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  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,146

    They are pretty new. I don't really have much experience with them. I'm interested in seeing some real world numbers from them though.

  • Siris23Siris23 Member UncommonPosts: 387

    They can be problematic

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/20/momentus-xt-hybrid-drive-causing-headaches-seagate-working-to-f/

    Personal opinion - it's a good concept, but it needs to mature a bit more.

    Edit: bah IE 9 needs some work

  • StoogeMonkeyStoogeMonkey Member Posts: 185

    Thanks for that read haha, i do see potential though, especially at the price point they have it at

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,673

    Most likely, you want a computer that is always fast.  A hard drive is sometimes fast and sometimes slow.  So is the Seagate Momentus XT, even if it's fast more often than other hard drives.  An SSD is always fast.  If you're willing to pay a considerable price premium for better storage performance, then get an SSD.

    Having a hybrid hard drive that can only use the NAND flash as a read cache is just a dumb concept in a desktop.  In a laptop, if you only have one drive bay and need more storage than is reasonable to get in an SSD, then it kind of makes sense.

    For what it's worth, the Seagate Momentus XT is actually pretty slow for a desktop hard drive at writes.  At reads, it varies wildly, depending on whether what you're trying to read is in the 4 GB of cache.  If it is, then it's fast like an SSD.  And if you want something that isn't in cache, then it's relatively slow, even for a desktop hard drive.  I'd advise against paying a considerable price premium for that sort of uneven performance.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Member RarePosts: 4,597

    I have the 500 gig drive and I like it alot;  it will probably be faster than any other platter drive you've owned.  It is for me.

    but what Quiz says makes alot of sense.

    Consistency is what you want in gaming.  That's why lots of memory, video and system, make for a good gaming system.  Less use of the HD.

    My OS loads quickly, and my most often played games do, as well.  But 4 gigs of hybrid memory don't contain rarely used texture data and the like.  With a full SSD, all that data loads at the same speed.

    Again, I REALLY like the drive, but I'll probably move it to my laptop when SSD and PCIE drives get reasonably priced at the capacties I need.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Member RarePosts: 4,597

    Originally posted by Siris23

    They can be problematic

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/20/momentus-xt-hybrid-drive-causing-headaches-seagate-working-to-f/

    Personal opinion - it's a good concept, but it needs to mature a bit more.

    Edit: bah IE 9 needs some work

    Mine wasn't problematic at all, but thanks for the link!  I updated to the new firmware, which I didn't even know existed.

  • StoogeMonkeyStoogeMonkey Member Posts: 185

    I know about SSDs quiz, but until i can get them for a $1 a GB or less its just not worth it on a desktop for me personaly, so i'll be waiting a couple years lol, it though the hybrid concept is good no? you get the program snappiness from the ssd cache and the hard drive space to boot, sure your not gonna get win7 to load up in 15 seconds but hey its $100

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,673

    I'm mildly curious as to how a Seagate Momentus XT would compare to a WD Caviar Black with an extra 4 GB of system memory (which brings a comparable price tag), and then letting Windows go nuts with prefetching.  The Momentus XT has the advantage that it doesn't have to clear the cache when you power down the computer, but I'm curious if Windows could pull some edge out of things like the ability to track time of day or different user profiles, and use things like that to optimize prefetching.

    The Momentus XT would win in a landslide in boot times, not merely because it would complete the basic boot sequence faster, but also because you'd have to wait quite a while for all of the preteching stuff to be done.  But what about after that?  The Momentus XT should theoretically lose at everything except for when you want to read data that the Momentus XT has in cache, but the Caviar Black+extra memory+Windows prefetching fails to load into system memory.  Would its caching algorithm be clever enough to win big here and there often enough to still win overall, even though it usually loses?  Or would it be reduced to saving a few minutes (prefetching 4 GB takes a long time) every time you boot as its only advantage?  Actually, it would likely depend on user usage patterns.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Member RarePosts: 4,597

    Originally posted by StoogeMonkey

    I know about SSDs quiz, but until i can get them for a $1 a GB or less its just not worth it on a desktop for me personaly, so i'll be waiting a couple years lol, it though the hybrid concept is good no? you get the program snappiness from the ssd cache and the hard drive space to boot, sure your not gonna get win7 to load up in 15 seconds but hey its $100

    Worth noting:  unlike SSD's, the hybrids, as of 10/2010(when I got mine) DO NOT come with a 3.5" convertor kit.

