Will this hybrid drive can make a big leap from its mixed reception from the consumers?
With the dawn of newer types of storage drives surfacing since the past few years, many consumers are jumping to the newer types in hopes of getting a faster and better performance storage drives for their PCs. Some opted for the Solid State Drives in terms of faster reading speeds but lacks the large capacities of conventional hard disk drives, and soon the SSHD or well-known as hybrid drives were introduced, promising both faster response speed and larger storage capacity, however hybrid drives were haunted with a smaller cache size. But with Seagate launching a new SSHD hybrid, this would probably break the curse on the hybrid drives with a larger cache, but can it?
Before we start the review, here is the specifications of the hybrid drive:
At a first glance, the ST1000LX001 has the same size that from a 2.5 laptop drive or SSD, so it will fit well on your laptop or in any small sized PC. Nothing fancy on the design of the hybrid drive as it still similar to your conventional laptop hard drive. However, upon looking at the back portion of the hybrid drive, you may noticed that the PCB occupies the larger portion than from your usual drives, that is because the ST1000LX001 has more NAND flashes which increased its cache to a whooping 32GB as compared to 8GB to a regular SSHD in the market.
What makes the large cache on the hybrid drive essential is that it allows larger data cache to be loaded, making the computing speed such as loading and saving much faster. And with Seagate’s Adoptive Memory Technology, it tracks the data and prioritizes on the most frequently used applications for faster access, which saves more time when launching and loading files. This is definitely useful for hardcore gamers where every second counts during heated matches or scheduled boss raids, and also for multimedia creators where their software consumes more time in loading and rendering for post-production, so when you use your favorite games such as Starcraft 2 or DOTA 2, it promises to load faster as it remembers the frequently used programs.
Installing the ST1000LX001 is a breeze, as it does not require any additional drivers, storage apps or expansion ports to make it run on your PC or Notebook, as it works like any conventional storage drives where you just plug it to your SATA port and boot it up.
As for performance, we tested the hybrid drive with different benchmark software to ensure that the drive can provide the best results. We used CrystalDiskMark, HD Tune and AS SSD to determine the read/write speed of the hybrid drive as well a simple file transfers with the use of Teracopy for standard transfer rates, we are using a standard HDD to transfer files to the SSHD.
So far after several tests on the hybrid drive, we noticed that it requires some several attempts to get a higher performance score for Solid State Hard Drives, as we repeated the test several times and we noticed some slight improvements over time, most noticeable on the read and write performance, this can be noticed when tested on CrystalDiskMark and HD Tune as it can only go the highest at around 120 MB/s. As for file transfer speed such as transferring large sized files, it starts slow from 30 MB/s, but it starts to accelerate after a couple of minutes reaching around 100 MB/s, but after a certain amount of repetitive benchmarks, there are signs of improved performance for every succeeding tests, so this means that the hybrid drive requires a certain amount of tuning before it can show its full potential. In terms of game loading, we tested Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD on the standard HDD against the SSHD, as the HDD took around 20 seconds to start the game up until the main menu while the SSHD took at around 17 seconds. Launching a new single player game took around 2 and a half seconds for the SSHD compared to almost 4 seconds for the standard HDD.
Overall the Seagate ST1000LX001 Hybrid Drive requires some time for it to adapt to your applications, it may not be that fast from the get go as it still requires to familiarize itself with the common applications you are using, but once it started to get used on the applications, it can finally show its true potential. It’s price tag may be a mixed bag as it is cheaper compared to larger sized SSDs but pricier than your ordinary 1TB-sized HDDs, so some consumers might be having second thoughts on the product. But the bottom lines is that it is all about having both features from two different storage drives combined into a single hybrid drive. So if you are someone who is looking a great storage drive with both the perks of an SSD and HDD for running games or multimedia software at a faster rate, the Seagate ST1000LX001 Hybrid is a good choice.