LEGEND of GRAPHS
OWC SSD = Single OWC Mercury Extreme 200G SSD
Mom Hybrid = Single Seagate Momentus XT 500G Hybrid Drive
Mom HDD = Single Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500G HDD
In this test session, we used a Mac Pro with a SeriTek/2ME4-E 4-port PCIe host adapter and installed the three drives in the SeriTek/2eEN4. QuickBench 4.0.4 was used to test large sequential and small random transfer speeds. OS X Finder was used for the Duplicate tests.
1. Overall, our tests did not show the Momentus XT Hybrid to be "80% faster than traditional 7200-RPM (notebook) drives," as Seagate describes it. There may be an old, slow notebook HDD out there that's much slower overall than the Momentus XT Hybrid but we compared it to Seagate's own Momentus 7200.4, the fastest notebook HDD we have tested to date.
The main gains we saw for the Momentus XT Hybrid over the fastest traditional notebook HDD was small random write speed (75% faster) and duplication of many small files (30% faster). Other functions were less dramatic ranging from 4% to 8% faster.
2. The Momentus XT Hybrid is not nearly as fast as a pure SSD, as you can see from the graphs above. If the cost/GB of an SSD is a non-starter for you, then consider the Seagate Hybrid Momentus XT as an affordable boost in storage speed in MacBook, MacBook Pro, or Mac mini.
HOW DOES THE HYBRID DRIVE WORK?
The Solid State Hybrid feature utilizes the addition of NAND Flash memory to enhance the performance of the drive. Short random accesses to the NAND Flash are faster than disc accesses due to the elimination of seek and rotational latencies and therefore it is used to store more frequently accessed data. The Momentus XT uses a proprietary algorithm which monitors drive activity and determines the optimum data to maintain in the NAND Flash for peak responsiveness. The Solid State Hybrid feature is self contained in the drive firmware and functions independent of the host hardware or operating system. There are no special host system requirements. Momentus XT can be installed in any standard SATA environment and will automatically optimize.
We are working on some additional tests which will hopeuflly illustrate the advantage of the Hybrid over the standard HDD. Stay tuned.