Seagate Hybrid Hard Drives Ship and Disappoint
October 8, 2007 1:41 PM
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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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RE: Another hit on Vista...
10/8/2007 3:30:08 PM
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...
10/8/2007 4:16:44 PM
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...
10/8/2007 10:05:01 PM
LOL, no your system and amount of memory account for that, Vista has no chance of causing your level to load faster.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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