Seagate finally joins consumer SSD market, revamps enterprise lineup

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Despite being one of the world's largest manufacturers of hard disk drives, Seagate has been somewhat slow or hesitant to jump into the SSD market, especially with consumer-focused drives. But today the company is finally getting serious about flash-based storage with the introduction of a full range of products that includes everything from 2.5" drives for general consumers to PCIe-based accelerators designed for servers.

600 SSD

First up is the 600 SSD, Seagate’s first consumer focused solid-state drive, which comes in both 7mm and 5mm thicknesses for ultrathin devices -- a first for SSDs following Western Digital’s introduction of the form factor with the Blue UltraSlim HDD and SSHD. The drive retains the 2.5-inch laptop design, supports SATA 3 (6Gbps), and will be available next month in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities.

In terms of performance, the 600 SSD is rated for up to 500MBps and 400MBps in sequential reading and writing, as well as random reads and writes up to 80,000 IOPS and 70,000 IOPS, respectively. As it’s often the case these figures will be a little more conservative on the lower-capacity model.

600 Pro SSD

The Seagate 600 Pro SSD is designed for entry-level enterprise markets and is based on a SATA 3 interface like its non-Pro sibling, rather than SAS like the rest of Seagate’s enterprise lineup. Given that they share the same Link A Media Device’s LM87800 controller and MLC NAND, performance is largely the same, with sequential read and write speeds only slightly higher at up to 520MBps and 450MBps.

Other than that the 600 Pro adds power loss protection, claims to offer the "industry's highest" highest IOPS rate per watt, has higher endurance and a corresponding bump in warranty coverage from three to five years. It also comes in a wider range of capacities, including 100GB, 120GB, 200GB, 240GB, 400GB, and 480GB.

1200 SSD & X8 Accelerator

Seagate is also expanding its enterprise product lineup with the Seagate 1200 SSD and the X8 Accelerator PCIe SSD. The first of them is a next-generation SAS-based drive that supports the latest 12Gbps SAS standard, as well as 6Gbps SAS, and reportedly offers double the performance of its predecessor. The drive is available with as much as 800GB capacity and comes in either 1.8-inch or 2.5-inch dimensions.

Lastly, X8 Accelerator an eight-lane PCI Express 2.0 card designed to offer the fastest performance in high end servers. Available in capacities up to 2.2TB, the top model is rated for 1.1 million random read IOPS, and its endurance is pegged at a whopping 33 petabytes.

Pricing information isn’t year available for any of the new SSDs. As far as benchmarks are concerned, AnandTech tested both the 600 and the 600 Pro, and found that while performance was up there with the competition, high idle power consumption can be a deal breaker for notebook users.

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