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Old Nov 13, 2012, 05:04 PM   #1
talkin73
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Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive - heat, noise and battery life?

EDIT: I changed the title after considering more fully what I'm hoping to learn... any feedback on how these effect the heat of an MBP, how noisy they are compared to standard HDD, and what impact it has on your battery life would be much appreciated!

I know there are other threads on this topic but interested in feedback from anyone that has a MacBook Pro that is using this drive, particularly in RAID configuration. I have VERY limited knowledge about what RAID brings but all reading I've done suggests this configuration for the XT results in much faster read and write. Also interested in feedback from anyone on the real work implications for RAID configuration... if I understand correctly, the NAND portion of the drive would be setup in RAID0 which has no redundancy but that is fine because the data on the NAND is simply duplicate info from the HDD anyway. Thanks in advance for any feedback, including correcting any misunderstandings and sharing any experiences or suggestions.

Last edited by talkin73; Nov 13, 2012 at 09:07 PM.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 07:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talkin73 View Post
I know there are other threads on this topic but interested in feedback from anyone that has a MacBook Pro that is using this drive, particularly in RAID configuration. I have VERY limited knowledge about what RAID brings but all reading I've done suggests this configuration for the XT results in much faster read and write. Also interested in feedback from anyone on the real work implications for RAID configuration... if I understand correctly, the NAND portion of the drive would be setup in RAID0 which has no redundancy but that is fine because the data on the NAND is simply duplicate info from the HDD anyway. Thanks in advance for any feedback, including correcting any misunderstandings and sharing any experiences or suggestions.
RAID requires 2 or more drives. I don't know the numbering so I won't quote it but it goes essentially that you can mirror or stripe drives. Either the drives are exact copies of one another or your data is spread across multiple drives and if one dies it can be complicated to replace it. For this reason, I don't bother with RAID. I prefer completely separate network drives and I simply copy stuff to them twice. If one dies, I have plenty of time to drive over to Microcenter and pick up a replacement and copy everything over to it before the second one dies. As for RAID in a MBP, this sounds like nonsense unless you are talking about taking out the optical drive to make room for a second spinning drive.

I own a Momentus XT, (500GB) and I love it. I had it in my 2008 Macbook but now that I have a 2011 MBP, the XT is sitting there acting as a backup. And when I say backup, I mean backup. I use Time Machine to back up to a Time Capsule. I use Crashplan to back up to their servers. I back up my photos and videos to two network drives which I mentioned earlier. The current Momentus XT is 750 GB and has 8 GB of SSD cache so the ratio of SSD to HDD storage is much higher than the original drive that I have. I strongly recommend it... unless you decide (and can afford) to go full SSD. If you do decide to go full SSD, be careful to select a brand that is reliable and known to work with your MBP. An SSD can lose data too.

Now that I've rambled on about my backup strategy, I have a suggestion for you. Go ahead and get the Momentus XT. I know they work well with Mac and they are a lot cheaper than SSD but offer a noticeable performance boost. Then I suggest you figure out a backup strategy either using Carbon Copy Cloner, Crashplan or some other third party backup software. Lastly, I suggest you enable Time Machine and point it to either a local (thunderbird, firewire or USB) drive or a drive that is connected via ethernet rather than wifi. I've had very bad experience backing up to a Time Capsule via wifi. Oh, and btw, I don't recommend Time Capsule. Airport Extreme with a USB drive is fine but I don't like the idea that my router is my backup and if I have a problem I gotta mail the whole thing to Apple and they mail me an empty one back. Yes I lost data when my first gen TC died. If you're in the market for NAS drives, I recommend Synology. To a lesser extent I would consider LaCie or Western Digital. I don't like Seagate because they try to sell you a subscription to use (what they consider to be) advanced features of the drive you just paid for.

I do like cloud based backup. If an asteroid hits my house, it probably doesn't take out icloud, google docs and whatever clouds I may be using.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 08:06 PM   #3
talkin73
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Thanks for the feedback. Helpful and fun to read I am selling my TC as it has been nothing but an annoyance. I use GTech GDrives and have done so for years. Manual backup everytime I add new photos or videos very few weeks. I like SuperDuper! which has worked for backup and restore flawlessly for both transfer to new drives when upgrading and the 2 occasions we unrecoverable HD problems requiring a swap out.

Is the XT noisy? I've heard people write about noise that makes it sound like their fan is on all the time. Is your battery life better, worse, the same? I have an MBP mid-2010 15" i7 with 7200 RPM drive for reference. Trying to figure out if I'll take a hit or get an improvement in battery life. My wife's late 2011 MBA has an incredible battery life with her 256GB SSD and I'm envious. Would love better battery life and not sitting and watching the battery discharge over time while working on the computer (I do know and use many battery management techniques so I'm confident there isn't much I could be doing to further optimize battery life).

Thanks for the feedback and any info on the above 2 issues!!
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