Seagate offers best of both worlds with second gen Momentus XT hybrid solid state/hard drive
By Darren Quick
November 29, 2011
Released in mid-2010, Seagate's Momentus XT combined performance approaching that of a solid state drive (SSD) with the storage capacity and cheaper price of a traditional platter-based hard disk drive (HDD) in a laptop-friendly 2.5-inch form factor. It accomplished this by combining a traditional 7200 RPM HDD and a 4 GB SLC NAND solid state memory module in the one unit. Now Seagate has begun shipping the second generation of the Momentus XT that it says is its fastest ever consumer level drive.
Seagate says the new Momentus XT that provides 750 GB of storage is 70 percent faster than the first gen drive and up to three times faster than a traditional HDD. The new model retains the 32 MB cache found in its predecessor but ups the amount of NAND Flash memory from 4 to 8 GB and features a 6 Gb/second SATA interface compared to the previous generation's 3 Gb/second SATA.
The hybrid solid state/hard drive employs Seagate's Adaptive Memory technology also found in the previous generation to identify data usage patterns and move the most frequently accessed information from the hard drive to the 8 GB of solid state memory for faster access. The drive tailors the hard drive performance for different users and the applications they use.
New for the second generation is Seagate's FAST (Flash Assisted Storage Technology) Factor technology, which speeds up boot times by retaining the boot data in the Flash memory and also ensures that the Flash memory is used for reading data more than writing to prolong the life of the drive.
The second generation Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB is now shipping worldwide with the recommended retail price of US$245.
The video below produced by Seagate pits the Momentus XT against a 7200 RPM HDD and an Intel SSD.