Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Data Storage

New Seagate Hybrid Drives Hampered By Slow Mechanical Guts 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-unlike-an-aging-robocop dept.
crookedvulture writes "Seagate announced its third-generation hybrid drives last month, revealing a full family of notebook and desktop drives that combine mechanical platters with solid-state storage. These so-called SSHDs are Seagate's first to be capable of caching write requests in addition to reads, and the mobile variants are already selling online. Unfortunately, a closer look at the Laptop Thin SSHD reveals some problems with Seagate's new design. While the integrated flash cache reduces OS and application load times by 30-45%, overall performance appears to be held back by its 5,400-RPM mechanical component. Seagate's last-gen Momentus XT hybrid spins its platters at 7,200-RPM, and it's faster than the new SSHD in a wide range of tests. The upcoming desktop SSHDs will also have 7,200-RPM spindle speeds, so they may prove more appealing than the mobile models."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Seagate Hybrid Drives Hampered By Slow Mechanical Guts

Comments Filter:
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @04:50PM (#43351729) Homepage Journal

    2000 called, they want their crappy hardware back.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There will always be crappy hardware as long as people keep paying for it.

    • Re:Hey, Seagate: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:38PM (#43352245)

      2000 called, they want their crappy hardware back.

      Actually, this kind of thing has preceded every major storage advance in computers. As the replacement technology matures and becomes mainstream, the producers of the legacy technology cut corners on quality in order to maximize profit ahead of decommissioning of their production facilities for that technology. Zip disks, floppies, consumer tape drives, etc. All of these had major quality control issues near the end of their production runs. You would be hard-pressed to find a technology in this field that as it sunsets doesn't have its quality turn to absolute crap.

      What Seagate is doing here is an attempt at prolonging that period to maximize profits on its existing (mechanical drive) production lines by gluing a turbo-charger onto the I/O equivalent of a four banger. They figure the consumers are idiots and will fall for four color marketing glossies saying these are the "fastest mechanical drives ever!" and boldly print the percentages all over the packaging... and then praying they don't look an aisle over and realize that a modest SSD would blow it out of the water for not much more cash. You can bet these drives are not built to the same specs or tolerances of previous models -- they will fail more often, and because of their hybrid nature, will be more difficult to recover data from when they do, if you can recover anything at all.

      It's a douche move, but... it's sound business practice. Sell your customers down a river to keep profits up until you can turn up production on the Next Big Thing, and then try to buy them back later with discounts and deals.

      • Their hybrid nature does not affect data recovery. All the onboard SSD does is cache data that exists on the HDD.
        • Re:Hey, Seagate: (Score:5, Interesting)

          by nabsltd (1313397) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @07:31PM (#43353339)

          Their hybrid nature does not affect data recovery. All the onboard SSD does is cache data that exists on the HDD.

          There is no way to know what will happen to the overall usability of the drive if the flash fails (either through normal write exhaustion or catastrophic failure).

          Hopefully, Seagate did the right thing in this case and the drive would turn into the equivalent of a pure mechanical drive. But, failure of the flash or its controller might cause the drive to become completely unusable. Unless they specifically deal with this as a "special" failure mode, it wouldn't be that different from some essential part of the controller on a purely mechanical drive failing (like the DRAM cache), and that usually turns the drive into a doorstop.

          • This is a mostly moot argument. If you are relying on one drive for your data, you are doing it VERY wrong. In a proper setup, the user would restore from backup and move on. If the drive had high value data, and no backups, you send the platters off to specialist recovery. The only people your scenario would affect are ones who deserve it.
          • by smash (1351)
            1. It is SLC NAND and far more reliable than consumer SSD style MLC. 2. Pretty sure anandtech did a piece on them mentioning that NAND failure results in regular spinning drive behaviour.
      • Re:Hey, Seagate: (Score:5, Interesting)

        by plover (150551) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @06:22PM (#43352669) Homepage Journal

        Certainly, technology producers change their designs as they go, making them cheaper and cheaper until they just barely stay within the lower end of their specs. It's called "optimization", and it's the responsible thing for a manufacturer to do for its shareholders. Same volume, same price, higher return on investment. If you don't personally like it, you can pay more for a device with better lower-end specs from someone else.

