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Seagate’s new Momentus XD hybrid HDD is the world’s fastest for notebooks, coming in at over eighty percent faster than its 7,200 rpm competition and doing so affordably, thanks to a combination HDD/SDD system.

Its speed lies in the 4GB of SSD storage featured in the device, along with 32MB of DDR3 cache memory. The drive analyses what data is most frequently accessed, then moves it the 4GB SSD to cut down on read times. The rest is stored in the much cheaper HDD. Pretty ingenious.

The drive is available in 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB capacities. The 500GB is available for around $100.

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. – May 24, 2010 – Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) today announced channel and OEM shipments of the Momentus ® XT drive, the world’s fastest 2.5-inch laptop PC hard drive, combining SSD-like performance with the massive capacity and much lower cost of HDDs. The Momentus XT drive also features Adaptive Memory™ – a groundbreaking new technology from Seagate that learns and optimizes the drive’s performance to each user by moving frequently used information into the flash memory for faster access. The Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive boots up to 100 percent faster than traditional 5400RPM drives, the mainstream spin speed for laptop PCs, and sets new benchmarks for real-world system performance for laptops and gaming systems.

Today’s high-performance SSDs for mobile computing cost as much as 10 times more than hard disk drives of the same capacity, with the price of a 250GB SSD outstripping even the cost of many laptop PCs. As a result, most consumers and system builders are unwilling or unable to pay the high price for the greater speed and quiet operations of SSDs. Additionally, SSDs offer fewer capacity options than hard disk drives.

Momentus XT, 2.5-inch Solid State Hybrid Drive

The Momentus XT drive is a best-of-both-worlds solution that combines a 7200RPM spin speed, 4GB of solid state memory and Seagate’s Adaptive Memory technology to deliver unprecedented hard drive performance. The unique Adaptive Memory technology works by identifying patterns in how often certain digital data is used, and then moving the most frequently used information to the embedded solid state memory for faster access – effectively tailoring hard drive performance to each user and their applications.

“For notebook PC users looking forward to faster PC performance without sacrificing storage capacity or affordability, now there’s an option,” according to John Rydning, IDC’s research director for hard disk drives. “Seagate’s new Momentus ® XT drive is the first storage device for notebook PCs that raises the bar for affordable capacity and performance.”

“We see the Momentus ® XT drive as a game changer, a product heralding a new generation of hard drives that combine SSD and HDD capabilities so that laptop users don’t have to make trade-offs on speed, cost or capacity,” said Dave Mosley, Seagate executive vice president of Sales, Marketing and Product Line Management. “The feedback we’ve received from customers, industry experts and early reviews has been overwhelmingly positive, and Seagate will continue to drive innovation that provides more value and a better computing experience to consumers.”

Momentus ® XT Drive Brings Unprecedented Speed to New ASUS Gaming Laptop PC
ASUS has also announced that it will offer the Momentus XT drive as an upgrade option for its new Republic of Gamers (ROG) G73Jh notebook. The system is powered by an Intel i7 720Qm quad-core processor, 8GB of DDR3 memory, and DX11 capable ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5870.

“With the Momentus ® XT drive, ASUS gives gaming customers who prefer the ASUS ROG G73 the capacity they need and the performance they crave,” said PC Wang, vice president of the ASUS Systems Business Group. “Seagate’s innovative solid state hybrid drive hands down delivers the best value, capacity and SSD-like performance to a wide audience.”

The Momentus XT drive installs as easily as a traditional 9.5mm-high notebook drive for new systems or laptop upgrades and, unlike early hybrid drives, operates independently of the operating system and the motherboard chipset.



Chris Gullo