Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Internal Solid State Hybrid? Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lazerbrains, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. lazerbrains macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #1
    I had posted on another thread about some issues with my early 2011 15" Macbook Pro being sluggish. (I have fixed those issues by doing a clean install of Lion) But in that thread one person recommended replacing my internal drive with a Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Internal Serial ATA Solid State Hybrid. I have been looking into it and have read a lot of issues related to it, and decided to get something else, but then when I read the reviews of other drives, they all seem to have problems. And the other drives all get just about the same reviews. So I am back to considering the Seagate Momentus XT.

    Anyone who has this drive. What is your experience with it.

    May main concerns:

    1) Reliability. What issues does having a Hybrid pose?
    2) Noise: how noisy is it?
    3) Heat. Is it considerably hotter than other 7200 RPM drives?
    4) Does it actually deliver on it's speed promises?

    Please post and let me know your "real-life" experiences.
     
  2. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #2
    1. No failures here
    2. You can hear it if you pay attention
    3. No it's not
    4. I don't notice anything miraculous
     
  3. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    I replaced a 320GB WD Scorpio Black wih the 500GB XT about a year ago. It has the latest firmware, SD28. Machine is Early 2009 17" MBP.

    1. No issues.
    2. Very quiet - can barely hear it spin, and no seek noise at all.
    3. Cooler
    4. Noticeable, but not night and day difference. Throughput on large file xfer shows a few MB/s faster (as much as 5).
     
  5. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #6

    Oops. Didn't realize there was an almost identical thread. Thanks.

    From the sounds of it, I think I might give it a go. Sounds like the negatives I have heard might have been fixed, or were just overblown. Any other input would still be appreciated.
     
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #7
    I sent mine back to Amazon the other night. Other folks had better luck. Generally speaking, as long as Thailand is affected by flooding, now is probably not the best time to buy a drive. I think Amazon is currently selling this drive for around $30-$40 more than the price I paid for it a month ago.
     
  7. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

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    Sep 22, 2011
    #8
    Ok, so I installed the Seagate Momentus XT hybrid HDD about 24 hours ago, and so far so good. It seems to be working great. I am not hearing any decipherable noise increase, or stalling or lagging. It has cur my boot up time by at least 40% and I am also noticing much faster launching of certain apps. (after launching them a few times) Safari, Apple Mail, and Photoshop open nearly instantly, probably due to the adaptive learning and the SSD. The entire system is moving a little faster, and I credit that to the 7200 RPM drive.

    SO far I am happy with this drive, and will report back if anything changes.
     
  8. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #9
    How about battery life? I suspect there will be no appreciable affect good or bad, but I am curious to know if there is any.
    I've recently been looking into the hybrids. My 120GB OWC is already full and I don't like the idea of dropping my HDD into the optibay and voiding my warranty.
     
  9. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #10
    I used it on battery power last night, using Photoshop extensively for over four hours before it warned me of a low battery. (That's pretty good when working in a power hungry program like Photoshop. I was also running Mail, Safari, Preview, and iChat) I think this is about the same as it used to be before the upgrade. If there is a difference, it is VERY minimal.
     
  10. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #12
    Ok, so now it has been about two weeks, and I have not had a single problem with the Seagate Momentus XT. It is working great! I have notice about 30 -40% increase in boot up time, and overall my system is reining much faster than with the old 5600 RPM drive I had. The biggest improvement seems to be with the Adobe apps. Photoshop, Illustrator, and many of the CS5 suite, open about 60 - 70% quicker than they did before.

    Overall I am very happy with this hard drive and would recommend it to others. It has made my computing experience much better, without having to shell out hundreds of dollars for a full fledged SSD.
     
  11. Risasi macrumors 6502

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    Sep 16, 2011
    #13
    Thanks for the follow-up. It is much appreciated. How about battery life, still haven't noticed any significant difference one way or the other?
     
  12. teerexx52 macrumors 68000

    teerexx52

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    Florida West Coast
    #14
    I just took out my stock 750GB drive. I have an early 2011 MacBook pro 15". Only had it two days but the difference is very noticeable. No beach balls so far and boot up is about 15 sec faster. Programs also loading much more quickly. A good investment I'd say. I tried an SSD from OWC and just had too many problems getting it up and working. This seems to be a better idea for now.
     
