back to article Seagate: Our tech will be BETTER than WD's helium-filled hardness

We've had WD showing off the flash-disk mutants on its road map to the investment analysts, boasting of its upcoming helium-filled drives - where did they come from? - and 5mm ultra-thin drives. Now Seagate has followed suit and said it will get there first, wherever it is. Seagate and WD are the squabbling sisters of the hard …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Headmaster

Hybrids

Yes, hybrids are good but 2 second quicker boot time than an SSD?

These disks use the SSD as a cache so you only get the benefits from repetitive operations. So if all you do is turn your machine on and off then it will indeed be really quick. But if you are turning over lots of data between booting then boot time may not be as speedy as you would hope.

2
1
Gold badge

Re: Hybrids

Actually it says 2 seconds slower.

I can attest to the fact that they are indeed greased weasel shit at boot times and in normal operation. You'd have a point if the cacheing algorithm were as dumb as fuck, but it isn't. Frequently accessed stuff stays cached and writing or reading a shedload from less frequently accessed files makes no difference, that goes straight to and from the rotating rust.

I've been running a 500Gb Momentus XT in this 'ere laptop for a year now, it's bloody quick and feels just like having an SSD, only bigger and a bloody sight cheaper. Takes a week or two for the cacheing algorithm to get used to what you do, but once it has its feet under the table it really flies. The slower access to big data makes no odds, as the main limitation there is not access time anyway.

The big plus for enterprise use is that they don't need defragmenting, it slows 'em down as it knackers the cacheing and you're back to square one on performance. Thus in an environment where the users are locked down and cannot run defrags themselves, it saves support effort defragging sclerotic machines.

For desktop or laptop drives, these things have the win on price/performance right now in spades and if you want capacity, space and speed, they're the only game in town unless you are King Croesus.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hybrids

Sorry, I meant 2 seconds slower. But my point still stands. The hybrid has a cache of a finite size and it only benefits you for repeated operations.

0
0
Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Hybrids

Having used both in the same laptop (a Seagate Momentus hybrid followed later by a Crucial M4 SSD) I can certainly believe 2 seconds quicker for the hybrid after a few boot cycles to train the cache, although I didn't ever time it formally. They really do have a massive effect on boot and application load times.

This is with Windows 7, FTAOD.

GJC

1
0
FAIL

helium?

uh, helium is already a pretty scarce resource (although it amazes me people are still allowed to put it in party balloons) which is going to cause problems later this century... are they *trying* to make storage more expensive again?

3
0
Boffin

Re: helium?

I'm worried at the lifespan of these helium drives - Id like to see them in mass distribution for a while to see if/how quickly the gas leaks out - metal, particularly alloys can be porous, and id hate for 'air' in the system to cause head crashes.

0
0

Re: helium?

I'd be more inlined to consider the polymeric seals as a leak path...

1
0

Re: helium?

Actually, it usually comes up with natural gas. Some areas in the ME have NG rich in helium - but NG gets burned

off, since there are no resources to ship/liquefy it. So, if resources become depleted, people will just have to

recover more. Since the US govt. has stopped forcing recovery, the price has gone up. A lot of things can be

done with just a noble gas like argon (almost 1% in the atmosphere), but helium had been used instead

because it was artificially cheap.

So, no, helium is not the first resource I'd worry about. Copper or lead or even phosphate deposits maybe, and

if everyone in the world gets an electric car, maybe even lithium.

0
0

A hybrid drive 2 seconds slower than an SSD, really?

0
0
Silver badge

I'm still holding off. 256Gb is my absolute required minimum for a drive now, and that low only because I have a laptop with two hard drive bays in it now and I can put the 1Tb it came with on the other side for storage), and they still haven't come down enough. 30-50% of my laptop price should not be in the hard drive alone.

And they have to not just keep bringing prices down but actually change the *ratio* of those prices too. I can't believe that a 1Tb drive costs anywhere NEAR what they charge when you could easily buy four 256Gbs for much, much, much less. All they do is push some more chips into it (usually in standard positions that would just be unsoldered on smaller-capacity drives of the same model), so it doesn't seem to scale. If they can't bring those prices down before I need a 512Gb primary drive, then I can't see them getting the sales they deserve.

Honestly, if a reliable 256Gb was sub-£100, I'd probably have two today. But they aren't, and the first ones to be will be unreliable and junky. They need to focus on ramping up capacity now that they've proven the technology has real viability.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

>They need to focus on ramping up capacity now that they've proven the technology has real viability.

Well, they're targeting a larger market by selling lower capacity SSDs. 120GB is plenty for many people's primary OS and software, and some consider it good practice to keep their OS install at a size still practical to image back up - for system recovery reasons. Both 128 GB and 256GB SSDs come in around the 50p /GB mark, though carrying 3 year guarantees.

On the subject of guarantees, I'm assuming that a 1TB SSD has a greater chance of failing, and costs more to replace if it does, than a 256GB model. These factors will also influence its purchase price.

I'm sure you have good reasons for wanting bigger SSDs, but your requirements might not yet be mainstream.

0
0
Joke

Helium drives

Sounds bloody silly to be. Everytime you unscrew one from your PC, you'll turn your back, and it will be stuck on the ceiling.

5
0
Joke

Re: Helium drives

"Sounds bloody silly to be. Everytime you unscrew one from your PC, you'll turn your back, and it will be stuck on the ceiling."

Except for the German-manufactured ones, which, being filled with Hydrogen, will crash to the floor and burn.

3
1
Thumb Up

Re: Helium drives stuck on the ceiling

That's why the piece of string will be included.

0
0
Thumb Up

Warranty.

They could design it to release the helium precisely the day after the warranty expires.

0
0
Unhappy

The reason Seagate's revenues are down is that it is too busy replacing failed drives. I'm on my 4th 1TB drive, the first 3 having failed and been replaced under warranty.

2
0
FAIL

Greed

When a lot of the manufacturing got hit by a wall of water prices skyrocketed. Lots of money was made on the inventory. Manufacturing was restored. Prices are still way up and consumers aren't happy and are willing to look for alternatives.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Consumers finally...

...figured out that the law of supply and demand works. If you stop paying exorbitant prices for HDD, the prices will drop. They should try this new found wisdom on petroleum products or continue to be exploited by the Cartel.

1
0
Bronze badge

Bring back BigFoot...

Would whoever swallowed Quantum please bring back the BigFoot drives.

0
0

Im waiting for the desktop version of the Hybrid drives.

I really wanted a speedy 2TB drive.

0
0
Silver badge

hybrid drives nice, but....

The ssd cache is invariably too small.

I have a couple of Momentus XTs in my Linux desktop. While the cache helps out, it'd be better at 64Gb than 4Gb.

I don't reboot often enough for it to accelerate boot times markedly :)

0
0
FAIL

Reboot?

Must be a PC thing. My Mac was last reset in Mid-August, only because I finally decided to install the latest Safari update. My PowerMac G5 has been running for the last 6 months, only because of a power outage long enough to make the UPS shut it down.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums