Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Solid State Hybrid Drive Review

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Hard Drive

The Seagate Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive is a very interesting product. If you run your standard hard drive tests on it, it will more than likely not perform as you would expect it to since they are mostly low level benchmarks. In order to test and see the performance improvements in a drive like the Seagate Momentus XT you can only use benchmark applications like PCMark Vantage and SYSmark 07. We showed you that in the PCMark Vantage test suite that the Momentus XT Hybrid drive was able to perform more than twice as fast as the Momentus 7200.4 hard drive. This is impressive as both drives feature the same mechanical hard drive with the exception being the NAND Flash and newer firmware on the Momentus XT.

We have only had the Seagate Momentus XT since Thursday evening, but in the few days that we have spent with the hybrid drive we do have to say that we like it. Yes, you read that right.  For some reason companies love to send us products on a Thursday or Friday afternoon and then ask for a 7am publish time on the following Monday. We canceled some plans this weekend to get the drive tested and last night while watching the season finale of Lost we installed Windows 7 on the drive and looked for real world performance differences.  What we found is that while moving files around on the desktop, doing disk to disk transfers or general transfers that the Momentus XT performed just like you’d expect a 7200RPM notebook hard drive to perform. The difference is after restarting Windows 7 a few times and opening applications like Adobe Photoshop CS5, Microsoft Word or Sony Vegas 9 that they opened faster on the hybrid drive. This is because the hybrid drive’s software was learning what we use most and was storing parts of those applications directly into the NAND Flash for improved loading times. This is what Seagate’s adaptive memory technology is supposed to do and it does it well.

If you are disappointed in the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Hybrid drive’s performance you shouldn’t be as it is really a hard drive at heart. The real story here is that Seagate did find an inexpensive way to boost the performance level of their hard drives. When it comes to pricing the Seagate Momentus XT series retails for $156 (500GB), $132 (320GB), and $113 (250GB). In comparison the Seagate Momentus 7200.4 series retails for $71.81 (500GB), $52.00 (320GB), and $49.99 (250GB).

So, you are basically paying more than double the price of a traditional Momentus 7200.4 hard drive that this drive is based off of.  Even still the Momentus XT prices are great and come out to be $0.30 to $0.45 per gigabyte. Not as good as $0.14 to $0.20 per gigabyte as you get on the Momentus 7200.4 series, but is a far cry from the $3-4 per gigabyte price on most SSDs today.  The Seagate Momentus XT also features a 5-year warranty.  This is two
years longer than the warranty on most SSDs and even the Seagate
Momentus 7200.4, so that is something to factor in when purchasing your
next drive!

UPDATE 5/24/2010 @ 3PM CST: Newegg has listed the Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS drive that we reviews here for $129.99 plus shipping. This is well below the $156 MSRP and brings the price per gigabyte down to just  $0.25!  That price is nearly 20% below the MSRP and makes this drive even a better value!

The Seagate Momentus XT will be popular for its low cost and the fact that it has the adaptive memory technology that utilizes the 4GB of SLC NAND Flash so well. In fact, we have learned that ASUS will be using this hybrid drive in many of their netbook/notebook products and we really can’t blame them. The drive gives you the capacity that consumers want thanks to the platters and the reduced application load times thanks to the 4GB of SLC NAND Flash. If only these came out a couple years ago!

Do you want to win an ASUS ROG G73JH gaming laptop with one of these drives in it? On Wednesday, May 26, Seagate and OEM customer ASUS will co-sponsor a live webcast unveiling not only the new Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive, but also featuring the new ASUS ROG G73JH system with two Momentus XT drives. Three lucky attendees of this webcast will win a new G73 system just for attending. Special guest speakers will provide an in-depth look at how this drive will transform high-performance computing. Click here to register for this live webcast.

Legit Reviews Value Award

Legit Bottom Line: The Seagate Momentus XT is the first Hybrid drive that nicely blends an SSD and HDD together to create a drive that performs well and won’t empty your pocket book!

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