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Data Storage Hardware

Seagate's New SSHD Hybrids Have Dual-Mode Flash Caches 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the hybrid-like-a-jedi-mind-meld dept.
crookedvulture writes "Seagate's has revealed its next-generation hybrid drives, and for the first time, there's a 3.5" desktop model in the mix. The new family of so-called SSHDs includes standard and slim notebook variants with 500GB and 1TB capacities, plus 1TB and 2TB desktop versions. All of them combine mechanical platters with 8GB of NAND in a dual-mode SLC/MLC configuration. The SLC component is largely reserved to cache host writes, while the MLC portion is filled with frequently accessed data to speed read performance. Despite MLC NAND's lower write endurance, Seagate claims the SSHDs have more than enough headroom to last at least five years with typical client workloads. More impressively, the mobile SSHDs are supposed to be faster than the old Momentus XT hybrid even though they have slower 5,400-RPM spindle speeds. The mobile models are slated to start selling shortly at $79 for 500GB and $99 for 1TB, while the 1TB and 2TB desktop flavors are due in late April for $99 and $149, respectively. Unlike other NAND caching solutions, Seagate's tech requires no software or drivers, making it compatible with any OS."
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Seagate's New SSHD Hybrids Have Dual-Mode Flash Caches

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  • What is the point? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Why is this better than having 1/2 boot SSDs and an HDD RAID for storage?

    • by adibe (2480114) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @05:01AM (#43090257)
      1. Cheaper
      2. Less headaches while configuring.


      Bonus: All your data will be cached, not only what's on the SSD (OS + core programs). That includes the games you have installed on the HDD. (When you have a 120 GB SSD +1 TB HDD setup you typically do not install games on the SSD.)
      • by Aranykai (1053846)

        Its unlikely that many of your games will end up on the cache seeing as its only 8 GB.

        • by Knuckles (8964) <knuckles@dan t i a n.org> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:16AM (#43090635)

          Its unlikely that many of your games will end up on the cache seeing as its only 8 GB.

          You don't know how this works. The firmware recognizes individual HD sectors that are frequently read, and transparently copies them to the SSD.

          • by Aranykai (1053846)

            Given that the most read sectors probably contain parts of your OS and pagefile, and considering the size of a modern OS and the size of a modern game, you really expect there its likely with only 8GB that the sectors containing your game will end up on it? Its not impossible, but I know several games that have more than 8GB of content in and of themselves.

            The write cache is probably a good thing, but I wouldn't expect gamers to see much performance on the read side of things with one of these. Much better

            • Given that the most read sectors probably contain parts of your OS and pagefile, and considering the size of a modern OS and the size of a modern game, you really expect there its likely with only 8GB that the sectors containing your game will end up on it? Its not impossible, but I know several games that have more than 8GB of content in and of themselves.

              The write cache is probably a good thing, but I wouldn't expect gamers to see much performance on the read side of things with one of these. Much better off going with a discrete SSD or a more traditional hybrid setup.

              Given the price, and the price of the 3rd gen crucial/micron ssd's due out this month I'd say this isn't a gamer product. This is a value/low end product.

            • by Knuckles (8964)

              Obviously there are games having more than 8 GB content, and obviously they won't stream a level from the SSD. That's not what this is for. If you play it a lot, sectors that are read a lot may end up on the SSD. Which is kind of the point.

            • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @09:42AM (#43091725) Journal

              Given that the most read sectors probably contain parts of your OS and pagefile, and considering the size of a modern OS

              If you're reading/writing to the pagefile more than just a very little, you're running the performance equivalent of a 200MHz Pentium 686. Not kidding. People seem to think swap is a thing that happens a lot; it isn't. You know how you have 16GB of RAM and you're like 1.2GB into swap somehow? That's 1.2GB of program initialization crap and other cruft that NEVER GETS TOUCHED and was paged out.

              You know how you're only using 6GB of RAM, but somehow you have 1.2GB in swap? 10GB of that shit is pagecache so your OS doesn't have to re-read operating system files (among other shit) constantly. That stuff gets read at boot time.

              Computers don't work by churning the hard disk a lot.

              • why not have a 2-4GB ram disk with slower / older ram on some kind of card / sata device? Just use it for temp stuff and it does not need a battery back up.

                • Because it's faster and cheaper to just chuck more RAM in the machine. And you get about the same effect by using a USB stick for readyboost on windows or swap+logs on Linux.

                  • USB is slower with high CPU overhead and that eats up USB bandwidth that you may need for other USB stuff.

