[nextpage title=”Introduction”] Seagate has been doing Hybrid drives are sometime now, starting with the first Momentus XT drive. Back then, getting an SSD was a pretty expensive investment for a lot of people.
A lot has changed since then in SSD market, and its still evolving but at a very rapid pace. With 256GB SSDs now available at a time for what 90GB/120GB drive used to cost back then with lot better reliability and the price per GB for SSDs has become more realistic. To top it off, we have SSDs with 7mm thickness, targetting those who want better performance for ultrabooks as well. Suffice to say that consumer and more-than-consumer class SSDs are almost halfway across overtaking mechanical drives’ capacity bragging right, and now that controllers and flash NAND are becoming more versatile, lower power consumption and much quicker, added with drives that can easily slide through 26TB of total write, it would be interesting to see how Seagate’s 7mm thick solid state hybrid drive performs.
For those who don’t know, Solid state hybrid drives are those drives that have a flash NAND in an effort to provide bit better loading times for OS and for applications compared to traditional mechanical drives, but also use drive spindles to store data like any traditional mechanical drive. Now that this drive is 7mm thick, just like SSDs like Samsung 840 and 840 Pro, this can be used in ultrabooks as well. Keeping aside handful of SSD drives/firmware/controller rev, reliability has been pretty much solid unlike the old days.
As of now, such drives still provides more storage space than SSDs and therefore giving a better overall value.
There are 2 variants of 500GB SSHD drives. One is the 5400RPM 7mm that I am testing, ST500LM000 and the 9.5mm 7200 RPM STAN500100 drive that comes as a kit.
Just like any mechanical drive: the PCB, the drive and a foam sheet in the middle to absorb vibration from the drive unit.
The drive we got uses Samsung K4T5116301 BCE7 32MB chip for Caching, followed by LSI controller for the platter eASIC controller for the NAND viz. paired with Samsung K9LCGY8S1B-HCK0 8GB MLC Flash NAND.[nextpage title=”Test Bench and Testing Methodology”]It gives me great pleasure every time I put up a review. Its always good to appreciate the support that the manufacturers give from time-to-time to review their own products and others on behalf of the readers. Thanks to companies such as Asus, Gigabyte, Kingston, WD and Coolermaster who give me hardware support by updating my test rig no strings attached. Thumbs up to these guys! I would like to thank
- Gigabyte India for providing Gigabyte 890GPA UD3H Rev 1.0 motherboard
- Asus India for providing Asus 990FX Sabertooth motherboard
- Kingston Taiwan for providing hardware support with memory kits and SSD drive.
- WD India for providing WD 300GB HLFS Velociraptor Hard Drive.
- Coolermaster India for providing Coolermaster GX450 RS-450-ACAA-D3 Power Supply
|Test Setup for:||Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD ST500LM000 500 GB 2.5” 7mm SATA III Storage Drive|
|Motherboard+ Processor||Gigabyte 890GPAUD3H Rev 1.0+ AMD 965BE|
|Memory||Kingston KHX1600C9D3P1K28G HyperX Genesis 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII|
|Primary OS drive||WD 3000HLFS Velociraptor 300GB/ WD Blue AAJS 320GB/ WD 1TB Velociraptor|
|Power Supply||Coolermaster GX450|
|Chassis||Antec Eleven Hundred|
The Benchmarks that I am using are as follows:
AS SSD– Read and Write (Pass 3)
ATTO- Test File Size= 0.5 to 8MB- Read and Write Pass 3
Aida64- Write and Read Access time File Size 64KB Pass 3
Anvil Benchmark- Compressible and Incompressible run each with 4, 16 and 32MB File Size
Boot Load Test- (Windows 7 SP1 clean installation with AMD 12.6 drivers+ AHCI drivers pre-installed with Utorrent, Avira Security Suite, Asus Xonar DX+ 220.127.116.114 Drivers, Netgear WG111 Wireless LAN USB drive software as start-up items) Pass 1-5 (Pass 1= System start from Power Off)
CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark- with Pass 3, each with 5 re-runs 1000MB File Size
HDTune Pro- Write and Read Pass 3
PCMark 7- HDD test
PCMark Vantage- HDD Test
Anvil Benchmark- 4/16/32GB File Size in both 0% and 100% Fill test[nextpage title=”AS SSD Benchmark”]Although this drive is used for AS SSDs, the tests in these give a good idea of Sequential, 4K Aligned, 4K Aligned with 64Bit thread test and the Access time of the hard drive using incompressible data.
While Seagate is standing between WD Blue 500GB LPVT and Seagate Momentus XT 750GB drive, the write speed on the other hand seems to be better than the first Momentus XT 500GB drive and WD Scorpio Blue 640GB BEVT. Note that Seagate Momentus XT ST750X003 is a 7200RPM drive with 8GB SLC NAND, whereas WD Blue LPVT is a 5400RPM and WD Scorpio Blue BEVT is also a 5400RPM drive.
But also do note that Scorpio Blue is a 9.5mm thick drive. So their direct competition is WD Blue 500GB LPVT. In both tests, LPVT has better access time, but the difference between the 2 in read is pretty small.[nextpage title=”ATTO Benchmark”]With a transfer sizes from 0.5KB through 8192KB and total length of 256MB, ATTO measures transfer speed throughout the drive’s storage capacity for both reads and writes.
The drive is pretty much maxed out from 4KB file size.
WD Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB does well against LPVT up to 8KB file size test, as far as the rest of it is a minor difference between the two.
[nextpage title=”AIDA64 Access Benchmark”]
Keep aside the obvious difference between a ‘pure’ SSD and a Hybrid drive and WD Blue drive is obvious. But as it shows so far WD Blue 500GBLPVT has an upper hand.
[nextpage title=”Boot Load Test”]
On the bright size, Seagate Laptop Thin 500GB SSHD has a much better boot load time. As you can see, there is a pretty steep fall between the pass 2 and pass 3, viz. is a good thing. OS loading is where the Seagate Laptop thin drive shines over WD Blue LPVT.[nextpage title=”CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark”]
[nextpage title=”HDTune Pro Benchmark”]
[nextpage title=”Futuremark Benchmarks”]
Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD shines in this test, having a decent amount of difference over WD Blue 500GB.
Importing is a little bit slot, but other than that, there’s no biggie. Windows media center test favours Seagate Laptop Thin 500 GB SSHD nicely.[nextpage title=”Conclusion”]
Application Loading! OS loading! Its quick in this department, rest of it pretty much like a 5400RPM notebook drive. Its 7mm and I am pretty sure the higher end notebooks and ultrabooks makers will be using this by default. Rest of you are fine sticking with 500gig WD Blue counterpart minus the flash NAND. But looking at difference in performance against the 9.5mm 7200RPM 750 Momentus XT, I wouldn’t say it’s a replacement. Its simply a thinner formfactor. But if you want all of above 7mm SSD? Take a look at 840/840 Pro depending on your budget and performance requirement.
In any case, Seagate delivers exactly what they advertised with: better application and OS load in comparison with traditional mechanical drives. But what about the cost of the drive???
Both WD and Seagate have 1TB versions with 7mm form factor, and WD said that they would be sending it to me shortly. Lets see how that turns out!