Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Hybrid Hard Drive Reviewed

Seagate Momentus XT 750GB

The recent hard drive supply constraints caused by flooding in Thailand have focused attention on a market that had been somewhat overshadowed by much sexier SSDs. SSDs are faster and quieter than hard drives and have come down in price to the point that many computer enthusiasts consider an SSD to be a must-have upgrade. However, one place you will not likely see us recommending SSDs is in a single drive HTPC that is serving DVR duties. If you are interested in capturing some of the performance of an SSD without sacrificing the storage capacity and longevity of a hard drive, then a hybrid drive might be worth considering. Seagate’s 500GB Momentus XT drive has been one of the perhaps the most high profile hybrid drive to date and now Seagate is back with their second generation Momentus XT drive in a new 750GB model. The new drive doubles the amount of NAND memory and adjusts the caching to only store read data which should increase longevity in a DVR scenario versus an SSD and most other hybrid drives. Whether the performance benefits are worth the hefty price tag is a whole other issue.

With the second generation Momentus XT we have a hybrid hard drive that has the ability to outperform its predecessor, without really seeing the huge upgrade necessary to fully negate the need for an SSD. To quantify the performance improvement over the previous generation as well as its place in the HDD-SSD continuum, we turn to a mix of application based, trace based and synthetic benchmarks.