Seagate Momentus XT
Controller = Texas Instruments SH6966 motor controller + eASIC memory controller
Cache = Winbond W942G6EH-5 (32MB)
Memory = Micron MT29F32G08AECBBH1-12:B (4GB)
Compared to the Seagate Momentus 7200.4 series which costs just $53, $60 and $70 for the 250GB, 320GB and 500GB models, the Momentus XT does fetch quite a premium as it's almost twice as expensive. However, Seagate claims an 80% performance boost over traditional 7200 RPM hard drives and for the most part that statement is true.
The Seagate Momentus XT is designed for a slightly different purpose than the SSDs featured in this comparison review: it's intended as a laptop drive upgrade where users do not often have the luxury of using multiple hard drives. On a desktop you can opt for an affordable SSD to boot your OS and a larger hard drive for storage purposes, but on most laptops you only have space for a single drive and in those cases a tiny 32/40GB drive is often insufficient.
Nevertheless, we were keen to see how the Seagate Momentus XT stacks up against these affordable SSDs given that they are competing in a similar price range. The Momentus XT drives carry a single 4GB SLC NAND flash chip used as a read cache while all the data is actually written to the hard drive. At first we were shocked to find that this hybrid HDD/SSD only featured 4GB of NAND flash memory, but having tested the drive against traditional 2.5-inch HDDs we have to admit that the results speak for themselves.
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