Seagate to end 7200rpm mobile hard drive production this year

By on March 4, 2013, 10:19 AM

Seagate has revealed it plans to end production of mobile hard drives with 7200rpm spindle speeds by the end of this year. Such drives represent a minority of 2.5-inch shipments and are mostly found in high-end laptops or built-to-order configurations, offering higher read and write speeds than standard 5,400rpm units. But they also run hotter and draw more power while still being dramatically slower than flash based alternatives.

As a result, those who want maximum performance have been choosing notebooks with SSDs for a while. While 7200rpm 2.5" hard drives are still significantly cheaper per GB than SSDs, prices have indeed fallen to the point where they’re no longer a luxury, especially with small mSATA boot drives around.

Seagate currently offers four 7200rpm 2.5-inch product families: Momentus 7200.4, 7200.2, Momentus Thin 7200, and Momentus XT. The latter is a hybrid solution, which couples the spinning platters with 8GB of SLC NAND for caching purposes. Although all these will be phased out in the coming months, the company plans to position hybrid drives like the XT for performance and capacity demanding end-users. The announcement implies that their upcoming third-generation Momentus XT drives will feature 5,400 RPM spindle speeds.

Seagate doesn't have a ‘pure SSD’ consumer lineup, and its current Momentus XT drives can’t really measure up in terms of performance to a caching mSATA SSD coupled with a conventional hard drive for storage. Whether that changes with a refresh to its hybrid lineup -- possibly bumping the amount of on board NAND -- remains to be seen. It will be key for Seagate to be competitive in the high-end consumer storage market.

Seagate entered the flash storage market with the launch of its Pulsar solid-state drive in 2009 but it has focused its efforts on the higher-margin enterprise market.




User Comments: 9

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misor misor said:

*conspiracy mode:

due to shortage of mobile hdds, stores are forced to sell mobile hdds at a larger price tag.

I don't get how hdd makers plan their business strategy.

from stores nearby, 5400rpm mobile hdds are priced just a little bit lower than 7200rpm mobile hdds.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Terrible news for me since laptops are my secondary gaming machines and especially since some 15" models only have one drive bay.

How many desktop gamers want to confine themselves to one drive and no 7200rpm options?

..go on, give it a test run for a few months.

Guest said:

I am absolutely sick on all the 5400rpm drive out there. They are absolutely useless.

Those are the drives they should be killing off.

Guest said:

This doesnt make any sense AT all.... SSD's are great and all, and everyone should have one, but not everyone wants to sacrifice that much storage space for an increase in speed. No matter how fast they are. A 1-3TB 7200 rpm drive is the perfect balance for the majority of users.

Something tells me Seagate has other motives here.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

This doesnt make any sense AT all.... SSD's are great and all, and everyone should have one, but not everyone wants to sacrifice that much storage space for an increase in speed.

That's why Seagate is betting on hybrid drives that combine an SSD cache with a traditional HDD in one package. They didn't say they'll go SSD only.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Meh, I'll stick with Western Digital's Black Edition 2.5 inch drives, They don't get much hotter than a blue drive, they're just as quiet and they can't draw much more energy than a green drive as I haven't noticed any battery drain on my laptop what so ever, all that has happened is the boot time has become much quicker and loading apps has become much quicker.

I do hope Western Digital doesn't have any plans of copying Seagate, the Black Editions are brilliant little drives, they're good in home servers, good in laptops, good in consoles, Please Western, If your reading this, do not follow suite!

SourDo said:

I work in a small office that uses Dell laptops with the FDE (full disk encryption) version of the 7200rpm Momentus drives. In the past 3 years, I've seen close to a 20% failure rate of these drives. Only a few were catastrophic failures (no data could be recovered). Most of the failures were bad clusters appearing, causing corrupted files and random BSoDs. So honestly, if 5400rpm drives could eliminate what I consider frequent failures like we experienced, I would welcome 5400rpm FDE drives.

nismo91 said:

Terrible news for me since laptops are my secondary gaming machines and especially since some 15" models only have one drive bay.

here's what I did to my 15" laptop:

- swapped 2.5" HDD with 2.5" SSD (either 7 or 9mm)

- swapped DVD drive with ODD drive hdd caddy (either 12mm or 9mm)

- put 2.5" HDD into caddy

- get external usb dvd drive enclosure, and put DVD drive into it.

I'll bet it'd do much better job than any of those seagate's hybrid drive. the caddy and enclosure only cost 20$, far cheaper than what you will pay for the SSD itself. unfortunately it wont work with those skinny semi-ultrabook laptops without sata dvd drive built-in.

Guest said:

I am absolutely sick on all the 5400rpm drive out there. They are absolutely useless.

Those are the drives they should be killing off.

The current prices of SSD (typically a 128 GB and up) are too expensive to render 5400rpm drive useless and the trade-off (sacrificing capacity for speed) is not worth it for most people. Besides, a 5400rpm drive is not useless when paired with SSD cache which gives you the best of both worlds.

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