        In the case of hard drives, Seagate knows that 5,400 RPM machines are far more reliable than 7,200 RPM machines, even after optimization of both. I suspect that in order to make 7,200 RPM drives more durable, the manufacturing costs exceeded that of SSDs. And if 7,200 RPM drives can't be made more reliable for an affordable price, I expect that is why Seagate is dropping them completely.

        Hybrids are a way to sell a slightly faster version of the mechanical drive for people on a budget who still need reliability. No, it's not going to out-perform a 7,200 RPM drive, but over time it will do better than a 5,400 RPM drive without a cache. If you want performance, spend the extra money for a real SSD. If you want cheap speed without reliability, you'll have to buy a faster drive from someone else.

        • It's called "optimization", and it's the responsible thing for a manufacturer to do for its shareholders. Same volume, same price, higher return on investment. If you don't personally like it, you can pay more for a device with better lower-end specs from someone else.

          Are you some kind of capitalist apologist or something? I never offered an opinion on whether I like it or not, I was simply pointing out that this is what businesses do.

          Same volume, same price, higher return on investment. If you don't personally like it, you can pay more for a device with better lower-end specs from someone else.

          Perhaps you didn't read carefully enough my previous comment: All the manufacturers of mechanical drives are going to be doing the same thing. There isn't anyone else to buy these magical unicorns you speak of from.

          And if 7,200 RPM drives can't be made more reliable for an affordable price, I expect that is why Seagate is dropping them completely.

          As has been covered before, reliability is not what is driving these changes [slashdot.org].

          Hybrids are a way to sell a slightly faster version of the mechanical drive for people on a budget who still need reliability.

          Lolwut? You're taking the exact same product, glui

          • Re:Hey, Seagate: (Score:4, Interesting)

            by plover (150551) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @09:24PM (#43354087) Homepage Journal

            And why are the magical unicorns going extinct? No demand. People on a budget buy a slow drive, people who can afford slightly more buy an SSD hybrid, people who have the means and require the performance buy an expensive SSD. If Seagate saw there was a market for expensive yet still slow 7,200 RPM drives, they'd keep making them. (Actually they still do have a few, it's their corporate customers who are too large and slow to make a more rational decision.)

            Sorry I wasn't clear about the reliability thing. Seagate's 5,200 RPM drives have twice the reliability when compared to their 7,200 RPM drives (the Annual Failure Rate is predicted at 0.48%[1] vs 1.065%[2]), and the difference made by adding the complexity of a cache gives them a predicted AFR of only 0.50%. And reliability is absolutely driving this: if they have to double the reliability of their 7,200 RPM drives, they will cost more than plain old SSDs (also at 0.50% AFR[1]).

            [1] http://origin-www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/laptop-hard-drives/ [seagate.com]
            [2] http://origin-www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/enterprise-hard-drives/hdd/enterprise-value-hdd/ [seagate.com]

        • Umm.... can you cite any hard evidence this is really true?

          You're absolutely right about the "optimization" of product lines that takes place. No argument there at all. But as far as I've been able to tell, 5400RPM drives are only around still because they're a little bit cheaper to build. Out of many hundreds of hard drives I've used over the years, I can't say I've ever felt like the 7200RPM models were less reliable?

          Now, I do remember those Seagate Barracuda 10K and 15K RPM high performance SCSI drive

      • Not sure that it applies here.

        HDDs are mature, but aren't going to be obsolete for awhile yet.
        SSDs are new and finally becoming affordable.

        Seagate managed to take a well established technology, blend it in with the new technology, and make both somewhat worse.
        Thats just a bog standard fail.

