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Seagate offers best of both worlds with second gen Momentus XT hybrid solid state/hard drive

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November 29, 2011

Seagate says its latest Momentus XT hybrid solid state/hard drive is its fastest consumer ...

Seagate says its latest Momentus XT hybrid solid state/hard drive is its fastest consumer PC drive ever

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.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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4 Comments

To think I just purchased a 1st Gen XT as a replacement for my OS drive... I should have known the sudden price drop was too good to be true!

These are great drives (just make sure to flash the new firmware); I will definitely be upgrading to the 2nd Gen when it comes out.

Lucas Crossley
29th November, 2011 @ 09:14 am PST

It's just a cache though - so performance will be more-or-less identical to the the slow HDD any time after you've used the cache for anything else - eg - copying a movie file around or whatever.

christopher
29th November, 2011 @ 05:56 pm PST

Computers have had two and three level cache RAM between the CPU and main RAM for decades. Seagate is just adding a huge L2 cache to a hard drive.

The best use I can see for this is as the drive the operating system has its paging file on, but only if the paging file is smaller than the big L2 cache on the drive.

It might also work well for a video editing scratch disk, depending on how much data a program like Adobe Premiere stores on its scratch disk and the sizes of its scratch files.

Gregg Eshelman
30th November, 2011 @ 02:04 am PST

that's not gonna make my skyrim any faster i don't think. about as useless as hybrid cars if you ask me. either go all mechanical or all electric

johnweythek
2nd December, 2011 @ 03:27 am PST
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