  13. Billy. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    #15
    I ordered the 500 GB one the other day. I was tempted for the 750GB one, but I couldn't justify that when I also had a MBP on the shopping list :(

    It's going to replace a 5400 one so I'll report back. However, I'll be interested to see how it matches up to a 7200rpm standard drive.
     
  14. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #16
    I haven't noticed any significant difference in battery life. I suppose it shaves a little life off due to the fact that it is a 7200 RPM drive. But so far in real day to day use it is not noticeable. However, I did upgrade the firmware to version SD28 as soon as I installed the drive. (I have heard of problems with earlier firmware revisions) But if you update the firmware right away, it seems you shouldn't have any problems. Mine hasn't shown any side effects at all, and I am using this computer 8 - 10 hours a day for work.
     
  15. parapup macrumors 65816

    parapup

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #17
    The newer 750GB XT model is supposed to be even better. It is costly ($239 on Amazon) but worth it for the extra flash and storage.
     
  16. teerexx52 macrumors 68000

    teerexx52

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida West Coast
    #18
    I have the 500gb version with firmware sd26. Seems to work fine. Anyone know if I should upgrade or leave well enough alone?
     
  17. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #19
    1) Reliability. What issues does having a Hybrid pose?

    None that I can see so far
    2) Noise: how noisy is it?

    Not whisper quiet but only barely hearable.

    3) Heat. Is it considerably hotter than other 7200 RPM drives?

    Nope

    4) Does it actually deliver on it's speed promises?

    It is quicker than my old 5400rpm drive when copying things.
     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #20
    For me I would be far more interested in a Hybrid solution, if the SSD side was larger say 32-64Gb only having 8b is fine for those that only use a few apps. This is why we see a difference of opinion some systems speed up some show little difference.

    If Seagate offered the XT in a minimum of 16Gb SSD I might go for one, essentially I want my OS & apps on the SSD side and data on the spinner. For those that have a heavy usage of varying apps I fear the XT will prove to be only marginally faster than the average hard disk.

    Boot times to me are moot with OS X as I rarely shutdown for my use at present 16Gb of RAM is looking better, just close the "window" and leave the program running until next use.
     
  19. d14b0ll0s macrumors member

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    Dec 26, 2011
    #21
    Battery life dropped down *dramatically* after putting Momentus XT into my Acer 3820TG. Before I had almost 5hrs w/ WiFi on and ~8 w/o WiFi. Now it is 2 (!) hours no matter what. The drive has the latest firmware (SD28) at seems to be spinning all the time, even though I tried playing with APM to reduce the heat (43-45*C instead of 29-35*C with Scorpio Blue 5400rpm in) and power consumption (I can't really hear how noisy it is [seems to be a little more, but I don't feel much vibration to be fair], as the laptop FANS are working ALL THE TIME, so I don't hear anything else anymore..)

    I loved the idea, but I hate the reality. Unfortunately I can't return it after using it as there is nothing totally "wrong" the drive itself, but I'd definitely go with 120GB SSD + external drive for larger bits of data now.

    Because of all the cons, I forgot to mention that I can't imagine going back to 5400 rpm after seeing how FAST Momentus XT actually is, so it's either SSD or that.

    I'm running it on Windows 7, but my experience could be useful for Mac users I guess.
     
  20. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    Jun 13, 2007
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    benkadams.com
    #22
    I have 2 x 320gb XTs in my MBP, they do decrease battery life a bit, 2 of them even more so :p But the speed increase is phenomenal, I can't comment on just having one installed, but having 2 in RAID makes this machine so much faster it's ridiculous, 1 will definitely provide a noticeable speed increase after you use it a bit.
     
  21. d14b0ll0s macrumors member

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    Dec 26, 2011
    #23
    btw, the battery issue I had was the same under Ubuntu
     
  22. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Location:
    Poole, England
    #24
    The 2.5" WD Scorpio Black is usually just as fast and sometimes faster. Don't expect miraculous speed increases.
     
  23. seattlecard macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #25
    I just put the Xt500 in my 2010 mbp. All is working great. A tiny bit more vibration and noise, but nothing I can't handle.

    Thumbs up, especially at the price I got it for - 89 from newegg
     

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