Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Long Term Review: Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid SSD Drive

In an attempt to reduce my power footprint, I've recently switched to using my Thinkpad X201 as my primary workstation. This let me fully test out the Seagate Momentus XT which I installed in early August.

The main reason for that installation was that I found myself traveling quite a bit with the laptop giving presentations. When you give a lot of presentations, time spent booting up and setting up the machine stretches and you seem to spend all your time waiting to boot. The Seagate XT hard drive did a good job in that respect. Boot ups were every bit as fast as I could expect, and the time between login and having a usable machine to boot up Powerpoint was nothing short of astounding.

What I wasn't prepared for, however, is what happens when you actually get a chance to use the machine day in day out. After a few cycles for the hard drive to learn your habits, applications start up now with a magical quality. Google Chrome starts instantaneously, like when I was running off an SSD. Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and other frequently used applications startup even faster than on my Desktop, in under 2 seconds. All this without my ever worrying about running out of disk space on the laptop, which would have been a concern with a SSD.

All in all, this is a highly recommended upgrade. Compared to regular SSDs, it's very reliable, has higher capacity, and is much much cheaper. If/when I get back to using my desktop on a regular basis again, I'll upgrade that machine's HDD to a hybrid SSD as well. It's that good. I can't imagine going back to the expense, limited capacity and unreliability of an SSD after this.
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