    Just an FYI.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,673

    Originally posted by StoogeMonkey

    I know about SSDs quiz, but until i can get them for a $1 a GB or less its just not worth it on a desktop for me personaly, so i'll be waiting a couple years lol, it though the hybrid concept is good no? you get the program snappiness from the ssd cache and the hard drive space to boot, sure your not gonna get win7 to load up in 15 seconds but hey its $100

    Why are you so keen on paying SSD prices without getting SSD performance?  You've got plenty of drive bays in a desktop.  There's no reason why you couldn't have both a small SSD for the stuff you want to run fast, and also a large hard drive for the stuff where speed doesn't matter.

    For example, you could instead get both of these:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227510

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145299

    Including shipping, you'd end up paying $18 more than for the Momentus XT alone.  But you'd absolutely blow it away in performance.

  • StoogeMonkeyStoogeMonkey Member Posts: 185

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by StoogeMonkey

    I know about SSDs quiz, but until i can get them for a $1 a GB or less its just not worth it on a desktop for me personaly, so i'll be waiting a couple years lol, it though the hybrid concept is good no? you get the program snappiness from the ssd cache and the hard drive space to boot, sure your not gonna get win7 to load up in 15 seconds but hey its $100

    Why are you so keen on paying SSD prices without getting SSD performance?  You've got plenty of drive bays in a desktop.  There's no reason why you couldn't have both a small SSD for the stuff you want to run fast, and also a large hard drive for the stuff where speed doesn't matter.

    Well that was the other option :P

    and thats when i stumbled onto this and was curious, i don't want ssd performance, but im fairly robotic in how i use my computer (e.g. openning the same 3 or 4 programs everytime i launch it) and so i thought a memory cache like this in an HDD would be a pretty good performance boost per dollar investment. I don't really care about noise (use headphones most of the time) i'm not all too fussed about heat or power usage, when my tower would stay in the same spot the whole time im not to ofussed about moving parts either, so its all down to read write speeds, and this HDD seems like a pretty good compromise for the price.

    If i was getting an ultraportable i would switch to ssd in a heartbeat, but im not lol.

    Anyway don't get me wrong I posted on here to get info people like yourself not to get all defensive.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Member RarePosts: 4,597

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by StoogeMonkey

    I know about SSDs quiz, but until i can get them for a $1 a GB or less its just not worth it on a desktop for me personaly, so i'll be waiting a couple years lol, it though the hybrid concept is good no? you get the program snappiness from the ssd cache and the hard drive space to boot, sure your not gonna get win7 to load up in 15 seconds but hey its $100

    Why are you so keen on paying SSD prices without getting SSD performance?  You've got plenty of drive bays in a desktop.  There's no reason why you couldn't have both a small SSD for the stuff you want to run fast, and also a large hard drive for the stuff where speed doesn't matter.

    For example, you could instead get both of these:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227510

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145299

    Including shipping, you'd end up paying $18 more than for the Momentus XT alone.  But you'd absolutely blow it away in performance.

    That would be problematic in that you'd have to install most of your games on the other drive, and so you'd lose ALL the performance gains of the hybrid in loading that game data.

    I guess it would be good if ALL YOU DID with that PC was play a particular game, and didn't need speed for anything else.

    I didn't buy my hybrid just to play 1 game.  I bought it to be faster overall.  I have 6 terabytes of extra storage, but none of that is used for programs.  All my programs, around 300 gigs worth are on the hybrid drive.

    Newegg had a shellshocker for a 128 gig SSD for a good price, and I was really tempted. 

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,673

    Let's throw out another option, a 500 GB Western Digital Caviar Black:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136795

    The price tag of $60 makes it the cheap option.  This is the usual alternative for people who want something faster than a typical hard drive, but aren't willing to pay a large price premium for it.  Conveniently, all three options have 500 GB of hard drive storage, so that's not a difference.

    Let's review:

    Option 1:  32 GB OCZ Onyx+500 GB Hitachi hard drive, $118

    Option 2:  500 GB Seagate Momentus XT, $100

    Option 3:  500 GB Western Digital Caviar Black, $60

    Option 1 gives you 32 GB of NAND flash.  A little bit of that is set aside as spare area, so you have about 30 GB usable.  You can get to pick what you want to put on the SSD, and whatever you do put there will be very fast, both at reads and at writes, whether random or sequential.  Whatever you put on the hard drive will be slow.  Something that is fast one day will be fast the next unless you move it off of the SSD, and vice versa.

    Option 2 gives you 4 GB of NAND flash.  The hard drive decides what to put there, not you.  It will try to pick the stuff that you access most often, but it can change its mind.  If something is in cache, it will be fast to read from it, but still slow to write.  If not in cache, it will be slow to both read and write.  Because what is in cache can change, the same program might be fast one day and slow the next, or vice versa. Write-heavy programs will always be slow and there's nothing you can do about it.

