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It's common knowledge that the appearance of consumer oriented Solid State Drives (SSDs) revolutionized the storage industry but even after several years in the market their price/capacity ratio is nowhere close to the one of regular mechanical drives and that's something that drives away casual consumers who are not really interested in getting the highest possible performance levels. Well because manufacturers know how the market works the next obvious step for them was to somehow marry the high performance levels of SSDs with the capacity of regular HDDs in order to dish out something just as fast but with higher capacity and lower price and out of that marriage hybrid drives were born. Unfortunately although the first attempts did offer some performance improvements at roughly the same price as regular HDDs they weren't very successful in convincing consumers that this was the way to go. Today we will be taking a very thorough look at the latest Desktop SSHD 4TB model which is actually Seagate’s very first attempt in combining the speed of an SSD with the large capacity of a 3.5" HDD.
Founded in 1979, Seagate is the leading provider of hard drives and storage solutions. From the videos, music and documents we share with friends and family on social networks, to servers that form the backbone of enterprise data centers and cloud-based computing, to desktop and notebook computers that fuel our personal productivity, Seagate products help more people store, share and protect their valuable digital content. Seagate offers the industry’s broadest portfolio of hard disk drives, solid-state drives and solid-state hybrid drives. In addition, the company offers an extensive line of retail storage products for consumers and small businesses, along with data-recovery services for any brand of hard drive and digital media type. Seagate employs more than 50,000 people around the world.
Seagate has already released 4 generations of 2.5" hybrid drives starting with the Momentus PSD model almost 7 years ago which was followed by the Momentus XT 500GB in 2010, the Momentus XT 750GB in 2011 and finally the Laptop Thin SSHD line slightly over a year ago. Well since Seagate has been using the hybrid technology for many years now they finally feel it was worth implementing into desktop 3.5" drives and so the Desktop SSHD models use an LSI controller paired with an eASIC SSD controller that leverages the 8GB of onboard Toshiba MLC NAND flash. Strangely enough however although both the 1TB (1TB plate) and 2TB (2x1TB plates) models of the Desktop SSHD line spin at 7200RPM the 4TB (4x1TB plates) model which we have here today (was released after the 1/2TB ones) spin up to just 5900RPM and so as expected and according to Seagate’s specs-sheet it's slightly slower. Regardless it will be nice to see what the 8GB of onboard MLC NAND can do to improve its performance so let's not spend any more time in the introduction page.