Seagate Ships Third-Generation SSHDs Discussion
Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:26 PM
Seagate has begun shipping their latest hybrid hard drives with much more aggressive pricing and now in a desktop version as well.
Seagate Ships Third-Generation SSHDs
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Posted 05 March 2013 - 03:14 PM
One question I have not yet seen answered: what happens if the MLC is worn out? Can we throw the drive away or will it continue to work as a regular HDD? That's not as much of a concern for regular SDDs, as their writes are distributed over many more cells and the number of writes will be significantly higher for a cache drive. And it's MLC now!
Generally I'm a bit disappointed by the "8 GB only" policy. Personally I wouldn't buy anything smaller than 24 - 32 GB, using 60 GB caches in 2 machines (and really like it) and think 128 GB would be plenty even for power users and heavy gamers.
And I still think a NAND socket would be best for these drives. OEMs could put in 8 GB at almost no cost (which will be much better than standard HDDs). More demanding users could add 24 or 32 GB, power users could opt for 64 or even 128 GB (already availabe in a single package). The latter should suffice for 3+ TB drives. NAND worn out or drive getting too slow? Simply put in a new chip. It would even simplify the future lineup.. they wouldn't need to produces and stockpile "different products" just to offer models with different NAND capacities. They could even easily offer SLC caches, I'm sure someone would be interested in them.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 03:56 PM
Interesting take. If the MLC wears out under warranty, of course RMA the drive. It's hard to imagine what usage profile would wear out the NAND though over a longer period, say ten years. The NAND is by its nature written to at a substantially lower rate, and even when something gets replaced in the cache, it's a few files, maybe a few dozen, but not the entire cache. We get the 500GB drives in tomorrow, we'll probe more into this issue and try to answer the question more definitively.
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Posted 05 March 2013 - 06:32 PM
So what is the line's name now, SSHD or XT? If they are just calling it SSHD - then I was right - Seagate did go crazy. Also what are the warranty terms on those, the regular Barracuda's 1 year is pathetic, I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole. I assume those are exactly the same, just 8gb cache added, though.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:13 PM
5400RPM, only 8GB NAND flash and no write cache still(is this true?)? Fail. If it was 16GB with write caching then the slower (random IO) mechanicals could be hidden in more cases.
I think most people will be buying the 750GB 7200RPM 8GB drive until inventory dries up.
This post has been edited by danwat1234: 05 March 2013 - 11:14 PM
Posted 06 March 2013 - 04:13 AM
Anand said they're doing "some" write caching now. That could be fine, as you don't want to cache large sequentially written files anyway. The drives firmware should be able to detect such cases. Taking a "wait and see first, then decide what goes where" approach would probably benefit from a larger DRAM cache. Any word yet on the cache size of these drives?
Thanks for considering this point Brian. And what I meant by "the number of writes will be significantly higher for a cache drive": 8 GB won't suffice to hold everything for everybody. Your frequently used program A might be cached, but could get flushed out of the cache by running B extensively. Then, upon the next use of A it has to bbe fetched again and written to the cache again. That's surely a massive simplification.. but the point is that had A and B been installed on a regular SSD, both would only have been read, whereas we're genereting additional writes on the small cache drive. This effect gets smaller the larger the cache is.
Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:34 AM
IMHO these products make no sense, except for Seagate. Looks like an act of desperation for me.
They call it "SSHD", a SSD combined with a HDD. So when you need a cheap large capacity HDD, you have to pay the price for both, without even getting the capacity of the SSD, because it's only a cache. If you view this thing as large-capacity SSD, you are forced to buy a hard-drive with it. This is why it looks attractive for Seagate.
Why are customers buying SSDs? Exceptional performance and especially for mobile use: shockproof, vibration-free, silent, lightweight, battery-friendly.
Why are customers buying HDDs? Excess capacity at a bargain.
In both scenarios these products don't work. In the mobile department they are just plain old vulnerable, vibrating hard drives. If they add more flash for more performance and less spinning, they're sacrificing their price advantage, because you have two redundant products in one and you have pay both of them. This gets even worse, when flash memory becomes cheaper.
There may be a small niche market, where users with with old notebooks have only space for one 2.5in device and want an upgrade. But in the future mobile and desktop computers will be designed around SSDs and flash memory. It will even come soldered onto the mainboard and there won't even be space for a 2.5" SATA thingy. So who needs Seagate in this scenario? They're doomed.
Remember the Microdrive? It's dead for a reason.
This post has been edited by jtsn: 06 March 2013 - 07:40 AM
Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:56 AM
What about this ? ? ?
I think this is their cheap line and you will see later this year a more expensive hybrid line with 32-64 GB NAND with Intel Caching Solution. (Haswell release)
This post has been edited by Vampire: 06 March 2013 - 07:58 AM
Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:17 AM
"Solid state hybrid drives will help ultrabook designers achieve key price points and performance goals. SSHD products are being embraced by industry leaders such as Intel as demonstrated by the collaborative efforts with the SATA-IO member companies leading to Seagate’s new hybrid drive capabilities, which can significantly improve SSHD performance and help drive general adoption in the PC ecosystem during 2013 and beyond," said Emil Yappert, vice president of product line management at Seagate.
Have a look at what Intel's Ultrabook tries to copy: http://www.apple.com/macbookair/ I can't see a a hard drive fit anywhere.
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