Seagate SSHD 2TB Solid State Hybrid Drive Review

Introduction


When we think storage, we usually think in one of two directions. Either we think of the traditional mechanical hard disk drives with large capacities for a low-cost or solid state drives with the higher speeds but smaller capacity. There is a third group of drives that shouldn’t be forgotten in all of this and it is placed right in between the HDD and SSDs, taking a little of both worlds in order to create a hybrid drive. Today I’m taking the look at just such a drive, the Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) with 2 TB capacity.

Solid State Hybrid Drives deliver speed and capacity for gaming and high-performance desktop applications in an intelligent way, by combining a small amount of NAND flash to keep the hot files with a large portion of mechanical storage for everything else. That is also where the simple term Hybrid Drive comes from. The Seagate SSHD is able to boot Windows 8 in less than 10 seconds and perform up to five times better than a 7200 RPM desktop hard drive, measure in PCMark Vantage. It can also improve the overall system responsiveness by 30% over a traditional hard disk drive. It is a drive that will give you the best of both worlds.

The smart algorithm used is Seagate’s Adaptive Memory technology that effectively identifies the most frequently used data and stores it in the NAND flash. The self-learning software algorithms make laptop hardware, firmware, and high-speed NAND flash work together to create a perfect balance. The software technology monitors data usage dynamically and determines what data should be copied to the flash. The result, you get boot times that are greatly increased and very close to SSD levels. The same goes for your frequent used application loading times and overall system responsiveness.

The Seagate SSHD 2TB has 8GB MLC NAND for the intelligent caching mechanism and 64MB DRAM Cache for the normal HDD part. The drive has a spindle speed of 7200RPM and an average seek time of less than 9.5ms. The drive is composed of 4 heads and 2 disks with a load/unload cycle rating of 300,000. With a power consumption of 6.7W during typical operation and 0.75W in sleep and standby modes, it is also an efficient drive.

The great thing with an SSHD drive is that you don’t need any extra configurations, software, or setups. You just plug it in like any other drive, connect data and power cables and it is ready to increase your system’s performance over a standard hard disk drive. Just how much of an improvement will be seen in the benchmarks on the following pages

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage and might be subject to change in possible future revisions of the drives.

Packaging and Accessories

The Seagate SSHD comes as a kit version and as a bare drive like I got for this review. Below is a shot of how the retail package looks and there isn’t much else in the box beside the drive itself. You do get an installation manual in the kit version, but it is more of a secure sales box for the drives that are sold in the retail market.

Toshiba 2.5-inch 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive Review

Introduction


Toshiba is one of the world’s leading suppliers when it comes to OEM Hard drives, so it’s no surprise that they also want to be part of the Hybrid Drive wave led by WD, with their own OEM drives and range of consumer SSHD drives. Today we’re taking a closer look at the Toshiba 1TB 2.5″ Notebook Internal Solid State Hybrid Drive, the MQ01ABD100H.

Hybrid drives enter a sweet spot between traditional hard drives with spinning platters and solid state drives with their flash memory. They are giving us the capacity we’re used to from the hard disk but with a boost to the most-used-files on your system to near SSD speeds. Toshiba uses self-learning caching algorithms to determine your usage pattern and optimize file locations.

There are several reasons one would pick a hybrid drive, where none of them have to be exclusive. If your laptop or notebook only has room for one drive while you need a lot of storage space, a SSD that size might be out of your price range. The hybrid drive will give us faster boot times as well as faster access to often used files. Compared to traditional hard drives this is a big bonus, but doesn’t cost much more. A lot of people might also feel it will be easier to just deal with one disk over setting up both a SSD for your system and a HDD for the rest.

It’s also a great choice to make if you aren’t sure that you actually need the speed a SSD will give you. While SSD’s have become both cheaper and bigger over the years, they’re still to expensive for many people. Comparing the pure capacity of hard drives they could get for the same money can leave you with a tough decision. The Hybrid drive fills this gap, allowing everyone to find just the sweet-spot between the price and performance they need.

Since this is an OEM drive, it comes with no form of accessories. The drive is mainly sold to system builders, and they don’t need these extras. The drive isn’t an exclusive and can be had at many retailers as well. Toshiba is offering a 3-year warranty on this 9.5 mm thin drive that weighs 117 grams.

This hybrid drive from Toshiba has been on the market for a while now, and as such I did a little digging into complaints and user feedback. There weren’t many bad user reviews to be found, and less than ordinary on a product of this age. This should already be a good indication on the reliability of this drive.

Western Digital’s Worlds First Ultra-Slim Drive

 

Today Western Digital announced that they will start shipping the worlds first thinnest hard drive. The new Ultra Slim hard drives will be 47% thinner (5mm) than the standard mobile hard drives (9.5mm), also weighing 37% less, only weighing 74 grams!

The new Ultra Slim hard drives will fall into WD’s BLUE category, they are also releasing a BLACK Solid-State Hybrid Drive. Both of their new slim drives will be only 5mm! Enabling manufacturers of laptops and other mobile devices that use mobile drives to produce lighter and thinner devices for their customers! Both of the new drives will only have 500 GB of storage capacity, though the SSHD will be able to give you that nice performance boost with it’s hybrid technology.

These awesome new drives are thinner and quieter, what more could we ask for? WD kicked it up even further bringing us Edge Card Technology, and an Edge Card Connector allowing the drive to be powered and connect via the SATA interface! To reduce vibration and to stabilize the drive they are giving us StableTrac, making the new drives more accurate to provide consistent higher performance! Last but not least they also put in Dual Stage Actuators, two heads are always better than one, giving those data writes more accuracy!

As for the pricing, these new drives will be shipping to select industrial distributors and OEM customers today, they bring us the 500 GB WD BLUE Model: WD5000MPCK with an MSRP o f $89.00 USD, and it will come with a two-year limited warranty. The WD BLACK SSHD are only shipping to OEM’s and integrators with WD proprietary hybrid technology and industry standard SATA I/O technology.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the new Ultra Slim, click here!

 

Source