      • Re:Hey, Seagate: (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @07:25PM (#43353283)

        and then praying they don't look an aisle over and realize that a modest SSD would blow it out of the water for not much more cash.

        Only if they don't need the storage capacity of the spinning hard drive... many laptops don't have the room for both an SSD and a hard drive.

        The smallest Seagate SSHD is 500GB and costrs around $99. The cheapest 500GB SSD I can find costs around $350.

        So, for those that need the higher capacity, you can't get an SSD for "not much more cash".

        So yes, an SSD would have much better performance, but not equivalent capacity at the same price point. For the kinds of things most people use a laptop for (booting windows, loading apps) the SSHD gives close to SSD performance, while still letting them keep their large media files on the hard drive

        It's a douche move, but... it's sound business practice. Sell your customers down a river to keep profits up until you can turn up production on the Next Big Thing, and then try to buy them back later with discounts and deals.

        Slower speeds aren't just a cost cutting move - cutting the speed reduces noise, power consumption (so you get better battery life on your laptop) and lowers heat production (so you get better reliability for your hard drive).

        • by smash (1351)
          Yup, exact reason i have a Momentus XT 750. Sure, an SSD would be faster. At not providing the capacity I require... causing me to spend more of my time fucking around moving files between it and an external drive (essentially, doing a poor job of SSD/HD caching manually on a per-folder level rather than per block).
        • every laptop, not including mini netbooks, have a DISK, and SATA DVD, which no one uses dvd any more. So if you can suffer, you can pull out the DVD, and replace that with a SSD in a dvd shapped box.

          Then you can keep your internal HD + have a cheap 64-128g SSD.

      • I have seen research that I believe in which basically states that a hybrid drive can provide equivalent performance to a pure SSD solution, with capacity equal to a regular drive, but only if you have enough flash memory available:

        The crucial point corresponds to about 5% of the total capacity, so a 500 GB disk like the new Seagate would require at least 25 GB of flash (which probably means 32 GB), instead of the very paltry 8 GB they are delivered with.

        The only real advantage here compared to the previous

      • by bazorg (911295)

        the consumers are idiots and will fall for four color marketing glossies saying these are the "fastest mechanical drives ever!" and boldly print the percentages all over the packaging... and then praying they don't look an aisle over and realize that a modest SSD would blow it out of the water for not much more cash

        IMHO the product fills a gap in the market precisely because you can't just get a suitable SSD for "not much more cash". I looked at ebuyer just now and found the Seagate 750GB Momentus XT SSD cost £83, with a 750GB 7200rpm drive aided by 8GB NAND. For some it will be a more reasonable compromise than to lose the optical drive and pay the same £80 for a 120GB SSD. (or to pay £15 for the SSD-5.25 caddy and leave £65 for a smaller SSD)

    • 1997 called. They want their "(Now - X years) called" joke back.
      • 1997 called. They want their "(Now - X years) called" joke back.

        ^
        Just mad cuz you didn't think of it first :P

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:53PM (#43352359)

      2000 called, they want their crappy hardware back.

      2000 called? Did you warn them about Katrina? 9/11? No? You dick!

      (Oblig. xkcd)

    • There was a discussion of this decision of Seagate's, back when it was announced. As much as I hate to say "I told you so"... I told you so. Going back to 5400 RPM was a bonehead move.
      • by TheLink (130905)
        Other than the bootup and game tests, the tests don't seem to test the caching ability as much.

        The file copying tests should have been done more than once from the drive to the drive itself. Or from the drive to a ramdisk.
        • I'd just like to see regular old benchmarks done, like Tom's Hardware and other sites routinely do.

          The old 7200 RPM hybrid Momentus XT was even faster (write times, not just read) than some of the SSDs it was compared to. Of course I doubt very much that a 5400 RPM will keep up, regardless of their caching technology.

