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Seagate to breathe new life into hybrid storage solutions

by Parm Mann on 21 May 2010, 13:12

Tags: Seagate (NASDAQ:STX)

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High-capacity hard disks are becoming cheaper by the day, but high-performance SSDs remain out of reach for most consumers.

We've seen various attempts at marrying the two formats, but it looks as though Seagate may have nailed it.

The storage specialist - who launched its first hard disk two decades ago - is inviting the world to tune in to a webcast next Wednesday to witness the launch of a so-called "game-changing device".

Said device is thought to be the Momentus XT Hybrid, a 2.5in storage device that features both traditional hard-disk platters and 4GB of SLC NAND Flash memory.

Using Seagate's own Adaptive Memory, we're told the drive "learns about its user to dynamically decrease disk time, boot time, and application load time". The drive is most likely to achieve those results by using proprietary algorithms to monitor disk activity, ensuring that regularly-accessed files are stored on the quicker Flash portion of the drive.

How well it fares during real-world usage is anyone's guess at this point, but Seagate reckons "the technology inside is insane". Adding that "it could boost system performance by up to 150 per cent".

The hybrid Momentus XT is rumoured to be launching in 250GB, 320GB and 500GB flavours, with the latter already appearing at UK retailers priced at around £107. Should the pricing prove to be accurate, the Momentus XT would be positioned at around £40 more than a 2.5in 500GB hard disk, or some £220 less than a 160GB Intel SSD.

Seagate will be joined at its launch event by ASUS technical marketing manager Gary Key, who is expected to unveil a gaming notebook equipped with Seagate's new drive.

HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Saracen? Maybe this is what you've been waiting for :P.
Saracen? Maybe this is what you've been waiting for :P.

I somehow don't think it's going to be half the price of current SSDs. ;)
I somehow don't think it's going to be half the price of current SSDs. ;)

Only a £40 premium over a HDD without the SSD Hybrid thing though, £40 isn't much for a “150% increase.”
Can't help feeling that 4Gb is not quite enough, given how much disk space a W7-64 install needs. 8Gb or 16Gb, and maybe we're getting somewhere (basically, I'd imagine you want all the OS boot files, and your favourite app exe's in flash). But it *does* sound an interesting idea for laptops where 2 drives isn't an option.
But once windows has loaded, the drive wouldnt need 90% of the files stored into the 4Gb “buffer” suppose it depends how fast it “learns” and “forgets” ;

1. OK, ive loaded into windows now, i dont need those things anymore *trash*
2. Right, the user wants to play crysis, lets load the crysis profile, and go and cache all that stuff.
3. Trash the crysis stuff, looks like he wants to do some work now, load the MSOffice profile.


Now, with Windows7 better prefetch memory loading, between the 4Gb buffer and 4+Gb of ram, that should make a really fast system, with the benefit of a 500Gb drive behind it, all in a single drive.

Sounds nice to me :)