Seagate Momentus XT VS SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tomscott1988, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    So, I have already produced one thread on how to install an SSD into a 2008 mac pro found here -

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=962856

    I have a 2008 mac pro 2.8 octo and feeling my drives bottleneck the system i want a new solution to give it a new lease of life.

    Being ready to bite the bullet and buy myself an Intel M 160gb, I started reading about the Seagate Momentus XT. A hybrid drive which contains a 500GB 7200rpm 2.5" drive coupled with 4gbs NAND solid state memory (ssd) so launches all your programs OS etc lightening fast, comparable to an SSD, but provides the storage space of a HDD. So is a good compromise between the two. It also provides an Adaptive Memory Technology which intelligently monitors frequently used applications and places them into the solid state portion of the drive so they can be quickly recalled.

    This is the link to the Seagate website with the information -

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/pro...ops/laptop-hdd

    The video on the page shows a WD velociraptor 3.5" vs hitachi 7200rpm drive vs The Momentus xt vs the SSD.

    Now obviously the ssd won, but the momentus XT is very close and comes second throughout the tasks beating the velociraptor and destroying the 7200 HDD. The performance is very close and the momentus XT is £110 (average) compared to the intel 160 SSD's £335.
    So I basically want some opinions on the subject, i have worries that 4gbs isnt enough if you are using a mac pro using multiple programs at once wont the data swop make the drive slower in use? is this just a good compromise for now, but in time these drives will be phased out when ssd becomes cheap enough? But i have heard that in a raid 0 two of these drives are very comparable to an SSD. Meaning 1TB for £220 instead of £1200 for a slow TB SSD.

    Opinions and experience please!!
    :)
     
  2. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #2
    If you use programs that loads tons of Megabyte data before you can work with it - go SSD. If you want 2 less bounces when open Safari, go Momentus XT.
    The Momentus XT concept is meant to replace bare hard drives in the mobile sector, where you face slower processors and want any kind of improvement possible. A 3.5" 7200RPM hard drive is faster then a 2.5" 7200RPM hard drive anyways.

    I.e. if you work with iMovie or Final Cut, both a SSD and the Momentus XT may launch them with a couple of bounces, but as soon as you load the video to work with, the SSD is much faster and you can start your work much faster. Also, the SSD-cache doesn't really affect write commands on the Momentus XT, so if you render some video and your bottleneck is that the CPU can render the stuff faster then your hard drive can store it, the Momentus won't help.

    2 last-generation 600GB VelocityRaptors in RAID0 beat every SSD out there in both performance and $/GB. If you find any SSD that is faster than that, 2 15000RPM SAS drives in RAID 0 will definitively do, they're even cheaper then mid-range SSDs in terms of GB/$, and you can use them in your Mac Pro with an appropriate PCIe controller.

    And what do you mean by "4gbs"? SATA 3GBit/s? Even VelocityRaptors can't max out SATA 1.5GBit/s. SATA 3GBit/s and 6GBit/s are unnecessary for hard drives, regardless of the increased speed in burst mode when receiving data from the hard drives cache, as they don't have more than max. 64MB of it.
     
  3. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #3
    Currently in the US right now (no XT yet in Hong Kong), bought the XT on Newegg, should arrive at my parents home soon. Plan to install it in my mbp first because I want to see if it improves Aperture 3/Photoshop 5 at all.

    I am definitely thinking of a raid 0 for the MP if it is fast.

    Can we use a sata splitter and put both XT's into one HD bay (or one of the optibays) via a 2.5">3.5" converter sled?
     
  4. tomscott1988 thread starter macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Thanks for your reply, The 4gb's is the size of the NAND solid state memory There is no way two Velociraptors in raid would beat the read and write times of an ssd, watch the video. No HDD can beat an SSD in terms of speed, because at the end of the day the speed difference is that the arm must locate the area on the disc where the data is stored whereas an SSD has no mechanical parts and accesses data instantaneously. Two OCZ Vertex 2 in raid 0 will be reading and writing at 500mb/s + if you dont believe me check out this other forum.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=968143&page=2


    Which is where my question comes in, that the 4gb NAND on the xt is like a pre cache it remembers your most used programs and pre loads the info so it is as fast as an SSD and also gives you the support for more space, but obviously at a slower speed. The question is that for a mac pro would the 4gb's be enough especially with intensive applications and libraries. The video is informative but isnt really a PRO environment, boot up, game and a few programs. I know the drive is designed for laptops, but is interesting wonder how it would work on a pro system, especially since the drive is a 1/3 the price of an SSD and provides 3x more storage and is only a few seconds slower.
     
