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Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB review

Alan Lu
21 Jun 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
59
inc VAT

Provides good performance boost over hard disks, but it’s still no match for an SSD

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Specifications

500GB sata hard disk

The Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD is aimed at laptop owners who want the low cost and high capacity of a hard disk as well as the fast performance of a SSD. The SSHD is a 5,400rpm 2.5in hard disk that uses 8GB of NAND flash as a giant cache in order to increase performance. It’s the successor to the older Momentus XT range of flash-augmented laptop hard disks.

Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB

We reviewed the 500GB version of the SSHD. It’s just 7.5mm thick, so it’ll fit within some ultra-portable laptops. A 1TB version is also available, but it has two platters rather than one, which makes it a thicker 9.5mm and means you’ll need a larger laptop to accommodate it. Neither version will fit in most ultrabooks, though, as they tend to use mSATA connectors for their internal storage rather than the bigger SATA3 port used by the SSHD.

Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB

The SSHD’s controller uses an algorithm to learn which files you use most frequently. It then moves these files to the NAND flash for faster access, so you won’t see an immediate performance increase after installing the SSHD in your computer. This process doesn’t require any drivers so it should work in Mac and Linux laptops, as well as Windows.

We tested the SSHD in a Dell laptop running Windows 7. We didn’t see any improvement in our large file tests, even after repeating them an additional three times, but its speeds here are still fast for hard disk of its type. Large files were written at 92.8MB/s and read at 103.1MB/s. It wrote small files at 10MB/s and read small files at 85MB/s, producing an overall small file score of 47.5MB/s.

Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB

There was an improvement in boot times, too. When fitted with its original hard disk, our laptop took just over a minute to boot up. When fitted with the SSHD, boot time was dramatically shortened to just 26 seconds, although it took a couple of restarts to achieve this speed consistently.

The Seagate SSHD can provide a noticeable increase in performance over standard laptop hard disks, and at 12p per gigabyte it’s certainly cheaper than an SSD, but it still costs more than standard hard disks. The almost identically priced Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB costs just 6p per gigabyte. It comes close to matching the SSHD’s read speeds, for both large and small files, but can’t match its write speeds or shortened boot times. It’s also thicker at 9.5mm.

Still, if you want faster boot times than a regular hard disk and are willing to pay a little extra for it, the Seagate SSHD is a good choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
AwardN/A

Storage

Capacity500GB
Formatted capacity465GB
Price per gigabyte£0.12
InterfaceSATA3
Power connectorSATA
Spindle speed5,400rpm
Cache64MB
Seek time12.0ms
Platters1
Heads2
Bearing technologyfluid dynamic
Noise (in normal use)22dB(A)

Buying Information

Price£59
Warrantythree years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.morecomputers.com
Detailswww.seagate.com

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