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Seagate Momentus 5400  (Source: Seagate Technology)
Seagate's latest notebook offerings, 3 capacities with hybrid NAND flash technology, does not currently produce promised results

The first Seagate hybrid hard disk drives are now shipping but the reviews will disappoint. Seagate first announced the Momentus 5400 PSD line of hybrid 2.5-inch hard disk drives this past June promising a performance boost based on the hybrid design using NAND flash memory for use with the Windows Vista operating system.

The Momentus 5400 PSD line is shipping in capacities of 80 GB, 120 GB, and 160 GB of magnetic storage combined with 256 MB of flash. The manufacturer's specifications state a 44 MB/sec sustained stransfer rate and 8 MB of that oldschool cache. The average seek time is 12.5 ms with an average latency of 5.6 ms. Combined with Microsoft Windows Vista's ReadyDrive technology hybrid hard drives are supposed to improve system performance, hold increased reliability, and reduce power consumption and/or increase laptop battery life.

However, the first impressions of the first hybrid hard disk drives are leaving consumers with those familiar "empty promise" feelings. Is Seagate's product to blame?

Melissa Johnson, a product manager for Seagate, stated that the cause of the lack of performance improvements over the original flavor of the Momentus 5400 line was in the BIOS and operating system drivers.

Earlier this year, before any hybrid hard drives were available to the general public, Lenovo bloggers made bold claims that first generation hybrid hard drives would be a bust. So far, it seems those claims were true. We can only hope these issues are resolved or the entire idea of a hybrid hard disk drive may become another technology that never could.

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Another hit on Vista...
By Operandi on 10/8/2007 2:46:50 PM , Rating: -1
This was supposed to be one of key tech benefits of Vista to actually make it out intact. If this turns out to be doa things are really looking bleak for Vista and MS in general.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Master Kenobi on 10/8/2007 2:54:33 PM , Rating: 4
Hardly. Even with out it Vista is pushing ahead just fine. This is just a driver problem from the manufacturers. Using standard IDE drivers with Hybrid hard disks doesn't work out so well.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By euclidean on 10/8/2007 4:10:07 PM , Rating: 1
No way, it's all Microsoft!!!.....

Generally speaking, almost all of the issues currently out with vista are either driver related, or people are trying to run the OS in 32bit on old technology. Move up in the world people and quit complaining...there were more probs with XP when it first came out than so far with Vista.

Also, to keep on topic, I bet the issue is mainly driver/ least it seems like it anyways, and if it is driver related, then that's Seagate's fault....WD ftw.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By leexgx on 10/8/2007 7:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
i guess you not seen reviews done on these type of hard disks 256mb does not cut it at all when the OS is heavy and bloted (it work wunders on XP tho 128mb boot the rest for other programs) the cache on the disk needs to be 1gb to start off from and 2gb if you want the hdd to stay not spinning for longer times as thats what haveing flash on the hard drive is for so the hard disk can stop spinning for longer and save power 256Mb or 1gb can not do that
with 2-4gb of flash on the disk that five you optons for hard disk power down more offen as well the Flash is Way faster access times then an hdd and the Flash can have faster data rates then the laptop disks more so when there is random access going on (0.2ms flash / 10-15ms hdd with an Masive impact on file read performace)

its more an problem with the hard drive Vista ReadyDrive cant work well at all with 256mb of flash its likey trying to run vista with 512mb of ram its to small to be usefull unless vista ReadyDrive uses it for Small files Only

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Drexial on 10/9/2007 3:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
i don't even really see how this could be viewed as a disappointment. if you getting a system with 5400RPM HDD your not looking for a hard core system to begin with. so i feel the 20% increase in battery life is FAR more substantial an announcement than the lack of performance increases.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By GoodBytes on 10/8/2007 2:59:05 PM , Rating: 2

Melissa Johnson, a product manager for Seagate, stated that the cause of the lack of performance improvements over the original flavor of the Momentus 5400 line was in the BIOS and operating system drivers.

Yea yea, their fault, but lets blame it on Windows. Since when Microsoft is supposed to do the job of computer hardware manufactures.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Zandros on 10/8/2007 3:26:41 PM , Rating: 3
Since they started advertising the feature as a part of their operating system.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By elgoliath on 10/8/2007 5:15:30 PM , Rating: 4
Um, it is a feature and it does work, so I'm not sure what your confusion is. Perhaps you don't know what device drivers are or the fact that Microsoft (OS Division) is not responsible for writing drivers for 3rd party hardware companies? But no, lets go ahead and spout more stuff that just isn't right so we can keep our membership to the anti MS band wagon. It's amusing that with so many other things to fault MS for that are valid, you pick one that they aren't responsible for....

