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Hybrid drives (H-HDD or HHD) any good?
11-15-2011, 10:40 AM,
#1
Hybrid drives (H-HDD or HHD) any good?
I am sorry if this has been asked before but I need some input on hybrid hdd's (such as this Seagate HHD). On paper, HHD's seem to be at par with SSD's on performance yet cost almost the same as HDD's cost now.

I have read some polarizing reviews on amazon about the seagate model so wanted to know if anyone here has actually used one. I am also confused whether this particular drive is optimized for laptops only or will give similar performance on desktops.

Also, Mathieu, I'd like to know if you would recommend using one for a mainstream gaming setup instead of a SSD.
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11-15-2011, 10:58 AM,
#2
RE: Hybrid drives (H-HDD or HHD) any good?
They are interesting drives, that offers greater performance than standard HDD (Hard Disk Drive) when data is read or written to the 4GB "SSD" cache. The cache will usually store the most often used data, but it is not perfect of course. Otherwise, performance is behind standard 3.5" HDDs, as this is a smaller 2.5" drive.

Compared to SSDs...well they just don't compare. SSDs will be offering superior performance all the time, with the Hybrid Hard Drive closing in when writing/reading from the cache and lagging behind like any hard drive the rest of the time.

It's an interesting alternative to hard drives, that offers better performance some of the time, but I wouldn't recommend it for a mainstream gaming pc instead of a SSD. Everytime that the cache will not have the required data, you'll be reading data from a 2.5" laptop hard drive, which is slower than desktop 3.5" drives, making it less than ideal.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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11-15-2011, 11:48 AM,
#3
RE: Hybrid drives (H-HDD or HHD) any good?
Thanks for the quick reply. I'll definitely read a bit more the working of Hybrid drives to compare it with alternatives. But I also have a few questions.

Quote:Otherwise, performance is behind standard 3.5" HDDs, as this is a smaller 2.5" drive.

Does performance matter on the size of the drive? The seagate drive has 7200 spin speed which is at par with most HDDs. Where it lacks is the smaller cache buffer (16MB vs 32MB or 64MB). Will this affect performance considering that the hybrid drives have a 4GB ssd cache?

As mentioned before, I am looking at having this as the only drive in a gaming build until HDD prices go down. As far as I have read, the main advantage of SSDs is faster boot-up, shutdown, hibernate etc. and faster loading of programs. I doubt if actual gaming performance will be much affected.

Sorry for so many questions but I just wanted to ask everything at once Undecided
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11-15-2011, 01:08 PM,
#4
RE: Hybrid drives (H-HDD or HHD) any good?
Everything else equal, smaller 2.5" hard drives (when reading from the hard drive in the case of the Hybrid) are slower than larger 3.5" hard drives. I don't recall the exact reason, but I do know that it has something to do with data on the edge of the disk being read faster than data toward the center of the drive, so 3.5" hard drives, with large platters, have an advantage over 2.5" hard drives.

As I said, when reading from the 4GB ssd cache, the hybrid drive will be faster than HDDs and slightly slower than modern SSDs. However, when reading from the hard drive itself (when data isn't in the SSD cache), it is slower than larger 3.5" hard drives.

Indeed, gaming performance itself is hardly, if at all, affected by hard drive or SSD performance.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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11-15-2011, 01:32 PM,
#5
RE: Hybrid drives (H-HDD or HHD) any good?
It now makes perfect sense to me Idea. The reason for 2.5" drives being slower is that they can accommodate less data on the outermost threads of the drive (where the mechanical head of the drive is positioned by default) as compared to 3.5" drives. Thus, the data seek time for the head increases whereby degrading performance.

Thanks for the brush up on basics studied eons ago. HR has to be the most helpful forum on the web for DIY computer builds!

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