          Spin latency is spin latency. It's one of the few things you simply can't do anything about on a spinning platter, no matter how good your electronics and head seek are *. And all other t
  • This is because they recently announced the discontinuation of their entire lineup of 7200rpm drives in the 2.5" form factor.

    Desktop drives in 3.5" size still have the 7200rpm drive speeds, so the smaller ones have been gimped by Seagate's mfr'ing decision

    • Battery Life? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:09PM (#43351943)
      See the current Slashdot poll about laptops. The winning request is better battery life. How much extra juice does it take to spin those platters at 7200RPM? Perhaps Seagate's manufacturing decision to use 5400 is better informed than it appears.
      • by Applekid (993327)

        See the current Slashdot poll about laptops. The winning request is better battery life. How much extra juice does it take to spin those platters at 7200RPM? Perhaps Seagate's manufacturing decision to use 5400 is better informed than it appears.

        I would instead urge hard drive manufacturers to take a page from the CPU manufacturers and get busy on a variable speed hard drive. I see no reason why a hard drive can't just putt putt around at a slow speed and ramp up that speed if the IO queue starts filling faster than it can be emptied.

        • I know YOU see no reason for not having vari speed in mechanics.

          then again, its very clear to me that you have no clue how the electronics, clocking and mechanics would DO that.

          maybe, just maybe, its not do-able within reason.

          varispeed is marketing BS. it makes no sense to vary platter speed. stupid idea, in fact!

          • by Applekid (993327)

            I know YOU see no reason for not having vari speed in mechanics.

            then again, its very clear to me that you have no clue how the electronics, clocking and mechanics would DO that.

            maybe, just maybe, its not do-able within reason.

            varispeed is marketing BS. it makes no sense to vary platter speed. stupid idea, in fact!

            So light a candle instead of damning the darkness and clue us all in to how it won't work.

            I remember when CD drives were all CAV and only ran at that one speed. I don't think you give engineers proper consideration for their craft.

        • I see no reason why a hard drive can't just putt putt around at a slow speed and ramp up that speed if the IO queue starts filling faster than it can be emptied.

          Does anyone know why this has not been done more already, especially in laptop drives? There has been some "eco" desktop 3.5" drives that can lower their speed when idle, but not much else.

          • by ackthpt (218170)

            I see no reason why a hard drive can't just putt putt around at a slow speed and ramp up that speed if the IO queue starts filling faster than it can be emptied.

            Does anyone know why this has not been done more already, especially in laptop drives? There has been some "eco" desktop 3.5" drives that can lower their speed when idle, but not much else.

            Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 (3TB 7200RPM) spin down to conserve power, unless you use power management tool to tell them to remain spinning at all times.

          • there are no drives that change their speed other than idle vs run-mode.

            and that does not count; its just a standby mode. data transfer does not happen at 'slower speed' idle.

            so again, the marketing guys fooled you.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Simple really. The flight height of the hard drive heads are tuned to the specific rotational rate of the drive. Change the RPM substantially and the heads fly at the wrong height, and your drive doesn't work anymore.

            Drives that go to a slower speed while idling have to park the heads off the disk to prevent the heads from crashing into the disks at the lower speeds.

            • by Applekid (993327)

              Simple really. The flight height of the hard drive heads are tuned to the specific rotational rate of the drive. Change the RPM substantially and the heads fly at the wrong height, and your drive doesn't work anymore.

              Drives that go to a slower speed while idling have to park the heads off the disk to prevent the heads from crashing into the disks at the lower speeds.

              Thank you, that's the kind of educational stuff I was looking for.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          I see no reason why a hard drive can't just putt putt around at a slow speed and ramp up that speed if the IO queue starts filling faster than it can be emptied.

          I thought I had read that WD's green drive did exactly that.

          • its false. dig deeper and you find that 'vari speed' is just a lie and there is only data transfer at the single speed.

            idling does NOT count.

            WD lied.

