Seagate Momentus XT review: A worthy SSD alternative

CNET editor Dong Ngo reviews Seagate's new Momentus XT second-generation hybrid drive.

Seagate's new 750GB Momentus XT hybrid drive looks exactly the same as any regular hard drive.
Seagate's new 750GB Momentus XT hybrid drive looks exactly the same as any regular hard drive. Josh Miller/CNET

If you've been contemplating getting an SSD for your laptop but can't justify the cost, the new 750GB Momentus XT hybrid drive is the answer.

Released just a few days ago, the second-generation hybrid drive from Seagate offers more storage space than the previous model, and its performance is even closer to that of an SSD.

The new 750GB hybrid drive combines traditional platter-based storage and 8GB flash-based storage (known as solid-state storage) into a standard 2.5-inch internal drive. The new drive looks like a typical hard drive, and can be used as one as well. It comes with a built-in algorithm that automatically, and independently from the operating system, moves frequently accessed data to the solid-state portion. This translates into much better application and overall performance over time.

In my trials, performance improvement could be seen starting the second time an application was run, which is in itself a big improvement over the first generation of the drive, which has only 4GB of flash memory.

The new Momentus XT costs $245 for 750GB of storage space. That's about 33 cents per gigabyte, about twice the price of regular hard drives of the same standard and storage space. Compared with SSDs that cost from $1.50 to $3 per gigabyte, however, it's still a great deal.

Read the full review of the Momentus XT.

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