has a new product in their Momentus series of 2.5 inch drives that has the potential to slow the surge of solid state drives as replacements for the traditional hard drive. While SSDs can offer remarkable performance, they are limited by high prices and low capacities. Seagate's new Momentus XT series of hybrid drives are intended to offer a balance of performance, capacity, and price by taking advantage of solid state drive technology in conjunction with their proven hard drive technology.
While the promotional image above might be more conceptual than reality, the blending of an SSD and a traditional hard drive is what makes the Momentus XT an exciting new product. Seagate will be offering 2.5 inch drives that already have fairly impressive specifications (7200RPM, 32MB cache memory, SATA 3Gbps, up to 500GB capacities) and adding in a 4GB SLC SSD chip for an extra performance boost. The way it works is that the 4GB SSD is effectively a mirror of a portion of the hard drive, whose contents are determined by an adaptive learning function that copies your most frequently accessed data to the SSD for lightning fast availability.
Seagate has provided a 500GB unit for us to evaluate, but before we check out the drive on hand, let's look at some of the specifications and other official data made available by Seagate.
» Capacity (GB): 500, 320, 250
» Interface: SATA 3GB/s with NCQ
» Cache (MB): 32
» Spindle Speed (RPM): 7200
» Solid State Memory, SLC NAND (GB): 4
» Operating Shock: 2ms (Gs:) 350
» Nonoperating Shock: 1ms (Gs): 1000
» Idle Acoustics (bels): 2.3
» Seek Acoustics (bels): 2.5
» Solid state hybrid drive delivers SSD-like performance with hard drive capacity options.
» Adaptive Memory technology customizes performance by aligning to user needs for overall improved system response.
» 80 percent faster performance than traditional 7200-RPM drives in PCMark Vantage benchmark scores
» Low heat and vibration—quiet operation without giving up storage capacity and affordability
» OS- and application-independent—designed for any SATA standard laptop PC
» Seagate 5-Year Limited Warranty
» High-end laptops and workstations
» High-performance gamer laptops
» Fast external enclosures: USB 3.0, eSATA
» Small form factor PCs
Adaptive Memory Technology:
Designed with high-performance core components on an innovative platform, the Momentus XT drive consists of a 7200-RPM hard drive with 32MB of cache, 4GB of solid state SLC NAND flash storage, and Adaptive Memory self-learning technology. Adaptive Memory technology intelligently monitors frequently used applications and data files, then places them into the solid state portion of the drive so they can be quickly recalled. Adaptive Memory technology enables the drive to tailor its performance to the user. Whether you are gaming, editing digital media or crunching numbers, the performance is optimized and ready for your next move.
From what we have read so far, it should be clear that this new product is intended for enthusiasts, gamers, and other power users who want to get the most out of their hard drive. For notebook computer owners with just one drive bay, optimizing capacity and performance can be a difficult task that the Momentus XT is intended to simplify.