Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Hybrid Hard Drive Review
For every consumer who wants the power and speed that only an SSD can provide, there are legions of others that just can’t afford or simply don’t need leading edge performance. However, there are plenty of people out there who want great performance coupled with sufficient storage capacity in a small form factor. For this niche, Seagate has really thought outside the box to create the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB hybrid hard drive.
The Momentus XT line is designed to combine the speed of an SSD with the capacity standard hard drives bring to the table. Seagate was able to do all this by taking their standard Momentus “7200.4”, 7200 RPM hard drive and placing 4GB worth of SLC NAND on it. While 4GB doesn’t sound like much, the Momentus XT is smart enough to learn your usage pattern and only place the most used files on this high speed storage. By only using 4GB of SLC for this onboard “cache”, pricing could be kept under $120 while still providing tangible benefits.
This isn’t the first time Seagate has tried this hybrid approach, but it really does sound like the first time where it may work quite well. Especially for laptop users who want to upgrade from their glacially slow 5400 RPM drives.
The XT series is obviously not going to be able to outperform today’s flagship Solid State Drives but it is not really meant to either. To test whether or not the Momentus XT can compete in this storage niche, we will not only be testing it to some of the more popular 7200 RPM and 5400 RPM 2.5” hard drives, but also against a couple of Solid State Drives that are in a similar price range as it.