      • Re:Battery Life? (Score:5, Informative)

        by BLToday (1777712) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:26PM (#43352131)

        "How much extra juice does it take to spin those platters at 7200RPM? "

        From my experience with their 1st-gen Momentus XT (500GB), about 15% reduction in overall battery life compare to my previous 5400 rpm drive.

      • "Perhaps Seagate's manufacturing decision to use 5400 is better informed than it appears."

        In an era where users expect new hardware to consistently outperform the older models, no, 5400 RPM is not "better informed".

        Backwards is backwards. Before they announced this decision, I was going to get a Momentus to replace the drive I have. Now, there is no way in hell I'll spend that money. My existing drive probably performs better. I'll just get an SSD instead. More money, but it's actually BETTER.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        See the current Slashdot poll about laptops. The winning request is better battery life. How much extra juice does it take to spin those platters at 7200RPM? Perhaps Seagate's manufacturing decision to use 5400 is better informed than it appears.

        Perhaps laptop companies should be switching to SSD's then, I nearly tripled the battery life on my 3yr old laptop which had a 5400rpm in it. Yes I know there are still reliability problems with them, but being realistic? The price for a 2.5" SSD at 120-240GB which is still semi-standard in a lot of common laptops, would seriously improve the battery life.

  • by scream at the sky (989144) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @04:51PM (#43351745) Homepage
    Why are we not seeing more 10K drives? Other than the WD Raptors, I haven't seen 10K desktop drives in forever.

    I would think it would be a better compromise, am I missing something?

    • by AuMatar (183847) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:00PM (#43351843)

      Noise issues, power issues, and the likelihood that cheapening SSD will make magnetic disks obsolete. People who really care about speed just go solid state. With the price dropping I'm sure we all will in a few years.

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:05PM (#43351895)

      Why are we not seeing more 10K drives?

      Only reason I can think of is direct competition with top-shelf scsi hardware. a 900G 10K SCSI [amazon.com] is about $500 bucks. I sure would be tempted to RAID twice as many 10K SATA for half that price if I could get the same RPM.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        I sure would be tempted to RAID twice as many 10K SATA for half that price if I could get the same RPM.

        Short-stroking 7.2k drives is cheaper and you will outperform 10K drives all day.

        We used to short stroke 10k/15k drives, but SSDs have taken over those jobs.

    • by dlakelan (43245) <dlakelan.street-artists@org> on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:06PM (#43351903) Homepage

      Higher density at constant speed means higher signalling rates now vs before. We're already reading more off the disk per second at 7200 rpm than we were at 7200 rpm back when 200GB was big. Power requirements have taken a bigger position, and also at the higher densities tolerances need to be more exact and even more so at higher speeds. Going to lower spinning speeds allows you to get better results without tightening tolerances as much.

      • higher density at 10K would still give tremendous rewards though.

        Admittedly, it would just be a stop gap, eventually SSD will be everything, I get that, but in the mean time I would like to see Seagate and WD do what they do really well, rather than give us half baked solutions like these hybrid drives.

        • by plover (150551)

          They're just adding another choice that appeals to a certain segment of the market. They have cheap, reliable, and slow 5,400 RPM drives; slightly more expensive, just as reliable, and slightly faster 5,400 RPM hybrid drives; or slightly more expensive and crazy fast SSDs. 10K drives are as expensive as SSDs, yet far slower than SSDs and only slightly more reliable than the cheap 5,400 RPM drives. There's not a big value proposition for the 10K drives, and the market isn't really looking for them.

          By the

      • "Higher density at constant speed means higher signalling rates now vs before. We're already reading more off the disk per second at 7200 rpm than we were at 7200 rpm back when 200GB was big. Power requirements have taken a bigger position, and also at the higher densities tolerances need to be more exact and even more so at higher speeds. Going to lower spinning speeds allows you to get better results without tightening tolerances as much."

        You might as well have just said: $$$.

    • Because 10K RPM drives command a high MTBF rate. You're not going to find those except in SAS.

