Solid state drives are surely coming down in price, but traditional mechanical hard disk drives have one benefit that SSDs will take quite a while to catch up with - the cost per GB. Hybrid drives, where a small portion of NAND memory is bundled along with your high capacity mechanical drive, is the only category where you can get the best of both worlds. Seagate has been quite bullish on that front with its Momentus XT branding in the laptop hard drive space. We have seen the first generation Momentus XT drive, which had 4GB single-level cell (SLC) NAND memory along with 500GB of HDD space and 8GB of SLC NAND memory with 750GB of HDD space in the second generation. This year Seagate launched its third generation of laptop hybrid drives and have decided to simply call it the Laptop SSHD.
The Laptop SSHD or laptop solid state hard drive comes in two variants - the 1TB Laptop SSHD which has a height of 9.5mm and the 500 GB Laptop Thin SSHD which has a height of 7mm.
Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD comes with an 8GB of MLC NAND storage
The Laptop Thin SSHD is targeted at thinner ultrabooks thanks to its height. It comes with a single-platter 500GB drive which spins at 5400 RPM. Of the 500 GB space only 465.76 GB is available to the user. It has an 8GB Toshiba MLC NAND chip on board. This flash memory caches your most frequently used programs so as to improve the access times.
Seagate has not only decided to change the naming convention from the Momentus XT to Laptop Thin SSHD, but have also gone ahead with using a multi-level cell (MLC) NAND in place of an SLC NAND. Hopefully, this will help keep the pricing on the economical side vis-a-vis using an SLC NAND which is more expensive. The Laptop Thin drive comes with a SATA 6 Gbps interface.
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 OC Formula
RAM: 2x 4GB GSkill RipjawsX
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
OS drive: Plextor PX-256M2S, 256GB SSD
Source drive: Kingston SSDNow, 120GB SSD
PSU: Cooler Master 800W Silent Pro Gold
We ran our battery of synthetic and real-world tests on the drive. Crystal Disk Mark gave 105.5 MB/s for sequential read and 116.4 MB/s for sequential write. ATTO gave a slower 91.77 and 92.08 MB/s for sequential read and writes respectively.
It has a SATA 6 Gbps interface
For the real-life transfer speeds, we transferred a 10GB single file and an 10GB assorted file from the source drive to the Seagate laptop thin drive. In terms of real-life transfer speeds it gave around 91.3 MB/s and 89.87 MB/s in sequential read and write speeds respectively whereas assorted file transfer was slower at 67.81 MB/s and 64.74 MB/s for read and writes respectively. The lower speeds can be attributed to Seagate’s decision to use 5400RPM drives, but since these drives are meant to be used in a laptop, one also has to keep an eye on the power consumption.
The transfer speed numbers may not be the best, but that is not the USP of the drive anyway. So to check its caching prowess, we installed a Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit OS on it and ran some tests. It has 8GB MLC NAND memory component and its algorithms will cache your most used applications thereby reducing their access times. What you get are improved boot speeds and faster loading of applications as compared to a traditional hard drive. The best part is you do not need to configure any settings.
We calculated boot times using Bootracer. It took 40 secs on the first reboot, 28 seconds on the second reboot and by the 4th to 5th reboot we noticed booting times come down to 12 secs. Similarly with the PC Mark 7 System Storage benchmark we got a reading of 3032 on the 1st run, 3215 on the second run and 3315 on the third run. What we are trying to get at is that the performance improves dynamically depending on the applications you are using. So say you use Photoshop regularly and play Dirt 3 regularly; when you access it for the first time using the SSHD, it will take longer, but on subsequent reboots, you will notice a marked improvement in loading times. Like with the previous generation hybrid drives, you still do not have control over which applications you can set to cache. That is done automatically.
Verdict and Price in India
The third generation Seagate SSHD comes at a price of Rs. 6000 (plus taxes) which amounts to around Rs.12.82 per GB. If seen from a pure hard drive perspective this is a high cost per GB. But considering the price points at which previous generation hybrid drives from Seagate were launched, we feel this is an interesting pricing. But yes, Seagate could have surely added some more NAND storage considering it has decided to use MLC NAND. Sure, you can still get a 1TB regular drive in that price, but mere capacity shouldn’t be the only consideration. The Laptop Thin SSHD does not offer the best transfer speeds, but the performance jump in terms of improvement in application loading times is great.
If you are in the market looking for a speedy drive for your laptop, but don’t want to compromise on capacity then the Laptop Thin 500GB SSHD is your best bet. If you are just looking at performance and capacity is not really that important, then you can look for 120GB SSDs which are priced slightly higher than the Laptop Thin SSHD.
Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD (ST500LM000) Review , Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD (ST500LM000) India price , Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD india pricing , Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD review , Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD , Seag
Leaked Images, Availability, Pricing,
Last month we saw some major developments in two storage technologies -...
High-capacity portable storage with super-speed data transfers at your...
By Francis D'sa
A privacy-centric file sharing and network storage device in the offing...
Mon Dec 09, 23:37:02
Mon Dec 09, 23:35:42
Mon Dec 09, 23:32:11