                    • by hawguy (1600213)

                      USB is slower with high CPU overhead and that eats up USB bandwidth that you may need for other USB stuff.

                      USB 3.0 is about the same speed as SATA - 5 Gbit/sec versus 6 Gbit/sec

                      I can't imagine that CPU overhead is much worse than SATA on a modern CPU that's probably just hanging around waiting for the I/O to finish anyway.

                      I can stream audio to my USB audio player and my mouse/keyboard work fine while running a backup to a USB 3.0 hard drive, so I don't think I'm constrained by bus bandwidth.

                      That said, I've never really noticed much speed improvement with Readycache using a 16GB USB flash drive or 32GB SD card.

                    • Usb 3 is no where near as fast as even esata 2. Ignore the hype. BW is rarely the limiting factor. I can regularly get ssd boosts of 30% on the "slower" esata.
                  • by BitZtream (692029)

                    I have never seen a situation where using a USB device was 'faster' than ANYTHING on a hard drive.

                    ReadyBoost has never made a USB 2.0 device faster than just pulling the original data off the hard drive.

                    Its a cute idea, but in practice it fails instantly.

                    Swap ... on USB? Are you fucking kidding? Do you have any idea how much that would suck absolute ass?

                    Your hard drive is orders of magnitude faster than your shitty USB device. My iron-oxide disk is at least 10 times faster than the USB3 key plugged into

                • by hawguy (1600213)

                  why not have a 2-4GB ram disk with slower / older ram on some kind of card / sata device? Just use it for temp stuff and it does not need a battery back up.

                  I remember having an ISA card that acted like a RAM disk back when computers had much more serious memory constraints, I think I had it on an 8086, which had a 1MB addressable space limit.

                  It was incredibly fast, I was using it to hold temporary files to help speed up a sort that wouldn't fit in memory - I think it had 128KB of RAM and it was incredibly fast - well, as fast as an 8 - 16MB/sec ISA bus could be.

                  But I can't imagine that there's much of a market for this type of accelerator these days since most

              • I have two 6 core computers(amd) and I run world community grid software on both of them. I run them hard because the software will run each core at 100%. One of them has a ssd. The one with the ssd has more than double the results as the other for the last 30 days so that could be the point. I am sure that for most people making the computer faster will just mean more idle time for the computer.
                • Yes but that's not constantly loading/unloading OS files or screaming around the Swap file. If it is, you need more RAM.
              • by Anonymous Coward

                Computers don't work by churning the hard disk a lot.

                Back in MY day, our computers spun their reel to reel tapes back and forth, all day long, AND WE LIKED IT.

                Heh!

                • In MY day, we stacked cards in the card reader, and took cards out of the card puncher and put them back into the reader, and we LIKED it.

                  • (Oblig.) And in Turing's day, they put paper tape in the machine and it went back and forth reading and punching, reading and punching, and they LIKED it. :) And constructed an entire theory of automata.

              • by wallsg (58203)

                If you're reading/writing to the pagefile more than just a very little, you're running the performance equivalent of a 200MHz Pentium 686. Not kidding. People seem to think swap is a thing that happens a lot; it isn't. You know how you have 16GB of RAM and you're like 1.2GB into swap somehow? That's 1.2GB of program initialization crap and other cruft that NEVER GETS TOUCHED and was paged out.

                Computers don't work by churning the hard disk a lot.

                Swap happens a lot on my work laptop, configured with 32-bit Windows XP so that it's 4 GB RAM can't be usefully expanded. Chrome with Gmail and Google Calendar running in it grabs a crap load of RAM and doesn't give it back. Add Outlook for work email and some Hummingbird Exceed Xterm windows and my HD light never stops blinking. God forbid that I need to fire up Visual Studio. It's a damned grind fest.

            • Given that the most read sectors probably contain parts of your OS and pagefile, and considering the size of a modern OS and the size of a modern game, you really expect there its likely with only 8GB that the sectors containing your game will end up on it? Its not impossible, but I know several games that have more than 8GB of content in and of themselves.

              But you're missing the point. To maximize the benefit of the cache the stuff that's accessed most should be in the cache, whether it is the pagefile or something else. Otherwise, when your game is running and Windows is hitting the frequently accessed part of the page file, your game will run slow. Likewise, what is the point in putting 8GB of your game into the cache if only 5% of it is accessed frequently? Not only is that poor cache management, it also means that any other processes running that could be

              • by jedidiah (1196)

                Or you could just have an OS boot drive that's SSD.