      • I get that, but I also see the flip side where 10K drives have typically been aimed at Enterprise, rather than consumer business.

        I have a pair of ancient 74 gig raptors that I use for the boot system (raid 0) on my home NAS, and I love the disks. I'd love to see some consumer grade 10K drives with a standard warranty.

        And, yes, I have SSD in my laptop, and I agree that spinning platters have a limited number of days, but for a company like Seagate who is pussying around with these hybrid drives, it woul

      • Actually, WD had some consumer 10k drives out... probably still does.
        • Raptors. I know because I had a pair in RAID0. The problem was that it they don't support TLER. Thus one of the drives would randomly drop offline. In fact, WD specifically will not support RAID with consumer based drives. As I know, at least Hitatchi drives supported TLER for all drives. Sounds like WD crippled their drives to force market segmentation.

        • Beware... mechanically, a Velociraptor is NOT "enterprise grade". If you try to treat one like it is, disable spin-down, and leave it spinning 24/7, there's a VERY high likelihood that it won't live to see its second birthday. Their build quality is probably a few notches above average consumer drives (which now seem to fail after 6-14 months when kept spinning 24/7), but they also tend to get run a lot harder than average consumer drives, and their failure rate among the nerd elite appears to be a LOT wors

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      more expensive to make, makes slightly more noise. in a laptop they burn more power too(well on desktop as well but on laptop it matters).
      I guess the market on that has gone to ssd's at up front and slower drives at back.
      So seagate bundled a nominal amount of crap ssd with slow drives an called it a day and suckers bought 'em - because technically on paper it's great, right? best of both worlds? or shit from both?

      when they plaster allover on their "tech specs" that it's a hybrid drive with ssd but would rat

      • by gagol (583737)
        Even Windows don't read 8GB of data on boot. My Linux boot in no time on an old 5400 RPM drive. Blame software bloat, not hardware.
      • by Logger (9214)

        Why does everyone keeping thinking you have to have enough flash to store the whole os? Hybrids are sector based, not file or application based. They only needs to cache the frequently used bits in flash. Which might not even be a whole file.

        If they are real clever (and I'm not saying they are), they could hide the seek time for a file by putting the first few sectors in flash. That would allow the drive time to find the rest of the file on disk.

        There is obviously a cost performance tradeoff here. How

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:20PM (#43352063) Journal

      Why are we not seeing more 10K drives? Other than the WD Raptors, I haven't seen 10K desktop drives in forever.

      I would think it would be a better compromise, am I missing something?

      10Ks on the desktop(and, at least to some degree, although less of one, 10 and 15Ks in the enterprise) have been curb-stomped by SSDs, actually harder than their slower brethren.

      Everybody knows that 5.4s and 7.2s are horribly slow, for everything except very well behaved linear reads or writes; but they are insanely capacious and cheap, so people who don't need speed buy them anyway, and by the truckload. On the consumer end, cheap shit sells by the pallet, and needs something to boot from, and on the enterprise side the (partial) unification of SAS and SATA means that a lot of stuff that you used to have to dump right to tape can now be handed off to crazy-cheap 'nearline' HDD storage(and, in sufficient quantity, a lot of less demanding storage tasks are perfectly fine on prosaic 7.2K SATA, and since SATA drives drop right into SAS slots/connectors, they all play nicely with the RAID backplanes and hot-swap trays and things, which wasn't the case back in the PATA/SCSI days).

      Among people who need I/O above all, any mechanical drive is an amusing little smudge clinging to the X axis when graphed against the performance of any halfway decent SSD. When a good SSD can easily be several orders of magnitude faster, the fact that you might(best case) triple performance by going from 5.4k to 15k barely registers; but the price of increasing spindle speeds certainly does.

