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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...
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
WRONG!

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.


"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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