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Seagate Momentus XT 500GB ST95005620AS Review

ajmatson    -   May 23, 2010
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Conclusion:

The Seagate Momentus XT has been dubbed around the net as a SSD killer. Would I call it that? No, but what I would call it an HDD killer. The Momentus XT beats out traditional hard drives in just about every test. This drive is the perfect stepping stone for those who want the increased speed that a SSD provides, but require more space than current SSD's can deliver (and be cost effective). The best part of the Momentus XT is that with the intelligence of the hardware, the more you work with it, the more it will learns your habits, and the faster it gets. There is no other drive currently on the market that does this and does it well.

With the scores aside, benchmark numbers aren’t always truly representative of what you see in everyday performance. One measure of this drive’s speed is the boot up process. My PC starts up 13 seconds faster than with the traditional hard drive. In addition to the faster boot, it's more efficient at running frequently used programs such as Photoshop, games and day to day applications, making them nice and snappy.

I was fortunate enough to actually start testing the Hybrid back in the alpha stages of its design and I quickly came to realize the potential it had. In fact, I received the Momentus XT alpha drive before ever touching an SSD for review and I must admit, I prefer the capacity and snappiness of the Momentus XT drive to any of the SSD's that I own. Now that I have two of them in a RAID setup, I would not spend the extra money on another SSD. As long as I can have the speed and capacity of the Momentus XT, I'll pick one over an SSD every time.

Because of the nature of this type of technology, I took the opportunity to speak with some of the Seagate engineers during the testing and one question that was eating at my mind is: "What happens if the SSD portion of the drive fails?" Everyone with important documents and photos does not want to be left fighting for our data. The engineers assured me that in the unlikely event the SSD fails, then the algorithm accounts for the loss and it only stores the data on the physical drive. They also commented that the information stored on the SSD portion is mirrored on the physical drive as well, so no data will be lost with a failure of the SSD. In essence the device would act just like any other mechanical drive from that point forward.

Right now, a 128GB SSD will run you an about $300, but the Seagate Momentus XT will have a MSRP of ~ $156 for the 500GB drive we tested here. So for the price of one 128GB SSD, you can purchase two Momentus XT drives, run them in a RAID 0 configuration, almost match the speed, and get eight times the storage. I don't know about you, but a terabyte of storage with speeds almost as fast an SSD, sure sounds great to me. When it comes to buying a hard drive, I look for price and for performance. On that note, I’m very impressed with Momentus XT. It’s been great testing this new device and I definitely recommend it.

 

Pros:

  • Hybrid design with SLC SSD and high capacity HDD
  • Seagate Adaptive Memory Technology
  • Up to 500GB capacities
  • inexpensive compared to SSD's
  • Faster than traditional mechanical drives
  • RAID 0 performance is on par with SSD's

 

Cons:

  • None
OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specfications & Features
  3. Testing: Setup
  4. Testing: HD Tune 3.50
  5. Testing: HD Tach, SiSoft Sandra
  6. Testing: Crystal Disk Mark
  7. Testing: ATTO
  8. Testing: AS SSD
  9. Testing: IOMeter
  10. Testing: PCMark Vantage
  11. Testing: Windows Startup & Shutdown
  12. Conclusion
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