                This is pretty trivial to setup in Unix. It should not be such a chore in Windows or MacOS. A hybrid device makes more sense in a laptop since you have severe space constraints. For anything else, a special purpose device seems like a bad hack to get around fragile system software.

          • by mjwx (966435)

            Its unlikely that many of your games will end up on the cache seeing as its only 8 GB.

            You don't know how this works. The firmware recognizes individual HD sectors that are frequently read, and transparently copies them to the SSD.

            I think the point was that if you're a gamer, you'll already have an SSD. 120GB SSD's are under A$100 now and gamers tend to be willing to drop a bit of coin on their rig. I bought my first 256GB SSD when it reached $330, I bought another 512GB SSD when they dropped under $550.

            Hybrid drives aren't for gamers, rather for users that regularly use a small subset of applications and want better performance. Someone who has 140 GB of media, but only uses Word, Excel and VLC on their laptop.

      • by Annirak (181684)

        Bonus: All your data will be cached, not only what's on the SSD (OS + core programs). That includes the games you have installed on the HDD. (When you have a 120 GB SSD +1 TB HDD setup you typically do not install games on the SSD.)

        All this is true, but it ignores SSD-caching solutions, such as Intel SRT. In that case, you get the same deal as the hybrid hdd, but instead of an 8GB cache, you get a cache the size of an SSD. However, this does not mean that you get the reliability benefits for SLC+MLC. If you really want the SSD-caching solution, you should look for a SLC SSD, which is even more expensive.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          I am not particularly impressed with the idea of "all" of my data being cached. I expect any tiny cache to be quickly overwhelmed.

          I think the real problem is contention. An SSD can help alleviate this by eliminating the physical wait associated with "context switching". We have systems that are more and more distributed. The one thing that hasn't kept up with that is storage. We still generally have a single write head trying to keep up with all of the things that processes running on 2 or 8 cores.

          A process

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It allows you to treat all your work equally, regardless of how often you access it. You can still have a dedicated SSD for the system if you want to but if you start to work on a smaller project frequently this disk will keep it in the faster memory and move your none-active projects to slow storage without you having to do so manually.

      Every damn comment section is filled with people arguing that a product is completely useless for everyone just because it doesn't fit their immediate need. Is it really tha

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        I suspect the /. crowd hates the idea because they don't have total control over what data is stored on SSD. Face it, we're all a bit of a control freak when it comes to anything PC.

        That said, I have no problem with the SSHD, but I find 8GB to be largely useless. I much prefer the Apple approach of melding separate platter and SSD volumes together. You get a much larger SSD that makes it more practical and likely that often used programs will remain on SSD, while allowing huge storage capacities. It also le

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by dfghjk (711126)

          "Face it, we're all a bit of a control freak when it comes to anything PC."

          No, just many pretend to be. Those that do don't even know how storage works.

          "It also leaves the option open to allow tweaking as to the algorithm or ruleset used to determine where data is stored."

          Which will be done exactly never.

          The Apple solution is limited to internal storage only as well as to their best attempt to keep it closed to their own hardware. It has the advantage of expanding capacity where block-oriented solutions d

          • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @09:23AM (#43091591)

            Actually it's not. You can create a hybrid volume from any two drives easily via terminal. You can find the instructions to do so with a few seconds of Googling.

            The restriction on dual boot is not related to the hybrid, but rather due to the EFI and limitations in Windows.

            Windows can’t boot from drives larger than 2TB in the absence of an EFI or UEFI BIOS.

          • by Rockoon (1252108)

            No, just many pretend to be. Those that do don't even know how storage works.

            oh bullshit.

            The frequency of access of a sector on the disk is not a proxy measure of my wait time. Its a proxy measure of the OS wait time.

            I wake up..
            I walk over to the compute..
            I turn it on..
            I then go make coffee and maybe even take a shower.

            So far, I have waited for nothing. Nothing the computer has done so far has been at all representative of my wait time. Yet all of these hybrid cache solutions have been factoring in all those reads (and writes) in its cache strategy.

            The ultimate problem i

  • Ah crap! I just bought the Momentus XT 750 version a couple weeks ago. I'm pleased with it. Not as fast as SS drive, but roomier and cheaper. But crap, if I'd just waited ...

    Then again, I was expecting the next version to have 16 or 32 gig of flash. And I did get a 7200 rpm drive. Handy for some of the huge files I process.

    • by sethstorm (512897)

      It'll be faster than the hybrid drive when the flash fails, so you'll have something on these slower drives.