      Velociraptors, and their ilk, had a brief period of popularity back when all the 15Ks were SCSI(and so were either wildly expensive, or dodgy fleabay gear, and usually needed an add-on card that cost more than most consumer hard drives, even used) and SSDs were either nonexistent or more expensive than entire workstations. Now, they just aren't a terribly impressive offering. If you don't care much, you can get a rather larger and quieter HDD for substantially less money. If you do care, a surprisingly small premium will get you an SSD that will blow the Velociraptor out of the water.

      The gulf between good solid state storage and mechanical storage, in terms of latency, is just so enormous that we will probably see more retreating from higher spindle speeds than advancing. High precision, high reliability mechanical parts are stubbornly costly, so increasing spindle speeds isn't free; but the performance gap is sufficiently vast that even some terrifying HDD built with ultracentrifuge technology just isn't going to be as fast as an SSD. Flash prices are still high enough that HDDs have plenty of retreating room into high capacity/high latency applications; but any attempt to achieve parity in low-latency work would just be comedic(if probably impressive from an engineering standpoint, and when it tore itself apart and shredded everything nearby)...

    • by Firethorn (177587)

      1. Those wanting the extreme performance are buying SSDs today.
      2. Power demand - more electricity and thus more cooling. Some countries have passed energy standards such that they can't be sold in pre-made computers, reducing the market.
      3. Density - due to the lower density the faster speed requires today, said drives often have sustained reads/writes that are slower than their larger, cheaper 7200RPM cousin.
      4. Reliability - they're less reliable due to the higher speeds and heat anymore.

      There's just n

    • 10K was typically an enterprise thing. Enterprise has generally moved to either SSDs or to 2.5" drives (currently available in 10K and 15K).

      The increased areal density gives decent capacity for the 2.5" drives, and the smaller platter means it's more robust, causes less vibration, and uses less power. It also takes up less space in a server.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        10K was typically an enterprise thing. Enterprise has generally moved to either SSDs or to 2.5" drives (currently available in 10K and 15K).

        The increased areal density gives decent capacity for the 2.5" drives, and the smaller platter means it's more robust, causes less vibration, and uses less power. It also takes up less space in a server.

        Most 10K 3.5" drives used 2.5" platters because at the speeds they spun at, there was no way a 3.5" platter would survive the rotational induced stresses. (Most of the a

    • SSDs are going to sweep them away in five years for everywhere but servers. HDD is pretty much a dead end at this point.
    • Because there is no good use case for them.

      256GB SSD's are less than a buck a GB and outperform a small raid set in everything but size. Put these in desktops laptops pretty much anything with a person sitting in front of it.

      3TB drives are about 120 bucks, USB3 externals are nearly as fast as an internal sata one (piles of overhead as USB sucks like always) these are your bulk storage drives. Bulk servers get these combine with a SSD caching and raid to get a small raid 10 outperforming a big raid of 15's

    • by ltwally (313043)

      Why are we not seeing more 10K drives? Other than the WD Raptors, I haven't seen 10K desktop drives in forever. I would think it would be a better compromise, am I missing something?

      There are two sides to traditional hard-disk performance: rotational-speed and areal-density. While both increase performance of the disk, they do so in different ways...

      Rotational Speed, measured in RPMs, primarily affects random access/seek times -- allowing the disk heads to move to a new location more quickly. This is handy when there is heavy fragmentation (which should never be allowed to happen) or when the data files themselves have lots of non-consecutive data (like in databases). Higher rotati

      • by ltwally (313043)

        ...The disk access patterns for most desktop users do take enough advantage of this to make the increased cost worthwhile. ...

        Meant to say "The disk access patterns for most desktop users do NOT take enough advantage of this to make the increased cost worthwhile."

        Someone hack an edit button onto this damn site already. Get with '90s, already.

    • They are to loud
    • I think the main appeal of desktop/workstation 10K RPM drives over 7200RPM drives was for realtime audio and video capture... the reduced seek times really help when you need to maintain constant write throughput Or Else (tm). But the folks doing that have moved onto SSDs, because disks for that purpose are basically expendable and SSDs cost less than a good 10K drive did only 3-4 years ago. And have tons of advantages for real time use (zero seek latency! No more need to tweak things and really hope the sy

  • I'm not interested.

