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Why Buy The Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid Drive?

Updated on July 6, 2011

Seagate's Momentus XT has been enthusiastically touted as the world's fastest 2.5 inch PC hard drive. It is a Hybrid Hard Drive (HHD or H-HDD), ie it is a combination of a Solid State Drive (SSD) and the ubiquitous mechanical platter Hard Disk Drive (HDD); designed to give you the speed performance of SSDs, and the low price of HDDs.

Most SSDs are priced out of reach of the wallets of most consumers while mechanical HDDs, though affordable, has been using technology that has long gone stale, save for maybe the SATA interface. So some bright engineers at Seagate decided to combine these two disparate technologies to give you the best of both worlds.

Although promo shots of the Seagate Momentus XT may have shown multiple chips on board, it actually has only a SINGLE 4GB SLC NAND memory chip on the hard drive's PCB. The SLC NAND flash memory, while readable and writable, can only be used as a READ cache by the end user. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it is designed to combat the performance issues of SSDs.

A built-in algorithm known as Adaptive Memory technology, shifts frequently accessed data into the 4GB of flash memory space to speed up the READ access time. On top of that, it also features the SATA 3Gb/s (or SATA 300MB/s) interface with Native Command Queuing to help it perform up to 80% faster than mechanical hard disk drives running at the same speed.

The Momentus XT comes in 500GB, 320GB, 250GB capacities, running at 7200 RPM, with a 4GB SLC NAND solid state memory module and 32MB of cache, in a 2.5 inch form factor suitable for installation in laptops.

ASUS has already announced the Momentus XT drive as an upgrade option for its ROG G73Jh gaming laptop. Soon, it will come to more new laptops as it promised to squeeze every little bit of performance out of your laptop, without making you pay the stiff price of SSDs.


Specifications


Brand: Seagate
Drive Type: 2.5-inch hybrid hard drive
Connector: SATA 3Gbps
Capacities: 250GB (ST92505610AS)
                  320GB (ST93205620AS)
                  500GB (ST95005620AS)
Height: 9.7mm (0.378in)
Width: 70.10mm (2.76in)
Length: 100.55mm (3.959in)
Weight (typical): 110g (0.238lb)
Spin Speed: 7200rpm
Average latency: 4.17ms
Random read seek time: 11ms
Random write seek time: 13ms
I/O data transfer rate: 300MB/s
Average idle power: 0.8W
Average operating power: 1.1W
Average seek power: 2.2W
Special Features: Built-in 4GB of SLC NAND flash memory READ cache, with Adaptive Memory technology
Software included: None
Operating System: Windows, Mac, Linux (and any OS that has the driver for it)

Seagate Momentus XT
Seagate Momentus XT
Seagate Momentus XT
Seagate Momentus XT

Why Buy The Seagate Momentus XT?

-It's a hybrid drive, giving you the best of magnetic platter HDDs and SSDs .
-It's affordable, and so much cheaper than SSDs, while most guys cannot afford a 500GB SSD.
-It improves the boot up time of your old hard disk, and reduces game loading times, which means that it works great as a gaming hard drive.
-It gives you the speed of SSDs but without the high price and size limitations.
-The 500GB capacity drive costs $130 (USD 0.26 per GB) compared to the Intel X25-V, a 40GB SSD, which sells for $115 (USD 2.88 per GB). And we all know that 40GB is the new 4GB, which means it is the kind of drive that you want to retire from your computer rather than to upgrade to.
-It does not emit much heat or noise, works quietly.
-Upgrade your gaming notebook, high-end laptop; and whatever high tech toy you have that has the space and SATA connector for a 2.5" hard drive.
-It comes with Seagate's 5-year limited warranty instead of the usual 3 years.
-For the bragging rights:
-enthusiastically touted as the world's fastest 2.5 inch PC hard drive
-first of a new class of drive known as HHDs
-how many people you know has a HHD? ;)
-There is none of the negatives associated with SSDs.

Cons

-A wee bit more expensive than the ubiquitous magnetic drive.
-Not much of a looker; looks just like any other existing and lesser Seagate drives. For something that is a generation up from current magnetic harddrives, Seagate could have at least given it a more distinctive look and made it more appealing to geeks everywhere.

What To Watch Out For?

-Note that the name of this hard disk is "Seagate Momentus XT"; there is also plain "Seagate Momentus" series, which doesn't have hybrid technology. Don't mix them up when buying online. If you see a name like Seagate Momentus 5400.6 or Seagate Momentus 7200.x, you are looking at the wrong drive. Buy that and you will be sorry! -_-
-height 9.7mm slightly out of 9.5mm form-factor (but will easily fit 12.5mm form factor slots)


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