    Furthermore, if you defragment the hard drive, it wipes the cache, and then everything is slow for a while.  Meanwhile, if you don't defragment the hard drive, then it ends up horribly fragmented, and things not in cache end up markedly slower than the other hard drives.

    Option 3 gives you no NAND flash at all.  But both reads and writes, whether random or sequential, will be markedly faster than accessing either of the other hard drives.  Nothing will ever be all that fast, but neither will anything be especially slow.

    Even if we ignore prices, it's not immediately obvious that option 2 is better than option 3.  For a typical user, it probably will be.  But for appropriate usage patterns, option 3 will actually give better overall performance than option 2.  Meanwhile, option 1 soundly beats option 2 in all circumstances.  It would take exceedingly strange usage patterns for option 3 to beat option 1, but it could happen in a synthetic benchmark designed for the express purpose of making option 3 win.

    On net, I'd say option 2 probably gives a little better performance than option 3, but the gap between options 2 an 3 is much smaller than that between options 1 and 2.  If you're worried that 30 GB of storage in option 1 isn't going to be enough, then how will 4 GB in option 2 be enough?  Just being on the Momentus XT doesn't magically make everything fast.  It actually makes it slower than most hard drives unless it's in the 4 GB of cache.

    Now let's go back and look at the price tags.  In performance, option 2 is closer to option 3.  In price, it's closer to option 1.  That's the wrong way to lean on both counts if you're trying to make a value for the money proposition.  Option 2 only makes sense if option 1 is unavailable.  The only time that is likely to happen is in a laptop with only one drive bay.  Or maybe if the price comes down; a 500 GB Momentus XT for $70 might be worthwhile.

    There's a good reason why the Momentus XT doesn't come with a 3.5" adapter:  it makes no sense to put it into a 3.5" drive bay.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Member RarePosts: 4,597

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Just read above... varmints.

    Might be a good idea for new systems.  Upgrades, not so much, and those silly little proggies add up quick.  I uninstalled a ton of stuff to see if I could make it down to even 128 gigs, and it just wasn't in the cards.  The other thing being that convenience of just dropping stuff on your desktop?  Kiss it goodbye.  Check out your system drive... where ya at, right now?  Nowadays, for new games, 10 gig is the STARTING POINT for installs.

    There's also virtual memory to consider.  Which is something most people in the terabyte world haven't had to consider in a long, long time.  Good news, VM will be much quicker on an SSD(IF you have the space).

    I very much respect Quizzes recommendations, and for a brand new system, I'd actually GO his/her way of thinking.  You can always buy "big, dumb" drives later.

    I use my machine for anything and everything.  Recording/capturing/playing music/video, reprocessing it realtime, etc.  As a multimedia server, mass downloader of crap... all while being a gaming PC.

    So seriously, if ALL you do is check Facebook and play a couple games, while occasionally indulging in some old favorites, and you're building a new system Quizz is dead on.  But for folks like me, a limited system drive like that isn't so simple.   It will bring headaches you've never had before.
  • RobsolfRobsolf Member RarePosts: 4,597

    FYI...

    On W7 64bit, with nothing moved into my Windows folder, BY ME...

    After about 2 years of history, my Windows folder, by itself is already 18 gig.  Not counting essential folders elsewhere.   NOT COUNTING "account" folders... My Docs, Desktop, etc., I've already used up a majority of 32 gigs... also not counting virtual memory.

    Not saying that's what everyone will experience... just sayin... look at what your system drive is doing, now.  Will 32 gigs do it?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,673

    I don't see how you can simultaneously argue that 30 GB is not enough space for the stuff you want to be fast, but 4 GB is.  There can be a decent case for either one of those in appropriate circumstances, but not both at once.

    For upgrading an older system, a Seagate Momentus XT makes even less sense.  For an upgrade, you can use your old hard drive for the cheap mass storage, and only need to buy the SSD.  That gives you the option to get better performance for cheaper by going the SSD route.

    -----

    If you get both an SSD and a hard drive, you don't try to put everything on the SSD.  You put the OS and maybe a few main programs on the SSD, and everything else on the hard drive.  Maybe you get whatever game you're playing at the time on the SSD, and a few small programs like a browser or e-mail that you use a lot.  Everything else goes on the hard drive--including your documents.  Especially including your documents, as that's data where the performance doesn't matter.  Data like music, videos, or pictures definitely goes on the hard drive.  Games that you haven't played in a while but can't bring yourself to get rid of go on the hard drive.  Programs that you don't use much go on the hard drive.

