Seagate Technology is a data storage company and has been around since 1979. They have shipped over 2 billion HDD’s and over 10 million SSHD’s to date.
What is it?
Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHD’s) have been around for a while now and they are a very interesting technology, they incorporate NAND flash memory into the design of a traditional HDD platter.
The primary design behind this is to identify your most frequently used data (Games, Windows files etc) and it stores them in the NAND flash memory to both decrease time and increases the speed in accessing this data.
What are the benefits?
The main benefits to a SSHD over a HDD are obviously the increased speed and decreased latency and time accessing those files you use most often, if you are a gamer and you tend to play 1 or 2 games at a time until you are done then a SSHD would work very well for you, in turn these drives are also very good for someone wanting to give their OS a boost but not finding a SSD too pricey for the amount of storage space you get.
What are the downsides?
SSHD’s are a bit more expensive than their HDD counterparts for obvious reasons and if you were just using this as a pure storage drive (Movies, Photos, Music etc) then a traditional HDD would be a better choice as you wouldn’t gain any advantage from the NAND memory onboard.
Real world testing:
Now to test this I am not going to run a bunch of file transfers or any synthetic benchmarks because that isn’t the main purpose of this drive.
What I will do is is pretty simple, I am going to play a game, more specifically over the past week I have been playing the Witcher 3 and have been recording the time taken to load up the game both from Desktop and from the Main Menu to the Game World since I started to see how the SSHD works in a real-world scenario.
As a baseline, I tested 2 other drives, a Samsung 500GB 850 Evo SSD and a Seagate ST4000 4TB HDD
The Samsung 850 Evo took 7 seconds from Desktop to Main Menu and 15 seconds from Main Menu to Game World.
The Seagate 4TB HDD took 10 seconds from Desktop to Main Menu and 27 seconds from Main Menu to Game World.
So we can see the effect here that from the desktop it goes from 10 seconds down to 7 seconds by the end of the week, quite good considering that’s the same time taken by the 850 Evo and 3 seconds faster then the 4TB HDD
Time from the Main Menu to the Game World starts off at 28 seconds of loading time but nearly halves that by the second day down to 17 seconds and then settles down to 15 seconds for the rest of the week, again that’s the same speed as the 850 Evo and 12 seconds faster than the 4TB HDD.
Well if I’m honest the Seagate 2TB SSHD surprised me, I never expected it to settle into a game so fast let alone provide the same performance as a SSD in gaming so I will recommend this drive to anyone who is a gamer and wants more space than a SSD can provide at a lower price point.