We ask some second gen questions.
At their press event today, Seagate officially launched their second generation Momentus XT hybrid drive. Technically the drives are already available to retail partners being sold as standalone OEM drives. Soon, though, major electronic street retailers such as Jumbo, Sharaf DG, Emax, etc. will be selling packaged retail version of the new Momentus XT.
The 2nd generation hybrid drives improve on the original Momentus XT in three key areas as far as impact on performance is concerned. Firstly, they will have increased capacity from 500GB to 750GB. The NAND Flash also gets a bump from 4GB to 8GB. And finally the new Fast Boot algorithm allows for a smarter and faster learning process resulting in regularly used data being loaded almost as quick as an SSD.
At the event we had a chance to quickly catch up with Mr. Sofocles Socratous, who is the Sales Director for Turkey, Greece and the MEA region.
When asked about whether we will be seeing the Momentus XT hybrid format in 3.5″ form factors, he said that as per their roadmap, in the next 5 years 80% of Seagate’s drives will be hybrid hard drives, so a 3.5″ hybrid drive is definitely in the works.
Another question was why don’t other hard drive manufacturers also make hybrid hard drives. According to Mr. Socratous Seagate has made a lot of investments in this segment. He probably means R&D costs in developing a hybrid hard drive. Now that the acquisition of Samsung’s hard drive division is complete, Seagate expects to make further roadways into developing better hybrid drives as their understanding of working with SSDs deepens even further, not to mention the benefits of having low cost NAND Flash directly from Samsung. It’s just not as easy as it looks to develop a hybrid drive, so other companies haven’t been able to provide a hybrid solution yet. That said, Mr. Socratous believes we’ll be seeing hybrid drives from other hard drive manufacturers just a few short years.
Our final question was focused on the improvements of the second generation Momentus XT compared to the original hybrid hard drive. Specifically people complained that the 4GB of NAND Flash got filled up pretty quickly, and users were reporting slowdowns from near-SSD speeds to regular 7,200 rpm HDD speeds within months.
To tackle this issue, Segate has come up with a better learning algorithm, which also works by writing boot files directly onto the NAND Flash for instantaneous access to keep Windows boot times fast. Furthermore, doubling the NAND Flash to 8GB means that there will be ample space for regularly used programs to cache data, resulting in an always efficient hybrid drive.
Check out our review in the coming days as we put Seagate’s claims to the test and thoroughly test the new Seagate Momentus XT 750GB hybrid hard drive.