[section_title title=”Conclusion”]Conclusion

So, having used both Seagate SSHD drives (Desktop/Laptop) for the past few days, do they really offer much of a performance benefit over traditional hard drives?  Is the inclusion of flash NAND just a gimmicky selling point or do these have a place in the market, bridging the gap between standard HDDs and SSDs?

Performance wise, the NAND flash inclusion doesn’t really do much to help read and write speeds through the synthetic benchmarks but it certainly makes a huge difference in the boot times.  So with that being said, effectively what you have is a mechanical hard drive on the outside, a mechanical hard drive on the inside but with the added advantage of SSD like booting times; only 3 seconds between the Desktop and Laptop drive too which is great.  The Desktop SSHD actually performed better than the performance clad Western Digital Black HDD in CrystalDiskMark which is great for what is effectively an upgraded mechanical drive.

I still however feel the Seagate Laptop SSHD failed to make an impact in any of the graphs with it regularly being beaten by most of the other drives; this is down to the 5400RPM disk speed.  In my opinion despite the performance hit compared to 7200RPM, the Laptop SSHD would be perfect for a laptop as who wants a loud whirring hard drive blasting away when you are on the train for example? Certainly not me!

The design of both drives is pretty standard to be fair and with these being hybrid drives, I would have thought making them look a little more like SSDs with a more distinguishing casing would have been the way forward.  These drives look like a regular mechanical hard drive and although they essentially are, it would be nice to tell the difference; if not only for the consumer.  Nothing really to talk about design wise unless you are unfamiliar with what a regular hard drive looks like, but some kind of colour grading like Western Digital do would have been a huge bonus here and I feel the SSHD lacks any kind of style.

Coming to probably one of the most important factors, the price, the Desktop 2TB SSHD can be had for around £85 which isn’t exactly cheap, but when you factor in the hybrid NAND flash technology and the excellent booting times, not to mention the extra responsiveness inside Windows 7 itself, it doesn’t seem all that bad.  The Seagate Laptop 1TB SSHD drive can be obtained for around £68 making it rather expensive, though you do always pay a premium for 2.5” drives.

The Desktop and Laptop SSHDs tell different stories in my opinion as the Desktop is not only much better value for money, but of course offers a lot more performance for the money; you also need to take into consideration that a 3.5” SSHD won’t fit inside a laptop.  The laptop SSHD does have a place on the market but it certainly doesn’t represent good value for money, not in comparison to other options on the market but if the boot speed of Windows 7 sways you, then it is of course a worthwhile purchase.

Overall the Seagate Desktop SSHD is a personal storage highlight for me, especially with its good performance, great Windows 7 boot speeds and of course it’s ability to match a “performance” hard drive in the way of the WD Black.  The Seagate Laptop SSHD however doesn’t provide enough grunt to warrant the same statement but it is nevertheless a great laptop drive and for a 5400RPM drive, you will be hard pushed to find anything that competes with it; especially in Windows 7 boot time and responsiveness.

Seagate Desktop SSHD

Seagate Laptop SSHD

A big thanks to Seagate Technology for sending us both SSHD samples in for review today and I look forward to seeing more in the near future.


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