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

FUTUREMARK PCMARK 7/VANTAGE

Futuremark PCMark 7 Professional 64-Bit Edition includes 7 PC tests for Windows 7, combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming.

The Storage test is a collection of workloads that isolate the performance of the PC’s storage system, yielding a final score in PCMarks:

Finally we see the true power of the Momentus XT! Adaptive Technology really shines here. To put some perspective on the results, the initial run of the Momentus XT matched the low number yielded by the Momentus. After nine more runs, the Momentus XT shot up the charts. Repeating data over and over allowed the Momentus XT’s Adaptive Technology to adjust and learn the pattern. For FAST to occur so blatantly, and have such a large impact in performance is amazing, and really goes to show what a hybrid drive is capable of.

Overall system performance test is measured by the PCMark test. This is the only test that returns an official PCMark score by combining results calculated via the lightweight, entertainment, creativity, productivity, computation, and storage tests respectively:

Thanks to FAST, the Momentus XT closes the gap between hybrid drives and SSD’s.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage Professional 64-Bit Edition measures PCMarks of via a computers’ performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security. PCMark Vantage scores with other similar systems allows detection of the hardware and software bottlenecks that hinder PC performance:

These results are pretty telling however. The Momentus XT is much faster than the Momentus, but still a more than respectable distance away from achieving SSD status.

 7-ZIP SYNTHETIC COMPRESSION AND TRANSFER

7-Zip 64-Bit Edition is an open source file archiver designed originally for Microsoft Windows. 7-Zip operates with the 7z archive format, and can read and write several other archive formats. The program can be used from a command line interface, graphical user interface, or Windows shell integration.

For this test, a handful of files and folders totaling 15Gbs were compressed to 10Gbs using 7-Zip on ultra compression. The transfer speed and time of compression was then calculated:

After re-running the tests for the Momentus XT, the numbers it achieved were nearly on par with those of the Crucial C300 and the OCZ Vertex 2 respectively. The NAND and FAST factor really kicked in here, yielding some impressive results.

11 comments

  1. 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

    • 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.

  2. 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. 🙂

    • 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 🙂

  3. “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.

    https://goo.gl/oXQL1

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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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