  • How the hell did this thing ever make it through the approval process? This is going to piss of their users as a basic trust issue and is borderline fraudulent. The entire point of getting a drive like this is to get something /faster/ than you would other wise get. This drive is going to be entirely dependent on a very limited number of benchmarks to get any kind of approval at all.

    This is akin to selling a new sports car with a decade old engine that was outdated by the model 2 generations ago. This has g

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      People who mindlessly jump on the bandwagon rather than checking reviews and benchmarks and comparing that to their actual needs are going to be disappointed regardless.

    • Re:Epic failure (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:34PM (#43352211) Journal

      I would strongly suspect that it's an OEM thing, mostly:

      Intel, for one, sets some fairly strict boot-time requirement for an OEM to be able to slap "Ultrabook!!!!" on the laptop and possibly get some Intel 'marketing assistance' cash. Microsoft has also been doing a bit of leaning on OEMs in terms of how fast Win8 machines need to boot in order to earn their little sticker of meaningless approval.

      OEMs, of course, still need to shove $400 black-friday specials out the door. What will we do? Well, it just so happens that our good buddies at Seagate have a hard drive that is super cheap, being a very undemanding mechanical model with only a small amount of flash; but just so happens to be able to(if configured and pre-cached and whatnot properly) boot the OS like a bat out of hell... Seagate proceeds to sell a giant pile of the things.

      Given that Seagate knows that benchmarks are going to happen, they have no realistic hope of pulling the wool over the eyes of informed enthusiasts. I'd be surprised if they care: less cost-sensitive enthusiasts are going to buy SSDs anyway, more cost-sensitive ones may well buy if the price is right, and making the spindle slow and the cache small will definitely help there.

      As a strategy for launching a successful enthusiast storage brand, Seagate's choices would be suicide; but 'enthusiast storage' isn't a terribly big market anyway, and the SSD guys own it now, so Seagate doesn't have a choice about not playing there. The OEMs, on the other hand, are caught between certification demands(which generally specify boot time, resume-time, etc. not 'IOPS Random 4k' scores) and price pressures. This product looks like it is tailor-made to be pitched right at them.

    • by RR (64484)

      I don't think it's a fraud. They're not calling it a Momentus XT. It's a relatively cheap hard drive that happens to be much faster than other cheap drives at booting and launching programs, and much cheaper than SSDs of similar capacity. (Also, faster than the Momentus XT at certain tasks, while being thinner but taking more power.)

      So, it turns out to be slower than a WD Scorpio Black at copying folders full of lots of big files. How often do you actually wait on that? On the other hand, it's much faster t

  • When it came time to upgrade my aging desktop I went straight for SSD and as much memory as I could cram on the motherboard. Works good and is fast

  • I own a Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook. I don't want to bother looking up (or flipping the device back as I type this) the exact model but it basically has got an i5@1.7Ghz, 6 GB of RAM and Windows 8 (I like it, suck it up).

    I can confirm that the device boots up disturbingly fast - either from a cold boot or from Sleep. I didn't time it but it feels like ~15-25 seconds. That gets me to the Welcome screen of Windows, and I can log in instantly. But if I try to start Visual Studio right after booting, I can defi
  • I installed one of the 500GB drives several days ago, and the performance improvement is incredible. Boot times are under a quarter what they used to be with the 5400RPM drive that came with the laptop (a 2011 Macbook Pro). Application launches are virtually instantaneous. It's like a new computer.

    I can't speak to the abstract "overall performance" measurements from the article (random 4K response times? give me a break)--where this drive soars is in real-world, day-to-day performance, and the improvement

  • One can argue pricing for the slower mechanical hardware, but the benefit for laptops is lower power use, not just for the drive itself but for the supporting cooling and power hardware to support the faster mechanical drive.

What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.

Working...