back to article Seagate takes 7.2k notebook drives out back - and shoots them

A momentous moment: Seagate will end production of its Momentus 7,200rpm 2.5in disk-only drives. The storage giant will stop making the gear by the end of this year to focus on drives mixed with flash memory, although it will continue to pump out 5,400rpm disks for cheap laptops. “We are going stop building our notebook 7, …


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  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Momentus decision

    Sorry, couldn't resist

    Mine is the one with the dictionary of bad punnery in the pocket

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    Sensible move.

    The Momentus XT hybrids don't cost much more than their conventional 7,200rpm siblings and with the additional bang that buck provides, you'd almost be mad not to.

    Can't see the 5,400's going hybrid. Having "cheap 'n cheerful" and "fast but pricier" options with clear air between them seems about right to me. Muddying the waters with a "faster but not quite that fast and only slightly cheaper" option would seem a bit silly.

  3. Alan Brown Silver badge

    I have momentus XTs

    And they're not much different to the non-flashy versions (4G SSD onboard)

    Seriously, maybe a _little_ faster to bootup but overall effect is between 10-20% improvement over a bare HDD. Not the highly optimistic figures toted in some quarters.

    The effect is even less noticable on a linux system, presumably because of the much higher uptimes.

    As an experiment it was worthwhile but any future purchases will be SSD-only unless going into a highly budget constrained environment.

    BTW, if you want 5400RPM with caching, then use ZFS. It works fairly well on my fileserver (low power and reasonable response time), but I have no idea (yet) how well it scales past 10 clients - but in any kind of "multiple simultaneous read access (classrooms)" it should go pretty well.

    1. Gordan
      Thumb Up

      Re: I have momentus XTs


      ZFS FTW.

    2. pixl97

      Re: I have momentus XTs

      I've used a number of the XTs with 8GB Flash and they are much faster with Windows 7. In notebooks the difference seems (and feels) pretty large. XTs are great for single use clients. Multi-client/Server installs are looking for a different solution.

    3. Nate Amsden

      Re: I have momentus XTs

      I do too - and I think they provide a great boost.. I replaced a generic 7200RPM disk in my Dell desktop at the office with a pair of the 750GB XTs (one for the main Linux system the other for VMs - which really only runs a single VM). The performance increase was incredible, especially after the 2nd boot, on bootup times at least. I didn't time it but I just noticed the jump from the CLI to the GDM login screen in a fraction of a second -- something I've never seen before. This system has 16GB of memory -- and even with that there has been a large acceleration over the regular 7200 RPM disk - - I know part of it is removing the workload of the VM (When it's doing stuff - most of the time it has no I/O) from the main disk. But even without

      Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit

      I have been using a 500GB XT on my Toshiba laptop at home as well - also Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit. 8GB memory (maxxed) on that one. Quite a difference vs the Hitachi drive it replaced(thought it was very strange to get a Hitachi drive in a Toshiba laptop). Though I recently bought a 750GB XT for the laptop (haven't installed it yet) for more flash. The system dual boots between Ubuntu (95% of the time) and XP (mainly games on occasion). So I need roughly 400GB of space (if you include space for a Windows VM on the Linux side). It'd be neat if I could go dual drive on the Laptop perhaps one SSD and one regular disk but only have 1 drive slot. I was thinking about getting an eSATA disk for the laptop but after investigating that decided against it since the eSATA port can't provide power, and I don't want to use another USB port to provide power to an external SSD (too many cables already).

      Both systems sit at less than say 30% memory utilization(16GB desktop currently at 15% memory usage) - so there is tons of ram for disk cache - but it still doesn't compare to the read cache on the hybrid drive for whatever reason.

      I have another 750GB XT in a Windows 7 system that I use(d) for games, though it hasn't been turned on in a few months, haven't been into games recently.

      Of course I sort of blow out the SSD cache when I reboot into XP ..

      But once the cache is warmed up it is very noticeably faster. e.g. firefox starts up in under a second, whereas it certainly did not before.

      I'll love em even more if they come out with even more flash on board..

      I had *one* issue with my 500GB XT when I first installed it, while I was transferring data from my backups and at the same time installing packages - basically slamming the I/O on the system, the disk shit itself. It was a very strange failure scenario - one perhaps unique to hybrid drives. The disk was timing out, and I could not write to it, but I could read from it (I assume from the SSD read cache). I had to hard reset the laptop, things came back up and I resumed my actions. I wanted to see what iostat was saying but apt-get hadn't gotten to that package yet. That was about a year ago I think and I only saw that particular issue once.

  4. Tom 38

    Arresto Momentum

  5. Tomas K.

    Notebook hard drives are so inferior

    I've tested 7200 rpm notebook drives against 5400 rpm drives and there is no significant performance gain in my experience. Bothe speeds of laptop hard drives are terrible as far as data processing speed.

  6. Grogan Silver badge

    The hard drives they put in laptops are despicable. What are the manufacturers thinking? Typical models may give you an expensive processor, motherboard, assloads of RAM, decent graphics, nice big screen... yet they give you the cheapest, crappiest models of hard disk to severely bottleneck that nice system.

    When I buy a laptop for myself or a family member, I take the original hard disk right out and let it sit unused in case the laptop ever needs to go back under warranty. I install a nice Western Digital Scorpio Black 7200 RPM drive and it makes a big difference. I also use those for replacement drives for customers, if a laptop hard disk fails and it's worth fixing.

    If Seagate is only going to make crappy drives, then they'll just make themselves easier to avoid.

    1. pixl97


      HP laptops normally come with the crappiest HDDs ever. The IO performance is unbelievably bad.

      That said, I ordered a 17" HP a while back and it came with one of the XT's with 8GB of flash, it outperformed any non-SSD hard drive I've had in a notebook before. The clients loved the upgrade in speed, and the huge amount of space.

  7. D 17

    "although it will continue to pump out 5,400rpm disks for cheap laptops."

    like MacBook Pro's?

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