan out well, I will be buying at least two to start with and throwing them into a RAID0 array. Although I have a 256GB Samsung 830 SSD, and will soon have a second, I want large-capacity storage for uncompressed audio files (tens of thousands) and 1080p video files, not to mention games. 2-4x 1TB single-platter 2.5″ hybrid drives with 32-64GB SLC NAND each would make THE fastest RAID array that actually uses spinning disks.
    We’re talking 64-128GB/128-256GB of Solid State Storage with 2-4 Terabytes of disk storage! Combined with good detection algorithms, I don’t see why it couldn’t perform so close to actual SSD’s as to be imperceptible!

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