  5. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #6
    One Vertex II Pro has Read/Write of 285MB/s. One RAID0 of 2 600GB VelocityRaptors about 300MB/s. With the RAID 0 of VelocityRaptors however you get 1.2TB for $500, the 480GB Vertex II is $1200.
    Sure, a RAID0 of 2 SSDs is faster then a RAID0 of 2 VelocityRaptors, but a RAID0 of 4 VelocityRaptors is faster than 2 SSDs, offering more than 2x the storage at less than 1/2 the price.

    2 VelocityRaptors in RAID0 superate 1 SSD.

    A RAID 0 of 2 15000RPM SAS drives is even faster than that, at 2x the price of the VelociRaptors, plus you need the Apple RAID Controller for $699 to run them. 2 bare SAS drives cost the same as one SSD, beat it's performance significantly, and offer more than 2x the space.

    [​IMG]
    Just Aperture is about 800MB, so expect only parts of every bigger Apps to land on the SSD-Cache. The Momentus is faster if you access it's SSD-cache, but as soon as you access the mechanical part of it, the even the WD's Scorpio Black 2.5" hard drive beats the crap out of it. It's as fast as the Scorpio Blue, which spins at 5400RPM.
     
  6. tomscott1988 thread starter macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Do you have any evidence of this? seen as tho it has a 7200rpm drive i doubt its slower than a 5400rpm drive. Watch the video on the link i put on on my first post! Think youl be suprised.
     
  7. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #8
    WDs 5400RPM drives are nearly as fast as the WD 7200RPM drives (±5MB/s), due to a increased density on the platter. The Seagate 7200RPM drives are slower than the WD 7200RPM ones - or, as fast as the WD 750GB 5400RPM.

    The 5400RPM Scorpio Blue is much faster than the Toshiba 5400RPM one, due to it's higher density.

    And nearly as fast as the Seagate 7200.4, which is actually the XT without fancy SSD-Cache.

    And the 500GB Scorpio Black beats the crap out of all of them.

    And I saw the Video, I can see how it works, and I recommend these drives for Laptops. If you load any 500MB video into Final Cut, a SSD and even a WD laptop hard drive would be faster.
     
  8. csunflip macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    #9
    I returned my Momentus XT to Newegg and picked up 100gb Vertex 2....

    UGH! Pockets are empty now!
     
  9. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #10
    I would have picked up 2 of these ones for the same price instead and put them in RAID0.
     
  10. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #11

    That is what I am thinking currently, not a bad price!
     
  11. tomscott1988 thread starter macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I was never really Keene on the velociraptors, with seeing one and using one, they are loud and run hot. So never really considered them, they do look promising tbh! and thanks for the info! but i dont know i think id like to jump on the bandwagon with SSD they seem the way of the future.
     
  12. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #13
    SSDs are the future, but they have to drop at least 2/3 in price before they become really useful. If there is something that does the same job at 1/4 the $, I can stand heat and noise. If I'd have to pay extra $200 per TB to have noiseless SSDs, I'd think about picking those. However if I have to pay extra $2000 per TB, I'd go rather with an anti-vibration kit for $5 and mount the VelociRaptors into the 5.25" bay.
     
  13. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #14
    I can't speak for how the momentus XT works in a MP yet, but I just bought a late '09 mini and put the momentus XT in it to replace my aging G5. When the new MP comes out I'll put the momentus in it then.

    I can say that the XT is very impressive in many ways. I'm not sure that it is a one-to-one relationship for the number of MBs needed to load a program that all of it will be stored in the NAND on the XT. I think that it's smart enough to know that only certain parts of the program files need to be in the NAND not the whole thing. I don't have any documentation to back that up just a hunch based on what I've seen while using it.

    After launching PS4, LR2, iPhoto, Safari, iTunes (40K+library), iWeb and Mail three times they launch almost instantaneously every time.

    I haven't had a chance to do any heavy work with my 25mb RAW files yet. Take it for what it's worth. The cost per GB/performance is working out great for me. I did think that it would be nice if Seagate put 8GB of NAND on there for a little more $$, but it's still a new drive, probably will happen next year.
     
  14. Baunkjaer macrumors 6502

    Baunkjaer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #15
    A friend of mine purchased the XT, and used it as OS disk in his Win7 PC. I tried it, and wasn´t impressed. Reading is really fast as soon as the NAND learns which programs you usually use. Writing is still pretty standard.
    Insted af buying the XT for my iMac, I ended up spending a lot on the 160GB Intel X25-M - which I dont regret. It´s awesome.
     
  15. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #16
    That's what it's supposed to. However for $30 extra compared to a stock 7200RPM drive, it's worth it.
     

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