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Seagate 7200RPM Desktop Solid State Hybrid Drive

Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 6,240Member Epic


Building a new PC.. mighty tempted to get this in place of a true SSD.  It's for my son so I have worries that he would have difficulty managing an SSD.  Speed reviews on this say that it gets faster and faster as more files get stored in the NAND memory.  Not quite as fast as an SSD but much faster than a normal 7200 RPM drive.


Anyone have one of these?


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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,357Member Epic

    Don't.  It's only slightly better than a 7200 RPM hard drive.  You can do lab tests where you load one program, reboot, load the same program, reboot, load the same program, and so forth, and it does perform pretty decently.  But throw real-world scenarios at it and it doesn't offer so much of an advantage.

    There are several problems:

    1)  The NAND flash is purely a read cache.  Writes don't benefit.  At all.  Ever.

    2)  There's only 8 GB of NAND flash.  So most of the things that you load won't benefit.

    3)  If you defragment the drive, you wipe the cache and the performance boost gets wiped out.  If you don't defragment the drive regularly, then it gets rather fragmented, and performs worse than a properly defragmented 7200 RPM drive.

    With the focus on the NAND flash, for reads and writes that don't use the cache (and remember, this is all writes, period), it might not be as optimized as other 7200 RPM hard drives.

    The only circumstances that I could understand buying a hybrid drive are:

    1)  It's for a laptop, you only have physical space for one drive, and need more capacity than you can afford in an SSD, or

    2)  You don't pay much of a price premium to get it.

    Neither of those apply in your case; you're paying about an extra $40 as compared to an ordinary 2 TB 7200 RPM hard drive.

    Hybrid drives aren't intrinsically a dumb idea; Apple actually has some that are better.  But in order to do it right, you need:

    1)  For the NAND flash to be able to act as a write cache, not purely a read cache,

    2)  For the NAND flash to retain its cache even if you defragment the hard drive,

    3)  At least 32 GB of NAND flash, and

    4)  To not mess up anything else that Seagate didn't with their early hybrid drives.

    Option (4) might sound trivial, but I wouldn't be so sure after Seagate flagrantly failed (1) - (3).

    Seagate recently launched some decent SSDs, so they're getting that figured out and might have a worthwhile hybrid drive eventually.  But they're not there yet.  Not even close.

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