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

TESTING METHODOLOGY

Luckily, the Momentus XT’s arrival coincided with the building of a new test bench. All of the precautions and settings were followed according to Seagate’s testing directions:

BENCH SOFTWARE

Todays benchmarks are going to be a bit…extensive…as we put the Momentus XT through the ropes with a wide variety of software to include  HDTach, HDTune, AS SSD,ATTO, Crystal DiskMark, PCMark 7, PCMark Vantage, along with true to life tests with Adobe CS5 and 7-Zip.

HD TACH/HD TUNE READ/WRITE BENCHMARKS

HD Tach is a physical performance hard drive test which utilizes a special kernel mode VXD in order to get maximum accuracy by bypassing the file system. The HD Tach sequential read test reads from areas all over the hard drive and reports an average speed. HD Tach also tests the drive’s random access time, as well as its burst speed:

With the average speed being the most important factor, there is virtually no gain in sequential read performance over the first generation Momentus, which was expected. As before, the NAND does not contribute to the results of the new Momentus XT.

HD Tune is a hard disk utility which by means of a set of simple steps checks the status of hard drives (internal, external or extractable). Apart from checking the status, the application is measures the drive’s performance, errors during scanning, and health status. HD Tune writes over the full area of a hard drive, exposing any potential drawbacks the drive may have:

AS-SSD BENCHMARKS

The AS-SSD benchmark determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains five synthetic and three practice tests, testing sequential read and write speeds, as well as input/output functionality and response times:

Again, not much to see here; the NAND/SSD portion of the Momentus XT has not made itself known yet, but the hard drive piece is certainly showing its ablity.

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Nick LeksanJan A.Ricky LakeBenjamin_500Deepak Sharma Recent comment authors
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Anonymous
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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
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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.

Deepak Sharma
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I can vouch wholeheartedly with this!

XacTactX
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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… Read more »

Deepak Sharma
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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
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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
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Mr SQL

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

Benjamin_500
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Benjamin_500

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

Ricky Lake
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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!