Near SSD performance; near HDD costs.
I have used ATTO Disk Benchmark to get the average read and write speeds, while the burst speed was measured using HD Tach. Once again, results for the Momentus XT 750GB are shown from the fourth run at which point most of the regularly accessed data is written to the 8GB NAND cache.
The Seagate Momentus XT’s performance is undeniably higher than regular 2.5” or 3.5” 7200rpm hard drives. While not as fast as traditional SSDs, the SATA III interface, bigger NAND Flash and a better self-learning algorithm certainly bridges the gap between the first generation hybrid drive and SSDs.
With the promise of a firmware upgrade in the near future that allows real-time writing on the NAND, the performance can only get better. Of course, that’s not to say that the Momentus XT drives don’t have room for improvement. Larger cache, preferably 64MB instead of 32MB and 20GB of NAND Flash would be very welcomed in the 3rd generation drives.
For now, the Seagate Momentus XT is absolutely ideal for those people who have the place for just one drive in their laptop, and can’t afford a large capacity SSD. Still, the 9.7mm height maybe an issue for some people whose laptops only accept 9.5mm drives.
For desktop users, and those whose desktop replacement laptops have 2 hard drive bays, going for a small capacity SSD plus regular HDD is still not a bad option. It all comes down to how much you’re willing to spend. Certainly two Momentus XT drives will still be better than a very small SSD plus large HDD combo.
For the majority of laptop owners out there, though, if you want a relatively cheap alternative to SSDs with performance almost as high as them (but never matching those speeds), the Seagate Momentus XT 750GB is definitely the hard drive to own.