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By mindless1 on 10/8/2007 9:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
It's a Vista feature. Can't have it both ways, if the feature is vista then the function and flaws will be too, for better and worse. That's not to say we can assume the performance isn't there because of windows, it's lacking because of too little flash onboard, but it is MS that is responsible for the layer that optimizes the I/O for hybrid drives.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By bisoy on 10/8/2007 10:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
The layer is there, that's why it is a feature they advertise. But if the device drivers were written poorly as to not take advantage of this new functionality, then surely you cannot fault MS for it.

My first Vista machine I cursed it to death because it is running 100% CPU utilization most of the time, but after a careful research I found it was just the driver of my freaking ATI video card who's the culprit.

I've long moved to Vista 64 and loving it.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By mindless1 on 10/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: Another hit on Vista...
By JonnyBlaze on 10/9/2007 8:15:19 AM , Rating: 3

EVERY device on your system has a driver. You never had to load them as windows has them all for hard drives. Maybe these new drives work better with new drivers.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By TomZ on 10/9/2007 10:49:58 AM , Rating: 2
Very true, and I'll bet that hybrid drives do require a unique driver to allow the OS to access the unique behavior of the hybrid drive. A generic driver wouldn't know how to read/write the flash in the drive.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By mindless1 on 10/12/2007 5:43:33 AM , Rating: 2
WRONG! That driver is not a seller product driver, it is only an OS specific driver provided by the OS designer, the opposite of the prior claim.

If you can't accept it, show me the driver you had to install for any legacy device. Same is true for these products.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By elgoliath on 10/9/2007 3:48:32 PM , Rating: 3
Wrong- the motherboard chipset is what windows interfaces with to communicate with the HDD. Granted, usually the standard default Microsoft drivers work well enough for non performance related installations, they are just that default drivers. As you said and it kinda makes our point, the standard windows driver is fine for legacy hard drives- unfortunately I don't believe these new hybrid hard drives are really considered legacy devices...

You are correct on the firmware side, but, as I believe you know, that is not a responsibility of Microsoft either.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By mindless1 on 10/12/2007 5:44:39 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong, the motherboard chipset driver does not nor is it supposed to introduce advanced write-delay for special media, it is only an interface between OS and hardware specifics like ATA command set.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By SavagePotato on 10/9/2007 4:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
Oh the poetic justice of being proven 100% right.

I remember this clown, the same person claiming he was a "tech" and bashing vista in another thread.

Apparently one of the only "techs" that doesn't seem to know what a device driver is. I had a pretty strong suspicion it was yet another know it all self proclaimed tech, I guess now it's confirmed.

Thank you for once again making the world dumber by subjecting it to your shoddy knowledge.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Pythias on 10/8/2007 5:45:47 PM , Rating: 2
They also support discreet graphics but they don't write the drivers...

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By PrezWeezy on 10/8/2007 3:14:55 PM , Rating: 1
Pretend UAC doesn't exist. Now tell me 1 bad thing about Vista. "My programs don't work..." Dummy!! They weren't designed for it. Should we all just be held back because you can't use your application? Not to mention MS has released tons of tools and I have yet to find one app I can't make work. "It's big..." we have 300 gig drives now for about $100 bucks (less OEM) and you want to complain about using 5? That's stupid! Think about it, the hardware we have today is a little pricy maybe (oh no $500 for a new PC) but it's only going to come down. I'm sorry but you might not like the look or something of Vista, but MS did a pretty damn good job with it. Learn to deal with the fact that new stuff comes out and it's different. There is a ton of stuff that is different in Vista that makes it a more secure, more stable environment. I honestly have no complaints about it.

I'm so tired of people berating MS for comming out with Vista for dumb reasons. Even my peers (I'm an IT Director) talk about how Vista is huge and takes all this hardware. The same thing happened from DOS to Win 3.1, then 3.1 to 95, and every version since. In 2009 MS will release Vienna, and they have already said it will for sure 100% break the software you have now and you wont be able to use it. Now you have about 2 years to prepare for it and you wont be able to complain.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By ignitionxvi on 10/8/2007 3:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
and in which ways is vista an improvement over XP? I'll upgrade when I see a reason to upgrade.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By FITCamaro on 10/8/2007 3:24:19 PM , Rating: 3
See thats a valid point to have. If you don't see any added value, fine. Don't get it.