  • Unlike other NAND caching solutions, Seagate's tech requires no software or drivers, making it compatible with any OS."

    Yes, which means the drive is basically stupid-caching everything. There's a reason you want block-level access to devices. It's called performance. What's the point in having a SSD hung on the side that can't be independently accessed? Stupid-caching means it can't predict what I want next, and since it looks just like any other HDD, the OS' own cache optimization routines are going to be totally fucked because there's no way for the device to talk to the OS intelligently... or vice versa.

    Fail.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      it wouldn't be too bad if the ssd side was like 80 gigs.

      but it's not. it just couple of dollars worth of chips now and seagate acting as if it was something else.

      • by NadMutter (631470) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:01AM (#43090573)

        For a mere 8GB acting as cache in the drive, I'd rather spend $30 on RAM and let the OS use it for buffering/caching data (which Linux at least will do pretty intelligently for me even without changing /proc/sys/kernel/whatever).

        I love my SSD but that's way more than 8GB. As an extra bonus, the RAM can be allocated as necessary, is faster, and there are no write/erase issues with it.

        Now, come up with say 2TB on platters and 128GB flash and we're talking a different proposition.

        8GB might be sufficient for those who care about how quickly they boot up (assuming the bulk of the kernel etc ends up in the flash cache and stays there until shutdown) but I only reboot about once a month at most.

        • 8GB might be sufficient for those who care about how quickly they boot up (assuming the bulk of the kernel etc ends up in the flash cache and stays there until shutdown) but I only reboot about once a month at most.

          you can buy a USB 3.0 stick and put your OS on it if you care about it that much. 8GB is nothing. Without any drivers so the OS can be aware, it's basically an HDD with one duct taped to it anyway...

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:14AM (#43090925) Journal
          Flash makes little difference to read performance, but can make a huge different to write speeds. RAM, being non-volatile, means that if an application calls fsync, you block until all of the data has been flushed to the disk. With a flash write cache, you can buffer a load of writes and return almost immediately (writes into flash can easily go at 100+MB/s) and then write them out to disk when it is idle or less loaded.
          • Flash makes little difference to read performance

            I totally got my system configured wrong then, because I get ~1,000MB/s reads off my flash with 0.1ms access time (RAID-0), and ~110-160MB/s reads off my HDDs with 9ms access time. Please tell me how to reconfigure my system so that I can get the same performance from my HDDs as I do my SSDs. And before you ask, I also have a hardware RAID of 8 3TB drives, and it still isn't as fast as reading my SSDs.

            • Hi, welcome to Slashdot. For future reference, you may be aware of this little thing called 'context'. This means that words written in one post relate to things mentioned in the post that it is a response to. For example, my post was in reply to a post suggesting using more RAM, instead of flash. The context of my comment was that flash [as a cache] won't make a difference to read performance [relative to a disk behind a large RAM cache]. Interpreting it as saying 'an SSD is no faster for reading than
              • For future reference, being able to write so that you get your meaning across is apparently a skill that you lack. What you wrote could have been interpreted many ways, of which I read to mean one way, while you meant it another. Regardless of the context, and since this is a discussion board, you could have been trying to convey any of a multitudes of thought. I suggest you write your thoughts clearer in the future.

              • by bhiestand (157373)

                Hi, welcome to Slashdot. For future reference, you are coming across as snarky and a bit of a dick. Which wouldn't be too bad if you had expressed yourself well... but you did not. I had to re-read your post, its parent, and your clarifying reply before I figured out what you meant. While I may be slightly tired from digging through EMC docs today, I would like to think my brain is still largely functional.

        • by dfghjk (711126)

          Disk storage contains filesystem metadata. Sooner or later writes *have* to go to disk regardless of how much RAM you have. Flash can accelerate that. RAM and flash are not interchangeable and 8GB can be enough for some applications.

        • by chrylis (262281)

          Besides the write performance Raven noted, the flash block cache has two additional advantages over more RAM: depending on your workload, it's entirely possible for a working set to take up most of the 16GB limit for many systems these days, and all the RAM in the world doesn't help you on system startup. I have the second-gen XT, and there's a noticeable difference in boot/launch times the second and third time a version is loaded over the first.

        • by gman003 (1693318)

          But pay attention to the price.

          Flash is roughly $1/GB. 8GB of flash costs about $8, which is in line with the ~$10 price increase of an SSHD over a similar pure hard drive. At 128GB, though, you're spending as much or more on just the flash than the SSHDs here cost.