    Right now, all I've got is an SSD, and no hard drive.  I've got 5 commercial games installed on it, as well as a variety of other programs.  Windows says there is a little under 51 GB in use right now.  I could probably bring that under 40 GB pretty easily if I cared to, just by emptying the recycling bin and uninstalling a couple games that I haven't played in a long time.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Member RarePosts: 4,597

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    I don't see how you can simultaneously argue that 30 GB is not enough space for the stuff you want to be fast, but 4 GB is.  There can be a decent case for either one of those in appropriate circumstances, but not both at once.

    I never said 4 Gig is enough, I said 504 GIG is enough.  30 gig of OS memory is BARELY enough.  You're smart.  I'm pretty sure you know my argument, and here, you seem to be pretending not to.  Since I'm not criticizing your opinion, I'm not sure why you're doing that.

    I made my point earlier.  Just my windows folder was 18 gig.  That's not something you can move off to different drives.  It may only require 10% of that most of the time, and the rest it may touch twice a year.  On an SSD, the whole thing has to be there the WHOLE TIME.  But on a hybrid drive, the rarely used bit can sit on the platter, which is every bit as capable as the next platter drive.

    For upgrading an older system, a Seagate Momentus XT makes even less sense.  For an upgrade, you can use your old hard drive for the cheap mass storage, and only need to buy the SSD.  That gives you the option to get better performance for cheaper by going the SSD route.

    Again, I'd have to remove almost every program I have to fit a 32 gig SSD hard drive, which would leave me waiting for platters on other drives, just like I would, before.

    Unless you start all over with a fresh copy of your OS, devoid of all the prior programs you had installed, or uninstall all the programs that would make the image too big for the new SSD drive.  And even in that case, you may eventually hit a "drive full" message at times you won't expect.

    -----

    If you get both an SSD and a hard drive, you don't try to put everything on the SSD.  You put the OS and maybe a few main programs on the SSD, and everything else on the hard drive.  Maybe you get whatever game you're playing at the time on the SSD, and a few small programs like a browser or e-mail that you use a lot.  Everything else goes on the hard drive--including your documents.  Especially including your documents, as that's data where the performance doesn't matter.  Data like music, videos, or pictures definitely goes on the hard drive.  Games that you haven't played in a while but can't bring yourself to get rid of go on the hard drive.  Programs that you don't use much go on the hard drive.

    Sure, but the main OS has a ton of stuff that it doesn't access that often.  And you can't just move that off to another drive.  And you'll forever be nagged every time you do a reasonable thing that involves writing a few gigs to the system drive.

    Right now, all I've got is an SSD, and no hard drive.  I've got 5 commercial games installed on it, as well as a variety of other programs.  Windows says there is a little under 51 GB in use right now.  I could probably bring that under 40 GB pretty easily if I cared to, just by emptying the recycling bin and uninstalling a couple games that I haven't played in a long time.

    Oh, how I envy you.  I'm a power user, through and through.  Last time I said "60 gig should do it" was 2002.  And since most drives go for terabytes these days, I don't think my level of use is terribly rare.

     

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,673

    Originally posted by Robsolf

    I never said 4 Gig is enough, I said 504 GIG is enough.  30 gig of OS memory is BARELY enough. 

    You don't get 504 GB of NAND flash on a Seagate Momentus XT.  You get 4 GB.  If you're helping your system boot times, then a good chunk of that is used up by the OS, too.

    For total storage space, that's why you have the hard drive in addition to the SSD.  Yes, 30 GB is small.  I picked that one to try to keep the price down.  Make it 60 GB instead of 30 GB and you've got room for quite a few programs on the SSD, too.  And then the price on the Momentus XT will still barely be closer to the WD Caviar Black alone than to the SSD+hard drive.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,146

    Really, it only has 4G of flash on it? That's not big enough to really do anything. It's almost embarrassing. I was thinking they had around 30G of flash...

    SSD flash isn't the same speed as cache RAM, so it's not like you get 4G of super fast cache. It's not even really faster than a platter drive at reading and writing, SSD's lean on their ridiculous access time to beat out a platter drive. You get 4G of stuff that you can randomly access really fast... but you have to rely on the hard drive controller to pick what it is. Yeah, not so interested any more. Maybe if they can tweak the controller well enough, they can actually get a decent speed boost, but I don't know that 4G is really enough to get you there.

    Then again, they aren't that expensive for their capacity, I suppose if they get any measurable speed benefit at all it's worth it for a laptop, especially given the price difference between this and what a full SSD of the same capacity would run. I'd probably pay the extra $30 if it ran 10-20% faster on average.

    As a side note, I love the "SSD's are too expensive because I have TERABYTES of stuff" argument that I keep seeing. It's like a reoccurring theme that seems to get posted every time someone mentions SSD somewhere.

  • lightwindlightwind Member Posts: 19

    seagate makes crap these days. avoid it.

    image

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