For me though the improvements are DX10, insanely better permissions and user account implementation, tighter .NET integration, better wireless support, and better network stack.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Smurfer2 on 10/8/2007 3:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
Good response FITCamaro, it also has other benefits that I like, increased stability, ability to split the GPU's process power, a more stable audio kernel, etc, etc...

Kind of like why upgrade to XP when ya have 2000 Professional...

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By BVT on 10/9/2007 2:28:41 PM , Rating: 2
I gotta know what the hell you people were doing with XP that made it unstable. I have not had a XP crash in years, even then, it was my fault for overclocking.

XP is rock solid stable for me.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Xerstead on 10/8/2007 6:57:48 PM , Rating: 2
And it looks nice :)
I wont be upgrading to Vista on this PC. But I am looking to build a new one fairly soon and will get Vista for that.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By mindless1 on 10/8/2007 10:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I don't have any of those (supposed) problems with XP. Maybe you're stretching things a bit except for the eventual gain from DX10 games.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By killerroach on 10/8/2007 3:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
First off, although they're still not perfect yet (but have about reached parity with XP finally), video card drivers under the new display model have noticeable advantages. Far fewer crashes and STOP errors, and the drivers can restart themselves. That's a noticeable plus.

Secondly, Superfetch is pretty good stuff, especially if you have 2GB of RAM (and at the price that DDR2 sells for anymore, you should). It does make a noticeable difference in application start-up times.

Third, if you have use for Media Center functionality, an OEM copy of Vista Home Premium (which includes Media Center) sells for roughly the same as an OEM copy of XP Home (which doesn't include Media Center). It's not my cup of tea, but it has advantages for HTPC owners.

Fourth, (admittedly a minor feature) the install DVD comes with a built-in memory diagnostic program. Very handy.

Finally, there's that little thing called DirectX 10. It doesn't seem like much right now, but people were saying the same thing when DX9 first came out. Once games start coming out that are designed from the ground up for DX10 (probably starting sometime next year), that will make a huge difference for gamers.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Fallen Kell on 10/8/2007 4:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'll most certainly agree on the performance. In fact, I think it is faster then XP in certain aspects, especially load time. I am constantly the 1st person to load the next map in Counter-Strike Source, and in many of those cases I still have to download the map first and then load it, and I am still up and in before others. If I have the map, I am almost certainly the first person in the game, and I know I don't have the fastest computer out there or on the server(s) I play on, however I do have 4GB RAM...

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By mindless1 on 10/8/2007 10:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, no your system and amount of memory account for that, Vista has no chance of causing your level to load faster.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By lifeblood on 10/8/2007 3:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
"My programs don't work..." Dummy!! They weren't designed for it. Should we all just be held back because you can't use your application?
I'm sorry, but the purpose of an operating system is to run applications. I don't have a PC so I can run an OS, I have it so I can run Apps. Microsoft did a bad job making Vista backward compatible. I really don't feel I should be forced to buy new apps so I can run my apps, and neither do the clients I support. Many of them are on shoe string budgets and can't afford to upgrade to the newest version of all their apps.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By TomZ on 10/8/2007 3:54:29 PM , Rating: 5
Many of them are on shoe string budgets and can't afford to upgrade to the newest version of all their apps.

People in this situation also shouldn't be upgrading to Vista in the first place. After all, Vista being released doesn't make XP stop working all of a sudden. Upgrading to Vista is a choice a person can make, taking into account the slightly higher hardware requirements and the possibility that older, ill-behaved apps don't run correctly.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By BitJunkie on 10/8/2007 4:52:00 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By mindless1 on 10/8/2007 10:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
True, it doesn't make XP stop working, but once MS stops selling XP, you're forced to abandon XP if you don't buy that full license before that point. Essentially, Vista won't be a choice soon enough. People don't usually run out and buy all new software with a new PC, only the OS in most cases.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By BitJunkie on 10/9/2007 1:32:39 PM , Rating: 2
What you say about XP is axiomatic, I can't see where the revelation is.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By PrezWeezy on 10/9/2007 9:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
There was a headline not long ago that talked about "Microsoft provides downgrade rights to unhappy Vista users."

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By AraH on 10/8/2007 3:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
when a dual core is pushed to 80% usage for two seconds after pressing 'start' (what i still call it even though that's not written anymore), then there's a serious issue, next thing you know is spider solitaire's burning a smoking hole where your computer was...

and before you argue it was an incorrect configuration (or some other BS), i've seen this on at least 3 different computers...

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By TomZ on 10/8/2007 3:56:37 PM , Rating: 1
We're wondering what you're smoking.... :o)

Seriously, though - I've never seen what you're describing on any of our Vista machines here. How much RAM do these machines have that you're describing?