          Not to mention the physical size. 128GB SSDs take up quite a bit of the space available in a 2.5" disk. You aren't likely to see a 2TB hard drive and a 128GB SSD in a single enclosure anytime soon, simply because that won't fit into a single driv

        • 8GB isn't enough cache for those of us who want the OS and multiple large applications on the SSD. But 32GB or 64GB of cache might be. I frequently use Xcode, Eclipse, Photoshop, Logic, and another dozen applications on a daily or weekly basis, and if I don't want to wait 30 seconds for Photoshop to start, then I'm still looking at getting a main 128GB SSD and a regular HD and setting up a Fusion drive, or just going all SSD. I somehow doubt 8GB of cache will live up to any expectations I have about loading
    • by dfghjk (711126)

      Block level SSD can cache filesystem metadata that the "OS' own cache optimization routines" cannot.

      It helps to actually understand what you are criticizing in such a juvenile manner. Catch up.

      All caching is stupid caching until its behavior appears smart. Block caches are as capable of that as any.

      Memory caches are useless because they are hung on the side, can't be independently accessed, and basically stupid-cache everything. Right, systems-architect?

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      Indeed. This is precisely why high-end storage arrays have such atrocious performance.

  • Sure of course (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Fri13 (963421) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @05:12AM (#43090315)

    Seagate claims the SSHDs have more than enough headroom to last at least five years with typical client workloads.

    The typical client workload is that user powers on own computer, windows starts and then user opens WWW browser and browse web and then does some files with MS Office and turns off the computer.

    How about those typical client workloads where almost every day is needed to manage 16-30 gigabytes of new data, what gets edited and copied multiple times?

    • by Smirker (695167)
      Then you would be smart enough not to buy this drive.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hopefully the cache fails transparently so that the disk continues to work as a normal 5400 rpm disk after the flash writes are "up."

      • Yeah it's no problem. Once you buy and "Extended Lifetime Pass" online from Seagate (pricing TBA) the drive will be unlocked for "HD only mode".

      • by fnj (64210)

        Hopefully the cache fails transparently so that the disk continues to work as a normal 5400 rpm disk after the flash writes are "up."

        If you believe that, say hello to the tooth fairy and the easter bunny when you see them. Until somebody sacrifices one of these turkeys to science for rigorous testing, it would be wise to bank on the likelihood that this ill-conceived piece of garbage will just serve up disk errors when the flash goes tits up. Which it will do really fast, with all the throughput appropriate

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Which it will do really fast, with all the throughput appropriate to a 1 TB disk drive being funneled through a microscopic 8 GB of flash.

          Most of the data you write to the disk will never see the flash. The disk will know what blocks are most-used and most-recently-used. Most of the data written to the flash will be written to the more durable flash, not the less durable flash. The objection about the disk failing when the flash fails might be true. The objection about all the data being written to the flash is not.

          • by fnj (64210)

            Maybe I will try one out after all. But first, what leads you to conclude that most writes will never see the flash?

    • Re:Sure of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PlusFiveTroll (754249) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @10:53AM (#43092403) Homepage

      >How about those typical client workloads where almost every day is needed to manage 16-30 gigabytes of new data,

      That's not a typical client workload. Go buy a large SSD or some type of SSD accelerator. Quit bitching this product doesn't fill your needs when it's better then the previous product at the same price point. If you want fast speeds with large data sets, open your wallet not your mouth.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        The problem with that attitude is that the common rube likely doesn't need a particularly large drive either. If they aren't making the disk do interesting work, then they probably don't need a large one. They could probably just use a smaller SSD and avoid this kind of product entirely.

        • A common rube isn't going to build a computer or even know what one of these things is to buy one. Who is it for?
          • Manufactures. Mid-range laptops/desktops with a Hybrid will perform much better then similar laptop with a regular disk. It will also be far cheaper then a high end laptop with an SSD.

            HP has shipped mid-range laptops with XTs in them since some time last year. My users have no complaints about their disk performance compared to the machines with pure SSDs.

        • Lets say for a moment that I'm that rube. I have a Windows box running Quickbooks, Office, and maybe another productivity app. Lets say I'm also a iTunes user and have downloaded bought a number of HD movies.

          The HD movies need a large amount of space, but they arent making the disk do interesting work. Why pay $1GB to keep them on the disk.

          Office/apps are doing interesting work but don't have a huge working set size, keeping them in the small SSD cache greatly increases their performance.

