Seagate 1T Hybrid Laptop HD mini-review

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by gwerhart0800, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. gwerhart0800, Apr 22, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013

    gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    Drive: Seagate 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive SATA 6Gbps 64MB Cache 2.5-Inch ST1000LM014
    System: 2011 17" MacBook Pro

    This is my work laptop and I was in need of more space than the factory 750GB drive could provide. I purchased the drive via Amazon for $119. I have prime, so the shipping was free. I chose the hybrid drive for two reasons ... first, it was only slightly more expensive than a non hybrid 1T laptop drive so, what the heck, why not try it and second, my boot times were stretching to nearly 3 minutes or so. I was not expecting SSD level performance ... much of my work involves manipulating big data sets, the size that would make any caching scheme irrelevant.

    In prep for the install, I finally paid for a license for Carbon Copy Cloner. I did one final backup via Time Machine to my backup disk.

    I installed the new hybrid drive into an external FW800 enclosure, and proceeded to clone my laptop drive to the new hybrid. After the cloning finished, I rebooted on the hybrid via the FW800 to check the copy and it booted just fine. I, then, swapped out the factory drive for the hybrid one.

    Finally, I proceeded to do about a dozen boot/shutdown cycles to have the drive "learn" what needed to be cached to speed up the boot process. At this point, the boot times have dropped by 1/2 to around 1:25. I am also seeing improvements on the startup of Outlook 2011, but it is still quite the pig. (I had some initial issues with Outlook immediately quitting. It appears that the "helper" processes ... DB daemon, etc. had not yet finished starting up, but that seems to have stopped being an issue.) As reported elsewhere, after cloning, Microsoft Office 2011 required that the license key be re-entered. I think they are keying off of the disk identifier.One other side effect of cloning is that Spotlight had to reindex the entire drive.

    Overall, the disk does what I was hoping it would do and speed up some of the time consuming things related to booting and certain applications. It is not going to help with general I/O speeds on my large data sets, but that will have to wait until big SSDs come down in price to something I can "afford" with my corporate spending limits. For only a slight price bump, it seems to be worth the extra $$$ ... at least to me.

    UPDATE: 04/26/2013

    As mentioned before, I do a lot of work with big data sets. After installing the drive and using it for a week. I have noticed that it does not "multi-task" as well as the original non-hybrid Toshiba drive. Specifically, I was re-doing my archive of data (composed of millions of ~1-4k XML files), the MacBook Pro becomes sluggish to a degree that I have not seen before. Lots of beach balls, delays in character echo, etc. When I am running one of my analysis tools on the "big data", the system exhibits the same behavior. So, now, I have to decide if the faster boot times and snappier app loading is worth performance hit on the ability to intelligently handle competing disk i/o loads.
  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Is this on your 2011 MBP? I've never heard of such long boot times, even with spinning disks on tech that new. My 2010 MBP booted in about 30 seconds before I switched to SSD which brought it down to like 10 seconds. What exactly is slowing your system down so much?
  3. gwerhart0800 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    I suspect the boot times are a result of all the crap I have loaded on the machine. My measurement was from the pushing of the "on" button to the point of being able to select a radio station on itunes and hearing it play. (iTunes opens to my radio station playlist.) I chose this metric because I have found that just waiting for the desktop to appear does not really represent when the system is ready to actually do something.

    The point of the exercise was to have a metric to judge the change in performance. Please don't get hung up on the specific times, just the change that occurred as a result of the new drive.
  4. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Don't shut it down, just close the lid and put it to sleep.
  5. gwerhart0800 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    I stopped using the suspend after I arrived at work one day to find my laptop blazingly hot and unresponsive. I could not get it to wakeup and ended up holding the power button down to force a reboot. When it came back up, the battery was down to 60% (had been 97%+ when I left home) and the total time elapsed was only ~1 hour.
  6. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009

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