Made on an iPad Pro
How the 12.9-inch iPad Pro took me by surprise and replaced my laptop.
If you're looking for the best bang for your buck when it comes to laptop hard drives, look no further than the 500GB Seagate Momentus XT. I picked one up as my internal media and backup drive to complement to my aging 80GB SSD. I have actually been rather impressed. Great performance (for an HD) and only $99. Let's explore.
As I mentioned briefly at the end of this OS X Lion SSD TRIM post, the Momentus XT is not your ordinary laptop hard drive.
I'm not one to like spinning disks but the Momentus XT is actually pretty slick: 32MB cache, 4GB SLC NAND memory, 7200RPM disk. It's a solid-state hybrid.
The result of this combination of platters and NAND? Average sequential reads exceeding 100MB/sec and average sequential writes near 100MB/sec. I had QuickBench run a few benchmarks across various transfer sizes. Results below.
For comparison, current generation SSDs (broad generalization ahead) have sequential write and read speeds in the 200-300MB/sec range, with next generation SSDs closer to 500MB/sec. My first Intel X25-M SSD in late 2008 had speeds of 250MB/s read and only 70MB/s write. Of course, SSDs are best known for their random read/write performance.
A comparable modern 2.5-inch 7200RPM 500GB laptop hard drive (not a hybrid) — take the Seagate Momentus 7200.4 for example — has average read speeds of 86.7 MB/s and average writes speeds of 76.5 MB/s. The Momentus XT's $40 price increase is definitely worth it for the performance.
It should be noted that there is a recent firmware update (SD24) available for the Momentus XT that helps with certain issues. My drive shipped with this update but you should double-check when you get your drive. If using Mac OS X, click the Apple icon in the menubar » About this Mac » More info » Serial-ATA » then select the drive (might be listed as ST95005620AS) and look for the Revision field.
Verdict: The 500GB Seagate Momentus XT is a no-brainer buy at $99. 10 out of 10 Stammys.1
1 I should clarify, this rating based more on value than anything. If I had to use this drive as my main OS drive I would go crazy. I'm far too used to full-blown SSD speed. It's a great storage drive and that's how I use it. Great drive for an internal Time Machine backup.