          Now you get the bes

      • Why can;t someone come up with a disk controller, along the lines of what we had in the mainframe days. The controler could be a card with a cache, communicating via dma or direct copy, and attached to the controler would be the sata drives. Do an fsync, and the controler would do the write to disk from the cache, until there was free space to allow more mainsystem I/O to occur. Our old AIX controller had lead-acid backup batteries. Every few years IBM came along and replace the battery pack. With 50

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      How about those typical client workloads where almost every day is needed to manage 16-30 gigabytes of new data, what gets edited and copied multiple times?

      A normal HDD (or a RAID) is already the fastest medium to which you might write your changes, so no SSD is going to help you there. And for large streaming reads, HDDs do very well. The hybrid part is going to help you with your boot times and application launch times. Or you could just buy a SSD and put your system on that, and then use HDD or RAID as necessary for your data set, like always.

  • Considering Newegg has 3 TB for $140 on sales, and these look like they cost about 2x too much, AND given my personal experiences with Seagate 500 gb drives of all kinds. No thanks. I think I'll wait for the 1 TB flash drives Kingston supposedly demoed at CES already instead.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      You can get 3TB goflexes at costco for that price all the time.

      Then again, I'm buying externals, for convenience. I'm not building RAIDs.

  • Given the relative ease of failure for flash memory compared to mechanical, the Momentus XT 7200's will end up winning on the long term.

    • I think in a laptop, mechanical failure is far more likely than flash failing. Sure the drives are designed to handle being started/stopped all the time, but life for a laptop hard drive is still not a very gentle one. I can't imagine a use case for these hybrid drives outside of laptops.

      It's also likely that the SLC cache at least would outlast the mechanical drive components under even ideal conditions anyway...

  • Will these drives finally break the 5.9 barrier? From what I've heard, the old XT's didn't.

  • Giant thumbs up (Score:5, Informative)

    by Admiral Llama (2826) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @08:10AM (#43091169)

    I have the first gen XT and I can say is that these things are everything they're cracked up to be. If you're not buying an SSD then you should be getting one of these. Generally if you strip away the SSD portion you're still left with one of the best mechanical drives on the market, but the SSD portion really and truly does make a solid and positive difference in everyday computing life.

    • Agreed, I put one in a netbook a couple years back and it make a wonderful difference. Just this year has an SSD of the same size become cheaper than that netbook and it's still 4x as expensive as the hybrid drive.

      That said, my current laptop [amazon.com] has a generic HD and I have an mSATA SSD [amazon.com] in it, with a partition for cache I've got assigned to Flashcache (and might be getting converted to ZFS when I figure out dkms) and that works really well too.

      The big advantage I see on the Seagate solution is their use of SLC

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm with you. I was so impressed by this drive that I've converted three machines over. It's saved my laptop as far as I'm concerned. I even intend to purchase one for my 7-year-old cousin to replace that 320GB 5400RPM piece of crap that came in her otherwise great laptop if her father doesn't beat me to it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I really wish that drives could be optionally set (via a jumper?) to allow the OS to see these built-in SSDs, and not have them hidden behind the firmware.

    There are more and more systems out there can configured to intelligently use flash: Linux has Bcache; FreeBSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X have ZFS. I'd love to be able to set up a home server to use these drivers for read (L2ARC) and write (ZIL) acceleration, and I'm sure a lot of OEMs would love to have distributed/striped flash in their storage offerings.

    Th

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seagate Momentus XT 750GB in 2.5 inch form factor - perfect for an older laptop with a dedicated graphics card intended for both early generation games, temporary torrent storage and speed.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      I've been happy with mine, both generations first the 500gb and now the 750gb. They're a good balance. I am concerned that the new SSHDs are a step backwards given the smaller amount of cache and slower spindle speeds. I'm going to wait for the tech reviews to come in. Presumably they'll also have offerings with larger cache available soon. I may still snag a couple of 750s while they're still available though. I have been thinking about SSDs as well especially for the laptops but I can't justify the

  • Nobody ever said these weren't fast or cheap. What they did say was massive data corruption, nonstop blue screening, and completely inconsistent performance. Also, if the drives lose power, you're screwed even if it was idle because it wasn't idle. It was moving data between the cache and main storage based on usage counts. Those constant writes, by the way, kill the flash memory very quickly. Plus, you can have a mechanical failure. Forget any kind of data recovery too. These are a terrible idea. RA
  • There is only your cheapness. Drives are the slowest part of your gear. Scrimping a few dollars to make them sort of faster is more expensive than spending all the money you need to make them as fast and as reliable as possible.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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