Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Hybrid Drive

By | 30th August 2012

Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Hybrid Drive


The new Seagate hybrid drives (Momentus XT 500GB) acts as a bridge between HDD’s (spinning magnetic drives) and SSD’s (Solid State Drives) in terms of performance, capacity and price. The external appearance of the drive is similar to any other laptop drive, which has a form factor of 2.5 inch and fits into the standard slot of ‘z’ height and 9.5 mm with SATA 2 interface. It has unique qualities internally and is quite different than the usual laptop drives. It has 7200 RPM spinning speed, 32 MB buffer and a solid state memory of 4 GB. Yes! The spinning hard drive has a solid state memory.

Specialty and Technology Used

The extended buffer can retain data even after rebooting the drive, but the user cannot address the solid state memory as the memory is not visible to the user, hence the OS or the Software really doesn’t matter.  The controller of the drive itself identifies it by the Adaptive Memory used by Seagate, to get data or files frequently from the hard drives spinning portion. It puts it onto the 4 GB section of the solid section. The drive was originally designed to enhance the reading capacity but eventually it has shown good writing performance as well.

SDD’s and HDD’s were the only 2 camps in storage technology until now, which the users had to contend it to the external power manually; while the HDD’s had low storage capacity with low price. Drive-Hybriding concept was tried many times by Seagate and Samsung 2 years ago, but the results were not good to launch it, as one big issue was the OS support with 256 MB flash memory or the SDD’s, which did not obtain sufficient appeal, which resulted in significant drop in prices.

This second generation drive, combines solid state technology and usual normal technology. The solid memory of 4 GB is a Flash NAND, the one accustomed to seeing SSD’s and pendrives, except the Single Layer Cell (SLC) type to increase the speed. This drive uses 2 spinning platters for achieving areal density. The average power usage is 0.8 W at ideal state and 2.2 W during the writing and reading operation, which makes it better than the normal desktop 3.5 inch HDD, which consumes 6 W on an averagely. Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Hybrid Drive offers usable storage space of 465.76 GB when it is formatted, which is on the expected lines. This disk is all through the intense testing and it was found that it did not get over heated or did not become audible.

Key Features

  • 500GB capacity
  • Solid state technology
  • SATA 3.0Gb/s interface
  • 2.5-inch form factor
  • Up to 50% faster boot-up over 5400-RPM drives
  • 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)
  • Boots 40 percent faster than traditional 7200 RPM drives
  • Cuts costs by 75 percent compared to SSDs by combining solid state and hard drive technologies
  • Delivers the perfect balance of speed and capacity
  • Uses Adaptive Memory technology to optimize performance in real time by storing frequently used files and data on the solid state drive component
  • Ensures compatibility with any operating system or application with a standard 9.5mm notebook drive form factor and the characteristics of a traditional 7200RPM drive
  • Offers all the benefits of SSD performance with the high capacity, storage, battery life, power consumption and heat generation of a traditional hard drive
  • Form Factor of 2.5″ x 1/8H (9.5mm)
  • Capacity available currently are 250, 320, 500 GB
  • Interface Type is Serial ATA-300
  • Buffer Size is 32 MB
  • New feature -Native Command Queuing (NCQ), Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), QuietStep (Ramp Load)
  • Drive Transfer Rate is 300 MBps (external)
  • Random Read Seek Time is 11 ms (average)
  • Random Write Seek Time is 13 ms (average)
  • Average Latency is 4.17 ms
  • Spindle Speed is 7200 RPM
  • Shock Tolerance is 350 g @ 2ms (operating) / 1000 g @ 1ms (non-operating)
  • Acoustics (bels at idle/seek) is 2.3 / 2.5
  • Power Usage is 0.8W (Idle), 1.554W (Seek)
  • Manufacturer Warranty is 5 year limited warranty

Key Benefits

  • Holds all of your data
  • Keep your files safe

Technical Specifications of Seagate ST95005620AS Momentus XT 500GB Solid State Hybrid Drive – 500GB, 7200 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s

  • Capacity is 500GB
  • Interface is SATA 3Gb/s with NCQ
  • Solid state memory, SLC NAND of 4GB
  • Cache is 32MB
  • Spindle speed is 7200 RPM
  • Shock is up to 350 Gs operating (2ms);up to 1000 Gs nonoperating (1ms)
  • Acoustics, idle is 2.3 bels
  • Acoustics, seek is 2.5 bels
  • Operating temperature from 0°C to 60°C

Best-Fit Applications

  • High-end laptops and workstations
  • High-performance gamer laptops
  • Fast external enclosures: USB 3.0, eSATA
  • Small form factor PCs

Bottom Line

The new Seagate hybrid drives (Momentus XT 500GB) has added flash storage inside, to increase the speed of the drive over the standard drive in various scenarios. This second generation drive is the best hard disk in performance, budget and capacity. It will boost the speed of the hard drive, over SSD and the standard laptop drive, which has 5400 revolutions per minute. The performance is up to the mark!

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