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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10/10/2007 3:35:42 PM
256mb just doesnt cut it. They need to have utilities at the formatting level. I cannot believe hybrid drives have taken this long and are this hard to implement. Every single hard drive out now should be hybrid! 256mb is a joke. 2gb is adequate. Imagine a desktop drive where the MFT, partitioning information, and page file is stored on the flash. Instant change in seek times and throughput! This would reflect speed increases for any supported OS/File system via the utility and the hard drives firmware.
To extend to vista They could put a prefetch "partition" on it that kept the most commonly accessed files and EXE's under a couple megs, Files needed commonly at startup, etc. Beyond that they could cache the first few megs of every file accessed recently to fill the remaining space. This would allow instant seek time reduction, as well as lower power requirements because they could sense a file needed is part of that cache and slow down the spinup.
The concept is limitless yet poorly executed. This technology is pure promise, why is it so difficult?
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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