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By porkpie on 10/8/2007 4:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
How much RAM do these machines have that you're describing?
Why they all have 640K, whether they need it all or not!

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By AraH on 10/8/2007 4:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
the machines varied between 1 and 2 gigs, they were toshiba satellite laptops of varying caliber. I've seen this on quite a few machines, though some had it worse then others, never actually investigated thoroughly, but saw these machines in passing (usually when one of my friends gets a new laptop)

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By BitJunkie on 10/8/2007 5:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
I just bought cheap as chips HP box for a couple of hundred quid: 3.5Ghz Celeron D (single core), 1GB ram, 8 MB shared video RAM and integrated intel graphics. I was bored okay?

I tried to install Win 98, WinXP sp2, Vista Home Premium x86, Fedora Core 7 and Ubuntu 7.04 on it over the last few days. Yeah, I'm a masochist! I couldn't get Win 98 to bootstrap so that bombed (I suspect a knackered disk). The others all installed cleanly.

With out a doubt, Vista was the most demanding and it used the Basic UI (no Glass). The intial boot when the pikey symantec apps updated while the disk was indexing and updates were being downloaded and installed was a bit painful. After that though and a couple of boot cycles of optimisation later it was working just fine. By that I mean I could use IE7, MS Mail and MS Works with no problem / noticeably painful UI lag. That's 250 quid and you have a box that can run Vista in a useable if cut down way.

Those laptops you mention must have been really poor and a few generations old.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By jajig on 10/8/2007 7:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 98 requires a special patch from Microsoft to run on processors above 2GHz.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By The Sword 88 on 10/8/2007 6:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah so on my Dell E1705 laptop when I click start my CPU meter "jumps" to 5% and comes right back down. I have a Core Duo 2.0Ghz and 2 gigs of RAM and an Nvidia Geforce Go 7900GS. SO I am not sure why your machines are struggling

I personally love Vista I only wish they would optimize their cool motion backgrounds some more as I notice slowdown in games if I have a moving background and iTunes open wheras when I play with a plain background and iTunes I am fine. But thats a very minor issue.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By SavagePotato on 10/9/2007 4:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
Problems such as these come from only one place, hardware compatibility problems. On of the other employees here has a total POS HP system that using the ATI xpress 200 chipset.

The computer works in XP however trying to load vista on it crapped out horribly. The hardware just doesn't work right in the OS, but see heres the thing. Who gives a rats ass?

It came shipped and tested with XP which it is running fine, theres no need to upgrade. It's an old POS machine, why would you want to upgrade some old package system or even notebook. If you are thinking of vista and just don't have the chops to set up your own hardware, buy a preconfigured system and be done with it.

Notebooks at their best are extremely proprietary. Most times you have to use very specific manufacturer made drivers with the notebook rather than reference drivers. An example is ATI video hardware on a recent laptop I reloaded, the ATI catalyst suite would not work with it whatsoever, and I had no choice but use the older drivers from the laptop manufacturers page.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Fallen Kell on 10/8/2007 4:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see this at all either, and I have a Core 2 Duo E6600. I think it is your RAM. If you didn't notice, you need more of it. That is just the way of life. That said, if you didn't get Vista64 when you have a 64bit capable CPU, well, you made a bad choice because you can't use 4GB of RAM which is the new sweet spot (like how 2GB was the sweet spot in XP).

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Treckin on 10/8/2007 5:05:57 PM , Rating: 1
This is a result of ANY number of things, although most likely sidebar initializing, firewall initializing, or superfetch doing its FUCKING job...

I hate the Vista haters more than they hate Vista. Im a VERY happy user of Vista, not only because of the tangible feature such as better account controls, tighter security bleh bleh bleh, but the UI increased ten fold in efficiacy from where I stand.

Look, vista is more stable than XP ever was, and is more stable than it is now.

simply the command stops (ie ctr alt del) are impressive. I have never had Vista freeze up on me to the point where I cant move the mouse. I cant say Ive ever had to do a hard reset actually.

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By DeepBlue1975 on 10/8/2007 7:01:35 PM , Rating: 1
I use vista, I like it and I couldn't care any bit less about "Ready bust", which gives you very little performance improvement once you go above 1gb of system ram.

I believe, though, that I would like it if it were "Ready boobs", instead. Something like a couple of breasts jumping out the optical drive bay (?)

RE: Another hit on Vista...
By Kougar on 10/9/2007 11:46:15 AM , Rating: 2
Hardly, it was only one of the most hyped! I enjoy Vista just fine without it.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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